The UK Home Office is introducing a new immigration system which will come into effect from 5 October 2020 for international students (non-EU/EEA/Swiss) and from 1 January 2021 for EU/EEA/Swiss nationals (excluding Irish nationals). The new “Student Visa” route will replace the “Tier 4 (General)” visa route.
If I'm already on a Tier 4 visa, do I need to switch into the new Student Route?
If you are already in the UK studying with a valid Tier 4 visa, you will not need to take any action to switch into the new Student Visa route.
Important to know:
If you have been issued with a CAS, but have not yet applied for your visa:
- If you make an application for a visa after 09:00 (British GMT) on 5 October your application will be considered under the Student Visa rules, rather than Tier 4 rules.
- You can use the CAS you have been issued to apply for the new Student Visa route.
Our Student Visa Interactive guide provides you with a quick overview of the process for applying for a Student visa, and includes more information on the documents you'll need to provide during an application. This guide is for students applying both in and outside the UK.
Important to know: If you need further advice when submitting a Student Visa application, please contact the Advice & Guidance team so that they can support you further.
Students from the EU/EEA and Switzerland (excluding Ireland) arriving in the UK after 1 January will need to apply under the new Student Visa route prior to travelling to the UK.
Important to know: EU/EEA/Swiss nationals already in the UK or planning to arrive in the UK by 31 December 2020 are eligible to apply for the EU settlement scheme which will protect your status in the UK for up to 5 years.
The UK Home Office announced that they intend to open a new Graduate Route in Summer 2021 which would give students the opportunity to work in the UK for up to 2 years after they have completed their studies. Please note that there is limited information available regarding this route at the present time. A fact sheet outlining the Home Office’s intention for this route can be found on the Home Office webpages.