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What is the Points Based System?

The Points Based System (PBS) is a system for managing migration for those wishing to
enter the UK for work or study.

Tier 1 (General) Migrant of the Points Based System was launched for foreign nationals
living in the UK on 29 February 2008 and replaced the Highly Skilled Migrant
Programme (HSMP). On 30 June 2008 three additional sub-tiers were rolled-out and the
programme was extended to include applicants resident overseas. The four sub-tiers are
Tier 1 (General) Migrant, Tier 1 (Investor), Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) and Tier 1 (Post-Study
Work). Tier 2 for Skilled Workers and Tier 5 for Temporary Workers and the Youth
Mobility Scheme were launched worldwide on 27 November 2008. See the companion
leaflets in this series for the other PBS routes. The first stage of Tier 4 (General) Student
and Tier 4 (Child) Student rolled-out on 31 March 2009.

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What are the age limits on (General) Student and (Child) Student?

Tier 4 (General) Student is for people coming to the United Kingdom for their post-16
education. Tier 4 (Child) Student is for children between the ages of 4 and 17 to come to
the UK. Those aged between 4 and 15 may only be educated at independent fee-paying
schools. Applicants aged 16-17 years studying on courses at National Qualification
Framework level 3 or above have a choice of making an application either in the Tier 4
(General) Student category or the Tier 4 (Child) Student category. 16 and 17 year olds
studying English language courses at level A2 of the Common European Framework of
reference for Languages must apply under the Tier 4 (General) Student route. For any
applicants under the age of 18, suitable arrangements must have been made for their
travel, reception and care whilst in the United Kingdom.

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Do I need a sponsor?

Yes. All applicants under Tier 4 (General) Student and Tier 4 (Child) Student need a
sponsor. The sponsor is an education provider offering the applicant a place on a course
of study in the United Kingdom. An education provider will need to have registered with
the UK Border Agency as a licensed sponsor. They will need to meet the requirements
for the particular category within Tier 4 and accept certain responsibilities to help with
immigration control. All sponsors are given an A rating or B rating when they join the
register. A ‘B’ rating is a transitional rating and means that the sponsor is working with
the UK Border Agency to improve their systems. You can check whether your education
provider has a licence by looking at the
Register of Sponsors Licensed Under the Points-Based System (Tier 4 only).
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What is a Visa Letter?

Under Tier 4 an applicant must have a Visa Letter issued by a licensed sponsor (approved
education provider) before making an application. This is a paper document which must
be an official, unconditional offer by the sponsor to the applicant for the course of study
he/she wants to do. It must be original, on letter-headed paper of the licensed sponsor
and must include the original or electronic signature of an authorised official of that
institution and dated. The Visa Letter should include all of the information detailed in the
Tier 4 Guidance which should be given to the applicant to include with his/her visa
application. (There is a separate list of requirements for the Visa Letter for postgraduate
doctors and dentists). The letter must be issued no more than 6 months before the date of
the application. An application which has a Visa Letter older than 6 months or where the
letter does not include all of the mandatory information detailed in the Tier 4 Guidance
will be refused. Having a Visa Letter does not guarantee a successful application as the
applicant will still need to show they meet all the Immigration Rules requirements for the
category.

You may obtain several Visa Letters from different licensed sponsors, but you should
only apply for entry clearance – a visa (see below) - with the one from your chosen
institution. The others will automatically expire after being unused for 6 months.

Visa Letters will later be replaced by an electronic reference number called a


Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS), issued by the sponsor once the Sponsor
Management System is implemented. The Sponsor Management System is the electronic
system which licensed sponsors under Tier 4 will use to assign Confirmations of
Acceptance for Studies (CASs). Further details on the Confirmation of Acceptance for
Studies and the Sponsor Management System are in the Tier 4 implementation plan,
available on our website at:

Points based system: Tier 4 implementation plan

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How can I find out more about sponsorship?

The Tier 4 Guidance contains information about what to do and what may happen if:

• Your sponsor’s licence is suspended;


• Your sponsor’s licence is withdrawn;
• Your sponsor is taken over by another organisation.

