PBS Tier 4 International Students

The following information is related to the UK's new points based system, which has not been fully implemented yet. Information may be updated in the near future.

Tier 4 Visas

The UK’s new points based system will include a Tier 4 for international students.

Students coming to the UK under a Tier 4 visa will require a university or other qualified UK educational institution to sponsor them. They will also have to score enough points to be accepted as an international student in the UK. The way points will be awarded is not yet finalized.

The current system grants visas for a period of 1 year, which may or may not change under the new tiered system. In the past students were allowed to work for 20 hours per week in term time and 40 hours during holidays.

Tier 4 for international students is expected to commence early in 2009.

International students also have unique immigration options available to them upon graduation under the new points based system. Once a student graduates from an eligible UK educational institution, they may apply for a Tier 1 visa under the Post-Study Work category. This will allow international graduates to remain in the UK for 2 years. When they have completed their period of Post Study Work they may apply for a different category or Tier if they would like to do so.

Currently all students or researchers will only be granted a student visa if the educational establishment is listed in the UK's Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills Register of Education and Training Providers which can be viewed at http://wwww.dfes.gov.uk/providersregister If the establishment is not listed a visa will not be issued.


To protect the spread of technology concerning weapons of mass destruction students or researchers at doctorate or master level in certain sensitive fields may need to apply for the Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) before they can apply for a visa. Full details can be found at http://www.fco.gov.uk/ATAS

Students must score 40 points across the different criterias before an establishment can confirm acceptance for studies under their sponsorship licence.

Sponsorship is worth up to 30 points if a valid acceptance for a course is issued.

Maintenance is worth up to 10 points. The requirements are as followed:

  • For courses of less than 12 months the student must have a minimum of 800 per month along with the course fees in a bank.
  • For courses over 12 months this is reduced to 600 per month along with the course fees.
An extra £535 per month for each dependent is required.



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