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Making migration to the UK simple: Tier 4 and beyond


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In order to learn more about how to best manage the Tier 4 student visa application process in the UK, ICEF Monitor sat down with immigration law specialist Mr Mark Taylor, Executive Director of The Taylor Partnership Ltd.

Mr Taylor reveals the biggest reason for visa denials and offers sound advice on how to prepare students for visa interviews. He also offers tips regarding visa applications and explains how Tier 4 sponsors can better manage the recruitment process as well as what schools and agents can do to gain insulation through compliance.

Read the accompanying article ''Immigration law specialist offers guidance on how to handle Tier 4 changes in UK'' here:

Readers might also be interested in our subsequent article on the breakup of the UK Border Agency. Citing a “defensive and secretive culture” within the UKBA along with a range of persistent performance issues, Home Secretary Theresa May said that the agency will be split into two separate entities within the Home Office: a high-volume immigration and visa service, and a strict immigration law enforcement organisation. More on this issue can be found here:

For more industry news, market intelligence, research and commentary for international student recruitment please visit, subscribe for free daily or weekly updates, and follow us on Twitter"

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Making migration to the UK simple: Tier 4 and beyond

  1. 1. Mark TaylorExecutive Director of The Taylor Partnership onbehalf of ICEF, Dubai
  2. 2. 1. Political – an agenda to reduce net in-migrationto “tens of thousands”;2. Economic – double-dip recession;unemployment;3. However, migration forms a major part of UKexport business – eg UK education;4. Media – often hostile to migration;5. UK Border Agency – large organisation andinefficiencies;6. Conflict between a conservative government andoften more liberal court.
  3. 3. 1. Was introduced to simplify the pathways ofmigration to the UK;2. Tiers 1, 2, 4 and 5;3. Tier 4: Large scale fraud of the visa letter system; “students” coming to the UK to work; Colleges taking fees but not deliveringcourses – “bogus” Colleges;
  4. 4. 1. The UK Border Agency will always givereasons for refusal. Common reasons: Insufficient funds; Insufficient funds for the specified period; Lack of original documentation; Incorrect documentation (eg credit cards); Inaccurate CAS – progression / English Not genuine / failed interview
  5. 5. 1. Tier 4 (General) – who is it for? Students aged 16 and over2. Checklist English language test (CEFR level B2 or B1 – depending on level) Financial maintenance If relying on parental funds – a letter of confirmation CAS number / letter from sponsor – referring to English language / previousacademic history All documents are originals (bank statements/certificates/IELTS test etc) All documents are translated into English if necessary3. What are the maintenance requirements? “No established presence” - £1,000 x 9 (Inner London) or £800 x 9 (OuterLondon) PLUS annual fees MINUS deposit – for 28 continuous days. “Established presence” - £1,000 x 2 (Inner London) or £800 x 2 (Outer London)PLUS annual fees MINUS deposit – for 28 continuous days. Where accommodation has been paid, calculate a credit of £1,000. As above – maintenance calculations are different for an independent boardingschool
  6. 6. 1. Tier 4 (Child) – who is it for? Children aged between 5 and 182. Checklist Parental consent letter CAS / letter of support from sponsor Finance / maintenance Original documents / translated3. Maintenance requirements As before unless sponsor is an independent boarding school Annual fees + boarding MINUS deposit paid for 28 continuousdays Foster care arrangements
  7. 7.  Since 30th July 2012 – “student from outsidethe UK may be asked to undertake aninterview, either in person, or on thetelephone” “If as a result of this interview the UKBA is notsatisfied that the applicant is a genuinestudent, or… cannot speak English to therequired standard….the application will berefused.”
  8. 8.  Top tipsThe Student must know his/her intended course; know something about the School / College /University; be able to discuss why they want to study inthe UK; for mature students, explain how study in theUK aid professional growth; Realise that they are seeking entry clearanceas a student;
  9. 9.  A student entering the UK for the first time mustbe able to demonstrate that the proposed courseof study represents academic progression; The Tier 4 sponsor can only issue CAS where it issatisfied that the course represents progression; An in-country applicant can extend stay but mustdemonstrate academic progression The Tier 4 sponsor should explain why it believesthat a course represents academic progression
  10. 10. 1. Use check-lists for every application.2. Ensure the student is conversant in his/herintentions.3. The relationship between agent andeducational institution is crucial;4. Know the sponsor / know the agent;5. Ensure the CAS is accurate;6. Submit applications as soon as possible;7. Ensure that applications are accompanied byall possible evidence.
  11. 11. 1. Pre-sessional courses for 3 months can fallunder 1 CAS with main course of study;2. Student Visitors – 6 month visas;3. Student Visitors – 11 month visa forextended English language course;4. Cannot extend a student visit visa in the UKor switch into any other category;5. Test for SVVs is different – can the applicantdemonstrate that he/she will return uponcompletion of the course? Evidence of ties isimperative.
  12. 12. 1. Out of country: Administrative review Can only be made on the basis of theapplication before it when submitted2. In country Right of appeal (if submitted timely); Tribunal can only consider evidencesubmitted with the application3. Late application – 28 days grace (but noright of appeal)!
  13. 13. 1. Avoiding the “life time” student2. Loss of PSW and Tier 1 General3. Tier 1 – Investor / Entrepreneur / GraduateEntrepreneur4. Tier 2 – employment5. Family routes6. Asylum7. Not be relied upon in Tier 4 applications!
  14. 14. 1. Investor £ 1 million; No language requirement; Funds to be invested in UK Welcome to the UK!2. Entrepreneur £200,000 or £50,000 Language requirement Establish business in UK and create employment3. Graduate Entrepreneur Restricted to 1,000 per annum
  15. 15. 1. A “work permit”2. The employer must be a registered sponsor(as per Tier 4);3. Job vacancies must be advertised in the UK;4. A transparent recruitment process musttake place;5. Numbers are subject to a cap
  16. 16.  Immigration rules and legislation areinevitably fluid and will change; Those working with overseas students shouldappreciate its commercial value; They should also appreciate the need toensure that it is resourced adequately; Most of the compliance issues are based ongood administration; Education in the UK is some of the best in theworld – in an increasingly competitive market
  17. 17. Any further advice:Mark TaylorEmail: (0044) 07944 844398Website: