Changes relating to English language requirements for Points-Based System applicants
A change is being made to Appendix B to be clear that an applicant must provide official documentation produced by UK NARIC to confirm any assessment of their degree by UK NARIC.
Changes relating to the Department for International Trade in the requirements for Points-Based System applicants
Changes are being made to references to UK Trade and Investment (UKTI), to reflect that UKTI is now a part of the Department for International Trade, and that funding for its global graduate entrepreneur programme is now provided by an external supplier.
Changes relating to Tier 4 of the Points-Based System
Tier 4 of the Points-Based System is the visa route used by non-EEA students wishing to study in the UK. Tier 4 is comprised of two categories: Tier 4 (General) and Tier 4 (Child). The following changes are being made in Tier 4:
- A minor change is being made to the definition of a UK Recognised Body to reflect a change in ownership of the Tier 4 Postgraduate Doctor and Dentist Page 10 of 16 Programme from the UK Foundation Programme Office to Health Education South London, and from 1 November 2016 to Health Education England.
- A minor change is being made to replace the name of the law conversion course in Northern Ireland to a Masters in Law following a course name change.
- Under current Tier 4 rules, applicants applying to study a postgraduate qualification in certain sensitive subjects, knowledge of which could be used in programmes to develop weapons of mass destruction or their means of delivery, must apply for an Academic Technology Approval Scheme certificate before they can study in the UK. This requirement also applies to those studying whilst in the UK under work routes. An amendment is being made so that if the dependant of a Points Based Migrant wishes to undertake such a course, they must also obtain such a certificate.
- An amendment is being made to clarify that where an applicant is using as evidence a degree qualification that has been obtained within the UK, this must be a Bachelor‟s, Master‟s or PhD qualification, not a qualification equivalent to one of these.
- Under the Tier 4 (General) route, courses must, except in the case of a presessional course, lead to an approved qualification. The definition of an approved qualification, as set out in the Immigration Rules, is being amended to include aviation licences, ratings and certificates issued in accordance with EU legislation by the UK’s Civil Aviation Authority. This change is being made to ensure that UK flight schools holding a Tier 4 licence can sponsor international students and deliver courses to them through the Tier 4 system.
- Amendments are being made so where a student is relying on one or more qualifications from one of the following countries: Antigua and Barbuda; Australia; The Bahamas; Barbados; Belize; Dominica; Grenada; Guyana; Ireland; Jamaica; New Zealand; St Kitts and Nevis; St Lucia; St Vincent and the Grenadines; Trinidad and Tobago; or the USA; in support of their application, they must provide original documentation produced by UK NARIC which confirms the assessment of that qualification‟s equivalent level in the UK.
- Currently applicants applying to undertake a role as a student union sabbatical officer; on the Doctorate Extension Scheme; or as a postgraduate doctor or dentist on a recognised Foundation Programme must demonstrate academic progression. Applicants are exempt if they are applying to re-sit an examination or repeat a module but not exempt if they are applying to extend their leave if they have previously done this. The academic progression rule is being amended to reflect the policy intention that applicants applying in these circumstances should all be exempt from demonstrating academic progression.
- An amendment is being made to allow students to move to a higher level course, and extend their leave from within the UK, where they are studying either an integrated Masters course or an integrated Masters and PhD programme, and are progressing from the lower to higher level qualification.
- Currently a Doctorate Extension Scheme (DES) applicant must show they have up to two months of maintenance funds available. An amendment is being made to simplify this maintenance requirement so that they will always need to demonstrate that they have two months of funds available to support themselves financially before their salaried full-time work commences.