Foreign Students

December 08, 2010


1 Briefing Paper No {211} provides background briefing on foreign (non EU) students in the UK. It outlines the visa system, the number of students, the colleges involved, and the role of the UKBA.

Student Visas

2 Previously the ‘Student’ visa was used to cover all study from short English language courses to undergraduate or postgraduate degrees. This has now been phased out for new applicants and replaced with two visas categories: Student Visitor and PBS Tier 4.

3 PBS Tier 4 is for students on courses of over six months either at university level or in Higher Education of some kind. It started to operate in 2009. 40 points are required. 30 points are awarded for possessing a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) issued by the sponsoring college and ten point s for maintenance. The student must demonstrate that they have enough funds to cover the first year of their course fees and their living costs. The living costs are £800 per month in Inner London and £600 for the rest of the country. These students can bring in dependants. Students at degree level can work 20 hours a week and students below degree level can work 10 hours a week. The dependants of students at degree level are allowed to work without any restrictions on their hours. The dependants of those at below degree level cannot work. For more detail on eligible courses and English language requirements see Annex A of the Briefing Paper

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