Agreement Reached and Policy on London Metropolitan Current Students

Following the revocation of London Metropolitan’s (London Met) Sponsorship Licence, students from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) who are currently studying or are planning to study there under Tier 4 of the points-based system can continue studying at the university until their course has ended or the end of the academic year, whichever is soonest, as long as they meet the right standards.

Students who do not hold valid leave or do not meet the UKBA’s immigration criteria will not be allowed to stay. Further information is detailed below.

Taskforce
A taskforce has been created, which includes the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), Universities UK, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), the UK Border Agency and the National Union of Students. The top priority of the taskforce is to ensure that all London Metropolitan University students are given the help and advice they need. The taskforce will do all it can to support those affected. This includes, if necessary, helping existing appropriately qualified international students to find places at other education providers where they can continue to study.

The UKBA have staff members based in the help centre at London Metropolitan University to support and advise students.

Student Options:
If you are an existing student at London Metropolitan University with a Tier 4 visa you can stay on at London Metropolitan University if you wish to do so, until your course or the academic year has ended (whichever is soonest), as long as you meet the Tier 4 requirements and the London Metropolitan University wishes to keep teaching you.

By 12 October 2012, the UK Border Agency are writing to all students who are present in the UK and have current leave to study at London Metropolitan University under Tier 4 of the points-based system . You must confirm whether you:

– wish to continue studying at London Metropolitan University;
– wish to transfer to another sponsor; or
– intend to end your studies and leave the UK.

You must complete the form sent with the UKBA letter, download the form or contact us to get a copy of the form, and email the completed form to them by 31 October 2012.

If you confirm that you wish to continue your studies at London Metropolitan University, the University will be asked to confirm your attendance, progression and English language requirements. If you meet these requirements, you will be exceptionally permitted to continue your studies, and will receive written confirmation of this.

If you wish to transfer to a different education supplier your application will be considered under the processes that were established following revocation of London Metropolitan University’s licence. That process is detailed below.

If you indicate that you wish to leave the UK you will have your leave curtailed (shortened) to 31 January 2013 and you will be allowed to make suitable arrangements to leave the UK.

If you are on holiday outside the UK and are granted the concession to continue studying at London Metropolitan University and have valid Tier 4 leave you can return to the UK within the current academic year.

If you have a confirmation of acceptance for studies (CAS) from London Metropolitan University and have applied for a Tier 4 visa, the UK Border Agency will write directly to you by 12 October 2012. Again, you will be asked to confirm whether you:

– wish to start or continue your course of study at London Metropolitan University;
– wish to change your application to study with another sponsor; or
– intend to withdraw your application and leave the UK.
You will need to respond by 31 October 2012.

If you are in the process of applying to extend your current visa and don’t have a CAS to study at the London Metropolitan University, the University will contact the UKBA if you need to extend your visa to complete your course.

The UK Border Agency will then write to you to confirm that you wish to complete your course at London Metropolitan University, and request that you complete a Tier 4 application form. Full instructions will be included with the letter.

Finding a new Tier 4 sponsor
If you want to change sponsor, you must arrange for your new Tier 4 sponsor to issue you with a confirmation of acceptance for studies (CAS).

You must apply for leave to remain using the Tier 4 application form (version 10/12) and post this form to:

PO Box 492
London Met
Durham
DH99 1WU

    Do not use the address on the application form.

The department for Business, Innovation and Skills will cover the cost of your application. You do not need to make a payment. We can help you to complete that application.

If your new sponsor is a Highly Trusted Sponsor you can commence your studies as soon as they issue you with a CAS, but you must submit your application for leave to remain as soon as possible and in all instances before your existing leave to remain expires. If you are successful, you will then be able to continue your studies in the UK with this new education provider.

If your new education provider does not receive state funding (known as a ‘privately funded education provider’), you will lose some of the rights, including work rights, you may have had when studying at London Metropolitan University.

How to Meet the Tier 4 requirements
If you are moving to study with a new sponsor, be aware that the Tier 4 requirements may have changed since your original application. For example, English language requirements changed in 2011. The requirement to provide a Secure English Language Test certificate depends on where, and at what level, you plan to study.

The maintenance requirement:
You will need to show that you have the normal amount of maintenance for a Tier 4 visa application in the UK but you, and your dependants, will not need to show that you have held this money for 28 consecutive days if you:

– need to make a new application in the UK;
– are mid-course at London Metropolitan University; and
were not expecting to have to make a new application because your existing permission to stay covered the next part of your course.
– In all other circumstances, you must show that you have held the required money for 28 days.

If you are sponsored by London Metropolitan University but are studying at another education provider that is in partnership with it, London Metropolitan University can continue to sponsor you until your course or the academic year has ended, whichever is sooner – as long as you meet the Tier 4 requirements. Both the London Metropolitan University and the partner institution must be willing to keep teaching you. The partner institution may wish to sponsor you instead. If so, it must issue you with a confirmation of acceptance for studies (CAS) and you must apply to us to extend your current visa.

If the partner institution does not issue you with a new CAS, your position will be the same as for existing students at London Metropolitan University.

If you are a postgraduate student and about to deliver your final dissertation
If you are about to hand in your final dissertation, or you had just done so before London Metropolitan University’s licence was withdrawn, you can have your dissertation marked (through written material or orally) and receive your degree.

If you brought members of your family to the UK with you, please be aware that In 2011 the UKBA changed the rules so that students can only bring family members to the UK if they are:

– financially sponsored by an overseas government on a course lasting six months or more; or
– studying at or above master’s degree level (or another course at National Qualification Framework level 7) for 12 months or more.

There are transitional arrangements to allow students who brought family with them under the old rules to keep these dependants with them until the end of their current course.

As an exception, the UKBA will extend these transitional arrangements to you if you:

– already have family with you in the UK as points-based system (PBS) dependants;
– need to make a new application in the UK;
– are mid-course at London Metropolitan University; and
– need to start a new course.

In all other circumstances, the UKBA will apply the normal rules on who can have family members with them in the UK.

If you do not have a current, valid visa the UKBA will take action to remove you from the UK.

Student visitor visas
You cannot apply to continue your studies on a student visitor visa while you are still in the UK. You can only apply for visitor visas from outside the UK.

If you are a new student who is planning to travel to the UK soon to start studying at London Metropolitan University, you should cancel your travel plans. London Metropolitan University should already have told you this.

A visa officer at the embassy or high commission where you made your application should contact you soon to give you advice on what to do.

If you cannot find another education provider to sponsor you, we can discuss with you if you may be able to apply to switch into a different immigration category, for example one of the categories for working in the UK. Otherwise, you will be expected to leave the UK.

If you have any comments or queries, please comment below or on our Facebook or twitter page. Otherwise, please do not hesitate to contact us on 0845 126 1350 where one of our advisors will be happy to help.

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