On 30 September 2009 the UKBA made various policy announcements covering the Tier 4 student visa. This is ahead of the sponsorship management system for Tier 4 of the points-based system going live on 5 October 2009. Sponsors are educational institutions such as schools, colleges and universities. The announcements cover the following:
The good news is that the maintenance concession for Tier 4 applicants applying from within the UK will now continue for all those who apply before February 2010. The maintenance concession which was due to end on 1 October 2009 allows applicants from within the UK to show that they have enough money to pay the course fees and maintenance only on the day that they apply. Normally applicants need to show that they have enough money to cover course fees and maintenance for a period of 28 days ending no more than one month before their application is submitted. The United Kingdom Border Agency says that they have extended this concession to give students more time to adjust to the new system.
The new course fee and maintenance requirements apply to all those applying from outside the UK from 1 October 2009.
From 1 October 2009 those who wish to study in the UK applying from outside the UK must show that they have had enough money to cover the course fees and meet the maintenance requirements for a 28 day period ending no more than one month before the date of their application.
Tier 4 Students can only study at the educational institution sponsoring them.
From 5 October 2009 new Tier 4 students stay in the UK will be linked to the education provider sponsoring them. The sponsor's reference number will appear in the vignette in their passport or in their identity card.
If a student wishes to study with a new Tier 4 sponsor on or after 5 October 2009 the student will not be allowed to study with the new education provider until their visa has been approved. The UKBA says that there are tough penalties for those who are in breach of these conditions.
No need to make a Tier 4 Visa application for those who wish to change sponsor and who last applied before 5 October 2009. However, still need permission from UKBA.
It is easier for students who wish to change their Tier 4 sponsor and last made their application for a Tier 4 visa before 5 October 2009. It is not necessary for such students to make a new Tier 4 application. They should however seek permission from UKBA to change sponsor.