Tier 4 UK Student Visa – Botswana and Malaysia added to list of low risk countries effective 1 Oct 2012

Botswana and Malaysia added to the list of low risk countries for Tier 4 UK student visas with effect from 1 October 2012

As part of the Changes to the Immigration Rules laid before Parliament on 5 September 2012, the UKBA has introduced changes to the list of low risk countries for the purpose of Tier 4 of the points-based system. Botswana and Malaysia will be added to the list of low-risk countries with effect from 1 October 2012.

Annex H of the immigration rules lists the countries and regions from which
applicants are subject to different documentary requirements under Tier 4 of the Points
Based System. The UK Border Agency has reviewed the list, re-assessing countries
against a range of risk and compliance criteria, and concluded that two additional
countries merit addition to the list on the basis of the high levels of compliance of their
students: Botswana and Malaysia.

From 1 October 2012, the low risk nationalities are:

British national (overseas) or a national of one of the countries below:

  • Argentina
  • Australia
  • Botswana (01/10/2012)
  • Brunei
  • Canada
  • Chile
  • Croatia
  • Hong Kong
  • Japan
  • Malaysia (01/10/2012)
  • New Zealand
  • Singapore
  • South Korea
  • Taiwan (if you hold a passport issued by Taiwan that includes the number of the identification card issued by the competent authority in Taiwan)
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • USA

Please note that to be considered ‘low risk’, you must be sponsored by a Highly Trusted Sponsor, and you must be already in the UK or applying for a Tier 4 visa in your country of nationality. Examples: 1) if you are a citizen of Argentina but your sponsor is not a Highly Trusted Sponsor, you are not considered to be ‘low risk’. 2) If you are a citizen of Malaysia and submit your application on or after 1 October 2012 but you submit this in France, you are not considered to be ‘low risk’ (had you submitted it in Malaysia, you would have been considered ‘low risk’). You can check if your education provider is a Highly Trusted Sponsor on the UKBA Sponsor Register here.

What does this mean?

In a nutshell, if you are a ‘low risk national’ you will not (not) normally be required to submit the following documents in support of your Tier 4 student application:

– certificates or documents used by the Tier 4 sponsor to assess academic ability, for example: qualifications, transcripts, and/or references
– English language tests or documents used by the Tier 4 sponsor to assess English language ability (for example a Secure English Language Test (SELT))
– documentary evidence of their funds, for example:
– bank statements
– building society passbooks
– loan letters, and/or
– (for Tier 4 (General) applicants) evidence of relationship to a parent or legal guardian who is providing financial sponsorship.

The remaining documents still have to be provided.

Does this mean that I don’t have to have the documents listed in the previous paragraph?

No. Even though you are not (not) normally required to send them with your application, you will still need them. The application includes a signed declaration that you have the evidence, and UKBA can ask for it. UKBA will typically still request these documents if:

– there is an entry under the police national computer or internal UK Border Agency security checks;
– the student’s nationality is removed from the list of ‘low risk’ nationalities or;
– UKBA chooses to make a random check on documents.

If UKBA requests that you send the documents, they will ask for them in writing. Failure to provide them will result in refusal. If you are aware that your are on the polic national computer, or if you have previously been refused visas, we would recommend that you include the documents listed above to avoid delays.

For further information about the Changes to the Immigration Rules laid before Parliament on 5 September 2012, please visit the UKBA website here.

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