A lot of misleading information is being shared on the internet about the new UK immigration rules and how they affect the rights of international students.
At Migreat, as much as we want to keep up to date with the news, we also want to ensure we provide the most reliable and clearest information. Hence, we cannot publish immigration news as it is shared. We wait to hear from several trusted sources to confirm any new information. If Migreat isn’t the fastest to react and write about changes to student visa rules – rest assured that it is because the news hasn’t been verified yet.
Migreat will update our readers with the most up-to-date information and connect you with experts who are abreast of the latest changes and can answer your visa questions.
We recently received a surge of questions from students about the proposed changes and we wanted to take the chance to reply to the most common questions. For each question, we will link to a trusted source for more detailed information The rules are changing only for some international students. It depends on where you are studying. Hence, this is why we are splitting this article into two parts: those at UK universities and those at UK Colleges.
International students at UK universities
How much savings do I need to prove to apply for a student visa? [Starting 12th November 2015]
Starting in November, first time international students and students extending their time will have to prove they have access to significantly more savings than before.
Depending on the length of your course and the location of your university the amount will vary. International students studying in London will have to prove that they have more savings than international students studying outside London. Students will also need to show that they can financially support themselves for up to nine months or the full length of the course, whichever is shorter.
Example: A student studying in London that needs to stay for a nine month course will have to demonstrate that they have at least £11,385 in the bank (that is £1,265 per month). For a student outside of London to study for nine months, the amount needed in the bank is £9,135 (£1,015 per month).
Can I extend my stay on my student visa at the same level? [Starting 3rd August 2015]
If you are extending your stay on a student visa, the new rules state that you will have to show you are moving up a level on the National Qualifications Framework. If you want to extend your studies at the same level you will only be able to do so if the proposed course is linked to the previous one or if it supports your career aspirations (the later if approved and validated by your university).
Can I work after graduation?
Yes, and there are a few work/business long term visas that you can apply for depending on the type of work and the role you have been offered and/or salary you will be paid. You should know that the government is reviewing tier 2 visa minimum salary requirements – and is likely to raise them by at least £10,000.
If you are looking to stay after graduation to work on a tier 2 general visa, it is likely that your company will have to pay more than the current £20,800 minimum annually in order to sponsor you. Verify if you may be eligible for one of the visas via Migreat’s UK visa assistant.
I am the spouse or dependent of an International Student here. Can I work? [Date yet to be confirmed]
A proposal yet to be finalized suggests that spouse and dependants of student visa holders will only be allowed to work in skilled/Highly-skilled full time jobs . This has yet to be confirmed and implemented.
International students at Further Education Colleges
Am I allowed to work part-time while studying? [Starting 3rd August 2015]
No. Students at publicly funded colleges will no longer be allowed to work 10 hours a week after August 2015. Note that this new rule will apply to international students who apply for their tier 4 visa on or after 3 August, but won’t apply retrospectively to students already here.
Can I extend my student visa or switch to a Work visa from within the UK? [Starting November 2015]
No, you will have to apply from outside the UK to make an extension or to apply for a work visa.
Can I extend my studies with any education provider? [Starting 12th November 2015]
You will not be able to extend your studies in the UK unless they are registered at an institution with a formal link to a university.
How Many years maximum can I be granted if I apply for a student visa for a FE college? [Starting 12th November 2015]
Study visas at Further Education level will be cut from three years to two.
Do you have questions about your UK student visa applications and you rights as an international student in the UK? Ask @migreat for answers.