Tag Archives: tier 4 new rules

New Visa Rules Cost UK Economy £600m a Year

Recent research has found that tinkering with the UK’s visa system by successive governments has cost the UK economy more than £600m per year.

On average, each and every English language institution in the UK has lost £500,000 in revenue following changes to the required level of English proficiency international students must have.

Further, over 60% of education consultancies worldwide reported that their clients have chosen to study in countries such as the USA and Australia, direct competitors of the UK.

“In the face of these facts, which support a conservative estimate of loss to the UK of £600 million minimum, the UK Border Agency’s argument that the impact on the sector would be ‘limited’ cannot be sustained,” said Tony Millns, Chief Executive of language teaching association English UK, which surveyed its members and their agents to support its campaign for an urgent revision of the rules.

He added: “The loss to UK foreign earnings comes at a time when we need export growth to lift the country out of recession.”

3 March 2010 saw the UK Border Agency (UKBA) introduce new rules for the Tier 4 UK student visa system. The required level of English for international students wishing to study English language courses was raised from B2 to B1on the Common European Framework Reference (CEFR). English language experts say that this amount to students who want to study English in the UK already being at least an A at GCSE.

The UKBA argued that those with a beginner level of English would be able to reach the B1 level making by undertaking a six month course of study as a student visitor. English language schools have long argued this to be impossible and in a positive step, the student visitor category was extended in early January 2011. See our extended visitor category FAQ for full details.

English UK’s agent survey shows that only 40% of all students interested in studying English in the UK are making use of this 6 month route to a full Tier 4 student visa. Whilst better than no provision at all, any students who do come as a student visitor are studying shorter courses than they would have and therefore contributing less than they potentially could to the UK economic recovery. Further, consideration should be given to those students who do not achieve a B1 CEFR level within six months: potentially, they will not study any further in the UK, representing further lost revenue for the economy and UK education sector.

The English UK survey also spoke with English language centres and asked them to roughly assess how many clients they have been forced to turn away since the rule change in March. It was found that an average of 35 international students per centre who could have been enrolled prior to March, were turned away. They also reported that the great majority of these students decided to study in countries other than the UK; few decided to come to the UK as a student visitor.

“Over a year, this would mean a loss to the total English UK membership of at least £220m in tuition fees. The loss to the English language sector as a whole would be around £300m, with the loss to UK foreign earnings at least double that, as students spend several hundred pounds a week on accommodation, food, travel, books and general social spending ,” said Mr Millns.

It should be emphasised that these figures are really an underestimate given the size respondents – around 10% of all English UK members – and the real economic loss is in fact much higher. A key reason for this is that it is very hard to quantify exactly how many potential students have been put off from making even initial enquiries about studying English in the UK given the new visa rules.

Mr Millns added: “Some of these students would have intended to continue studying in the UK, usually with another course at degree level, and that further income, roughly £20,000 a year per student, has almost certainly been lost to us as well.”

A similar picture was painted by agents worldwide. The survey asked 200 top agents across 31 different countries for their views. It was reported that 40% of clients had chosen to study in the UK as a student visitor whilst 60% had chosen study destinations other than the UK. Australia, Canada and the USA have all seen significant rises in popularity.

“Some of them even cancelled the booking and went to the USA instead,” said one Japanese agent, whilst a Turkish agency commented: “Most of our students have decided not to go to the UK. They think that the UK Government does not want Turkish students anymore.”

Costs to the industry are very real, with one international language group in the UK reporting that earnings are down US$2m in the last half of 2010 alone, as a direct result of USA referrals rising by up to 50%.

Further, the argument that the UK economy is being hurt is cemented by the drastic drop in the number of Confirmation of Acceptance of Studies (CASs) being issued to international students. During the ten weeks from 3 March, 6,400 CASs were issued. This equates to 35,000 annually.

“This is extremely low given that in a typical year, between 500,000 and 600,000 people come to the UK to learn English, and it would support the argument that visa national students are going to countries other than the UK to learn English, “ Mr Millns said.

Applicants of English Language Courses Remain Banned in Bangladesh

Following Damien Green’s visit to Bangladesh, the ban on Bangladeshi UK visa applicants was partially lifted on 22 July 2010, with those applying for foundation degrees, Bachelor programmes and post-graduate courses able to finally arrange a visa application appointment. The ban on all Child Student visa applicants was also lifted.

