The new changes introduced by the UK government with an aim to reduce the number of incoming international students in the country.
- From 12 November making students at publicly funded further education colleges leave the UK before applying for Tier 2 or Tier 5 work visas, rather than being able to switch visas from within the UK; because of the added inconvenience to Tier 4 students this will have the effect of reducing the number of skilled graduates from overseas working in the UK.
- From 3 August banning Tier 4 Students at publicly funded further education colleges from working while they study. Currently most migrant students at colleges may work up to 10 hours per week. This will impact students from poorer countries the most, as often their families will be unable to offer financial support.
- From 12 November stopping Tier 4 college students from extending their visa after their course finishes, unless they begin studying at an institution with a ‘direct, formal link’ with a UK university.
- From 3 August restricting new courses that Tier 4 University students may study to those which have ‘a link to their previous course’, or which ‘support their career aspirations’, as determined by their university.
- From 12 November reduce the time that Tier 4 students may study at a further education college, from 3 years to 2 years. Many further education courses can run for more than 2 years.
- From the Autumn banning family members of Tier 4 students (Tier 4 dependants) from taking on ‘low skilled’ work. The changes would allow dependants to take on skilled work only; effectively discriminating against students from poor countries, whose families often did not have the opportunity to gain the skills needed for this sort of work.
- Introducing stricter English language requirements for Tier 4 visa applicants.