You will also find information about:


• Sponsor’s record keeping duties;
• Sponsor’s reporting duties;
• What to do if you think your sponsor is not complying with their duties; and
• Account manager or compliance officer visits

Find more information for sponsors on our website at:


Sponsorship under points based system

You should also consult the Tier 4 Guidance for information regarding changing courses
whilst in the United Kingdom, either with an existing sponsor or a new sponsor.

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Can I do a pre-sessional (foundation) course under PBS?

Yes, if your pre-sessional course is an intensive English language course or any other
course which prepares you for your main course of study in the United Kingdom. The
course must be at the National Qualification Framework (NQF) level 3 or level A2 of the
Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). We will only
make a single grant of entry clearance to cover the pre-sessional course AND the
substantive course in the following circumstances:

• Where the same licensed sponsor is delivering both the pre-sessional course and
the substantive course; or
• Where a ‘partner institution’ will deliver the pre-sessional course and this partner
institution is named on the sponsor licence.

In all other circumstances, including where the sponsor is only prepared to make a
conditional offer based on a successful completion of the pre-sessional course, a separate
grant of entry clearance will be required to cover the pre-sessional course. The pre-
sessional course must meet the full requirements of the relevant Tier 4 category. Once
that has been completed you may make a new application under Tier 4, and submit a Visa
Letter for your substantive course, whilst you are in the United Kingdom. See the Tier 4
Guidance for advice on starting your substantive course before being given the go ahead
from UKBA.

You should also consult the Tier 4 Guidance if your pre-sessional course is below the
levels specified for Tier 4.

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Can I undertake extra studies?

As a child or adult student you are allowed to do extra courses, for example evening
courses, as well as your main studies. Please refer to the Tier 4 Guidance for further
information.
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What study related routes remain outside of PBS?

The following routes remain outside of PBS:

• Prospective Students - for those coming to the UK to finalise arrangements for


their course.
• Student Visitors - for those coming to the UK for up to 6 months who do not
intend to work and/or extend their stay.
• Child Visitors - for under 18s coming to the UK to undertake a short course of
study as part of a visit of up to 6 months.
• Parents of children at school - for parent carers accompanying child students
under the age of 12 to the United Kingdom.

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Do I still need a visa if I have a Visa Letter?

Yes. All applicants wanting to travel to the United Kingdom under Tier 4 of the Points
Based System will need prior entry clearance (a visa). They will need to submit the Visa
Letter with their entry clearance application. On any course where its duration is 6
months or more, and for pre-sessional courses of less than 6 months, the applicant will be
able to enter the United Kingdom up to I month before the date he/she starts the course of
study. On any other course where its duration is less than 6 months the applicant will be
able to enter the United Kingdom up to 7 days before the date he/she starts the course of
study. We will take the start date as the date given by the sponsor on the Visa Letter. See
also below under ‘How long will I be able to stay in the UK?’

A visa may only be issued on the basis of an unconditional offer from your sponsor. For
students applying to study A-levels only, an application will be accepted on the basis of a
conditional offer whilst the applicant waits for their GCSE results. This will allow
consideration of the application to begin. However, the applicant will need to submit an
unconditional offer when they receive this, and the visa may only be issued on the basis
of this.

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How do I apply for a visa?

You should complete application form VAF9 with your personal details.
Application form VAF9 - PBS Migrant
PBS Migrant guidance notes

Depending on which country you are making your application from, you may be able to
complete this online. You will also need to complete Appendix 8 for (General) Student or
Appendix 9 for (Child) Student. This is only available as a PDF document and must be
completed manually and sent in with your supporting documents. Check our Visa
application centres overseas page to see if you need to apply through a visa application
centre (VAC) or the British mission in your country.

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What do I need to make my application?

