Tier 4 Briefings - an
update on student visas
(November 2013)
Sally Saca, Head of ISAT
Alex Lewis, Immigration Compliance Officer
Brief overview of recent changes to the Tier
4 student route
Changes that have taken place to university
processes to ensure compliance
The Tiers
Tier 1
Highly skilled workers
29 Feb 2008
Tier 2
Sponsored work routes 27 Nov 2008
Tier 3
Low skilled workers
Tier 4
31 Mar 2009
Tier 5
Authorised Exchange
27 Nov 2008
Sponsor Duties
Brookes is a 'Highly Trusted Sponsor'
As a sponsor, we issue 'Confirmations of Acceptance
for Studies' (CAS) to students to apply for a Tier 4
(General) Student Visa
Students obtain a 'Brookes' visa
Obligations - record keeping, monitoring attendance,
reporting (non enrollment, changes of circumstances,
Changes since July 2012
● Overstayers - the applicant has stayed in the UK
beyond the leave they were granted
● From October 1 2012 - if period of overstay is for
more than 28 days, extension applications are now
automatically refused, if applying in the UK
● If the period of overstay is 90 days or more,
applicants applying for entry clearance, will face a
ban of a minimum of 1 year from returning to the
● From October 1 2012 - gap between the end of an
applicant’s leave and the start date of the course
must be no more than 28 days
Credibility Interviews
● Now part of the Tier 4 student application
process overseas (to be introduced in the
● Interviews are 4-5 minutes long, and are
conducted via video link with the Home
Office in the UK
● If students fail this interview they are asked
to attend a longer face to face interview in an
application centre in their country
● If refused - very difficult to make another
application for study in the UK
Students and work
● Max 20 hours a week during term time
(degree level and above)
● Full time during 'vacation'
● Placements - not more than 50%
● Full time at the end of course (4 months for
courses of 1 year plus)
● Tier 2 for graduate level jobs paying at least
● Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur Scheme
● New 6 April 2013 - Doctorate Extension
Doctorate Extension Scheme
● Students completing PhD programmes can
apply to extend for 12 months to gain
experience in their field
● Applications must be made in the UK
● Students must have Tier 4 leave
● Universities still need to sponsor and monitor
their students
To be introduced
● Removal of appeal rights - for extension
applications in the UK - to be replaced by
admin review with fee attached. Decisions
reconsidered by Home Office with no
independent tribunal
● NHS charging - possibly £150 for students,
Currently at House of Commons Committee
stage. (dependents could be £200)
● Housing Immigration Status check landlords to check status - £3000 fine if
found to have no permission to stay in the
Approved Temporary Withdrawal
● Maternity leave, health problems, problems at home etc
● The period which students are taking ATW will be
reported to the UKBA
● They should return home asap
● They will receive a letter to say their leave will be
curtailed in 60 days, if their ATW is for more than 2
● Students need to obtain a new visa in their country to
return to the UK and re-commence study
● Students considering ATW, should be referred to ISAT
for immigration advice
Changes at Brookes
ISAS has now become ISAT - International Student
Advice Team
ISAT is one of the teams that make up ‘Student Central’
Will be located in the JHBB, when it opens…
Immigration Compliance Officer post created and Alex
Lewis took up post in January 2013
The post is located within the ISAT team
Higher Education Assurance team has been created
Specific responsibility for auditing HEI’s
Audits can announced or unannounced
Audits will sample 10-20% of Tier 4 students
Will be participating in new co-regulation steering group
Internal Audit and Spotchecks
KPMG conducted a full audit in February 2013
Framework for conducting spotchecks was developed
as a result
Spotchecks occur roughly every 2 months and issues
are reported to PBS Advisory Group.
Key to ensuring ongoing compliance with the
PGT Recordkeeping process
Clearly defined process has now been created and
First run this semester successfully captured the
required copies from September entrants.
Copies of the process can be emailed to interested
Tier 4 regulations
Designed to increase staff and student knowledge of
Tier 4.
Newly implemented this semester
‘Regulations on compliance with Tier 4 rules’ located in
section D of the regulations.
For more information on any of the regulations covered
please contact [email protected]
CAS policy, Training policy &
Training register
CAS policy pulls together rules, policies and procedures
for a clearer picture at audit.
CAS issuance central to Sponsor duties
Training register and policy designed to evidence staffs
ability to issue CAS on an ongoing basis
Tier 4 Check-in process
Strengthens recordkeeping systems and adds a mid
semester check-point to attendance monitoring policy
Runs in semesters 1 & 2 between weeks 6 & 7 each
Documented follow up process to pick up noncompliance
Detailed in the University regulations under section D
Early warning emails sent to students at monthly
intervals prior to visas expiry
Advisors follow up students who have not taken action
to extend their visa
Student batch scheme check and sends off applications
for students
Safer applications for students, lower refusal rates &
higher levels of compliance as a result

Tier 4 Briefings - an update on student visas