The month of September is often the start of a new academic year for many – for some parents, the start of the school year was a welcome relief especially if they had to juggle business and home-schooling duties.
The COVID-19 pandemic has also caused many international families to look at getting their children into the UK education system much sooner than originally planned. After all, a significant part of the UK university experience is the culture and relationships that are generated through academic study. If universities are looking to provide education via long-distance learning methods then there will be limited opportunities for students when it comes to culture and relationships.
Historically, international families could utilise the Tier 4 (General) or Tier 4 (Child) routes when it came to sending their children to the UK for educational purposes. Tier 4 (Child) allowed those under the age of 18 to come into the UK and study whilst Tier 4 (General) was for those aged 18 or over. These routes will be closing on 05 October 2020 and new student and child student rules will be introduced.
There are a couple of significant changes to the new rules, namely that:
- There will be increased opportunities for switching from the study route into the points-based system
- The eight year time limit on studying courses at postgraduate level have been removed
- Students will only be required to prove their English language ability once
For many families, planning for your child's education may have to start much sooner than expected. Securing immigration advice so that you are aware of the requirements, restrictions and milestones will ensure that your child is in the best position both in terms of their academic achievements and life ambitions.