Application form VAF9 - PBS Migrant


PBS Migrant guidance notes
PBS Appendix 8 (General) Student (all mandatory sections completed)
PBS Appendix 9 (Child) Student (all mandatory sections completed)

You will also need the following:

• Your passport or travel document;


• The fee as published on the visa fees page on this website. This cannot be
refunded and you must pay in local currency;
• Your biometric details (see below);
• A recent passport sized photograph
(If the application is successful, the photographs provided will be reproduced on
the visa vignette).
(Please note - photographs should measure 45mm x 35mm and be:
o in colour taken against a white background;
o clear and of good quality and not framed or backed;
o printed on normal photographic paper;
o full face and without sunglasses, hat or head covering (unless it is worn for
cultural or religious reasons but the face must not be covered).
• All documents as specified in the Tier 4 Guidance as stated in the Immigration
Rules. If you do not submit relevant documents, your application is likely to be
refused as we will be unable to award the relevant points.

Important for (General) Students and (Child) Students aged 16 or 17 years living independently
To qualify for Tier 4 of the Points Based System you must be able to demonstrate that you have the tuition
fees and funds to support yourself and any dependants. The maintenance amount for the main applicant is
calculated at £800 per month if you intend to study in the Inner London Boroughs (see below), and £600
per month if you intend studying elsewhere. For courses of up to 9 months duration you will be required to
show that you have the full tuition fee plus the appropriate monthly amount for each month you intend to
be in the UK. On a course of more than 9 months you will be required to show that you have the first year
of the tuition fees plus either £7200 or £5400 depending on whether you intend to study inside or outside
of the Inner London Boroughs (see below). These amounts must be held in your personal bank account for
a minimum period of 28 days. The end of that 28 day period must not be more than one month before the
date of your application, for which you must show bank statements/other evidence.
If you apply before 1 June 2009 you will only need to show proof that you have the money needed, on
the day that you apply. You must still provide the correct documents to support your application.

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What are my biometric details?

Biometric details are scans of all 10 fingers and a full-face digital photograph. You will
need to provide your biometric details in person. The whole procedure should take no
more than 5 minutes to complete. Your visa application will not be processed until you
have met this requirement. More information about biometrics is available on
the Biometric data collection for visa applicants page on this website.

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What are visa application centres (VACs)?

In some countries we are working with commercial companies to run visa application
centres. The VACs are in largely populated areas making it easier and more convenient
for people to apply for a UK visa. Trained staff at each VAC deals with all visa enquiries
and applications. They collect your biometric information along with the relevant fees
and provide unbiased advice on the application process, including whether or not you
have included all the necessary documents. Entry clearance staff at the British mission
will then consider your application and decide whether to issue or refuse your visa. VAC
staff will have no say in this decision.

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How are the points calculated?

Points are awarded for having a valid Visa Letter issued by a licensed sponsor which is
worth 30 points. In addition 10 points are given for fulfilling the Maintenance (Funds)
requirement. Entry Clearance Officers will only award points where you have indicated
that you wish to claim them, and for which you have supplied the required supporting
evidence.

Claiming Points for a Visa Letter

Applicants can claim 30 points for a Visa Letter provided:

• The Visa Letter meets all the requirements of the Immigration Rules; and
• All the required specified documents have been included with the application.

(GENERAL) STUDENT

Courses for which a Visa Letter may be issued


Sponsors must also ensure that their courses lead to an approved qualification at a
minimum level of National Qualifications Framework (NQF) Level 3 (or equivalent) or
above.

Full-time study in the United Kingdom


A Visa Letter should only be issued for full-time study in the United Kingdom. To be
considered a full-time student, an applicant must be undertaking either:

• A full-time United Kingdom degree level course or above at a Higher Education


Institution; or
• An overseas higher education course which is recognised as being equivalent to a
United Kingdom higher education qualification at an overseas higher education
institution; or
• A course of study below United Kingdom degree level that involves a minimum
of 15 hours per week organised daytime study (0800 hours to 1800 hours,
Monday to Friday).

N.B. Students in the Tier 4 (General) Student category on courses of study at a minimum
of NQF Level 3 or its equivalent (or at the equivalent of a United Kingdom degree level
or above if an overseas qualification) are able to take course-related work placements
(see below).

English language courses


You can come to the United Kingdom to study an English language course. The
minimum level of study is set at Common European Framework of Reference for
Languages (CEFR) Level A2.