On 12 August 2010, the UK Border Agency lifted the ban on all courses expect English language. The suspension of applications for those wishing to join English language courses will remain under close review by the Border Agency.

Tier 4 applicants are required to make an appointment at a visa application centre in order to submit their Tier 4 visa applications. Appointments are free of charge. Guidance on how to schedule an appointment is available on the website: www.vfs-uk-bd.com.

On 12 August, the UK Border Agency will introduce a secure English language test requirement for Tier 4 (General Student) visas worldwide. Applicants who are studying courses below degree level, excluding a foundation degree and an English language course, need to pass a secure English language test. This test must be taken with a UK Border Agency-approved provider before the applicant applies for a CAS from the sponsor.

All applicants who make Tier 4 (General Student) visa applications to study the above courses from 12 August and using a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) issued from this date will need to pass a new secure English language test.

It is important that applicants follow the current Tier 4 guidance carefully, complete their applications fully and submit the correct supporting documents. There have been some significant changes to the Tier 4 policy in 2010. Tier 4 guidance and application forms are available to customers free of charge.

If applicants submit fraudulent documents or false information, their visa applications will be refused. They also face an automatic ban on entry to the UK for the next 10 years for any category of visa.

Applicants may be requested to attend an interview with the UK Border Agency as part of the visa application process.

Further information

1. The temporary suspension of new Tier 4 applications was implemented in Bangladesh on 1 February 2010.

2. With effect from 22 July, the temporary suspension is lifted for the following courses: foundation degrees (including the Scottish HND in (3) below), degree and postgraduate courses only. On 12 August the suspension will be lifted for other NQF 5 equivalent courses and below. The suspension will remain in place for English language courses.

3. A foundation degree means a programme of study which leads to a qualification awarded by a UK higher education institution with degree awarding powers, which is at a minimum of level 5 on the revised National Qualifications Framework (NQF), or level 8 on the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework. Further information about NQF levels is available at: http://www.qaa.ac.uk/standardsandquality/otherrefpoints/qualsboundaries.asp

4. Tier 4 (General Student) visas are for people coming to the United Kingdom for their post-16 education. Tier 4 (Child Student) visas are for children between the ages of 4 and 17 to come to the UK. Those aged between 4 and 15 may only be educated at independent fee-paying schools. Applicants aged 16-17 years studying on courses at NQF level 3 or above have a choice of making an application either in the Tier 4 General Student category or the Tier 4 Child Student category.

5. Tier 4 of the points based system was reviewed earlier in 2010 and a number of significant changes have been introduced. The main changes are as follows:

The electronic CAS has replaced the Visa Letter.

Students who are studying below degree level, excluding foundation degrees, are permitted to work a maximum of 10 hours per week (a reduction from 20 hours). Their dependents are not permitted to work unless they qualify in their own right under the points based system.

Students who are studying a course of 6 months or less are not permitted to bring their dependents with them.

A new “highly trusted sponsor” designation has been introduced for education providers that can offer courses at National Qualification Framework level 3 and Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework level 6 and below.

To study courses below NQF level 6, students need to be competent in English language to level B1 Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). Until now, it has been the education provider’s responsibility to test this.

6. The published Tier 4 guidance is available free of charge at: www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/sitecontent/applicationforms/pbs/tier4migrantguidance1.pdf

7. Tier 4 visa application forms (VAF 9 and appendix 8 for General Students and appendix 9 for Child Students) are available free of charge at: www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/visas

8. Applicants are required to demonstrate that they are proficient to at least CEFR level B1 in reading, writing, speaking and listening. Applicants who are intending to study a foundation degree or at degree level (NQF level 6) and above, or an English language course, are not required to take a secure English language test before applying for a visa. Education providers may however, request students to provide evidence of English language proficiency to ensure they are capable of following the course for which they have applied.

This post was submitted by Heron.

High Profile Clampdown on Sham Weddings and Bogus Colleges, plus Radical Changes to the UKBA

Damien Green, the UK Immigration minister has drawn the battle lines against those who think the UK is soft touch. He said the Government was determined to send a clear message to those with no right to come to the UK.

