During recent training sessions and Tier 4 compliance audits, a number of discussion points have arisen and the main issues are summarised below.

Confirmation on the requirements of issuing a single CAS

Tier 4 Sponsors are reminded that, where a student meets the requirements and is issued a single CAS, sponsors must test the student’s English language level to ensure that the student has reached B2 before the student is allowed onto the main course. Students who do not reach B2 must have their sponsorship withdrawn.

Change in course length after commencing studies

Tier 4 Sponsors need to ensure that the student’s total length of study in the UK is assessed before offers to switch in-country are confirmed to ensure that students will be able to complete the course within the Home Office’s time limits for study below and above degree level.

End date of the course

The Home Office has provided extra information in the sponsor guidance in relation to the end date that must be used on a Confirmation of Acceptance of Studies (CAS). The guidance should therefore be reviewed and a CAS should only be issued in line with this guidance. The Current Tier 4 guidance states that:

“The course end date is the date by which the student is expected to have completed all academic elements of the course – taught sessions, examinations including meetings with examination boards, assessments, including oral assessments and other formal assessments, and writing and submitting dissertations or theses. In the case of PhD students, academic elements include writing and correcting theses and oral (viva) examinations, provided the sponsor is satisfied that they can continue to carry out their sponsor duties for the student.”

Sponsors that repeatedly give course end dates that are significantly later than students are expected to complete their studies will be considered to be in breach of sponsorship duties and risk action being taken against their sponsor licence.

Judicial Review (JR) by students

Students who submit an application for Judicial Review have not extended their leave by virtue of 3C or 3D leave. As a reminder, students who do not have valid permission to study or 3C or 3D leave cannot study. Sponsors who continue to teach students who do not have valid leave risk action being taken against their sponsor licence.