Starting from January, there are some brand new UK visa rules and regulations. Namely, it’s now much simpler for those who have Tier 4 student visas to switch to Tier 2 visas. Students who have Tier 4 visa can now submit a request to switch to Tier 2 visas right after they finish a degree course. They don’t have to wait for the final results of the exam.
The reasons for this change were simple. In the last few years, there were hundreds of students with Tier 4 visas who couldn’t stay legally in the UK on Tier 2 visas because their visa was no longer valid before they got the results from the exam (the degree course). With the latest changes, Tier 4 visa holders are able to submit applications even before the results arrive. Another thing that was difficult in the past was the fact that students who had expired tier 4 visas had a hard time to get a tier 2 visa once they left the UK. In addition, employers had to conduct a labour market test and take care of the immigration skills charge which is paid annually. The change we’ve mentioned makes these things obsolete.
Before these changes were introduced, students in the UK had to wait for the final results of their degree course before they had a chance to file an application. Most of the graduates didn’t have time to look and apply for a job before their original Tier 4 visa expired. Of course, even with the latest changes, in case a student can’t find work even after few months of the completion of the degree course, they will have to go back to their home country.
The strict UK visa rules were one of the main reasons why the number of international students studying in the UK has been dropping in the last decade. Besides this new change, the mayor of London – Sadiq Khan – supports the introduction of a brand new category of visa for post-study work.
According to Khan, the post-study work visa must be different from the Tier 2 visa in terms of application and should allow foreign students to work in the United Kingdom for a year or two upon graduation. But, the government didn’t accept the idea. Their response was the abovementioned change in Tier 4 to Tier 2 transformation.
This January, the government of the United Kingdom has informed the public that they have extended the pilot student visa scheme to over 20 additional universities across the country. This scheme provides additional six months to students coming from non-EU countries looking for a job. In the beginning, this scheme applied to four universities. Today the total number is 27.
In case you need assistance with Tier 2 visa, Tier 4 visa or switching between these visas look for professional help. Our firm will be glad to help you.