The immigration minister is facing heavy criticism over his policy to return Iraqi nationals on charter flights and for paying asylum seekers in Calais waiting to enter the UK illegally £4,000 not to do so.

At the Commons Home Affairs Select Committee Mr Green said, “Britain has been seen as something of a soft touch. One of the drivers of the new Government’s immigration policy is to send a message around the world that Britain is no longer a soft touch.”

He added: “We are going to do a lot of enforcement over the next few months on sham marriages, bogus colleges, illegal work. I think it’s very important that we not only clamp down on all that but clamp down very publicly. It’s all part of sending a message.”

The Immigration minister was also adamant about forging ahead with his controversial policies on Iraqi detainees. He told MPs, “I am absolutely unrepentant about returning people who have no right to be in this country to Iraq.”

He also confirmed that he would continue the Labour government’s policy of offering cash to immigrants wanting to smuggle themselves into the UK through Calais.

“It looks unpalatable but it is the least worst option,” he said. “That’s much better for the taxpayer.”

Of the UK Border Agency, Mr Green promised radical reform: “My feeling is that it’s better than it was but there’s an awful long way to go. We are looking at potentially radical changes to make it more efficient.”

UKBA to Introduce Secure English Language tests in August

Some students applying under the Tier 4 (General) category of the points based system will be required to undergo secure English language testing from 12 August 2010.

Any student who will be studying a course in the UK below level 6 of the National Qualifications Framework will be subject to the test. Students’ sponsors will be required to ensure that applicants are competent in the English language at a minimum level of B1 of the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR). Students can demonstrate this to their sponsors in the following ways:

– Be from a majority English-speaking country; or
– Have completed a course as a child student in the UK lasting at least six months or ending no more than two years before an adult CAS would be assigned;
– Have achieved an English language qualification at CEFR level B1 or above from an approved test provider. Students must achieve a minimum of B1 in all the modules: reading, writing, speaking and listening.

Students studying Foundation Degrees or English language courses will not be affected by this change.

Approved English Test Providers and Minimum Scores Required

TOEFL: Minimum B1 required

Listening – 13
Reading – 8
Writing – 17
Speaking – 19

PTE Academic: Minimum B1 required

Listening – 43
Reading – 43
Writing – 43
Speaking – 43

IELTS: Minimum B1 required

Listening – 4.0
Reading – 4.0
Writing – 4.0
Speaking – 4.0

ILEC and ICFE: Minimum B2 required

Listening – Weak
Reading – Weak
Writing – Weak
Speaking – Weak

CPE: Minimum C2 required

Listening – Weak
Reading – Weak
Writing – Weak
Speaking – Weak

CAE: Minimum C1 required

Listening – Weak
Reading – Weak
Writing – Weak
Speaking – Weak

BEC Vantage: Minimum B2 required

Listening – Weak
Reading – Weak
Writing – Weak
Speaking – Weak

BEC Higher: Minimum C1 required

Listening – Weak
Reading – Weak
Writing – Weak
Speaking – Weak

BEC Preliminary: Minimum B1 required

Listening – Weak
Reading – Weak
Writing – Weak
Speaking – Weak

FCE: Minimum B2 required

Listening – Weak
Reading – Weak
Writing – Weak
Speaking – Weak

PET: Minimum B1 required

Listening – Borderline
Reading – Borderline
Writing – Borderline
Speaking – Borderline

Students should note that the TOEIC testing system has been removed from the list of approved tests. From 12 August 2010 you will no longer be able to use a TOEIC test result to get a CAS from your sponsor and apply for a Tier 4 (General) Student visa.

Ban on Bangladeshi Visa Applications to be Lifted Soon

Alan Duncan, the Conservative Minister of State for International Development has announced that the Bangladeshi visa ban is to be lifted soon, during a visit to the country.

Mr Duncan described the process of solving the problems that led to the UK student visa ban as being soon to be resolved during a meeting with Bangladesh’s Foreign Minister Dr Dipu Moni at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The Tier 4 (General) Student Visa ban first came into place in January 2010 and has caused much angst amongst Bangladeshi students. Mr Duncan is the first MP from the UK’s Conservative-Liberal coalition government and has stressed his Government’s desire to increase their ties with Bangladesh in a range of areas. Poverty reduction was a key policy for Mr Duncan, as well as development of Bangladesh in general and would be a focus of his government’s term.

