The UK has confirmed its new points-based visa system, which requires international students (EU and non-EU) to have 70 points upon entering the country, will be launched from October 5th, 2020. This system will replace the Tier 4 visa route which currently only applies to non-EU students and has been implemented earlier than the expected January 2021 date.
We’re going to run you through the specifics of these changes and how this might impact you and your studies in the UK.
How do I gain 70 points?
For your student visa application to be accepted, you will need to satisfy each of the following criteria:
- Hold an offer from an approved sponsor such as a UK university
- Proof of English language proficiency
- Evidence of sufficient funds
What are the benefits of the new system?
The points-based system is intended to be more streamlined for both EU and non-EU students applying to study in the UK. You can now apply for an international student visa up to six months before your course starts, which is up from three months as originally required under the Tier 4 visa route.
You will not have to resubmit proof of your academic qualifications with your visa application as was necessary under the Tier 4 visa system.
The UK government has also announced that there will be no limit on the number of international students who are allowed to study in the UK under this new process. This change has been implemented to increase the total number of international students entering the UK each year to 600,000 by 2030.
Students who have already provided proof of that they are able to financially support themselves for one year in the UK will not have to resubmit this evidence at a later date. This will reduce the amount of paperwork that you need to submit. In terms of meeting the maintenance requirements, electronic bank statements will be sufficient, and a wider variety of accounts can be used as evidence of your eligibility.
The Minister for Future Borders and Immigration, Kevin Foster, said, “Launching the student route early sends a clear message to the world we want the best and brightest to come to the UK to study at our globally renowned education institutions.”
Post study work visa
This new points-based system will allow international students who have completed a degree at a recognised UK institution to remain in the UK to work for two years after graduation (three years for PhD graduates). This post-study work visa is expected to commence in the summer of 2021 and applies to all skill levels.