Visas & Immigration

BSA Group immigration support services

With some recent changes to the UK immigration system and Brexit transitional period coming to an end on December 31, 2021, we have seen an increase in student sponsor licence and compliance related queries from school members. To support our members, BSA Group will be offering a range of consultancy services including:

  • Immigration mock compliance audits
  • Staff support on Student Sponsor Licence Duties
  • Recommendations for improvement of processes relating to UKVI compliance
  • Immigration update training and advice.

These services will be supported by our In-House Legal Counsel, Sabrina Kadi.

For more information and to discuss your specific immigration support needs, please contact Sabrina via bsa@boarding.org.uk.

EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS)

2 July 2021

Wednesday, 30 June 2021, was the deadline for applications to the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) for EU, EEA and Swiss citizens and their family members, who were resident in the UK by 31 December 2020.

More than six million applications were made to the EU Settlement Scheme before the 30 June deadline, marking an astonishing success in protecting the rights of EU, EEA and Swiss citizens in the UK.

The statistics released today (Friday 2 July) show there were 6.02 million applications made to the scheme by 30 June with 5.1 million grants of status. There have been more than 5.3 million applications from England, 291,200 from Scotland, 98,600 from Wales, and 98,400 from Northern Ireland.

The surge in applications, including more than 400,000 in June alone, means that there are around 570,000 pending applications. The Government has repeatedly assured those who applied before the deadline that they will have their rights protected until their application is decided, as set out in law, and they have the means to prove their protected rights if needed.

A full statistics report highlighting details of applications made by the end of June 2021 will be published in due course.

The Home Office would like to thank you for all your support throughout the scheme. Your work has been invaluable in reaching EU, EEA and Swiss citizens and their family members, and helping them to secure their rights in UK law.

From Thursday 1 July 2021, EU, EEA and Swiss citizens and their family members are now required to obtain a valid UK immigration status to be in the UK, either through the EUSS, if they were resident in the UK by 31 December 2020 or are a joining family member, or through a valid visa.

EU, EEA and Swiss citizens can expect to be asked to show their digital status to prove their right to work or their right to rent to landlords in England. Other departments, such as HMRC, DWP and the NHS, will have automatic access to their status to check a person’s eligibility for free healthcare, benefits and access to public funds.

Pending applications

Anyone who made an application by the 30 June 2021 deadline will have their existing rights protected, pending the outcome of their application. Applicants are issued with a Certificate of Application, which can be relied on to evidence their rights.

Their Certificate of Application will be available in their view and prove account or will be sent to them by post. Landlords and employers can also use the Home Office view and prove service to confirm protected rights for an individual.

The Home Office will contact any applicant where we need further information to progress their application.

How to access and update digital status

You can view your EUSS status online, via the view and prove your immigration status service.

Please refer to the following guide for further information about using your digital status: ‘Your immigration status: an introduction for EU, EEA and Swiss citizens’.

Switching from pre-settled status to settled-status

If you hold pre-settled status, you can apply to switch to settled status as soon as you’re eligible. This is usually after you’ve lived in the UK, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man for 5 years in a row (known as ‘continuous residence’).

You do not need to have held pre-settled status for 5 years before you can apply to switch to settled status. If you have spent more than 6 months outside the UK in a 12-month period, you may not be eligible for settled status.

To switch, you must apply to the EUSS again before your pre-settled status expires. For further information, please refer to the guidance available on GOV.UK.

Joining family members

Family members of any nationality of EU, EEA or Swiss citizens who were resident in the UK by 31 December 2020, can apply at any time, where the family relationship was formed by that date (except where a child was born or adopted after it) and continues to exist. They may be able to apply to the EUSS from outside the UK or they may need to apply for an EUSS family permit to come to the UK and then apply to the EUSS once here.

Applying for children

EU, EEA or Swiss citizens who were resident in the UK by 31 December 2020 must apply to the EUSS for their children who are not British citizens. For further information please refer to the guidance available on GOV.UK.

If they are expecting to have a child (or have given birth since 1 April 2021), then the child will also need to have an application made on their behalf to the EUSS within 3 months of their date of birth. However, if either of the child’s parents had settled status under the EUSS (or another form of indefinite leave to enter or remain) before the child was born, then they don’t need to make an application on their behalf, as the child will be a British citizen.

Before you travel – crossing the UK border after 30 June 2021

Individuals with pre-settled or settled status under the EUSS should ensure that they update their online account with all valid travel documents (such as passports or national identity cards) that they hold and intend to use for travel, to avoid any unnecessary delays at the border. They can do this online by using the view and prove service, which enables individuals with digital status to keep their travel documents updated.

Applications made after 30 June 2021 deadline

In line with the Citizens’ Rights Agreements, there remains scope for a person eligible for status under the EUSS to make a late application to the scheme where there are reasonable grounds for their having missed the deadline.

We have published non-exhaustive guidance on reasonable grounds for missing the deadline ON GOV.UK.

Where a person did not apply before the deadline, they must make a valid application online or on the relevant paper application form – and provide information with the application setting out their grounds for applying late.

The Home Office will continue to look to grant status, rather than for reasons to refuse. A flexible and pragmatic approach will be taken in considering whether there are reasonable grounds for the person’s failure to apply by the deadline.

If someone without status is encountered who may be eligible for it, they will be provided with a written notice giving them an opportunity to apply to the scheme, setting out their reasonable grounds for missing the deadline, normally within 28 days, and signposted to the support available.

Important information

We will be publishing new information guides on GOV.UK. We will share these with you over the coming days. However, information on late applications can be found on GOV.UK and information for community groups can be found on GOV.UK here.

New social media assets reflecting the deadline passing are also available on our Brandworkz platform.

We will continue to send you regular updates on the scheme with the latest information on scheme performance, new communications materials and the new points-based immigration system. 

School Sponsorship Duties

May 19, 2021

We have been receiving many enquiries about visas and immigration, including questions about the changed status of EEA pupils and checks to ensure the students are genuine. It is important to understand the new Student and Child Student entry routes which replaced the Tier 4 system last October. Duties related to sponsorship of students can be found here.

The BSA team works closely with the Home Office and represents the sector at the Educators Advisory group which meets regularly and at the APPG for International Education. We gather common themes and issues and share these with officials so they can adapt processes and policy.

The latest Home Office advice for all UK boarding school sponsors can be found on our website here.

Officials have asked us to share their latest message regarding COVID-19 concessions with members (please note not all concessions apply to boarding schools) and requested we collate feedback comments from members:

I know you have had lots of questions about when the COVID-19 concessions guidance would be updated and what changes would be made to the concessions. Our Minister has decided which concessions to extend and which should now end and we are working to update the guidance as soon as possible in accordance with his directions. I thought it would be helpful to give you a preview of the changes that will be made, in advance of formal publication of the guidance, to assist you in your planning.

Here is a summary of the changes we will be making to the policy guidance:

  • We have added clarification that Educational Oversight inspections are expected to resume in-person once inspection bodies are able to do so.
  • The current BCA concession continues to apply.
  • We have added clarification that sponsors are expected to report when students do not enrol on a course after being granted permission, as per their normal duties.
  • The end date for the distance learning concession for the 2020-2021 academic year is 27 September.
  • We have extended the concession on expired CAS to cover those issued before 31 December 2020 that have since expired.
  • The concession permitting new students who are applying to switch into the Student or Child Student routes in the UK to commence study ahead of their application will end on 30 June.
  • We have added clarification on sponsorship not being required where there is no intention to study in the UK via face-to-face learning
  • We have removed the concession on applying for further permission in the UK for s course that commences outside the unusual 28-day period, which ended 31 March 2021.
  • The concession that students will be exempted from the academic progression requirement if they are on integrated programmes and need more time to complete the lower level award will apply to courses with a start date before 27 September 2021.
  • The concession on academic progression for those who complete integrated programmes with the lower level award and wish to apply for a new course in the UK is now a part of the Immigration Rules and is therefore being removed from the concessions.
  • We have added clarification that concession on working hours concession only applies for NHS roles listed and until 30 September.

I hope this is useful. We will send a further update when the guidance is published.

Thank you for your continuing engagement with the Educational Advisory Group.

Visiting the UK from 1 January 2021

December 16, 2020 – Source: Home Office Communications

What you’ll need to enter the UK

What you need to know about crossing the UK border and visiting the UK from 1 January 2021.

If you’re an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen

Irish citizens will continue to be able to enter and live in the UK as they do now.

EU, EEA and Swiss citizens will continue to be able to travel to the UK for holidays or short trips without needing a visa. You’ll be able to cross the UK border using a valid passport which should be valid for the whole time you are in the UK.

