- The Foundation Programme Office may sponsor migrants on the two-year
Foundation Programme for postgraduate doctors and dentists.
- Where the migrant’s programme of study forms part of an overseas degree
course, the prospective sponsor in the United Kingdom can be an organisation
linked by common ownership or control to the overseas university. But the UK
Border Agency (UKBA) may ask for proof of these links before they will consider
granting a sponsor licence.
What education providers must show
Education providers seeking a tier 4 sponsor licence must show that:
- they have been inspected, audited or reviewed by an appropriate body (if
they are subject to public review);
- they hold valid accreditation from an appropriate body (if they are not
subject to public review); or
- they directly offer short-term ‘study abroad’ programmes in their own
premises in the United Kingdom (if they are an overseas higher education
See below for more information about these requirements.
Procedures are in place for the UKBA’s approved accreditation bodies to
promptly inform them if a provider’s accreditation is removed and to act quickly
to check on education providers if the UKBA report concerns. If a provider
needs accreditation but subsequently loses it, the UKBA will withdraw their
Inspection or auditing
If a provider is subject to public review, they must show that they have been
inspected or audited by:
- the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) –
for institutions across the United Kingdom;
- the Office for Standards in Education (Ofsted);
- Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Education – for institutions in Scotland;
- Estyn – for institutions in Wales;
- the Education and Training Inspectorate – for institutions in Northern
- the Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI).
If a provider is a private higher education institution and not subject
to public review, but they subscribe privately to the QAA, they must submit
evidence of their last QAA inspection report. Some organisations receive
public funding from the QAA because they deliver some of their programmes in
partnership with a degree-awarding higher education institute. However, this
funding is for students on a particular programme – it is not funding for the
institution, and therefore does not meet UKBA requirements.
[Continued in Immigration 101: Student Visa Sponsors – Part 2
- Immigration 101: Student Visa Sponsors – Part 3
- UK Immigration Law: Student Visa System Faces Shake
- UK Immigration Law: Students Tied To Sponsors
- UK Points-Based Immigration System
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