Various challenges that Bangladesh now faces were discussed during the meeting: climate change, education, health, poverty reduction, sanitation and corruption. Dr Dipu Moni claims Bangladesh will be the most affected country of climate change and has tried to secure British help.
She apprised the British minister about various steps taken by the Bangladesh government for alleviating poverty and improvement of education and health sectors.

Referring to the government’s efforts to make the Anti- Corruption Commission more affective, she said the present government has been able to control corruption to a great extent.

Bangladesh’s foreign minister congratulated the new UK government on winning the election and expressed hope that ties between Dhaka and London would be strengthened in the coming days, months and years.

How the Highly Trusted Sponsor Scheme Applies to You

Both migrants and education providers have been under the new Highly Trusted Sponsor Tier 4 rules of the points-based system since 6 April. The list of Highly Trusted Sponsors has changed daily and will continue to do so.

The changes implemented 6 April follow the Government and UK Border Agency’s review of Tier 4. Now, only sponsors who have Highly Trusted status can offer what the UKBA term restricted courses to student migrants. The following are restricted courses and need a Highly Trusted Sponsor Licence to be run:

  • Courses of level 3 under the National Qualifications Framework or equivalent; and
  • Work and study courses that are below degree level (foundation degree programmes are excluded).

For the remaining institutions in the UK who hold a standard Tier 4 Sponsor Licence can only offer courses at level 4 of the National Qualifications Framework. They will also not be able to offer any courses that have a work placement element, unless they are at degree level or foundation degrees. You should check to make sure that your institution is on the Highly Trusted Sponsors List.

The reason that foundation degrees are exempt is that they lead to a minimum qualification of level 5 on the National Qualification Framework.

For student migrants who are currently studying a restricted course and their sponsor does not have Highly Trusted status, they will be permitted to remain at that institution until their course is completed or their visa expires, whichever is sooner.

Students wishing to extend their visas and are studying a restricted course, must change to a sponsor who has a Highly Trusted Sponsor licence.

Study Group UK Discusses the new Highly Trusted Sponsors list

Following the Home Office’s announcement in November of yet another review of the Points Based System, the education sector was a nervous wreck, waiting for news that could destroy the industry in the UK. Alan Johnson went someway to settling our nerves in February when he announced that education providers on the new Highly Trusted Sponsors list could continue to teach foundation and A-level programmes. We wanted to learn more about this new accreditation and how to achieve it.

Initially, the UK Border Agency said that applications for inclusion on the list could be made from 22 March 2010. However, with the system due to launch on 6 April, only 9 days later, the short timescale worried me very much indeed. From past experience, we knew the application process would be bureaucratic, slow and exhaustive. It could have been worse however, as if we were unable to issue CAS numbers until the new Highly Trusted system launched, then our usual busy weeks before our September intake would be unusually quiet. Positively, it seems that industry action from the likes of English UK and Study UK has had an effect; the whole process was revised following a recent meeting with the UK Border Agency on 27 March.

The UK Border Agency’s position on the Highly Trusted Sponsor programme is now that all education providers that receive public money will be automatically included on the new Register on 6 April and will be given until 30 May to submit all relevant and required documentation to keep their Highly Trusted licence. Deadlines have been extended for current A rated sponsors on the Register of Sponsors too, to 30 April and the UK Border Agency aims to process all education providers by 30 June 2010. During this time, we will be able to issue CAS numbers, thank God!

The other interesting element of the new Highly Trusted Sponsor programme is the statistics; the UK Border Agency has set strict thresholds for student dropouts, which institutions must stick to in order to retain their licence. Initially the UK Border Agency proposed 3% as the baseline and that any education provider who was Highly Trusted would be allowed a further % dropout rate from students who complete at least 75% of the course. The recent meeting with the UK Border Agency did not see these percentages changed, but instead they will be applied to all publicly funded institutions too. Further, the UK Border Agency seemed to soften their stance, stating that education providers who exceed these baselines would not necessary have their licence withdrawn, but would be subject to UK Border Agency review of the sponsor’s processes.

The extended deadlines for the submission of relevant documents for a Highly Trusted Sponsor licence applications is warmly welcomed as is the UK Border Agency’s revised approach to dropouts.