Higher education courses at overseas institutions


If you are enrolled on a higher education course at an overseas higher education
institution, you can do a short-term study programme in the United Kingdom as part of
your qualification. This is provided the qualification is validated as the same level or
above as a United Kingdom degree by UK NARIC. You can find contact details for UK
NARIC on their website at: www.naric.org.uk
Postgraduate doctors and dentists
You are allowed to do a recognised Foundation Programme as a postgraduate doctor or
dentist in the United Kingdom in the (General) Student category provided you meet all
the requirements for the category.

Additional requirements you must meet are as follows:

You must have successfully completed a recognised United Kingdom degree in medicine
or dentistry from:

• An approved education provider who has a licence to bring in students;


• A United Kingdom publicly funded institution of further or higher education; or
• An institution on the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills list of
recognised bodies or listed bodies list, which keeps satisfactory records of
enrolment and attendance.

You must have been given permission to stay in the United Kingdom as a student under
the Immigration Rules in place before 31 March 2008 or as a (General) Student. This
permission must have covered your final academic year and at least one other academic
year of your studies leading to the above degree.

Work placements
An applicant will be allowed to do a work placement as part of his/her course, as long as
the work placement is no more than 50% of the length of the course. For example, it will
be acceptable if the course is five years long and the first three years of the course
involve full-time study, with the last two years in a work placement.

If a Visa Letter has been issued for a course which involves a work placement, your
approved education provider will remain responsible for you throughout the period of the
work placement and must continue to comply with all their sponsor duties throughout this
time.

Students’ Union Sabbatical Officers


A Students’ Union sabbatical post is a full-time, salaried, elected executive union
position. This post may be taken up during a course of study or in the academic year
immediately after graduation. Students are allowed to take up such a post while in the
United Kingdom under the Tier 4 (General) Student category. If this occurs while the
student has leave to remain as a Tier 4 (General) Student, the sponsor will need to notify
UKBA of the change in the student’s circumstances. If the student wants to take up such
a post at the end of his/her course and has no more leave as a Tier 4 (General) Student,
he/she will have to apply again with a new Visa Letter from the licensed sponsor detailing
the post. The term of office is normally one academic year and leave to remain in the
Tier 4 (General) Student category may be granted to cover this period. If the student is re-
elected after one year, he/she will have to re-apply with a new Visa Letter from the
licensed sponsor detailing the post.
The requirement that a work placement be no more than 50% of a student’s overall
course in the United Kingdom does not include any period that a student is in post as a
Students’ Union Sabbatical Officer.

NB: Whilst the sponsor is not exempt from their reporting duties, the levels of contact
between a Students’ Union Sabbatical Officer and their sponsor is likely to be different
owing to the nature of the Sabbatical Officer’s work.

A student may hold the position of Sabbatical Officer for a maximum of two years.
Employment that is additional to Sabbatical Officer duties is restricted to part-time work
during term-time (no more than 20 hours a week) and full-time work during vacations, if
the officer is not working full-time for the Students’ Union in the vacations.

What supporting documents should I include with my application?

You should include originals of all documents specified. They must be on the official
letter-headed paper or stationery of the organisation and have the official stamp of that
organisation. You should also provide a copy of each document. Where a document is not
in English or Welsh, the original must be accompanied by a fully certified translation by a
professional translator. This translation must include details of the translator’s
qualifications and confirmation from the translator that it is an accurate translation of the
original document. It must also be dated and include the original signature of the
translator. You must show that you have held the money for at least 28 days. The end of
that 28 day period must not be more than one month before the date of your application.If
you do not provide the specified documents, we will not contact you to ask for them.
Therefore, if you fail to send the correct documents we may refuse the application.

You should provide full contact details for each document supplied. You should also
provide any information/explanation of the documentation submitted, that may assist us
in our consideration.

The specified documents required for points scoring are as follows:

Visa Letter from a Licensed Sponsor

This must contain all the information specified in the Tier 4 Guidance and must be
original, on letter-headed paper of the licensed sponsor and must include the original
signature (original or electronic) of an authorised official of that institution and dated.

(GENERAL) STUDENT AND (CHILD) STUDENT AGED 16 OR 17 YEARS LIVING


INDEPENDENTLY

You must send us the documents you used to obtain the Visa Letter from the sponsor as
listed in the Visa Letter.
Where qualification certificates have been used as the basis of the offer or part of the
basis of the offer we must see the original certificate(s) of qualification and/or original
transcript of results.

