Changes to Tier 4 of the Points-Based System

Tier 4 of the Points-Based System caters for international students who wish to study in the United Kingdom. Tier 4 Students have conditions restricting their employment in the UK. Upon graduation a Tier 4 Student can remain in the UK to work by switching into Tier 2 if they have a graduate job paying £20,000 per year or more or switching into Tier 1 under our Graduate Entrepreneur scheme. From 6 April 2013, students successfully completing a PhD at a UK Higher Education Institution (HEI) will be able to stay in the UK, sponsored by the HEI, on a Tier 4 visa for 12 months. This will give students gaining a PhD a longer period to find work with a Tier 2 employer, set up as an entrepreneur, or to gain practical work experience in their field. Leave will be granted for 12 months from the expected course completion date specified by the HEI.

Two further minor changes are being made to Tier 4:

• To prevent students from studying at a lower level than that for which they were granted leave, where different requirements or conditions would have applied had the application been for the lower level course.

• To clarify the immigration status required for a Tier 4 (Child) Student’s carer.

If you are currently under the Tier 4 visa and would like to discuss how the changes impact you, please contact us on 0207 237 3388 or e-mail us on