You will not be able to use an EU, EEA or Swiss national ID card to enter the UK from 1 October 2021 unless you:

In these cases, you can continue to use your national ID card to enter the UK until at least 31 December 2025.

You must have the correct documents to show at the UK border if you’re travelling to the UK from 1 January 2021. You will not be able to use any documents to enter the UK that are not listed here.

In other cases, find out if you’ll need to apply for a visa to enter the UK.

If you’re a non-EEA family member of an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen

You will need a valid national passport, and one of the following:

  • an EU Settlement Scheme family permit
  • a UK-issued EEA family permit
  • a UK-issued biometric residence card

You will not be able to use an Article 10 or Article 20 residence card issued by an EEA member state.

School travellers entering the UK

Check our guidance for school children entering the UK as part of a school group, which covers school children who are of a non-EU, EEA or Swiss nationality.

This explains the steps leaders of school parties must take before bringing school children to the UK as part of a school group from the EU, EEA or Switzerland, if they would normally need a visa to enter the UK.

You will not be able to use the List of Travellers scheme to visit the UK from 1 October 2021.

What you can bring into the UK

From January 2021 there will be changes to:

Bringing your pet to and from the UK

Find out about pet travel to Europe.

Bringing goods into the UK

Some rules will change when you bring goods for your own use from the EU to the UK from January 2021. Find out more about bringing goods into the UK.

Merchandise in baggage

There will be a new process at airports, roll on roll off ports and Eurostar terminals from January 2021. This will allow traders to declare merchandise in baggage being imported from the EU to the UK in advance.

Controls on cash

Individuals travelling from the EU to the UK with £10,000 or more in cash will need to make a declaration. Find out about taking cash in and out of the UK.

Healthcare in the UK

EEA and Swiss citizens visiting the UK should check the guidance on healthcare for the latest information on access to NHS healthcare.

Driving in the UK

If you have a non-UK licence

Visitors with a non-UK driving licence will still be able to drive in the UK. You do not need an international driving permit (IDP).

If your vehicle is not insured in the UK

If you have vehicle insurance issued in the EU, Andorra, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Serbia or Switzerland, you should carry an insurance green card or other valid proof of insurance.

To be valid, other proof of insurance must be a document issued by the vehicle insurance provider which includes the:

  • name of the insurance provider
  • number plate or other identifying particulars of the vehicle
  • period of insurance cover

Contact your vehicle insurance provider before you travel.

If your vehicle is insured in a country outside the EU, Andorra, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Serbia or Switzerland, what you’ll need to do will depend on if your country is a member of the green card system.

If your country is a member, you will need to carry a green card.

If your country is not a member, your vehicle will need UK vehicle insurance.

Using your mobile phone in the UK

How much pay for calls, texts and mobile data in the UK and the EU will depend on your operator. Please check before you travel.

Important information on the EU Settlement Scheme

December 2, 2020 – Source: Home Office Communications

EU citizens and their family members (including non-EU citizens) need to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) to continue living in the UK after 30 June 2021. The EUSS is free and the application deadline is 30 June 2021. EU citizens must have started living in the UK by 31 December 2020 to be eligible to apply to the EUSS in their own right. If EU citizens and their family members apply successfully to the EUSS they’ll be able to continue to live, work and study in the UK. Successful applicants will get either settled status or pre-settled status meaning they will continue to be eligible to access the benefits and services they do now. Children of all ages (0-18) require their own immigration status and are not covered by a parent’s application to the EU Settlement Scheme. An application must be made for every eligible child within a family. More information on the EU Settlement Scheme can be found here and applications can be made on online on GOV.UK using a computer, tablet or mobile phone.

Please note – The UK’s new and improved Child Student route, which falls under the UK’s new points-based immigration system, opened for applications on 5 October 2020. The Child Student route is open to EU/EEA and Swiss students as well as international students aged between 4-17 years old, but EU/EEA and Swiss students resident in the UK by 31 December 2020 should not apply through this route. These students, and their family members, are eligible to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme. Those resident in the UK by 31 December 2020 have until 30 June 2021 to make an application to the EU Settlement Scheme and it is free to apply to.

EU/EEA and Swiss students coming to the UK on or after 1 January 2021 must apply through the Child Student route ahead of arriving in the UK and this will incur monetary costs. Further guidance for EU/EEA and Swiss students can be found here.

