Students and education providers beware: new UK student visa rules will apply starting Monday February 22, 2010. The new rules, introduced under Tier 4 of the points-based system, mean UK student visa applicants will soon have to obtain a confirmation of acceptance for studies from their prospective sponsor, rather than a visa letter.
After February 22, the UK Border Agency will ignore applications from students who send visa letters - even if an education provider issues a letter before February 22. Until February 21, however, students can continue to apply under Tier 4 using a visa letter, even if their course of study will start after February 22.
Information for education providers / sponsors:
As stated above, the UK Border Agency will no longer accept visa letters after February 22.
For example, the system will allow sponsors to send a 'sponsor note' to the UK Border Agency to inform them about minor changes to a certificate of sponsorship or a confirmation of acceptance for studies before the overseas student uses it.