We expect the education sector in the UK to remain in a state of shell shock, but the impact of the new system has definitely be softened. However, major damage has been done following the UK Border Agency’s intervention, with the UK losing many international students to the USA and Australia. We’re confident that the new approach from the UK Border Agency and shift in attitude signals a new era and offers real hope that the UK Border Agency is finally beginning to consider all the variables at play and making informed decisions when deciding policy. Hopefully we can now move on and secure the UK’s reputation for a fine education as well as begin to repair the damage to the sector’s reputation.

Tier 4 Policy Guidance: The Highly Trusted Sponsor Scheme

What is Highly Trusted Sponsorship?

The principle of sponsorship – whereby those who benefit most directly from the great contributions migrants make to the United Kingdom (employers and education institutions) are expected to play their part in ensuring our migration system is not abuse – is an integral part of the skilled, temporary work and student tiers of the Points Based System for managed migration.

The new Highly Trusted sponsor category is a further segmentation of the existing sponsor rating system designed to identify those sponsors who are achieving the highest levels of compliance with their sponsor obligations and whose students are showing the greatest compliance with the terms of their visa or leave.

Those holding a “Highly Trusted sponsor” licence will be granted additional freedoms and offered new services to recognise their previous track record of good compliance.

The new Tier 4 Highly Trusted sponsor licence will be launched on 6 April 2010 Sponsors under Tiers 2 and 5 will be able to apply later in the year.

A Highly Trusted sponsor licence will be awarded to sponsors who apply for a licence and can demonstrate full compliance with their sponsor duties over a period of time and who meet the criteria set out. There will be a number of benefits offered to sponsors who qualify as Highly Trusted.

Highly Trusted sponsors will be expected to meet the published Highly Trusted criteria throughout the period they are licensed as Highly Trusted.

Why is the Highly Trusted Sponsor Scheme being Introduced?

The Highly Trusted sponsors licence is designed as recognition of those sponsors who are achieving the highest levels of compliance with their sponsor obligations and whose students are showing the greatest compliance with the terms of their visa or leave.

By identifying those sponsors who are achieving high levels of compliance the UK Border Agency can both target their resources elsewhere on areas of higher risk, and can provide additional services and freedoms which recognise the good track record demonstrated by Highly Trusted sponsors thus far.

The Highly Trusted Sponsor scheme will cut red tape for sponsors who qualify and allow our systems to monitor the others more thoroughly.

Why should Schools and Colleges apply for a Highly Trusted Sponsor Licence?

There are a number of benefits to being a Highly Trusted sponsor. These are:

  • the ability to offer a wider range of courses below degree level as follows:
    • courses at National Qualifications Framework (NQF) level 3 (and equivalent); and
    • courses below degree level (excluding foundation degrees) which include work placements;
  • the ability to assign additional confirmation of acceptance for studies to students who have already undertaken two re-sits providing the re-sit has been approved via your internal panels and boards who authorise additional re-sits in exceptional circumstances. The UK Border Agency retains the right to seek further information if unusual patterns are detected in this area;
  • a more flexible approach to reporting student non-attendance replacing the ’10 expected contacts’ requirement will be the ability to:
    • report non-enrolments as per the current guidance;
    • report any students who formally withdraw from their studies within 10 days as per the current guidance;
    • undertake (at least) two further re-registrations, spaced evenly throughout the academic year and report withdrawals within 10 days of the re-registration process.
  • account management provisions. Each sponsor account manager will manage a portfolio of sponsors and will act as a single point of contact with the assurance of at least one annual visit per year and the option for further services.
  • The UK Border Agency will work with Highly Trusted sponsors in the coming months to identify further service offerings.

What are the Criteria for a Highly Trusted Sponsor Licence?

