Student standing with a rucksack. Image credit: Scott Webb on Unsplash
Photo by Scott Webb on Unsplash

New student immigration system launches

Important updates for Tier 4 visa students

The Tier 4 Student system has been rebranded to become the Student Route. It remains similar to the current Tier 4 system but with EU/EEA and Swiss nationals able to apply for a Student visa if they are starting on or after 1 January 2021 and do not have (or are not eligible to apply for) pre-settled or settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme. Current EU/EEA or Swiss nationals ​resident in ​in the UK before 11pm 31 December 2020 have until 30 June 2021 to apply for the EU Settlement Scheme and do not need a visa if they apply under the EU Settlement Scheme, but should not delay applying for the scheme. Current non-EU Tier 4 visa holders do not need to take any further action as their Tier 4 visa conditions remain the same, and students who have a pending application submitted before 5 October will be granted a Tier 4 visa. 

For visa applications made on or after 5 October 2020, the new changes are explained on the UKCISA webpages. These changes include nationals from the following countries being exempt from ATAS: Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea and the USA (EU/EEA and Swiss nationals will also be exempt from ATAS). The maximum visa time limits for previous study in the UK have removed for postgraduate courses, and if you have been living in the UK for more than 12 months you will not need to submit any financial evidence for maintenance with your visa application. 

The student visa webpages and other University webpages will be updated over the next few months to reflect this new branding and rule changes.