So Brexit has happened what now for Tier 4 students? - AMCIS

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So Brexit has happened what now for Tier 4 students?

Well, actually not much for now, but there are likely to be changes over the next few months, and particularly towards the end of the year.

All current EU students and those from the EEA countries and Switzerland continue to have the same rights of freedom of movement. The law allows them to enter and remain in the UK as before; however we have heard of a few isolated examples where people are already having travel difficulties. In a small number of cases travel operators; port security and even Government officials have asked the purpose of the journey. We think this is over zealous people getting ahead of themselves at the border, and, to reiterate, EU and EEA nationals continue to have a right to travel to the UK. However, you may wish to consider issuing letters of explanation or contact details for verification, this is to ease travel and in case one of your students get stuck.

EU and EEA nationals who are resident in the UK can apply through the settled status scheme, even if they are a new arrival and this will continue to apply until the end of the year. For students this may not have been considered as an option, and it would be good to recommend this as a course of action. It could have a fundamental impact – if a School student “claims” settled status now – it could be the difference between being treated as a resident rather than international student in the future when it comes to University applications.

To apply for (pre) settled status students can use the app, but as many will not have national insurance numbers, they will have to upload other evidence of residence – the best option here is going to be a letter from the school confirming date of enrolment, continued study and attendance. Parents can also use invoices for school fees as proof of their child’s residence in the UK.

And to the future …

So far most of the talk and proposals has been concerned with workers and little has come in to the public domain from UKVI regarding EU and EEA students. Government has helpfully said that new students who wish to enter the UK to start their studies from January 2021 onwards, will need to apply under the new scheme … But so far no details on what the student version looks like!

Taking a steer from the Tier 2 route where there has been much discussion on the future of a points based system, and what that would look like, we can reasonably assume that the Tier 4 route will continue to exist. With the Government’s stated aim of levelling the field based on visa type rather than nationality, we can guess that EU and EEA students will need some form of sponsorship in the future.

The exact nature of the sponsorship is unknown at present.

Article written by:

Ian Westwood, Director, The Westwood Organisation
Office:  (+44) 1293 889 691
The Westwood Organisation is a niche consultancy business specialising in immigration advice, training and consultancy.

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