If your course is at NQF Level 3 or equivalent or above and you have been assessed by
the sponsor by other means: for example, references or a portfolio of artwork, this does
not need to be submitted. The sponsor will need to explain in the Visa Letter how they
have assessed you to be satisfied that you are suitable for the proposed course of study.

(GENERAL) STUDENT

If your course of study is English Language that is at Level A2 of the Common European
Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) and you have been assessed by means of
reference(s), you must provide the original reference(s) which must include your name,
confirmation of the type and level of study undertaken and details of the period of study.
References must also be dated and include contact details of the referee.

If you are unable to provide the original reference, you must provide full contact details
of the referee(s) who provided references to the sponsor as evidence of your English
language studies.

Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) Clearance Certificate - (General)


Students only
Please refer to the Tier 4 Guidance for directions on what to do if your intended study
subject falls into one of the categories described.

STUDENTS UNDER 18 YEARS OLD

All students under 18 years old will need to get their parent(s) or legal guardian’s written
consent to the care arrangements for their travel to, reception and care whilst in the
United Kingdom, before permission to enter will be given. See the Tier 4 Guidance for
details of what the written consent should include.

16 and 17 year olds have the legal right to live independently in the United Kingdom, and
so make their own arrangements for accommodation. In these circumstances the letter
should confirm that the parent(s) or legal guardian consent to the 16 or 17 year old living
independently and also to their independent travel to the United Kingdom.

Maintenance (Funds)

Visa Letter: Fees/Maintenance

Your Visa Letter must show the cost of the fees. This should also show what fees you
have already paid, otherwise you should send an official, original receipt confirming
some or all of the fees (and accommodation, if applicable) have been paid. Where neither
of the above items have been sent we will require secure access details to your sponsor’s
(education provider’s) website to verify that some or all of the fees have been paid (these
should be included within the Visa Letter content) and/or we may contact your sponsor to
verify the payment if we are unable to access their website.

If you are using a bank loan as your evidence, the bank must be regulated by an official
regulatory body and you must provide a document from the bank confirming the loan. If
you do not get the bank loan until you have your visa, you must provide the original
document confirming the loan.

You must show that you have enough money to pay your fees and monthly living costs
for at least the first year of studies (or the length of your course if it is shorter than 9
months).

We cannot accept unsupported online receipts. We will try to verify payments made
online but if we are unable to access your sponsor’s website or obtain verification we will
be unable to offset payments and the full maintenance and/or tuition fees must be shown.
We will use the closing balance of the document as the level of funds available to you.
This is also the date we will use to check the value of your money in pounds sterling.

(GENERAL) STUDENT AND (CHILD) STUDENT AGED 16 OR 17 LIVING


INDEPENDENTLY: OWN FUNDS

This must be in the form of cash funds in the bank (this includes savings accounts and
current accounts even when notice must be given, loan or official, financial government
sponsorship available to you. Other accounts or financial instruments such as shares,
bonds, pension funds, etc., regardless of notice period are not acceptable. If you wish to
rely on a joint account as evidence of available funds, you must be named on the account
along with one or more other named individual. If you have an offer of a bank loan
confirmed that will be available on the issue of your visa, you must provide the original
document confirming the loan. All evidence must be dated no more than one calendar
month before the application is made and show that the money has been in your account
for at least 28 days. The end of that 28 day period must not be more than one
month before the date of your application.
If you apply before 1 June you will only need to show proof that you have the money
needed, on the day that you apply. You must still provide the correct documents to
support your application.

Overseas funds must be converted into pounds sterling so that we can assess them. The
official exchange rate we use is the one produced by OANDA. You should use the
exchange rate on the OANDA website for the date the document was issued. This is an
independent website, for which we are not responsible.

Only the following documents will be accepted as evidence:

• Personal bank or building society statements;


• Savings account/building society pass book/s;
• Letter from your bank or building society;
• Letter from a financial institution regulated by the home regulator (official
regulatory body for the country in which the institution operates and the funds are
located) confirming funds or loan.