An application for a Tier 4 Highly Trusted sponsor licence will be assessed against nine criteria. Unless otherwise stated, the sponsor’s performance in the preceding 12 months will be measured against the nine criteria and values set out below:

  1. the sponsor must have a minimum of six months as an A (trusted) sponsor, must at the time of application be rated as A (trusted) for all tiers for which they hold a licence;
  2. the sponsor must have in place recruitment practices to ensure as far as possible genuine students only are accepted and issued with confirmation of acceptance for studies – UK Border Agency will expect sponsors to have acted upon the published guidance and ‘Tier 4 sponsor recruitment practices – Information Sharing’ where recruitment issues are identified;
  3. the sponsor must not have been issued with a civil penalty in the last three years and any civil penalty issued prior to that must have been paid in full;
  4. the sponsor must have in place practices to minimise the number of refusals of leave for migrants applying with a confirmation of acceptance for studies. The UK Border Agency are not publishing a target percentage rate for refusals at this time and will instead look at how far refusal rates deviate from the ‘norm’ for that location and part of the sector. The UK Border Agency expect to be able to publish a clearer statement of their expectations on refusals in due course.
  5. UKBA is concerned about the risk of those who seek to use the student route to enter the UK but have no intention to study. To minimise the occurrence of such abuse of the system, the sponsor must ensure potential students are vetted thoroughly before issuing a confirmation of acceptance for studies. The UK Border Agency expect no more than 2% of the total number of ‘students’ issued with entry clearance (or Leave to Remain) for the sponsoring institution and who have entered or remain in the UK to have not enrolled within 1 month of the course commencing.
  6. Once enrolled, the sponsor must take all reasonable steps to ensure that the students they sponsor will attend and complete their course of study. Please note that any sponsored students who have moved to a different institution, or who have definitely left the United Kingdom or who have applied to switch to a different immigration category are not included in this measure. This measure is cumulative against the original number enrolled as follows:
    • more than 1% of those ceasing their course within 33% of the course duration;
    • more than 2% of those ceasing their studies within 66% of their course duration;
    • more than 3 % of those enrolled who have failed to complete their course;
  7. No more than 5% total number of students sponsored who have been granted leave under Tier 4, and, for those overseas, who have travelled to the UK, must have failed to enrol or failed to complete the course
  8. A sponsor must ensure attendance or progression monitoring is completed in accordance with their sponsor duties; and / or accreditation requirements.
  9. There must not have been any serious concerns raised following a UK Border Agency sponsor inspections in the previous 12 months.

This detailed look at the scheme follows our announcement of the launch of the Highly Trusted Sponsor Scheme on 22 March 2010.

Tier 4 Highly Trusted Sponsor Scheme Launched

The highly anticipated Highly Trusted Sponsor programme for education providers in the UK was officially launched on 22 March 2010.

Since yesterday when the scheme went live, sponsors under Tier 4 of the points based system have been able to apply for a Highly Trusted Sponsor licence and to be included on the Register of Highly Trusted Sponsors, due to be first published 6 April 2010.

Under Tier 4 of the points based system, education providers are given an A or B rating according to their track record and systems and procedures for monitoring student migrants once in the UK. The Highly Trust Sponsor list seeks to build on this current rating system.

However, the scheme is not about academic performance of education providers but instead about immigration and border control. For a sponsor to be granted a Highly Trusted Sponsor licence, schools and colleges will be required to have a proven track record in recruiting genuine students who conform to all immigrations rules when they apply and during their time in the UK.

The UK Border Agency announced their intention to keep a closer eye on sponsors through the new scheme – bureaucracy will be reduced for Highly Trusted Sponsors, freeing more resources to be used in the fight against those that wish to abuse the system. Tight minimum standards will be required by the UK Border Agency and any slip-up will see Highly Trusted Sponsors having their licences permanently withdrawn.

For those schools and colleges that remain on the General Register of Sponsors, they will be greatly limited in the courses they will be allowed to offer to student migrants. In conclusion, schools and colleges who are given Highly Trusted Sponsors licences will feel the immediate pressure of the UK Border Agency reduced, with more flexible working arrangements.

More details on the Highly Trusted Sponsors Scheme to follow shortly.

Tier 4 Policy Guidance: The Highly Trusted Sponsor Scheme

UK Ban on Visas for Indian Students Lifted

The UK has lifted a ban on student visas for applicants from Northern India. The ban was introduced last month after a surge in applications from this region.

Pat McFadden, Minister for Business, Innovation and Skills, said, “I am delighted to be able to announce today that from 1 March this suspension will be lifted for all students wanting to study higher education courses, whether foundation degrees, undergraduate or postgraduate.”

The suspension will remain in place for students wanting to study at lower levels, including short-term language courses.

Since the end of January 2010, all Indian Tier 4 (General) Student visa applications were suspended.