International News

This section provides you with information on changes to immigration rules and procedures and how these changes may affect you.

New Student Route

The government recently introduced a new immigration route for students and their dependents on Monday 5 October. The new student route is for Students, Child Students, and dependants of Students. The route replaces Tier 4 of the Points Based System. Some of the changes have been outlined below:

Study Caps

If you are studying a course at RQF level 6 (Degree level), the study cap is now 5 years only with certain course exemptions. There are no study caps on programmes at RQF level 7 (Masters) or above.

Finance (Maintenance)

If you, your dependent partner, or dependent child have been living in the UK for 12 months or more at the time of your application in the UK, you will satisfy the financial requirements. This means that you will not need to submit any financial evidence with your application.

This exemption also applies to Student Union Sabbatical Officers applying to stay in the UK.

No changes have been made to the existing format required for documents to prove finances for Students who do not meet the 12-month exemption.

Immigration Health Surcharge Increase (IHS)

There was an increase in the immigration health surcharge on 27 October 2020. 

Students and their dependants previously paid £300 a year, but this has now increased to £470 a year. The charge for other applicants has also gone up to £624 a year.

Differential Evidence Requirement

Applicants who hold passports from certain countries will not be expected to provide evidence to show that they meet the financial requirements or provide the qualifications listed as the basis of the offer. UKVI decision makers continue to reserve the right to request for documents on an ad hoc basis.

Nationals from the EU, EEA and Switzerland now fall under this category.

The Immigration Rules state that, while Student visa holders (previously Tier 4) studying at RQF level 6 (undergraduate level) and above on a full-time basis are allowed to work up to 20 hours per week during term time and full time during official vacation periods, or you may be completing a work placement as part of your degree. The immigration rules state that there are some kinds of work you must not do:

  • self-employment and business activity
  • work as a professional sportsperson including as a sports coach
  • entertainer
  • a permanent full-time job
  • doctor or dentist in training, unless you are on the foundation programme.

The Home Office has amended the definition of what constitutes professional sportsperson, the full guidance of which you can find on pages 102 and 103 of the Student and Child Student Guidance. This applies to you if you are in possession of a student visa, regardless of when you applied for it. Please read through this information carefully.

Upon reading the rules, you will note that the restriction prevents you from providing services as a sportsperson or coach at any level of sport, paid or unpaid, unless you do it as an “amateur” in a charity game. "Amateur" is a defined term and means a person who engages in sport solely for personal enjoyment and who is not seeking to derive a living from it, which includes payments made in kind, such as travel costs, accommodation or meals.

For more information, please feel free to look through the information provided by UKCISA.

Information for EU students following the referendum and triggering of Article 50

Following the UK's referendum vote to leave the European Union, the triggering of article 50 means that official negotiations regarding the exit have now begun. At this time, EEA nationals' immigration status remains unchanged until further negotiations/decisions clarify their position. Please feel free to read further on this topic on the UK Council for International Student Affairs section titled: What we know for EU students.

26 October 2016

Information on telephone scams

We have been made aware of a scam in which students are called from a number identified as 'Home Office - Customer Services' asking for money to be paid for paperwork not correctly submitted upon entering the UK. It is our understanding that the callers can be very persistent and may even imply that, if you were to end the call, you may be penalised further.

Please note, the Home Office will never ask you for personal information over the phone nor demand any money.

Beware of Telephone Scams

We have been made aware of telephone scams that target international students. Please see the briefing below:

The caller instructs the student to verify their telephone number 020 7035 4848 on the GOV.UK website, search for Home Office, and then scroll down to the bottom of the screen so that they can verify that the caller is calling from the genuine Home Office number.  The caller ID on the student’s mobile does show this number. 

The caller is in possession of the students full name, postcode in the UK and passport number, and asks the student to confirm those details are correct.  

They then proceed to tell the student they have not paid for an immigration service and, as a result, have to pay a fine (usually £1200 - £1520) or they will be reported to the Police/or the Home Office who will detain or deport them.   

Please note, UKVI will not contact students in this manner.

Right to Rent Checks

Private landlords are now required to check on whether any prospective tenants have a right to be in the UK before renting. Non EU-nationals will need to show a valid visa before a rental contract can be issued.

The Home Office has published a guidance for landlords explaining what they need to do.

Immigration Health Surcharge

The immigration health surcharge applies to applicants who come to the UK for more than six months. For Student visa applicants specifically, the amount is £300 per 12 months' leave. Previously, Australians and New Zealanders were exempt from this charge, but as of 6 April 2016, they will also need to pay this charge as part of their Student visa application.

The Home Office recently announced that the fee will increase to £470 per 12 months leave from October 2020. The Home Office has further information on the Immigration Health Surcharge.

You can find previous immigration news on the UKCISA Newswall.

International Student Support

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Email: adviceinternational@londonmet.ac.uk


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