Sunday, 14 June 2015

Summary of Recent Changes to UK Student Visa 2015 / 2014

Summary of Recent Changes to UK Student Visa 2015 / 2014



With the implementation of Immigration Act 2014, a New health surcharge is to be introduced from next month, further with the introduction of Immigration act 2014, the appeal rights in most cases will be replaced by a system of administrative review also landlords will be required to check the immigration status of prospective tenants (ie students)

Below is a summary of new student visa rules / changes (2014/ 2015), new changes to Immigration Act 2014 and other reviews

Introduction of the Immigration Health Charge –From 6th April, 2015 
For all immigration applications made on or after the 6 April 2015.

The immigration health surcharge will cost:
  • £150 for students and their dependants 
  • £200 for other applicants e.g. Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur), Tier 2 and Tier 5 Youth Mobility 

The sum is an annual amount and you will be charged the annual amount for each year of the maximum period of leave at the point you apply for your visa. For example, an undergraduate student will pay an extra £450 at the time of their student visa application to UK. This additional charge is mandatory failure to pay can lead to your visa being refused.

The following groups are exempt:
  • Entry clearance applications for 6 months or less; 
  • Visitor visa applications (except the extended Student Visitor route) 
  • Nationals of Australia and New Zealand, and British Overseas Territories Citizens who are resident in the Falkland Islands.


    No more Appeals - Appeals replaced with Administrative Review
    For Tier 4 applications made on or after 20 October 2014, the Appeals process for refusals has been replaced by Administrative Review (AR). An AR is when the Home Office reviews the decision-making process made by the caseworker when considering the application. It is not a legal process handled by the Immigration Tribunal

    Administrative review requires a payment of £80 for a single decision, or a decision on applications by a main applicant and dependants. It must be refunded if the outcome of the administrative review is that the decision is withdrawn.

    More detail on administrative review could be found here


    Increase in visa application fees from April 2015 
    • The new fees will be as below: 
    • Tier 4 (General) application outside the UK - £322 
    • Tier 4 (General) standard application in Country (in UK) - £439 
    • Tier 4 (General) premium application - £839 
    • Student Visitor - £85 
    • Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) in the UK - £456 
    • Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) outside the UK - £335


    New Visa Issue Procedure (Out of Country Applications)
    The UK Government is changing the way that it issues permission for people to come to the UK (UK Student Visa) from abroad for more than six months.

    When you apply for your Tier 4 visa, you will be granted with an endorsement in your passport (vignette or sticker inside your passport) which is your visa to enter the UK. If your visa is granted for a period of 6 months or more, you will only be given a 30-day visa in your passport as a leave to enter the UK. You must arrange to enter the UK within that 30 day period. Along with your visa and passport, you will also receive a written notification (or decision letter) informing you to collect a longer term visa from a designated Post Office branch once you have arrived in the UK. Your long term visa is called a biometric residence permit (BRP) and is in the form of a credit card sized card with a chip which will contain your biometric information.

    Timetable for BRP roll-out

    As this is a new procedure for UK visa applications made outside the UK, it is currently not compulsory for everyone to have a BRP. This new procedure will be introduced in stages and the estimated roll-out will affect UK visa applications made in the following countries as follows:

    Phase 1 – 18 March 2015 - Pakistan

    Phase 2 - Mid April 2015 (estimated, subject to the exact date legislation comes into force)

    Armenia
    Cambodia
    Estonia
    Iceland
    Laos
    Nepal
    Bangladesh
    China
    Finland
    India
    Libya
    Netherlands
    Bhutan
    Cyprus
    Germany
    Indonesia
    Maldives

    Burma
    Denmark
    Gibraltar
    Italy
    Malta


    Phase 3 - 31 May 2015

    Afghanistan
    Bermuda
    Falkland Islands
    Malaysia
    Philippines
    Taiwan
    Ascension Island
    Brunei
    Fiji
    Mongolia
    Qatar
    Trinidad & Tobago
    Australia
    Canada
    Guyana
    New Zealand
    St Helena
    United Arab Emirates
    Bahamas
    Cayman Islands
    Iran
    Nigeria
    St Lucia
    USA
    Bahrain
    Dominican Republic
    Jamaica
    Oman
    Singapore
    Yemen
    Barbados
    Egypt
    Japan
    Papua New Guinea
    South Korea


    Phase 4 - 31 July 2015 - Rest of the world

    Finally, a brief guide on how to apply for UK Student Visa
    (The Requirements for Tier 4 General Student Entry Clearance: How to make your application)

    Before making any type of application for immigration permission, you should read the appropriate current Tier 4 General policy guidance thoroughly.

    • Obtain your Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) from your University
    • Check if you need an ATAS clearance certificate,  (ATAS clearance is required for some taught postgraduate and many science and technology related research subjects.)
    • Obtain appropriate evidence to meet the maintenance/ funding requirements.
    • Complete the relevant visa application form Online (Unless you are a national of Cuba or North Korea)
    • If you wish to bring your family member(s) or partner with you as a Dependant, please remember to include them in your application. Please read the PBS Dependent Guidance on the additional maintenance requirements for Dependants.
    • As a part of your Tier 4 visa application (UK Student Visa Application), you may be required to attend an interview with the UK Home Office /UK Embassy or High Commission

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