The British High Commission on September 10 announced a new visa route for International students. The new route will commence from the 5th of October 2020. It aims to make the process more efficient for students and their funding institutions. While the previous provision under Tier 4 allowed students to make a visa application up to 3 months, the renewed 4 tier extends this time period to up to 6 months. They also would no longer need to reattach the proof of their academic qualifications with visa request applications. The decision on a student visa also comes in light of the ongoing pandemic. Due to COVID-19, students are defying to choose an alternative over overseas education. UK’s new student visa route takes that into cognizance, trying to ease the process.
The student visa provision brings in effect the UK Government’s commitment for the reformed points-based immigration system. It now requires students to have 70 points in total for visa approval. These points are non-tradeable and can be achieved for set parameters. Students will be granted points if they establish that they are offered admissions in an established educational organization. Students also require to speak English and are sufficient enough to support themselves during the educational period in the UK. The step is being termed as simplified, equal, and inclusionary. It says to treat all international students using the same route for all. The route considers new applications in all fairness irrespective of their countries.
The Authorities speak
Director, British Council India, Barbara Wickham called the decision as a welcome announcement for Indian students studying or plan to study in the UK. Barbara said, “The new Student Route is a welcome announcement for thousands of Indian students who opt for a UK education every year to gain international exposure. It offers greater flexibility and ease of immigration for applicants. With the post-study work benefits of the Graduate Route and the launch of the Student Route, the UK has further solidified its commitment towards international students, and enabling more than ever, their dreams of pursuing a world-class education.”
Acting High Commissioner to India, Jan Thompson also gave an official statement for the new visa route in summer 2021. He said,
“India accounts for one of the UK’s largest group of international students and our world-leading education system has always been a key part of our bilateral relationship. Last financial year, nearly 50,000 Indian nationals were granted a study visa – they are the ambassadors of the Living Bridge that connects our countries. Now that we have left the EU, we can introduce this streamlined visa route and the Graduate Route in summer 2021, to ensure the brightest and the best students continue to pick the UK.”
The new route gives students an opportunity to get some relaxation amid the pandemic as it allows sponsor institutions time to adjust and acclimate after students’ intake. Students between the 4-17 years of age group are eligible for the Student Route/ Child Students Route. Those who received a study offer under the Tier 4 system and if they apply before October 5, will be considered against the existing rules for that route. Applicants applying from the 5th of October will be treated as against the new, simplified rules and regulations.
There is still no limit on the number of international students who go to the UK for educational purposes for student visas. The Graduate Route for international students also opens in summer 2021. It enables eligible international students –India inclusive– who have completed undergraduate and master’s degrees to stay for another two years. It also allows students with completed Ph.D. degrees to stay for three more years. This helps them to work or look for work.
Sally Hedley, Head of Communications signed off the notice, and the Press and Communications, British High Commission published it. Here are the required details for communication and further queries.
Chanakyapuri, New Delhi 110021. Tel: 24192100
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