UK partially lifts visa restrictions for north Indian students

. While students may apply for Tier-4 visas in North India with immediate effect, the UK Border Agency will lift on August 12 the suspension on the remaining courses below graduation, with the exception of English language courses.

The agency will continue to review the suspension of visas for students of English language courses, said a statement issued by the British High Commission here. The announcement follows partial lifting of the suspension on visa applications for students of foundation degrees and degree and postgraduate courses.

Also on August 12, the UK agency will introduce a secure English language test requirement for Tier 4 (general student) visas worldwide. Applicants who are studying courses below degree-level, excluding foundation degrees and English language courses, need to pass the English language test.

This test must be taken with a UK Border Agency-approved provider before the applicant applies for a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies from the education sponsor. All applicants who make Tier 4 (general student) visa applications to study the above courses from August 12 and using a CAS issued from this date will need to pass the new English language test.

The temporary suspension of all new Tier 4 applications came into effect on February 1, 2010, in three application centres in North India: Jalandhar, Chandigarh and New Delhi. The suspension was partially lifted on March 2 for foundation degrees and postgraduate courses.

A foundation degree means a programme of study which leads to a qualification awarded by a UK higher education institution.

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