Future changes to restrict Tier 4 (General) migrants' ability to switch and extend their stay in the UK

From 12 November 2015, the Immigration Rules will be changed to restrict Tier 4 (General) students' ability to switch into other Points Based System categories and to extend their stay in the UK.

Both potential sponsors, employers and students should be aware that only Tier 4 (General) students whose immigration permission is or was last sponsored by a UK recognised body (or a body in receipt of public funds as a Higher Education Institution (HEI) from the Higher Education Funding Council for England) or by an overseas HEI to undertake a short-term study abroad programme in the UK will be able to switch into Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur), Tier 2 (General), Tier 2 (Minister of Religion), Tier 2 (Sportsperson) and Tier 5 (Temporary Worker), providing they meet the other requirements in place.

Additionally, Tier 4 (General) students who wish to switch into Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) and Tier 1 (Investor) routes will only be able to do so if their immigration permission is or was last sponsored by any of the educational bodies mentioned above or an Embedded College offering Pathway Courses.

This shall also be the case for Tier 4 (General) students who wish to continue studying in the UK. These students will be able apply for an extension of their immigration permission inside the UK provided it is or was last granted on the basis of sponsorship by: a UK recognised body (or a body in receipt of public funds as a HEI from the Higher Education Funding Council for England); by an overseas HEI to undertake a short-term study abroad programme in the UK; or by an Embedded College offering Pathway Courses.

Therefore should you wish to seek further advice on your ability as an employer to sponsor a Tier 4 (General) migrant under Tier 2 or as a student to extend your Tier 4 leave in the UK before the new Immigration Rules are implemented later this year, please contact your Client Care Manager at Laura Devine Solicitors or email enquiries@lauradevine.com