UK visa: Changes to student visa rules are now in force

Here are few significant changes to the Tier 4 student route of the points-based system have come into effect from July 4, 2011:
– restrict work entitlements, by only allowing students sponsored by higher education institutions (HEIs) and publicly funded further education colleges to work part-time during term time and full-time during vacations;
– restrict sponsorship of dependants to those of students sponsored by HEIs on postgraduate courses lasting 12 months or longer, and of government-sponsored students on courses lasting longer than 6 months;
– require institutions to confirm that courses represent genuine academic progression from any previous courses studied by the student in the UK; and
– create a streamlined application process for low-risk nationals sponsored by Highly Trusted sponsors.

These changes are aimed at delivering a strong migration system which tackles immigration abuse while allowing genuine students to study at genuine colleges.