Points Based System Changes To UK Tier 4 (General)

23 Jul 2010


UK Border Agency is making a series of important changes to the student Tier 4 policy of the points-based system which will come into effect from 23rd July 2010.

From 23rd July 2010, the minimum level of English language course that will be permitted under Tier 4 will be level B2 of the Common European Framework of Reference. This has been done following the judgement made in the judicial review case brought by English UK.

The exemptions to the minimum level, which applied previously to government-sponsored language students and those undertaking a pre-sessional English language course before pursuing a degree course, remain in place.

From 23rd July 2010, existing Tier 4 students who want to change to a sponsor with a Highly Trusted Sponsor (HTS) licence will be able to begin their new course of study, at their own risk, while they are waiting for the UK Border Agency to make a decision on their application to change sponsor.

From 1 July 2010, UK institutions participating in the William D Ford Federal Direct Loan Programme (administered by the US Department of Education) will be authorised to offer Federal Direct Loans to students coming from the USA to study in the UK. The US Department of Education has also contacted UK institutions involved in this programme.

Students relying on International Baccalaureate qualifications who are awarded on 5th July 2010 will not be issued with a paper transcript giving their results. So, Border Agency made provision to accept applications made by students rely on IB qualification to submit a print out from UCAS or IB office online checking service. Students may apply using this concession from 5 July 2010 until 29 October 2010.

The requirement for sponsors to assess prospective students’ competence in the English language will change on 12 August 2010. And the revised Tier 4 policy guidance and sponsor guidance will be published on Friday 23 July 2010 on the Border Agency website.


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