New Improved Visa System For Indian Tier 4 Students
Indian students are incredibly important to the UK’s economy and culture. In recognition of this, UK Visas and Immigration have introduced new flexibility in visa rules as they apply to Tier 4 students. This is being achieved by working with its visa services partner VFS Global.
In the year ending March 2020, UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) granted almost 50,000 Tier 4 Student Visas to Indian nationals, up 136% from the previous year.
UK Visas and Immigration Regional Director, South and South East Asia David Ratcliffe stated:
“For those travellers, our message is clear: your safety is our highest priority. Throughout the visa application process and your travel to the UK, we are taking measures to ensure you are safe and secure. In addition, the new Graduate Route is guaranteed to open next summer – meaning those students heading to the UK this autumn will be able to apply for 2 years additional post-study leave to kick start their career in the UK.”
Keeping students safe during the Coronavirus pandemic
To ensure the health and safety of visa applicants, VFS Global has standardised protective measures across all its centres. Actions include:
- An online appointment booking system.
- Checking the temperatures of all customers at office entrances.
- Maintaining strict social distancing.
- Regularly disinfecting surfaces.
- Installation of extra sanitisers and regular handwashing facilities.
UKVI centres began to open in early July, and as at 9 September 2020, centres were open in Ahmedabad, Bengaluru (Global Tech Park only), Chandigarh, Chennai, Jalandhar, Kochi, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Mumbai (Mahalaxmi only), New Delhi (Shivaji Metro Stadium only), and Pune. Please bear in mind that the opening of these centres is subject to local lockdowns.
To further help students study in the UK, UKVI is permitting incoming international students to apply for their Tier 4 Visa when they are due to travel to the UK, rather than at the start of their course. This allows students who have already a place on a course to begin their studies online and apply for a UK study visa when needed.
The new graduate immigration route
Students who have completed undergraduate or Master’s degrees can now remain in the UK and look for and undertake work for up to two years. PhD students can remain for up to three years. From summer 2021, the graduate immigration route has been modified so it includes students who start their course from abroad via the internet. To qualify, you must be in the UK before 6 April 2021 and complete the final semester of your study in the country.
Submit your application from home
The On-Demand Mobile Visa service allows you to submit your visa application and enrol biometrics from the comfort and safety of your home. If your Tier 4 Visa is approved, your passport will be couriered to your home.
Commenting on this service, UK Visas and Immigration Regional Group Chief Operating Officer (South Asia, Middle East & North Africa and Americas), Vinay Malhotra stated:
“We are conscious that this is the time students will be applying for visas to travel to the UK for higher education, and would like to reassure them of a safe and seamless visa application process, at our Centres or via the doorstep service.”
Requirements of a Tier 4 Visa
To be eligible for a Tier 4 Student Visa, you must:
- Have been offered an unconditional place on a course provided by a licensed Tier 4 sponsor.
- Have the funds to pay for your course and living expenses.
- Speak, read, and write English
You will have to pay the healthcare surcharge for yourself and dependent family members (if they come to the UK with you). If you bring dependents (your spouse or partner and/or children under 18 years), you must show that you have enough money to support them throughout the length of your study.
If you are an Indian national wishing to study in the UK, our expert immigration lawyers can advise and represent you.
A Y & J Solicitors are specialists in immigration law based in central London. If you would like more information about Tier 4 Student Visas, please contact us at [email protected] or call +44 20 7404 7933.