To qualify as a student under the Tier 4 category for entry clearance – courses from 11 months – the immigration officer must be satisfied that the applicant is a genuine student. A genuine student is someone who has real intentions to study and means to prove it. The applicant must, if required to do so on examination or interview, be able to demonstrate without the assistance of an interpreter his abilities of English language within the standard expected for the visa category, specified in a confirmation of acceptance for studies (CAS), which is a minimum of B1 for language courses and B2 for university, diploma and MBA courses. Where the applicant is requested to attend an interview but does not attend without reasonable explanation then the application will be refused.
An applicant will be requested to attend an interview where the application displays general or specific risk characteristics or where the applicant is randomly sampled. An application may be refused without an interview, only if the following circumstances apply:
- The applicant has previously been refused because an immigration officer has not been satisfied that he is a genuine student, and there have been no material changes in circumstances or new evidence since that refusal.
At the interview, the immigration officer will consider the objective requirements of the rules under Tier 4. If the applicant cannot speak English to the expected standard and
has used false representations (documents) the applicant will not be granted a visa.
In assessing whether the applicant is a genuine student, the officer must consider the application taking into account:
- The school reputation chosen by the applicant,
- Education provider’s decision to issue a CAS, and decide whether they consider, based on their expertise, whether the applicant meets the requirements
- The immigration history of the applicant, in the UK and other countries, for example:
- Previous visa applications for the UK and other countries, including reasons for any visa refusals;
- The amount of time the applicant has spent in the UK or other countries on previous visas, and for what purpose; and
- Whether the applicant has complied with the terms of previous visas for the UK and other countries;
- The applicant’s education history, study and post study plans, for example:
- How long has elapsed since the applicant last studied, and whether the applicant has sound reasons for returning to, or commencing formal study in this area, particularly after any significant gap;
- The applicant’s knowledge of, and level of research undertaken into, the proposed course of study and sponsoring institution, and living arrangements in the UK;
- The applicant’s personal circumstances, where these would make it difficult to complete a full time course of study; and
- The relevance of the course to post-study plans;
- The economic circumstances of the applicant in their home country; and
- Whether the applicant has a credible income source to meet course fees and maintenance for himself and any dependants for the full period of study.
The immigration officer should take account of the fact that the applicant has satisfied the maintenance requirements and that applicants will be prepared to make considerable investment in gaining a qualification from the UK. The officer will also take into account, for example:
- If the applicant is applying to attend an institution that is under investigation or has been identified by the UK Border Agency as an institution of concern in relation to immigration compliance; or where the application is being managed by an agent about which there are concerns, that may be an indication the applicant is not a genuine student
- Schools, universities and agents with a bad reputation for having fake students, and therefore a high number of returned visas will also count upon application consideration
Where an application has been refused the applicant can request that the decision is reviewed within 28 days from the date of the refusal. The request should be made in writing and should include full details of the reasons why the applicant believes they should be granted a visa. At LondonHelp4U, we only work with institutions recognized by the British Government. We are fully licensed to give you the best advice by all organs that regulate the industry, and we have had 0% of student visa returned in 2011.