A few of you have recently asked about the NEW student route which came into place on Monday 5th October. In this post, we cover all the changes that you need to be aware of.
A student visa is no longer called Tier-4. From now onwards its called Student Route
Who is the new route for?
Any student that SUBMITS his/her visa application after 9 pm (UK time) on 5th October will fall under the new visa criteria. If your CAS was issued before this deadline, will still fall under this category.
My CAS was issued before 5th October but haven’t submitted a visa application before
Before submitting your visa application, you must immediately contact your University to ask them if they have to alter your CAS as it would be calling it Tier-4.
Okay, so let’s dive in and see what has changed.
NO NEED TO PANIC because most of the policy changes are in students’ favour.
What has changed?
More relaxed approach:
• Applicants do not have to submit previous degree transcripts to the UKVI during visa documents submission. You still have to submit your transcripts to University and they will mention it on CAS but the visa officer doesn’t need to see it.
• Less focus on HOW evidence is provided, and more about WHAT has been provided. For example; UKVI won’t be asking HOW you arranged funds. As long as the Bank statement is provided, and it meets the requirements, visa officers should accept it without any further questions.
• Online bank statements will now be accepted as long as they meet the set requirements. Previously, the bank was asked to stamp the statements which sometimes was a bit of a hassle
• You can now use your spouse(husband/wife) bank statement if they are traveling with you as a dependent. Parents’ bank is also still valid.
• If using Loan letters, it MUST confirm that provider is regulated by a relevant official regulatory body.
Slightly tighter requirements for English requirements
• Universities can still accept other IELTS equivalents – so that’s good news (but check with your university as its different for every uni)
• VISA caseworkers are being given more power to REFUSE students who they believe do not have sufficient English even if their IELTS(or equivalent) score is as per the requirements.
Study time CAP rules changed
• Five-year maximum can be spent on the undergraduate level
• Two-year maximum can be spent below degree levels like A levels
• No TIME LIMIT on Postgraduate courses anymore. Previously it was a maximum of 5 years. However, you still need to show academic progression if you want to do a second, third master’s.
ATAS exemptions for some students (not applied to Pakistani students)
Only for students coming from below countries;
• New Zealand
For students applying for extensions from within UK, it’s much much easier now
• Students can apply for visa extensions from WITHIN the UK. So let’s suppose you come on a foundation course, you can now extend your visa from within UK upon completion.
• Visitor or short term student visa holders can still not extend from UK but students on Tier 4, Tier 2, Tier 5, etc can switch from the UK.
• BANK STATEMENT is no longer required if you already studied in the UK for at least 12 months.
Applications can now be submitted earlier
• Applications can be submitted 6 months before the course start date BUT students can not travel more than 1 month before the course starts.
• If you’re applying within UK, you can apply 3 months in advance
NEW Updated Points Criteria
Not really that important as it’s the same as before but they’ve just divided the points into three categories now;
• 50 points for CAS
• 10 points for meeting financial requirements
• 10 points for meeting English language requirement
Hope the above helps. Please comment below if you have any further questions. I don’t mind answering on inbox, but I receive a lot of messages there and sometimes they go unnoticed.