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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. The first stage of Tier 4 (General) Student and Tier 4 (Child) Student rolled-out on 31 March 2009.
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. Students who are16 and 17 year old studying English language courses at level B2 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.
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.
The new Highly Trusted Sponsor category has been introduced from 6 April 2010. Highly trusted sponsors have to demonstrate the highest levels of compliance with their sponsor duties and in return are able to offer a wider range of course levels and work placement opportunities.
Sponsors will either either be marked as having Highly Trusted Sponsor status or they will be rated as either A (Trusted) or B (Sponsor). The B (sponsor) rating is a transitional rating and means that the sponsor is working with the UK Border Agency to improve their systems.
With the launch of the new Highly Trusted Sponsor category, applications made on or after 6 April 2010 will only be able to study the following courses if they have a sponsor that holds (or is deemed to hold) a Tier 4 Highly Trusted Sponsor licence:
· Courses at level 3 on the National Qualifications framework (NQF), or its direct equivalents in the devolved administrations, and
· Courses below degree level (excluding foundation degrees) which include a work placement.
There are some time-limited transitional arrangements for students in the process of applying during the changeover period.
A CAS is an electronic document that is created by a UK Border Agency licensed sponsor to demonstrate that they have accepted an applicant to join one of their courses in the UK. Under Tier 4 an applicant must have a CAS before making an application. The CAS must demonstrate that the applicant has an official, unconditional offer from the sponsor for the course of study he / she wants to undertake. The applicant must note the unique fourteen digit reference number for their CAS on the appropriate field on their application form.
The CAS must be issued no longer than 6 months before the date of application, otherwise it will expire. Having a valid CAS will not guarantee entry clearance as the applicant will still need to demonstrate that they meet all the Immigration Rules for the category.
You may obtain several CAS from different licensed sponsors, but you should only apply for a visa with the one from your chosen institution. The others will automatically be made obsolete once your application is made.
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 CAS reference number 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 CAS.
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.
In some countries UKBA 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 information 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.
Points are awarded for having a valid CAS 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.
Outside the United Kingdom 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:
However, all applicants can apply for an Administrative Review, which is a mechanism for reviewing refusal decisions.
From 3 March 2010, if you will be studying in the UK for six months or less you cannot bring your partners and / or children (also known as dependants) to the United Kingdom with you.
If you will be studying in the UK for longer than six months you can bring your partners and / or children with you.
Your husband, wife, civil partner or eligible partner and children under 18 can join you as your dependants in the UK if:
If the Tier 4 (General) Student has official financial sponsorship this may also include the costs of the family member(s). You will need to provide a letter from the sponsoring organisation confirming this
Your dependants will not be entering under the points-based system. They are entering as the dependant of a points-based system Migrant.
Partners (married, unmarried, same sex) must intend to live together and the relationship must be subsisting. They must be maintained and accommodated in accordance with the section on Maintenance (Funds) and your partner must not intend to stay beyond any period of leave granted to you.
If your dependent child is working full-time or earning enough money to support himself/herself, it is unlikely that he/she will qualify for entry to the UK as a dependant. Dependent children must also be able to demonstrate that they have not formed their own independent family, are unmarried and not leading an independent life. If a dependent child has previously been married or formed a civil partnership, or lived in a relationship that is similar to marriage or civil partnership, he/she will usually be considered to have formed an independent family and will not be eligible to enter the UK as the dependant of their parents. Although dependent children may seek employment whilst in the UK they must remain financially dependent on their parent to qualify as dependants.
Child students are not allowed to bring partners to the United Kingdom with them as dependants. Child students must also not have any children under the age of 18 who are living with them or for whom they are financially responsible.
If a child student is married or has a partner who wants to come with them, the partner must make an application and qualify in their own right. This could be in another immigration category.
From 3 March 2010, for family members of Tier 4 (General) Students only – if your grant of leave is for a course of study below degree level, that is not a foundation degree course, your family member will not be allowed to work whilst in the United Kingdom.
They will pay the same fee as you.
Dependants of points-based system Migrants have a limited right of appeal where the main applicant has had their entry clearance application refused. Where the main migrant has been successful in their entry clearance application, their dependants will have a full right of appeal, if their application is refused.
Administrative review is the process used to look at whether claimed points have been correctly assessed and therefore only applies to the main migrant. Applications for entry clearance made by dependants are not assessed on ‘points’.