Immigration update: Launch of the sponsorship system for tier 4 students
Under the new points-based system, universities and other education providers in the UK are required by law to sponsor international students at their institutions.
On 5 October 2009, international students' permission to stay in the United Kingdom will be directly connected to the education provider that sponsors them. This is under the new rules relating to Tier 4 of the points-based immigration system.
Every new Tier 4 student will find their sponsor's reference number on the vignette in their passport or on their identity card for foreign nationals.
Under the new rules if a student wants to study with a new sponsor and they made their last application for a visa on or after 5 October 2009, they will need to apply for a new Tier 4 visa. It will be considered a criminal offence if a student begins studying with the new education provider before they have received a decision on the outcome of their application.
Should a student choose to study with a new Tier 4 sponsor, and they made their last application for a Tier 4 visa before 5 October 2009, they will be allowed to change their sponsor without making a new Tier 4 application. However the will need to get permission from the UKBA to change their sponsor.
UKBA / Expatica