Services for UK Educational Institutions

In February 2008 the UK introduced a strict new five Tier Points Based System of managed migration. Students are Tier 4 of the new system. The UK Borders Agency (UKBA) will require non EEA students wishing to come to study in the UK to be sponsored by an accredited Educational Institution. All Educational Institutions will need to obtain a License from UKBA and be entered on a publicly available Register of Sponsors before they can legally sponsor a student from outside the EEA. Applications to join the Sponsor Register in the UK as a Sponsored Migrant are now open.

No Educational Institution can afford to lose time in preparing for the changes or to ignore the impact of the new system on their business.

All Educational Institutions must be accredited by a recognised body to show that they are a bona fide educational institution. Only once they are accredited can they take the next step and apply for a Licence to Sponsor non EEA students Registering as a Sponsor with UKBA is different to the accreditation process.

As the Sponsor Register opens, over 2,000 educational institutions joined it, which could create long queues. The timetable is not in line with the academic year so early planning is crucial. Failure to be ready will lead to unnecessary delays whilst systems are brought up to scratch, which could damage your business.

The Benefits of Accreditation

Any unaccredited institutions will need to seek accreditation with one of the three approved accreditation bodies as early as possible, in order to ensure that they know what they need to do and to prepare for the accreditation. All private education providers will need to be accredited by one of a limited number of Agency-approved accreditation bodies before they can qualify for as sponsors.

On 24th March 2010 UK Border Agency has announced details of the newly launched ‘Highly Trusted Sponsor Scheme’ for education providers under Tier 4 of the points-based system.

Tier 4 sponsors can now apply for a Highly Trusted Sponsor licence, and the register of highly trusted sponsors will go live on Tuesday 6 April 2010.

Under the UK’s points-based system for controlling migration, all sponsors are rated according to their track record and procedures for monitoring overseas students. The UK Border Agency (UKBA) say they are now expanding and building on this rating process:

‘The new scheme is about immigration control, not academic achievement. To qualify as a highly trusted sponsor, an education provider must have a proven track record in recruiting genuine international students who comply with immigration rules while they are in the UK.

Stepstones Visas Limited can point you in the right direction to obtain the initial accreditation to be recognized as "a bona fide educational institution accredited by a recognised body". Our Specialist Advice can then help to ensure that as prospective sponsors you avoid the key pitfalls as we guide you through the Application and Compliance process to successfully secure a License as an A Rated Sponsor and also Highly Trusted Status.

Contact Us to find out how we can help.



Family visit visas account for 42% of the total appeals.

arrow-right Who we are | What we do | Text Only | Contact us
Terms & Conditions | Privacy Policy | Links | Accessibility

Design, Developed and hosted by Kingdom Design