New Rules for Study Visas

The Home Office have recently announced some changes to student visas.  These changes will apply only to students who will be coming to study a course in the UK for more than six months.

  1. For students studying for six months or less there will be no changes to the current system, and students will continue to apply for their visas as normal.
  2. The new rules for students studying more than six months introduce the Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) and an Immigration Health Surcharge.

Biometric Residence Permit (BRP)

The BRP is a small plastic card containing all the same student details that the current visa contains.  The BRP will be introduced in stages, country by country. In summary:

  • The BRP is only for students studying for more than six months.
  • Students will apply for their visa in exactly the same way as now, but will also need to confirm their intended date of travel to the UK, and the postcode of where they plan to stay when they arrive in the UK.
  • When the student successfully obtains their visa, instead of the visa being put in their passport immediately, they will be issued with a 30 day ‘vignette sticker’. The student must then travel to the UK during the period shown in their 30 day vignette sticker.
  • The student must collect their BRP within 10 days of their arrival in the UK (at the time of successful visa application students will be given full details of the Post Office where they must collect their BRP).

Immigration Health Surcharge

From 6 April 2015, students applying for visas for courses of more than six months will need to pay the new Immigration Health Surcharge. This will entitle them to access the National Health Service (NHS) in the same way as a permanent UK resident, for the duration of their visa. Students must pay the surcharge when they make their visa application. The cost of the surcharge is currently GBP 150.00 per year.

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