The Home Office does not expect schools to make applications on behalf of their students; parents and guardians need to make applications for themselves and their children. A child can also apply in their own right, but we strongly encourage a child’s application to be made with support from an adult. 

If you require additional support, please see the support services listed HERE. (attach: EUSS Support)

Points-based immigration system go live

December 1, 2020 – Source: Home Office Communications

Today, visa applications have opened for those who want to come to the UK from 1 January 2021 to work under the UK’s new points-based immigration system. This includes applications for the Skilled Worker route.  To hire eligible employees from outside the UK under the new system, you will need to be registered as a licensed sponsor.  To find out more about how to prepare your business for the new immigration system, you can listen to the podcast Business and the Future of Immigration in 2021. This podcast is also available on Spotify and Apple

Key information on the new Skilled Worker route

Under the new Skilled Worker route, anyone you want to hire from outside the UK will need to demonstrate that: 

  • they have a job offer from a Home Office licensed sponsor 
  • the job offer is at the required skill level – RQF 3 or above (A Level and equivalent) 
  • they speak English to the required standard 

In addition to this, the job offer must meet the applicable minimum salary threshold. This is the higher of either: 

  • the general salary threshold of £25,600, or 
  • the specific salary requirement for their occupation, known as the “going rate” 

Other routes 

In addition to the Skilled Worker route, other routes now open for applications include:  

  • The Intra-Company Transfer route, which is for established workers who are being transferred by the business they work for to do a skilled role in the UK 
  • The Global Talent Visa, for individuals who can show they have exceptional talent or exceptional promise in the fields of science, engineering, humanities, medicine, digital technology or arts and culture;
  • The Innovator Visa for individuals seeking to establish a business in the UK based on an innovative, viable and scalable business ideas
  • The Start-up visa for individuals seeking to establish a business in the UK for the first time;

Additional routes will be opened in the coming months, including the new Hong Kong British Nationals Overseas visa.  

Further information is available at GOV.UK/HiringFromTheEU.

UK employers can sign up to receive email updates on the new immigration system here.

 

UK Student and Child Student immigration routes

October 5, 2020

The UK’s new and improved Student route, which falls under the UK’s new points-based immigration system, has now opened for applications (5 October). It improves on the previous Tier 4 route making for a more streamlined experience for both sponsoring institutions and students.

Key messages

  • The UK’s new and improved Student route, which falls under the UK’s new points-based immigration system, is now open for applications to international students. It improves on the previous Tier 4 route making for a more streamlined experience for both sponsoring institutions and students. Apply on GOV.UK.
  • The Student Route is open to EU/EEA and Swiss students as well as international students, but EU/EEA and Swiss students resident in the UK by 31 December 2020 should not apply through the route. These students, and their family members, are eligible to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme. Those resident here by 31 December 2020 have until 30 June 2021 to do so. It is free to apply and applications can be made online. do so. It is free to apply and applications can be made online. More information on the EU Settlement Scheme can be found here.
  • EU/EEA and Swiss students coming to the UK on or after 1 January 2021 will need to apply through the Student route, ahead of arriving in the UK. This includes those who begin their course remotely in autumn 2020. Further guidance for EU/EEA and Swiss students can be found here.
  • EU/EEA and Swiss students can continue to visit the UK for up to 6 months, without applying for a visa and may participate in short term study.
  • All students applying through the new Student route will need to demonstrate they meet the required 70 points. They will achieve the required points if they can demonstrate that they have an offer from an approved educational institution, speak English and are able to support themselves during their studies in the UK.
  • A Student visa will cost £348 if applied for outside the UK and students will also need to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge as part of their application, which gives migrants access to the UK’s National Health Service on generally the same basis as a UK permanent resident. Students will receive a 25% discount on the Immigration Health Surcharge. The cost of the Immigration Health Surcharge is due to increase later this year. Find out more on GOV.UK.
  • The UK has a world-leading education sector and will continue to welcome talented and high potential international students. There will be no limit on the number of international students who can come to the UK to study, and we will seek to increase the number of international students in higher education as set out in the International Education Strategy published in March 2019.
  • We are also making it easier for the best international graduates to secure skilled jobs in the UK with our new Graduate route, which will allow international students who have completed undergraduate and master’s degrees in the UK to stay for 2 years and those who have completed a PhD to stay for 3 years.

EU/EEA and Swiss students

EU/EEA and Swiss students resident in the UK by 31 December 2020 should apply to the EU Settlement Scheme and have until 30 June 2021 to do so. 

