The Student Route is being introduced on the 5 October 2020, replacing the existing Tier 4 visa route. These new rules will be covered in Appendix ST and Appendix CS.
The new rules apply to both non-EEA and EEA nationals who wish to come and study in the United Kingdom.
The new Student Route for EEA nationals, will take effect for applications made in the UK on or after 1 January 2021. For those EEA nationals outside the UK, they can apply under this new route from 5 October 2020, for entry to the UK from 1 January 2021.
Those EEA nationals who arrive in the UK before 11pm on 31st December 2020, can apply under the EU Settlement Scheme instead. The deadline to do this is 30 June 2021.
What is new?
- The new Student Route will allow students to apply for further permission from within the UK provided they meet the new rules.
- The new Student Route will allow students to submit a visa application to come to the UK 6 months before the course start date rather than 3 months before.
- Previously, there was an 8-year limit on studying courses at post graduate level, this is now removed. However, there is still a 5-year limit for degree level courses.
- Applicants will meet the English language requirement if they have obtained GCSE’s and A-levels or Scottish equivalent in English language or literature following education at a UK school whilst below the age of 18.
- Students who are Nationals of Malta will be classed as being from a majority English speaking country.
- Students who will be studying at a higher education provider, who have a track record of compliance, will not be required to provide evidence of academic qualifications when obtaining sponsorship.
- If the student, students’ partner or child have been living in the UK for 12 months or more at the time of the application, the student will satisfy the financial requirements. This means that the student will not need to submit any financial evidence with the application.
- Those students applying under the new Student Route from either inside or outside the UK as a doctor or as a Student Union Sabbatical Officer or dentist in training on a recognised foundation programme, will be exempted from meeting the financial requirements
- All international students subject to immigration control must apply for an ATAS certificate before they can study in the UK. However, there is a list of countries whose nationals are exempt from the ATAS requirement. These are EEA countries, Switzerland, Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea and the US.