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South and City College Birmingham is one of the biggest and most successful government-funded colleges in the UK, ideally located in its second-biggest city, Birmingham.

Over 20,000 students a year choose to study with us, including international students from all around the world. We are a Student Route visa Sponsor so you can rest assured that you are in safe hands. 

Student Route visa to replace Tier 4 visa

Student Route will replace Tier 4 in the new UK's Points-Based Immigration System. Introduced in October 2020, it will also apply to EU students from 1 January 2021.

What does this mean?

New Points-Based System for Immigration

The Home Office has released a statement of changes to be laid before Parliament which outlines the intent to close the Tier 4 visa route and replace it with ‘Student’ routes.

The statement of changes sets out the aim to simplify the student route with the incorporation of European Economic Area students, and specific changes to the entry requirements for this route.

EU, EEA and Swiss nationals

EU (alongside EEA and Swiss) citizens who arrive before the end of the transition period on 31 December 2020, and relevant family members, will be eligible for the EU Settlement Scheme. They have until 30 June 2021 to make an application under that scheme.

EU citizens who do not qualify under EU Settlement Scheme (or other routes protected by the Withdrawal Agreement) arriving in the UK from 1 January 2021 will need to apply and qualify for entry or stay on the same basis as non-EU citizens.

EU citizens will therefore need to get a visa for all activities other than short-term visits and all EU citizens coming to the UK for more than six months will be able to prove other rights and entitlements via online services.

Most EU citizens will not need to attend a Visa Application Centre (VAC) to enrol their biometrics and will instead provide facial images using a smartphone self-enrollment application form.

EU students will need to apply for the new Student route if they arrive in the UK after 31 December 2020. The Home Office has published a useful introductory guide on the new PBS https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/uk-points-based-immigration-system-eu-student-information Immigration System specifically tailored to EU students.

Student route

The new Points-Based System Student route visa will replace the current Tier 4 visa. The Student route comes into effect at 9:00 am (British Time) on 5 October 2020.

It will affect Student and Student dependent applications made on or after then, regardless of the date on which a CAS was assigned. Applicants who have a valid CAS issued before 5 October at 9:00 under the Tier 4 route will be able to use it for an application under the Student route.

EU nationals can apply for entry clearance applications from 5 October 2020, for entry to the UK from 1 January 2021. Unlike other applicants, they will be granted a 'secure digital status' only, not a vignette or BRP. As part of their visa application, they will not be required to submit evidence to show that they meet the financial requirements or provide their academic qualifications used to obtain an offer of study. The Home Office however retains the right to request sight of these documents.

It is hoped that the Student Route will be more streamlined for the sponsor and for the student. Students will require a total of 70 (non-tradeable) points to be granted leave. Points will be awarded for meeting the requirements of the route, which comprise of the sponsorship requirements, English language requirements and maintenance/finance requirements.

Full Privileges

We have access to the full privileges of Student Route HEP with a proven track record is one whose Student Route students may be granted conditions of leave which may, depending on the level and length of the course that is being undertaken, include:

  • Permission to work for a certain number of hours per week.
  • The ability to be granted further Student Route leave from within the UK.
  • The ability to bring dependants to the UK.
  • Students will be able to apply for permission to come to the UK six months before the start of their course
  • Students will no longer be required to demonstrate maintenance funds if they have already met the maintenance rules for their current visa and have been supporting themselves in the United Kingdom for more than 12 months

The conditions of leave you will gain will be based on the level and length of the course being studied, to remain consistent with how these conditions are offered at present. For example, students will be entitled to work for 20 hours per week only if they are studying at degree level or above. For more information regarding the student route visa, please click here

We welcome applications from international students looking to achieve a vocational qualification or develop their English Language skills. You will find the college to be a fun and friendly place to learn and Birmingham an exciting place to live.

The dedicated International Team are here to help answer any questions you may have about the courses on offer or the application process, including applying for your visa. From the menu on the left, you will find lots of information to help you.

Mike Hopkins our principal has written a welcome letter for you, to download it click here pdf

We look forward to hearing from you once you have taken a look at the courses on offer

Additional Information

If you apply for a visa or enter the UK as a visitor on or after 9 am on 1 December 2020.

You will be able to study for up to six months at an accredited institution (not at a state-funded school or academy)

You will need to prove that you have enough money to cover all reasonable costs

Birmingham is such a relaxed place to study, the college staff are really helpful and welcoming here...

International Student