The Home Office of the UK published a Statement of Changes to the Immigrations Rules (HC 877) on March 11, 2016. The new statements have some changes that will affect the Tier 4 applications made from the 6th of April. Here we have listed the key changes that will affect the students studying medicine in the UK.
1. Tier 4 students who are currently sponsored by an independent school are allowed to apply for a new Tier 4 visa from within the UK and do not need to go back to home country to apply.
2. Any medical student applying for a new Tier 4 visa for Foundation Programmes only have to show a maximum of two months worth of funds for their living cost rather than nine months which is still applicable for other Tier 4 applications.
3. The new immigration rules will clarify caps on study by calculating the time limits, period of leave that have been granted previously for course studies or for any other different level of course. The Home Office have yet to decide whether they will include those leaves that have been cancelled or curtailed in the calculations.
4. USA students who are studying a degree level course at a higher education institution, and who as a part of their course in the USA apply for Tier 4 visa to study abroad program in the UK for up to six months, will be exempt from the English language requirements.
5. Tier 4 (general and child) students will be prohibited from engaging in any kind of business activity so far. Tier 4-visa application from 6th of April will have additional work restriction. This restriction is to stop Tier 4 students from setting up businesses in the UK.
6. The Tier 4 applications from 6th of April can change course at the same institution if:
a. You have not completed the course for which your CAS was assigned
b. The course is degree level or above
c. The new course is not lower level than the previous granted leave course
d. The course was taught by UK recognise body or HEI that has Tier 4 sponsor status
e. You will be able to complete the new course within the current leave period
7. If you have previously been granted Tier 4 leave, your sponsor must confirm
a. The new course is related to the previous one for which you are granted leave (the course must be connected to the previous one or subject group or deeper specialisation) Or
b. You previous course and new course is a combination support for genuine career inspirations
8. Application for Tier 4 child visa from 6th April cannot change course at the same institution for foundation course as an entry to a higher education institution.
9. Your visa application can be refused if you have outstanding debts for NHS treatment of £500 or more, or if you have legal case with the Home Office and as a result you are instructed to pay the legal costs to the Home Office and have failed to do so.
If you are applying for Tier 4 general or child and have concerns on the changes feel free to contact a student adviser at your institution or call us on our advice line.