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Tier 4 General Student

The Tier 4 (General) category is for adult students who want to come to or remain in the UK for their post-16 education. If you are 16 or 17 years old and you want to study a course at or above National Qualification Framework level 3, you can apply under this category or under Tier 4 (Child). But if you want to study English as a foreign language, you must apply as a Tier 4 (General) student.

Eligibility Criteria

Criterion Points
Confirmation of Acceptance 30 points
Maintenance 10 points

English Language Ability

  • If you are doing a course at NQF 3, 4 or 5/QCF 3, 4 or 5/SCQF 6, 7 or 8 – CEFR Level B1
  • If you are doing a course at NQF 6/QCF 6/SCQF 9 or above – CEFR Level B2
  • If you are doing a course at NQF6/QCF 6/SCQF 9 and above at a HEI, your Tier 4 sponsor must check your English language proficiency is at B2 by ensuring that you:
    • Are from a majority English-speaking country; or
    • Has completed an academic qualification at least equivalent to a UK Bachelors degree which was taught in a majority English-speaking country; or
    • Has successfully completed a course as a Tier 4 (Child) student (or under the student rules that were in force before 31 March 2009, where you were granted permission stay whilst you were under 18 years old) which was:
      1. At least six months in length; and
      2. Ended within two years of the date the sponsor assigned the CAS; or
    • Are proficient at CEFR level B2 in each of the four components of language learning, (reading, writing, speaking and listening) by choosing its own method of assessing your English language ability.
  • If you are considered by your Tier 4 Sponsor to be a gifted Student, and you will be enrolling on a course at NQF 6/QCF 6/SCQF 9 or above at a HEI, the English language requirement can be waived.

Maintenance

  • If you do not have an established presence studying in the UK, you must show that you have money for your course fees plus:
  • Inner London £1265 for living costs for each month of your course up, to a maximum of 9 months and the fee for the first academic year.
  • Outer London or anywhere else in the UK £1015 for living costs for each month of your course, up to a maximum of 9 months and the fee for the first academic year.
  • If you have an established presence studying in the UK, you must show that you have money for your course fees plus:
  • Inner London £1265 for living costs for each month of your course, up to a maximum of 2 months and the fee for the first academic year.
  • Outer London or anywhere else in the UK £1015 for living costs for each month of your course up to a maximum of 2 months and the fee for the first academic year.

Who Can Switch

You can apply under the Tier 4 (General) student category if you currently have, or you were last given, permission to stay in any of the following categories:

  • Tier 4 (General) Student,
  • Tier 4 (Child) Student,
  • Tier 1 (Post-study Work) Migrant,
  • Tier 2 Migrant,
  • Participant in the International Graduates Scheme (or its predecessor, the Science and Engineering Graduates Scheme),
  • Participant in the Fresh Talent: Working in Scotland Scheme,
  • Postgraduate Doctor or Dentist, Prospective Student,
  • Student,
  • Student Nurse,
  • Student Re-sitting an Examination,
  • Student Writing-Up a Thesis,
  • Student Union Sabbatical Officer,
  • Work Permit Holder.

Bringing Dependants

  • Only new students sponsored by a HEI on a course at NQF level 7 or above lasting 12 months or more, new Government sponsored students following a course that is longer than six months and Doctorate Extension Scheme students will be able to bring their dependants to the UK with them.
  • Dependants with existing permission wishing to extend their stay in the UK will be allowed to extend provided they apply at the same time as you apply to undertake a course of study that is longer than six months in duration.

Work Permission

  1. If you are following a course at NQF 6 or QCF 6 or SCQF 9 or above with a sponsor which is a Recognised Body or a UK HEI, or you are undertaking a short-term study abroad degree programme at an overseas Recognised Body or HEI the following work is allowed:
    • Part-time during term-time, which is no more than 20 hours a week;
    • Full-time during vacations;
  2. If you are following a course at NQF 3/4/5 or QCF 3/4/5 or SCQF 6/7/8, with a sponsor which is a UK HEI, the following work is allowed:
    • Part-time during term-time, which is no more than 10 hours a week;
    • Full-time during vacations;
  3. If you are following a course at any level with a sponsor which is a publicly funded further education college, the following work is allowed:
    • Part-time during term-time, which is no more than 10 hours a week;
    • Full-time during vacations;
  4. If you are following a course at any level with a Tier 4 sponsor which is not a UK HEI, a short-term study abroad degree programme at an overseas HEI or a publicly funded further education college, you are not allowed to work whilst in the UK.

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