(1) Rest of World students (non EU/EEA/Swiss)
The UK’s new and improved Student route, which falls under the UK’s new points-based immigration system, is now open for applications. The student route improves on the previous Tier 4 route making for a more streamlined experience for international students. Visas that have been issued through the Tier 4 route are still valid and those eligible will still be able to apply for the Graduate Route when it opens in summer 2021.

(2) EU/EEA and Swiss students applying this year (2020), to start their course in the UK next year (2021)
You will need to apply for a student visa through the new points-based immigration system. Applications are now open. You can apply up to 6 months in advance of your course starting. Further guidance for EU/EEA and Swiss students can be found here.

(3) EU/EEA and Swiss students who have started/are starting their course this year (2020) and who will arrive in the UK by 31 December 2020
If you arrive in the UK by 31 December 2020, apply to the EU Settlement Scheme by 30 June 2021. More information on the EU Settlement Scheme can be found here.

(4) EU/EEA and Swiss students who have started/are starting their course this year (2020) but have deferred travel until next year (2021)
If you are unable to enter the UK by 31 December 2020 and will arrive in the UK from 1 January 2021, you will need to apply for a student visa through the new points-based immigration system before you travel to the UK. Applications are now open. Further guidance for EU/EEA and Swiss students can be found here.

(5) EU/EEA and Swiss students who are currently studying a UK course, have left the UK temporarily, but have not applied to the EUSS and may not be in the UK by 31 December 2020:
If you have not applied to the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) and therefore do not have pre
settled status or settled status, and you are midway through your course but are not currently in the UK, you will be able to apply to the EUSS from outside the UK, so long as you are able to prove you
are still continuously resident here. To do this, you will need to prove that you have not been absent from the UK for more than six months in any 12 month period, with the exception of a single permitted absence of up to 12 months for an important reason, such as pregnancy, childbirth, serious illness, study, vocational training or an overseas posting.

If you have remained continuously resident in the UK, then you can still qualify for status under the EUSS (and you can apply to the EUSS from overseas or in the UK). If you have broken your continuous residence here, then you must resume your residence in the UK by the end of the transition period (31 December 2020) in order to be eligible for status under the EUSS. If you have broken your continuous residence here and you cannot return to the UK by 31 December 2020, you will need to apply under the new points-based immigration system if you wish to return to the UK from 1 January 2021. More information on the EU Settlement Scheme can be found here. More information on the UK’s new points-based immigration system can be found here.

Amending references to Tier 4 online

In account of the Student route replacing the Tier 4 route, the Home Office recommends that you amend any reference to Tier 4 on your website. To help you do this, we have provided wording below.

  • From 5 October 2020, the Student route will replace the Tier 4 route.
  • The Student route, which falls under the UK’s new points-based immigration system, improves on the previous Tier 4 route making for a more streamlined experience for both sponsoring institutions and students.
  • Visas that have been issued through the Tier 4 route are still valid and those eligible will still be able to apply for the Graduate Route when it opens in summer 2021.
  • More information about the UK’s new points-based immigration system can be found here. Further guidance for EEA students, who from 1 January 201 will need to comply with the new system can be found here.
  • EEA citizens resident in the UK before 31 December should apply to the EU settlement scheme.

EU Settlement Scheme Guidance

  • EU, EEA or Swiss students who are already resident in the UK or become residents in the UK by 31 December 2020, should apply to the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS). The deadline to apply is 30 June 2021.
  • Successful applicants to the EUSS can continue living in the UK after 30 June 2021 and will be given either settled status or pre-settled status, depending on whether they have lived in the UK for a continuous five year period.
  • The Student route will be open to EEA students as well as international students from 5 October however, EEA students resident in the UK on or before 31 December 2020, should not apply through the route. These students, and their families, are eligible to apply for the EU Settlement Scheme and have until 30 June 2021 to do so. More information on the EU Settlement Scheme can be found here.

EU Settlement Scheme: settled and pre-settled status

Settled status
EU/EEA and Swiss citizens will usually get settled status through the EU Settlement Scheme if they’ve started living in the UK by 31 December 2020 and have lived in the UK for a continuous 5 year period (known as ‘continuous residence’). EU/EEA and Swiss citizens with settled status can spend up to 5 years in a row outside the UK without losing their status.

Pre-settled status
If EU/EEA and Swiss citizens do not have 5 years’ continuous residence when they apply, they’ll usually get pre-settled status. They must have started living in the UK by 31 December 2020. EU/EEA and Swiss citizens can then apply to change this to settled status once they’ve got 5 years’ continuous residence. They must do this before their pre-settled status expires. EU/EEA and Swiss citizens with pre-settled status can spend up to 2 years in a row outside the UK without losing their status. They will need to maintain their continuous residence if they want to qualify for settled status.

EU/EEA and Swiss citizens with settled or pre-settled status will be able to:

  • Work in the UK
  • Use the NHS for free, if they can at the moment
  • Enrol in education or continue studying
  • Access public funds such as benefits and pensions, if they’re eligible for them
  • Travel in and out of the UK.

Find out more about settled and pre-settled status on GOV.UK.

FAQs

How does the new Student route differ from the current Tier 4 route for international students?

  • The Student route will streamline and simplify the current requirements and application process for international students studying in the UK.
    Improvements include:

    • Allowing greater ability to apply for further leave as a Student in the UK, including study at any student sponsor type and at any level;
    • Giving prospective students overseas the option to apply up to six months in advance of their course start date;
    • Removing study time limits for all students on postgraduate courses;
    • Removing the maintenance requirements for students who have already been in the UK for 12 months with valid leave, for those on recognised foundation programmes as doctors and dentists, and for students applying as student union sabbatical officers;
    • Expanding ‘light touch’ documentary evidence requirements to EEA nationals;
    • Giving higher education providers with a track record of compliance the ability to confirm students academic ability without the need for previous qualifications to be submitted alongside an application;
    • Bringing in a new ‘academic engagement’ policy to replace attendance monitoring for students at degree level and above;
    • From the summer of 2021, introducing the new Graduate route for those who successfully complete a degree in the UK allowing them to work or look for work for up to two years (three years for PhD graduates) after their studies.

What happens to applicants who have made an application / been issued a CAS before the new route goes live?

  • Applicants who have a valid Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) issued before 5 October at 09:00 under the Tier 4 route will be able to use it for an application under the Student route.
  • All live applications made before 5 October at 09:00 will be considered under the rules in effect at the time of application.
  • Students with a CAS issued before the launch of the route will not be in any way disadvantaged if they make an application after the new rules come into effect.

What is changing for Child Students?

  • Child Students will benefit from new, simplified Rules in line with the Law Commission’s report. They will also not need to demonstrate funds if they have already been in the UK for 12 months at the point they make a further application to remain as a Student or Child Student.
  • There will also be an explicit safeguarding requirement introduced for all sponsors of international students aged under 18, giving UKVI additional tools to take swift action if there are any concerns about child safeguarding at a particular sponsor.

Will EU/EEA/Swiss nationals be able to apply straight away?

  • EEA nationals who are applying from outside the UK, who are planning to come to the UK from 1 January 2021 can apply from 5 October.
  • EEA nationals who are currently in the UK, or plan to come to the UK to study by 31 December 2020 should apply under the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) before 30 June

What about EU/EEA/Swiss nationals who have already started studying?

  • EEA/Swiss students who are already studying in the UK, or plan to come to the UK to study by 31 December 2020 should apply under the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) before 30 June 2021.

What about EU/EEA/Swiss nationals who have started studying by distance learning and will come to the UK in the future?

  • EEA/Swiss students starting courses through distance learning must apply under the Student route if they are coming to the UK from 1 January 2021.

What will the application process be like for EU/EEA/Swiss nationals?

  • EEA and Swiss nationals will be able to use the new ‘UK Immigration: ID Check’ app which will use a chip in their passport to verify an applicant’s identity. If the chip is broken, or someone is unable to use the app then they will be directed to a Visa Application Centre to register biometrics instead.
  • Those able to use the UK Immigration ID check app when applying will receive electronic notification of UKVI’s decision. This will set out the full conditions of their immigration status.
  • They will also be able to check their immigration status and its conditions at any time using the ‘view and prove’ service on GOV.UK. This online service will provide a secure record of someone’s immigration status which is held digitally by the Home Office and is available to them at all times.
  • The ‘view and prove’ service can also be used to share and evidence of someone’s rights in the UK such as the right to work or study by giving organisations or people, such as employers or universities access to the relevant information about their immigration status.

Will EU/EEA/Swiss citizens need to apply for a visa for short term study?

  • EU/EEA and Swiss students can continue to visit the UK for up to 6 months, without applying for a visa and MAY PARTICIPATE IN SHORT-TERM STUDY – READ MORE HERE. All non-recreational study must be undertaken at an accredited institution. Recreational courses undertaken for leisure, that last no longer than 30 days and which do not lead to any formal qualifications, will not need to be undertaken at an accredited institution.
  • The 6-11 month short term study route is distinct from the main student route and requires applicants of all nationalities to obtain a visa before travelling to the UK. This route is specifically for people taking English language courses, and it does not require sponsorship and does not permit work.
  • State boarding schools do not qualify for the short-term study route.

Are there exemptions to the English Language requirement? (courtesy of Fragomen)

  • Students who demonstrated that they had the required level of English language ability in a previous successful application for entry clearance or permission are exempt from the English Language requirement.
  • Students who have a GCSE, A-level, Scottish National Qualification at level 4 or 5 or Scottish Higher or Advanced Higher, in English (language or literature), that was awarded by a regulated awarding body or following education in a UK school undertaken while they were aged under 18 are exempt from the English language requirement.

Immigration documentation EEA nationals (courtesy of Fragomen)

  • Fragomen understands that EEA nationals applying under the Student or Child Student routes may be given digital status, which will confirm the validity of the student’s permission without a biometric residence permit.
  • UK Visas and Immigration is expected to release further details soon.

Student switching rules (courtesy of Fragomen)

A student can switch to a Student or Child Student visa from within the United Kingdom unless they were last granted permission:

(For BSA Sixth Form students) Will EEA students continue to be eligible for home fee status and student support?

  • EEA citizens who start a course in England in the 2020/21 academic year or before will continue to be eligible for home fee status and student finance support from Student Finance England for the duration of their course.
  • Eligibility rules are changing for EU, other EEA and Swiss nationals and their family members who wish to commence courses in England in the Academic Year starting in August 2021.
  • EU, other EEA and Swiss nationals not in scope of the citizens’ rights protections will not be eligible for home fee status, undergraduate, postgraduate and advanced learner financial support from Student Finance England for courses starting in academic year 2021/22. This change will also apply to Further Education funding for those aged 19+, and funding for apprenticeships. It will not affect students starting courses in the 20/21 AY. This will not apply to students from Ireland whose right to study and to access benefits and services will be preserved on a reciprocal basis under the Common Travel Area arrangement.

Additional links:

  1. For further policy information about the Student and Child Student routes please visit GOV.UK.
  1. Appendix CS: Child Student
  • The Child Student route is for a person aged between 4 and 17 who wants to study at an independent school in the UK, which is a student sponsor.
  • A person aged 16 or 17 who wants to study a course at or above Regulated Qualifications Framework level 3 or Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework level 6 can choose either to apply as a Child Student at an independent school or as a Student under Appendix ST: Student.
  1. Appendix ST: Student

This route is for:

  • a person aged 16 or over who wants to study with a sponsor on a course of further or higher education, a pre-sessional English course, a recognised foundation programme, on the Doctorate Extension Scheme or to take an elected post as a Student Union Sabbatical Officer.
  • A person who is aged 16 or 17 and wants to study with a sponsor that is an Independent School on a course at Regulated Qualifications Framework 3 or Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework 6 and above can apply as either a Student or as a Child Student (see Appendix CS: Child Student).
  • The register of licensed student sponsors can be found at: www.gov.uk/government/publications/register-of-licensed-sponsors-students

UK's new points-based immigration system, will open for applications on 5 October

September 10, 2020

The Government announced on 10 September 2020 that the UK’s new Student and Child Student routes, which are part of the UK’s new points-based immigration system, will open for applications on 5 October. These routes will replace and improve upon the existing Tier 4 (General) and Tier 4 (Child) student routes.

From 5 October, all prospective international students, including those from Europe coming to study in the UK after the end of the transition period, will need to apply through the Student route before coming to UK. Further guidance for EEA students can be found on GOV.UK

EEA students resident in the UK on or before 31 December 2020 do not need to apply through the route. They, and their family, are eligible to apply for the EU Settlement Scheme and have until 30 June 2021 to do so. More information on the EU Settlement Scheme can be found here

The early launch of the route aims to give prospective students maximum time to prepare; those applying will be able to make an application six months in advance of travel to the UK.

