Visas – what’s changed and when will it change?
Many of the changes, which will be introduced between April 2011 and April 2012, will not affect you directly for studying at Newman University College. Some of the UKBA changes are listed below, and how it affects your application for a visa to study at Newman:
- From April 2012, any institution wanting to sponsor students will need to hold Highly Trusted Status. Newman University College is already a Highly Trusted Sponsor and has been from the start
- Students studying at undergraduate degree level must have English language skills at level B2 or above, of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). We ask for a minimum of IELTS 6.0 so this won’t affect you if you’re planning on studying at Newman
- Students will be able to spend a maximum of five years on a student visa at undergraduate and Master’s level. Our undergraduate programmes are a maximum of three years (our work placements happen during the academic year not on a separate placement year), and postgraduate programmes will be one year long. This gives you plenty of time to complete both an undergraduate and a postgraduate degree within the allocated time frame.
- The UKBA will treat students more favourably if you come from a ‘low risk’ country to Newman University College who have Highly Trusted sponsor status. This mean less visa bureaucracy for most Newman students.
- Students who are not at university will have limited rights to work in the UK on student visas. As Newman is a university, this won’t affect you. You can continue to work for a maximum of 20 hours per week during term time and full time during the holidays
- Students who are not at university will be limited in the length of time they can spend on a placement as part of their course – 33 percent will be the maximum. As we are a University this will not affect you (and our work placements would fall within this anyway)
- It will not be possible to bring dependants to the UK unless students are sponsored by their home government or are on a postgraduate course which lasts for 12 months or more. At present we don’t have full time postgraduate programmes, but when we do, they will meet this requirement of being longer than 12 months.
- After April 2012, at the end of the course, students can not switch to a Tier 1 Post Study Work visa. Previously students had the option of a two year post study work visa, unfortunately this route has now been closed. However, you will have the opportunity to switch to a Tier 2 visa
So it’s not all doom and gloom with regards to visas. The entry requirements for the visas haven’t actually changed, just conditions for some programmes and institutions.
Be aware though, that as the changes are brought in over the next year or so, that it is important to keep up to date with any new information. The best places to look are on the UKBA web pages as they will offer the most up to date information, and also UKCISA (who in most cases offer practical advice), and of course our website.
Hopefully this will cover the questions I got a couple of weeks ago about visas in the UK, but as usual you can comment on the post, drop me an e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) or contact me via Facebook (Rhian Dobbs Newman).