Revised versions of the policy guidance for tier 4 of the points-based system, and of the PBS dependants policy guidance, have now been published.
The key changes that are included in the revised guidance are highlighted below:
|Issue||Changes from 1 June|
|Proof of availability of finances – transitional arrangements||There are transitional arrangements in place that allow applicants to show they have the money needed to meet the maintenance requirements of tier 4, on the day that they apply, rather than for a period of 28 days prior to their application.
These transitional arrangements have been extended and will remain available to applicants until 30 September 2009.
|Proof of availability of finances – loan documentation||The policy guidance allows applicants to provide a letter from an appropriately regulated financial institution confirming availability of funds in the form of a loan.
Slight revisions have been made to the required content of these loan letters, to allow for the fact that they will not always include an applicant’s account number.
|Official financial sponsorship||Prior to 1 June 2009, there was no provision for a tier 4 migrant’s official financial sponsor to extend their financial sponsorship to the family members of the tier 4 migrant.
From 1 June 2009 a tier 4 migrant’s official financial sponsor will be permitted to extend their financial sponsorship to cover the tier 4 migrant’s dependants.
|Electronic signatures on visa letters||Visa letters must be signed and dated by an authorised official (original or electronic signature).
The policy guidance has been revised to clarify that either a digital signature or a scanned signature will be accepted as an ‘electronic signature’ for these purposes.
|Maintenance requirements – inner and outer London||Applicants who will be studying in inner London are required to show a higher level of funds to cover their living costs than those who will be studying outside London.
The definition of who the higher maintenance requirements apply to has not changed. The guidance has however been altered to clarify the fact that the higher maintenance requirements apply only to those who will be studying in inner London and that applicants who will be studying in outer London or elsewhere in the United Kingdom, will be assessed against the lower requirements.
|Date of application||The date of your application will be taken to be the following:
For applications made in the United Kingdom:
For applications made outside the United Kingdom: