New Rules for international Students
As a Tier 4 (General) student, one can study at any school, college or university which has been granted a Tier 4 (General) sponsor licence by the UK Home Office. Only institutions with a Tier 4 sponsor licence can issue you with a confirmation of acceptance for studies (CAS),which a student must obtain in order to apply for immigration permission as a Tier 4 (General) student.
Each institution granted a Tier 4 sponsor licence by UK Home Office has been given a sponsor rating, either: Tier 4 Sponsor; or Probationary Sponsor. The courses that an institution can offer to international students will depend upon their Tier 4 sponsor rating. Institutions with Tier 4 Sponsor status can offer a wider range of courses than Probationary Sponsors.
One can check which institutions have a Tier 4 (General) or (Child) sponsor licence, and how they are rated, on the Register of Tier 4 Sponsors (approved education providers) at http://www.ukcisa.org.uk.
If you are less than 16 years old, you can apply for permission to study at an Independent fee-paying school, but you must apply as a Tier 4 (Child) student, not under Tier 4 (General). Ask your school for information about how to apply.
If you are 16 or 17 years old, you can sometimes choose to apply either as a Tier 4 (Child) student or as a Tier 4 (General) student. This will depend on:
• the type of institution (school, college or university) where you intend to study – for CAS assigned after 9 August 2015, Tier 4 (Child) students can only study at Independent Schools.
• the type of Tier 4 sponsor licence the institution holds: a Tier 4 (Child) licence or a Tier 4 (General) licence, (or both)
• the level of the course.
If you are applying as a Tier 4 (Child), speak to your institution directly.
If you want to study a short course in the UK, you may be eligible to apply to enter the UK as a ‘short-term student’ (or as a ‘short-term student (child)’ if you are under 18 years old). For immigration purposes, a short course is any course which lasts no more than six months or an English language course which lasts no more than 11 months. See Short-term student visas under ukcisa website.
Some Tier 4 (General) students can have family with them in the UK as their dependants. To find out who counts as a dependant, check ‘Who is a dependant?’
You can have dependants with you in the UK if:
1. You are government-sponsored and your course is longer than six months OR
2. You are doing a postgraduate level course of 12 months or longer at a publicly-funded Higher Education Institution or a ‘UK recognised body’ (see ‘Definitions’) OR
3. Your current or most recent immigration permission was as a Tier 4 (General) student or a pre-Tier 4 student on a course longer than six months AND all four bullet points below apply:
o your permission is current or expired no more than three months before this immigration application AND
o your new immigration application is for a course that is longer than six months AND
o your dependant already has Tier 4 dependant or ‘student’ dependant immigration permission (or it is the most recent immigration permission that they had, and it expired no more than three months before this application) AND
o you apply for immigration permission at the same time as your dependant
You must already have your Tier 4 (General) immigration permission, or you must be applying for it in the same country where your dependant is making their application, at the same time as them.
Tier 4 (Child) students cannot bring dependants.