From 4 July 2011 (as updated on 07 Apr 2019), UK Visas & Immigration (Home Office) has introduced differentiation arrangements for students of certain nationalities that they deem to be low risk, and their visa application process is simplified in that they require much less documentary evidence to be submitted with their Tier 4 visa application. ( For TIER 4 Dependants requirements, please read the information at the bottom on the page)
A Tier 4 student qualifies for the differentiation arrangements if he/she:
- is sponsored by a sponsor with Tier 4 Sponsor status (the University of Warwick has Tier 4 Sponsor status); and
- is applying for entry clearance in his/her country of nationality, country of residence, or for leave to remain in the UK; and
- is a national of (i.e., hold a passport of):
- The Dominican Republic
- New Zealand
- South Korea
- United Arab Emirates
- United States of America
Where an applicant is a dual national, and only one of their nationalities is listed above, they will be able to apply using the different documentary requirements that apply to these nationals, provided they are applying either for entry clearance in the country or territory where the applicant is living or for leave to remain in the UK.
An applicant will be subject to different documentary requirements under Tier 4 of the Points Based System where they are the rightful holder of a passport, which has been issued by one of the relevant competent authorities listed below, and where the applicant is applying either for entry clearance in the country or territory where they are living or for leave to remain in the UK.
- British National (Overseas)
- Hong Kong
- Macau SAR
- Taiwan (those who hold a passport issued by Taiwan that includes the number of the identification card issued by the competent authority in Taiwan).
This list of low risk nationalities will normally be reviewed on an annual basis.
Documents that you are NOT required to submit with your visa application if you meet the above criteria:
- Evidence of finances,
- Academic qualifications,
- English language certificate (SELT),
- Evidence of academic progression (successful completion of the previous course in the UK while holding a Tier 4 visa)
You will, however, be required to confirm on your application form that you meet the requirements set out in the Policy Guidance and that you hold the documentary evidence in the format required.
If you submitted any or all of the above documents, your visa application will be considered on the basis of the documents submitted and your visa application may be refused if any of the documents do not meet the requirement (for example, if it is evident that monies have not been held for 28 days). If you submitted partial evidence (for example, you submitted financial documents but not academic qualification), the caseworker will use discretion when considering your application and will require full documentation if they consider necessary.
Documents that you are still required to submit with your visa application:
- TB certificate (if required by your nationality / recent country of residence)
- ATAS certificate (if a conditional of your offer or enrolled on a science/technology based course which requires ATAS)
- Police Registration Certificate (if you have previous studied in the UK and are required to register with the Police)
- BRP card (if you have previously studied in the UK and have a Biometric Residence Permit)
- Financial Sponsor's unconditional consent letter (if fully sponsored by a government or an international scholarship agency over the last 12 months)
- Parental consent if you are under the age of 18 on the date of application
- English translation if any of the above document is not written in English language
Information for Dependants of a low risk national
If you are the dependant of a Tier 4 Student who qualifies for the UKVI's differentiation arrangements because you are considered to be “low risk”, you will be required to provide fewer evidential documents when submitting your application. Where you are exempted from having to provide a document - or a group of documents - under the UKVI differentiation arrangements, this will be specifically stated in their guidance. The Home Office reserves the right to request these
documents from you in all cases.
You qualify for the UKVI's differentiation arrangements if:
- The Tier 4 student is sponsored by a Tier 4 Sponsor; and
- You are applying for leave at the same time as the Tier 4 student; and
- You are applying for entry clearance in your country of residence or for leave to remain, in the UK; and
- You and the Tier 4 student are both nationals of one of the countries listed at Appendix H of the Immigration Rules. You can check this by clicking here
The Home Office will sometimes ask a low risk national to send them the documentary evidence (random check or where you have complex immigration history/security concerns/criminal records). They will usually give you 7-10 working days to provide the documents. Failure to provide the evidence when requested by the Home Office will result in your application being refused.
- If dependents are not applying at the same time as the student, then they will not qualify as 'low risk applicants'.
- If two low risk applicants apply together (e.g. a husband from Argentina and a wife from Brunei) they must be of the same nationality to qualify as 'low risk applicants'.
Please note that if you will be submitting your application through the Immigration Service (for student already in the UK) ('Application Checking Service') we will require you to provide all documentary evidence (including the ones that you are not required to submit) at the time you submit your application with us.