Changes to Student and Short-term Student routes from 1 December 2020

The Immigration Rules covering student visas were substantially revised in early September 2020, with the changes coming into force on 5 October.

There are four of these “minor corrections”:

  1. Maintenance levels are being increased from £1,265 to £1,334 per month inside London and from £1,015 to £1,023 for courses outside London. One positive change is that applicants can now rely on electronic bank statements without the need to grovel to the cashier to stamp every page (though weirdly this new relaxation doesn’t apply throughout the Rules, e.g. in Appendix FM applications).
  2. If students or their dependants have permission to work, they’ll no longer be prevented from working as a postgraduate doctor or dentist in training (obviously sensible in a pandemic).
  3. There are new forms for EEA nationals who have a chipped passport and are applying as student dependants.
  4. Clarification that sponsors cannot assess the initial B1 English level needed by students, but in certain circumstances where the student is going on to study at degree level after a pre-sessional course, can self-assess that the student’s English will improve to level B2. 

There is also a new Appendix Parent of a Child Student. Its provisions are broadly comparable to the previous rules for this visa category, with a major added benefit: parents will now be granted the same length of leave to remain in the UK as the child, meaning that they won’t be required to re-apply every 12 months. This is a welcome addition given the over-priced application fees nowadays, but note that this arrangement can end sooner if the child turns 12 in the meantime.

All these changes take effect on 1 December 2020.

Posted on Nov 10, 2020.

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