Personal bank or building society statements


These should clearly show:

• Your name/the name of a child’s parent(s)or legal guardian, if applicable;


• Your account number;
• The date of the statement;
• The financial institution’s name and logo;
• The level of funds available.

Ad hoc bank statements printed on the bank’s letterhead are allowed as evidence, but not
if they are mini-statements from cash points. If you wish to send electronic bank
statements from an online account they must have all of the details listed above. You will
also need to send a supporting letter from your bank, on company headed paper,
confirming the authenticity of the statements provided. An electronic bank statement
bearing the official stamp of the bank will be accepted. This stamp should appear on
every page of the statement.

Savings account/building society pass books


These should clearly show:

• Your name/the name of a child’s parent(s)or legal guardian, if applicable;


• Your account number;
• The financial institution’s name and logo;
• The level of funds available.

Letter from a bank confirming funds


These should clearly show:

• Your name/the name of a child’s parent(s) or legal guardian if applicable;


• Your account number;
• The date of the letter;
• The financial institution’s name and logo;
• The funds held in your account;
• That there is enough money in the account to cover your tuition fees and living
costs.

Letter from a regulated financial institution confirming funds or loan


These should clearly show:

• Your name/the name of a child’s parent(s)or legal guardian if applicable;


• Your account number;
• The date of the letter;
• The financial institution’s name and logo;
and either
• The funds held in your account; or
• The funds available to you as a loan.

(CHILD) STUDENT (OTHER THAN 16 OR 17 YEAR OLDS LIVING


INDEPENDENTLY)

Child studying and boarding in a Residential Independent School


The applicant or parent/legal guardian must send:

• The Visa Letter from the sponsor showing the cost of the fees for one year and
any additional accommodation fees (if applicable) needed by the school; and
• Evidence to show sufficient funds to pay tuition and boarding fees as described
under (General) Student/(Child) Student aged 16 or 17 living independently

Child staying with a resident British citizen or other legal United Kingdom resident
who is a close relative or in a private foster care arrangement
The applicant or parent/legal guardian must send:

• The Visa Letter* from the sponsor showing the cost of the fees for one year and
giving the name, address and contact details of the parent(s) or legal guardian of
the child; and
• A written undertaking* from the intended carer confirming the care arrangement;
and
• A letter* from the applicant’s parent/legal guardian confirming the care
arrangement; and
• Evidence* to confirm the intended carer is legally allowed to reside in the United
Kingdom; and
• If staying in a private foster care arrangement, a copy of the letter* of
notification from the child’s parent(s), legal guardian or intended carer to the local
authority and the local authority’s confirmation of receipt; and
• Evidence to show sufficient funds to pay fees, as described under (General)
Student/(Child) Student aged 16 or 17 living independently.

*See the Tier 4 Guidance for details of what the documents referred to above need to
contain/examples.

Child staying with a parent/legal guardian who will be accompanying them to the
United Kingdom (under 12 year olds only)
The applicant or parent/legal guardian must send:

• The Visa Letter from the sponsor showing the cost of the tuition fees for one year;
and
• Evidence to show sufficient funds to pay tuition fees and evidence of maintenance
for parent/legal guardian and child for each month up to a maximum of 9 months.
The evidence required for own funds is the same as for (General) Student and
(Child) Student aged 16 of 17 living independently.

(GENERAL) STUDENT AND (CHILD) STUDENT

Official financial sponsorship or Government sponsor (for all or part of the fees and
maintenance)

Only the following specified document will be accepted as evidence of an official


financial sponsor or Government sponsor who will pay for ALL of your fees and
maintenance and these must accompany your application:

Letter of confirmation from the official financial sponsor or Government sponsor. The
letter must be sent with your application and must be on official, letter-headed paper or
stationery of the official, financial sponsor organisation and have the official stamp of
that organisation on it. It must show:

• Your name;
• The name and contact details of the official financial sponsor;
• The date of the letter;
• The length of the sponsorship; and
• The amount of money you have or a statement that your official financial sponsor
will cover all of your fees and living costs..

