Educational Institutions – enrolling foreign students

Since introduction of the New Point Base System in February 2008 all Educational Institutions wishing to recruit international students (from Non EU Countries) are under a legal obligation to obtain a sponsorship licence and be entered on a publicly available Registers of Sponsors which would enable them to sponsor any international students from outside EU.

If you are a student from the EU or Switzerland then you are free to enter into the UK to study under the free movement rights.

How and where to apply for a licence?

Initially the prospective Educational Institution would need to be accredited by one of the approved accredited assessment agent by the Home Office to obtain the status of a bona fide Educational Institution in the UK. Once the Educational Institution achieves it accreditation status then they could progress to the next step of applying for a Licence to Sponsor Non EU students to UKBA which is entirely a different process.

What if the educational institutions decide not to apply for the licence?

Every year students all over the world and also from EU countries come to the UK for higher education,  further education, study English or to attend private schools. Collectively they are worth of approximately £5 billion a year for the UK economy.  They are a key factor in the economic sustainability of many UK Educational Institutions, and enable bright young people from abroad to develop lifelong ties with the UK, which are of long term- benefit to the country. Educational Institutions will suffer economic loss if they do not take immediate steps to get their institutions registered for a licence. If they fail to get themselves registered as sponsors then they would be deprived from having the privilege of recruiting foreign international students from Non EU countries to pursue a course in their institution.

What happens if the application is refused?

The Educational Institution will not be able to recruit a Non EU student to study in their institution.

What happens if the application is approve?

The Educational Institution will be granted with a licence and the details would be entered into the Registers of Sponsors. The Educational Institution will be granted with either with a A-Rated Licence or B-Rated Licence.  If the Educational Institution is granted with a Grade B licence then it would be under the Home Office constant inspections and an action plan would be drawn for the Educational Institution to comply with the requirements stated therein. The Educational Institution that satisfies the action plan to Home Office would be entitled for an upgrade to A- Rated Licence. However if the Educational Institution fails to satisfy the action plan within 12 months then it would lose its B-Rated Licence.

If the Educational Institutions is granted with A – Rated Licence

Can the Educational Institutions lose their A Rated licence?

An Educational Institution can lose its A-Rated licence if they fail to comply with their Sponsor duties or if there has been any abuse of their sponsorship and fail to continue maintaining a proper system in place after obtaining the A-Rated Licence. If an Educational establishment loses its licence, then it will also lose all the Non EU students obtained under that licence. The Educational Institutions will be barred from recruiting foreign international students from Non EU countries. The Educational Institution may also face a difficult task convincing the UK Borders Agency to approve a future application.

Prospective Students in the UK

The UK Borders Agency now requires all Non EU students who wish to study in the UK to obtain sufficient “points” to qualify for Entry Clearance. This rule is mandatory irrespective of the fact that you may be from a visa national or a non visa national country. The prospective student must ensure that the placement offered to them is in fact from a bona fide institution educational institution with a A-Grade Licence, which listed in the Sponsorships Register. Your application will be under the Tier 4 of the Point Base System when you apply for initial application or extension subsequently and it would be classified as in country application for student visa. However your Prospective Student Visa category itself is not within the Points Based System.

How can we help you?

We can offer a package service to your students intake by processing all your students visa applications, advice and represent you in any refusal from the British High Commission from abroad; we can represent your students in the Administrative Review before the Entry Clearance Manager or for a full listed hearing before the Immigration and Asylum Chambers; assist you with your licence application with UKBA and compliance in relation to your “Sponsor Duties”.  

Affiliate Relationship with Educational Establishments in the UK

We would be interested in establishing an affiliate relationship with A rated Educational Institutions in the UK. We could act as an agent and sign post international students to your Education Institution. Please refer to our affiliate section for further details.