EU Settlement Scheme guidance

  • EU, EEA or Swiss students who are already resident in the UK or become residents in the UK by 31 December 2020, should apply to the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS). The deadline to apply is 30 June 2021.
  • Successful applicants to the EUSS can continue living in the UK after 30 June 2021 and will be given either settled status or pre-settled status, depending on whether they have lived in the UK for a continuous five year period.
  • The Student route will be open to EEA students as well as international students from 5 October however, EEA students resident in the UK on or before 31 December 2020, should not apply through the route. They, and their family, are eligible to apply for the EU Settlement Scheme and have until 30 June 2021 to do so. More information on the EU Settlement Scheme can be found here.
  • Access the translated communication and guidance on GOV.UK
  • Sign up to receive a regular Community Bulletin from the Home Office for updates on the latest EU Settlement Scheme news and activity.

FAQs from the Home Office

Which routes are going live?

We have laid the rules on 10 September 2020 for new Student and Child Student routes, which will go live on 5 October 2020.

Will EEA nationals be able to apply straight away?

  • EEA nationals who are applying from outside the UK, who are planning to come to the UK from 1 January 2021 can apply from 5 October.
  • EEA nationals who are currently in the UK, or plan to come to the UK to study by 31 December 2020 should apply under the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) before 30 June

What will the application process be like?

  • EEA and Swiss nationals will be able to use our new ‘UK Immigration: ID Check’ app which will use a chip in their passport to verify an applicant’s identity. If the chip is broken, or someone is unable to use the app then they will be directed to a Visa Application Centre to register biometrics instead
  • Those able to use the UK Immigration ID check app when applying will receive electronic notification of UKVI’s decision. This will set out the full conditions of their immigration status
  • They will also be able to check their immigration status and its conditions at any time using the ‘view and prove’ service on GOV.UK. This online service will provide a secure record of someone’s immigration status which is held digitally by the Home Office and is available to them at all times.
  • The ‘view and prove’ service can also be used to share and evidence of someone’s rights in the UK such as the right to work or study by giving
    organisations or people, such as employers or universities access to the relevant information about their immigration status.

What happens to applicants who have made an application / been issued a CAS before the new route goes live?

  • Applicants who have a valid Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) issued before 5 October at 0900 under the Tier 4 route will be able to use it for an application under the Student route.
  • All live applications made before 5 October at 0900 will be considered under the rules in effect at the time of application.
  • Students with a CAS issued before the launch of the route will not be in any way disadvantaged if they make an application after the new rules come into effect.

What about EEA nationals who have already started studying?

EEA students who are already studying in the UK, or plan to come to the UK to study by 31 December 2020 should apply under the E U Settlement Scheme (EUSS) before 30 June 2021

What about EEA nationals who have started studying by distance learning and will come to the UK in the future?

EEA students starting courses through distance learning must apply under the Student route if they are coming to the UK from 1 January 2021.

How much will an application cost?

Applications under the Student route will cost the same as current Tier 4 applications; £348 for those applying overseas and £47 5 for applications made in the UK.

What is changing for Child Students?

  • Child Students will benefit from new, simplified Rules in line with the Law Commission’s report. They will also not need to demonstrate funds if they have already been in the UK for 12 months at the point they make a further application to remain as a Student or Child Student.
  • There will also be an explicit safeguarding requirement introduced for all sponsors of international students aged under 18, giving UKVI additional tools to take swift action if there are any concerns about child safeguarding at a particular sponsor.

How does the new Student route differ from the current Tier 4 route for international students?

The Student route will streamline and simplify the current requirements and application process for international students studying in the UK.
Improvements include:

  • Allowing greater ability to apply for further leave as a Student in the UK, including study at any student sponsor type and at any level;
  • Giving prospective students overseas the option to apply up to six months in advance of their course start date;
  • Removing study time limits for all students on postgraduate courses;
  • Removing the maintenance requirements for students who have already been in the UK for 12 months with valid leave, for those on recognised
    foundation programmes as doctors and dentists, and for students applying as student union sabbatical officers;
  • Expanding ‘light touch’ documentary evidence requirements to EEA nationals;
  • Giving higher education providers with a track record of compliance the ability to confirm students academic ability without the need for previous qualifications to be submitted alongside an application;
  • Bringing in a new ‘academic engagement’ policy to replace attendance monitoring for students at degree level and above;
  • From the summer of 2021, introducing the new Graduate route for those who successfully complete a degree in the UK allowing them to work
    or look for work for up to two years (three years for PhD graduates) after their studies.