Student Visa

New student route from 5 October 2020

October 5, 2020 1,517

As everybody knows, EU free movement will end on 31 December 2020, after which EEA nationals will be treated the same as everybody else. There will be a new points-based system, which will cover both working routes and study routes.

The Home Office has now provided details about the new study route, which opened on 5 October 2020. It is no longer called the “Tier 4” route: international students are now simply “Students” or “Child Students”.

A really important difference in the new arrangements is that EEA nationals will eventually have to apply for study visas if they want to study in the UK: they will no longer be able to rely on free movement principles after 31 December.

Otherwise, there are more similarities than differences between the old scheme and the new one. The sponsorship and certificate of sponsorship (CAS) arrangements are similar to what they were before, and there is still an English language requirement – Maltese nationals will be very pleased to learn that their country has been classified as a “majority English-speaking country”, so they will not have to satisfy any English language requirement.

And another interesting change is that switching rules in the UK are more generous than previously. Under the old scheme only Tier 2 Skilled Worker migrants could switch to Tier 4 visas but now a much broader range of categories is able to do so.

Not only this, but the rules about financial maintenance have been made easier. Students who have been in the UK for 12 months may no longer have to meet a financial requirement when they apply for leave to remain.

Until 5 October if you are a non-EEA national you could apply under the Tier 4 scheme but now it is no longer possible.

This is a brief outline of the new scheme which, as you can see, is less restrictive than the previous one. If you want more detailed advice about this we will be able to help you.

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