Is your Tier 4 (General) Student visa expiring before receiving your degree certificate? You may still be eligible to switch immigration categories to Tier 2 (General).
To be eligible to switch immigration categories from a Tier 4 (General) Student to a Tier 2 (General) Migrant, students were previously required to provide sufficient evidence that they have successfully completed and passed their course at the institution of their Tier 4 sponsor.
However, in accordance with paragraph 245HD (d)(i) of the Immigration Rules, students are now required to provide evidence that they have completed their course, having sat all exams and presented all academic papers (unless studying a PhD course where confirmation of 12 months’ study during their last period of leave is required). Therefore, students who have not yet received official confirmation from their sponsor that they have passed their course, may still be able to proceed to submit their applications under this category by submitting evidence that they have completed their course.
It is not uncommon that Tier 4 Students will receive their degree certificates months after completing their courses. Paragraph 245HD (d)(i) of the Immigration Rules now enables Tier 4 (General) Students to switch categories in the UK to a Tier 2 (General) category at an earlier stage. Subsequently, this can be beneficial for those wanting to “start the clock” for Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK on the basis of spending a continuous period of 5 years in the UK as a Tier 2 (General) Migrant.
When making an application to switch categories from a Tier 4 (General) Student to a Tier 2 (General) Migrant on the basis of completing a course with their Tier 4 Sponsor, this can be sufficiently evidenced by providing either of the following documents with an application:
- Original degree certificate; or
- Original academic transcripts; or
- Original academic reference.
If relying on an academic reference, this must clearly demonstrate all sufficient information required by the Home Office.
Please note, to be eligible to make an application under the Tier 2 (General) category, an applicant must meet all eligibility requirements of the Immigration Rules.
Should you have any queries in respect of the above, please do not hesitate to contact us.
The information in this blog is for general information purposes only and does not purport to be comprehensive or to provide legal advice. Whilst every effort is made to ensure the information and law is current as of the date of publication it should be stressed that, due to the passage of time, this does not necessarily reflect the present legal position. Gherson accepts no responsibility for loss which may arise from accessing or reliance on information contained in this blog. For formal advice on the current law please don’t hesitate to contact Gherson. Legal advice is only provided pursuant to a written agreement, identified as such, and signed by the client and by or on behalf of Gherson.