International students from outside the UK and European Union are required to apply for a Tier 4 Student Visa in order to study for a degree in the UK. You can find information about the Tier 4 Student Visa on our visa advice page.
The Home Office has recently published two Statements of Changes to the Immigration Rules which will come into effect between April and July 2014. The statements announce upcoming changes which may affect you if you are applying for your student visa this year.
We give a brief explanation of the three changes that are most likely to affect you below. For more detailed information and further changes, please visit UKCISA.
1. Changes to the list of nationalities which need a tuberculosis (TB) test before applying for a visa
Applicants from Algeria, Belarus, Bhutan, Burma, Iraq, Sri Lanka and Ukraine will need to take a tuberculosis (TB) test at an approved clinic before applying for a Tier 4 visa to come to the UK for a course of 6 months or more. This change takes effect from 31 March 2014.
2. Changes to the amount of money you need to show when applying for your visa
When applying for a Tier 4 Visa, you need to show that you have sufficient amounts of money to finance your living costs. For students wishing to study in inner London, the required maintenance will increase from £1,000 per month of study to £1,020 per month of study. If you will study in outer London, you will need £820 a month. This change takes effect from 1 July 2014.
3. Changes to “low risk” nationality rules
With effect from 6 April 2014, “low risk” applicants are no longer exempt from the credibility interview.
Also, nationals from Oman, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have been added to the list of “low risk” countries.
Applicants from “low risk” countries do not need to provide evidence to show they meet the maintenance and qualification requirements. Instead, you will be required to sign a declaration stating you have the correct maintenance and qualification requirement.
If you are from a “low risk” country, it is important that you still obtain the evidence of your qualifications and your money, even though you do not need to send them. This is because the Home Office can still request this evidence when processing your application.
For more application tips on how to apply for the Tier 4 Student visa, read our visa blog post.