If you have official financial sponsorship or Government sponsorship that only covers
part of your money needed you must provide a letter which shows:

• Your name;
• The name and contact details of the official financial sponsor;
• The date of the letter;
• The length of the sponsorship; and
• The amount of money they will give you; and
• Evidence that you have the balance of any money needed.

If you are receiving official financial sponsorship from your Tier 4 licensed sponsor (for
example a scholarship), your sponsor may choose to include details of the financial
scholarship on the Visa Letter.

Additional evidence for sponsored students

If you had permission to be in the UK in the last 12 months as a student, Tier 4 Adult
(General) or (Child) Student, student nurse, student re-sitting an examination, student
writing up a thesis or postgraduate doctor or dentist, you may have been sponsored by a
Government or international scholarship agency. If you are currently sponsored by one
of those or that sponsorship ended within the past 12 months of this application being
made, you must provide us with your sponsor’s unconditional consent in writing giving
you permission to re-enter the UK. Without this we will refuse your application. The
evidence must be original, on the official letter-headed paper or stationery of the
organisation and bear its official stamp. It must have been issued by an authorised
official of that organisation. If you have received private sponsorship, for example from
an employer or relative we do not need the sponsor’s consent.

For more advice on sponsored students, see chapter 3, section 3 of the Immigration
Directorate Instructions on our website: Chapter 3 - Students

We will refuse your application if we find any documents are false.

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Which are the Inner London Boroughs?

The Inner London Boroughs are Camden, City of London, Hackney, Hammersmith and
Fulham, Haringey, Islington, Kensington and Chelsea, Lambeth, Lewisham, Newham,
Southwark, Tower Hamlets, Wandsworth and Westminster.

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How long will I be able to stay in the UK?

(GENERAL) STUDENT

If you are in receipt of official financial sponsorship and your sponsor places a limit on
the period you may stay in the UK, the grant of leave will be limited in line with your
official financial sponsor’s requirements.

Degree level or above

• On a course of 12 months or more: the full length of the course plus 4 months
after the end of your course;
• On a course of 6 months or more, but less than 12 months: the full length of the
course plus 2 months after the end of your course;
• On a Pre-sessional course of less than 6 months: the full length of the course plus
1 month after the end of your course;
• On a course of less than 6 months (non pre-sessional): the full length of the course
plus 7 days after the end of your course.

Below degree level


• On a course of 12 months or more: the full length of the course (up to a maximum
of 3 years if you are 18 years old or above) plus 4 months after the end of your
course;
• On a course of 6 months or more, but less than 12 months: the full length of the
course plus 2 months after the end of your course.

No further or subsequent grants will be made under Tier 4 (General) Student if you have
already completed 3 years studying for courses below degree level since the age of 18, if
you apply for further leave for below degree level courses.

Postgraduate doctors and dentists on a recognised foundation programme

• Maximum of 3 years: the full length of the course (up to a maximum of 3 years)
pus one month after the end of your course.

(CHILD) STUDENT

• If the applicant is aged less than 16 years, we will grant the shortest of the
following periods (up to a maximum of 6 years). If the programme of education
is longer than 6 years, the applicant will need to apply again before their
permission to stay runs out. In addition, 4 months will be added to the end of the
course.
o The period requested by the applicant;
o The length of the programme of education that the applicant is following;
or
o The maximum time a child is allowed (6 years).
• If the applicant is aged 16 or 17 years, we will grant the shortest of the following
periods (up to a maximum of 2 years). In addition, 4 months will be added to the
end of the course.
o The period requested by the applicant;
o The length of the programme of education that the applicant is following;
o Two years.
• If the applicant turns 18 they can continue with their course until their permission
to stay ends whilst they are still on a course. If the 18 year old wants to apply
again for more permission to stay to finish a course, they will have to apply under
the (General) Student category (the date of the application is used to decide the
age), and meet the requirements for this category. If a child has official financial
sponsorship, and their financial sponsorship is limiting the time they may study in
the UK, the permission to stay will be for the same length of time.

