International Student Team
On this page you will find information about earlier government changes in student immigration and links to relevant external sites.
2 February 2012: 'Making immigration work for Britain'
Transcription of the speech delivered by Immigration Minister Damian Green on Thursday 2 February.
1 February 2012: Updated advice for Libyan visa holders
The special arrangements which were put in place on 20 July 2011 for Libyan migrants who wished to extend their leave under the Immigration Rules, are withdrawn with effect from 1 February 2012.
19 December 2012: 'Appealing immigration and asylum decisions from 19 December 2011'
The UK government's Ministry of Justice introduced new fees for some asylum and immigration appeals, and changed the way customers can submit their appeals. Fees of £80 for a paper consideration and £140 for an oral hearing will be applied to appeals against decisions taken on or after 19 December 2011.
11 October 2011: National Health Service (NHS) charges and immigration
If you make an immigration application on or after 31 October 2011, the UK Border Agency can refuse it if you owe the NHS £1000 or more.
4 July 2011: Next set of changes to student visa rules is announced
From 04 July 2011 several changes come into effect, including the following.
Restrictions on bringing dependants
This change affects those who apply for leave on or after 04 July 2011 (the date on which the CAS was assigned is irrelevant).
In general, only postgraduates (NQF Level 7 and above) taking a course at least 12 months long will be able to bring dependants under Tier 4. This means students on the following programmes will not be able to bring dependants:
- all undergraduate programmes (including integrated masters)
- graduate programmes lasting less than 12 months (e.g. PGCE) - see the graduate fees and funding webpages for details of course lengths
- certificates (e.g. Certificate in Theology for Ministry - NQF4)
Most Master of Philosophy students will be able to apply to bring dependants but there may be exceptions and you should check the course dates given on your CAS statement.
There have also been changes to the rules for babies born in the UK and the provisions for family members of students who have recently been studying in the UK.
Tier 4 Sponsors must now explicitly declare in the CAS that a student is making 'academic progress' from study undertaken during the student's most recent period of Tier 4 (General) or pre-Tier 4 'student' leave.
If your CAS was issued on or after 04 July 2011 and you have studied in the UK before but this statement is missing from your CAS, you must inform us as a matter of urgency.
It may be necessary for us to ask you for more details about previous study in the UK and any previous visas you have held. We are grateful for your cooperation with such requests.
'Low risk' nationals
Students of specified nationalities will not normally be required to provide evidence of their funds or qualifications if they are applying in the UK or in the country of their nationality. However, the UKBA can still request this evidence during the visa application process, and failure to provide it by the date specified will lead to refusal.
A 'declaration' is being introduced to the visa application form, requiring students to confirm that maintenance funds are - and will remain - genuinely available to them.
Applicants will not be awarded points for maintenance where the money is held in a financial institution with which the UK Border Agency is unable to make satisfactory verification checks. The list of the unacceptable institutions is expected to be provided at:
UK Border Agency: Reform of the Student Immigration System (Announcement on 31 March 2011)
On 31 March 2011, the UK Goverment announced changes to Tier 4 and working after your studies. These changes will be introduced in stages, from 21 April 2011.
Our summary of the changes to the student immigration system, the timetable for implementation and the impact on the collegiate University can be found on our Information Notes and Guidance' page (a Raven password is required). We are still analysing this information and will provide more details soon.
Please find further information on the changes at:
- UKCISA's 'latest news' page summarising the changes
- Announcement on the UKBA site (31 March 2011)
- UKBA 'Statement of intent and transitional measures'
- Written ministerial statement: statement of changes to the Immigration Rules (Tier 4)
If you are in the process of making a visa application, be sure you are using the correct Tier 4 Policy Guidance and application form.
New visa application fees from 06 April 2011
All Tier 4 application costs will increase, including those for dependants, and a new charge has been introduced for 'permission to change sponsor' for certain students. Make sure your visa application is accompanied by the correct fee or your application will be returned to you.
On 07 December 2010, the UK Government published a public consultation on reform of Tier Four of the Points Based System - the student entry route to the UK. The consultation closed on 31 January 2011.
The University of Cambridge's response was prepared by inviting colleagues across the University and Colleges to complete an online questionnaire. Under the lead of the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Education), a small adhoc group considered the responses and signed off the final submission on behalf of the Collegiate University.
Read the response from the University of Cambridge: