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This new route will apparently streamline the visa application for students.

New visa routes have recently been made available to international students looking to study in the UK. These routes, available to both undergraduate and child students, became accessible on 5 October, despite originally being planned to launch in January 2021.

The new system is reportedly set to be an improvement on the old Tier 4 system in that it will be more straightforward to understand and follow. Students will now require 70 points to qualify for a visa, which will be determined by whether students have received an offer from an accepted institution, have proven that they can financially support themselves, and can speak English.

The system made available this month will also allow students to apply for visas up to six months ahead of study, as opposed to the three months given under the Tier 4 system. 

This move was made in response to the number of students deferring their applications to university in the UK due to concerns about coronavirus. It is hoped that by making this system operational now, it may be more accommodating for both students and their sponsor institutions.

It is also hoped that, in the wake of Brexit, this new streamlined system will help draw students back to the UK in the future.

In an online press release, the Home Office stressed the importance of international students for the UK, stating: “International students play a key part in the government’s agenda to unleash the UK’s potential now that we have left the EU. They make important contributions economically, academically, and financially. We recognise that as a result of coronavirus, some overseas students are choosing to defer their entry onto courses in the UK until the spring semester of 2021. Introducing these new routes now means that students will be able to benefit from the new streamlined process whilst still giving sponsors time to adapt after their autumn intake.

“The routes treat all students equally, with international students, including those from Europe coming to study after the transition period ends, using the same, simplified route when it opens for applications.

“It will ensure our world-leading education sector can continue to welcome talented and high potential students to our globally renowned universities, further education and English language colleges, and independent schools.”

In addition, another route available to graduate students will be made available next year. This will grant international students who had previously studied at a UK higher education institution the right to live in the UK and study either postgraduate or PhD courses, as well as the opportunity to transition to a work visa following the completion of their studies and have found a job opportunity. This route will be made available in the coming summer.


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