Arrival in the UK
If you are doing a course that is 6 months or more, or if it is a pre-sessional course that is
less than 6 months, you will be able to come to the United Kingdom up to one month
before the date you start your course. If you are doing a course that is less than 6 months
which is not pre-sessional, you will be able to come to the United Kingdom up to 7 days
before the date you start your course.
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Are any special care arrangements required for persons under the age of 18?

Yes. All children studying in the UK must have suitable care arrangements in place for
their travel, reception at port of entry and living arrangements whilst here. ‘Children’ are
all students under 18 years old. If you are 16 or 17 years old and applying as an adult
student, you must have the written consent of your parent(s) or legal guardian that you
can live and travel independently. Without this consent, you must make sure there are
care arrangements in place. All arrangements for children’s care and accommodation in
the UK must comply with relevant United Kingdom legislation and regulations. See the
Tier 4 Guidance for further details and links to other websites.

Private foster care arrangements


Children (under 16 years old, or 18 years old, if disabled) are privately fostered when
they are cared for on a full-time bass by adults, who are not their parents or a close
relative, for more than 28 days. It is the responsibility of the parent, carer and anyone
else involved in making the private fostering arrangement (including the approved
education provider), to notify their local council of the private fostering arrangement.

The local authority is responsible for safeguarding and protecting children. They must
ensure that private foster carers are suitable and that they get any support and guidance
they may need to help them care for the child. A close relative, parent or legal guardian
cannot be a foster carer.

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Can I appeal if my application is refused?

Outside the UK a refusal of entry clearance under PBS does not attract a full right of
appeal. You can appeal only on one or more of the following grounds referred to in
Section 84(1)(b) and (c) of the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002:

• that the decision is unlawful by virtue of Section 19B of the Race Relations Act
1976 (c.74) (discrimination by public authorities), and/or
• that the decision is unlawful under Section 6 of the Human Rights Act 1998 (c.42)
(public authority not to act contrary to Human Rights Convention) as being
incompatible with the appellant's Convention rights.

However, all applicants can apply for an Administrative Review, which is a mechanism
for reviewing refusal decisions.

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What is Administrative Review?

If we refuse your application for entry clearance and you think that an error has been
made, you can ask us to check our decision. This is known as an Administrative Review.

The Administrative Review is free of charge. You must ask for an Administrative Review
within 28 days from the date you receive the refusal notice (GV51).

Administrative Review Request Notice


PBS Administrative Review Request Notice guidance notes

You must complete this in full and send it directly to the address stated on the Request
Notice.

You MUST NOT send any additional documents such as passport/travel document or
supporting documents with the Administrative Review Request Notice. If the refusal is
subsequently overturned, you will be asked to send in your passport/travel document. You
may request only ONE Administrative Review per refusal decision. Any further review
requests for the same refusal decision will not be accepted and will be returned to you.

The Administrative Review will be completed within 28 days and you will be notified of
the result in writing. The result of the Review may be sent from a different Post to where
the original decision was made, to ensure that the Review is independent.

If you are already in the United Kingdom you cannot apply for an Administrative
Review.

For more information about this you should refer to the Tier 4 Guidance.

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Can I work whilst I am in the UK?

(GENERAL) STUDENT

Other than work placement as part of your course, which is restricted to no more than
50% of the full course length, any employment is restricted to part-time work during term
time of not more than 20 hours per week and full-time work during vacations. The work
you do must not fill a full-time permanent vacancy (other than on a recognised
Foundation Programme). Work as a postgraduate doctor or dentist must be on a
recognised Foundation Programme. You must not be self-employed, employed as a
doctor in training (other than on a recognised Foundation Programme) or work as a
professional sportsperson (including a sports coach) or as an entertainer. You may only
hold a Student Union Sabbatical Officer position for up to two years.

(CHILD) STUDENT
Employment is not permitted for children under 16 years old. If you are 16 years old or
older, you are allowed to work if is part-time work during term time (no more than 20
hours per week) and full-time during vacations. The work you do must not fill a full-time
permanent vacancy. You may do work placement as part of your course, other than part
time work during term time which is no more than 20 hours per week. You must not be
self-employed, employed as a doctor in training or work as a professional sportsperson
(including a sports coach) or as an entertainer. You may only hold a Student Union
Sabbatical Officer position for up to two years.