The changes to Tier 4 General student visa rules will affect students who apply for Tier 4 visa immediately on or after 3 August 2015, and others will be in effect on or after 12 November 2015.


The summary of changes is following:


Maintenance funds

– From 12/11/2015 you will need to show higher maintenance funds to support yourself and your dependents while you are in the UK.

E.g. If you study in London, you have to show 9 month maintenance funds of £11385 (1265 per months). For outside of London, you need to have at least £9,135 (£1,015 for each month).


From 3 August 2015, University students are allowed to study a new course at the same level if the University will confirms that either

– that course is related to the previous course, meaning that it is either connected to the previous course, part of the same subject group, or involves deeper specialisation; or

– his/her previous course and the new course in combination support the applicant’s for genuine career aspirations

Private or public funded College students will not be allowed to study at the same level.


– From 12 November 2015 the cap limit for below degree level courses is reduced from three years to two years.


Work Allowances

Students applying to study at the Universities are only allowed to work 20 hours a week during the term time and full time during their holidays.

For new applications for Tier 4 General visa on or after 3 August 2015 to study at publicly-funded further education colleges and private Colleges will no longer be allowed to work.

From autumn 2015 all Tier 4 dependants will not be allowed to take a low or unskilled job, but can still work on part-time or full-time skilled jobs.


Visa extension

From 12 November 2015, only Tier 4 (General) students sponsored by UK Universities or embedded Colleges will be allowed to renew the Tier 4 visa in the UK.

Private and publicly funded college students willing to study another course in the UK will no longer allow to extend their visas in the UK. They have to leave the country and apply for a new Tier 4 visa from abroad.



Switching from Tier 4 General visa to Tier 1, Tier 2 or Tier 5

From 12 November 2015, not all Tier 4 students will be allowed to switch to other visa categories inside the UK. Only students who have studied at universities can switch their visas inside the UK to:

–       Tier 1 (Entrepreneur)

–       Tier 1 (Investor)

–       Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur)

–       Tier 2

–       Tier 5 (Temporary Worker)


After 12 November 2015, embedded College students who have studied pathway courses or integrated programmes can switch their visas in the UK to:

–       Tier 1 (Entrepreneur)

–       Tier 1 (Investor)


All other Private and publicly funded Colleges students who wish to apply for Tier 1, Tier 2, Tier 5 visas will have to leave the UK and apply for a UK visas from abroad.


For full information about changes to UK Immigration rules, please visit the UKVI website: