Information and updates

Our information sheets answer lots of questions about your immigration options

News for International Students

Government Announcement on "Graduate Route" visa from 2020

13 September 2019

The UK government have made an announcement that they plan to re-introduce a post study work visa option called the "Graduate Route". At present, it is a policy statement and is not yet formally approved and in immigration law.  Once formal approval has been sought, it is expected to be in place to benefit students who start their studies from the 2020-2021 academic year.

UKCISA have produced a helpful news piece for students:

The Home Office are planning a major revision of the immigration system and this is expected to be rolled out from the end of 2020 when EU/EEA citizens will be included, should Brexit take place. The introduction of the "Graduate Route" is likely to be in-line with this revision. We are now aware that the planned implemtation of the route is for thse students completing their degree in or after summer 2021 are will be eligible for the route. As such we anticipate that the  following groups are unlikely to benefit from this route:

  • Current students with visas expiring in 2020
  • Students who join LSE this year and whose visas will expire in 2020
  • 12 month Masters students whose visas will expire in January 2021.

We appreciate that this will be disappointing, but it is unlikely that this will change for recent graduates or those who will be completing next year. Once we have further details and if there are any changes following queries on the 2021 date from the sector, we will update students.


Expansion of e-Gates from 20 May 2019

Updated 29 August 2019

From the 20 May 2019, the use of e-Gates has been expanded to the following countries:

  • Australia
  • Canada
  • Japan
  • New Zealand
  • Singapopre
  • South Korea
  • USA

If you enter the UK via the e-Gate when your Tier 4 vignette is valid, you will activate your Tier 4 visa.

If you are planning to arrive earlier than the start date of your Tier 4 visa and you enter via the e-Gates, you will only be entering the UK as a tourist and will not be able to register for your programme.  You will need to leave the UK and re-enter when your Tier 4 visa is valid for it to be activated and enable you to register.

You will need to bring a printed copy of your flight details or boarding pass to show at registration so that staff can verify the date you entered the UK.

If you have any questions about entering the UK via the e-Gates, please contact us by completing our online query form.

If you intend to enter as a Short-term Student, you must speak to a Border Force Offic er and obtain a stamp in your passport.

Changes to the Low Risk National List for Tier 4 

9 April 2019

The following changes have been made to the Low-Risk National lists. Low-risk nationals do not need to submit as much documentation with their visa application, although they must still have it prepared.   Brazil, Kazakhstan, Mauritius, Oman, Peru and Tunisia have all been added to the list.  

Argentina, The Maldives and Trinidad and Tobago have been removed from the list.

Expected Changes to the Immigration Rules

18 March 2019

There are a number of expected immigration rule changes, which are due to be introduced on different dates

Changes from 29 March 2019

 Startup and Innovator Visa Routes launched

The new Startup and Innovator visa routes will commence from the 29 March 2019.  These replace the Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur and Tier 1 Entrepreneur routes respectively.  

Changes from 30 March 2019

 EU Settlement Scheme

The EU Settlement Scheme will open to all eligible EU/EEA/Swiss nationals and their eligible dependants from the 30 March 2019.  You will also be able to submit an application to the Scheme from overseas after the 30 March 2019. Currently, you can only apply in the UK.

Changes to when Tier 4 students can switch into the Tier 2 visa route

Tier 4 students will be eligible to switch into the Tier 2  work visa route up to three months before their official programme end date.  For example, a final year undergraduate student will be able to apply for a Tier 2 visa to start working from March in the future. Details have yet to be released and once the new Policy Guidance is available, we will update our When you have your Visa pages.

 Changes from 6 April 2019

 Low-risk National Lists for Tier 4

 Low-risk nationals do not need to submit as much documentation with their visa application, although they must still have it prepared.   Brazil, Kazakhstan, Mauritius, Oman, Peru and Tunisia have all been added to the list.  

Argentina, The Maldives and Trinidad and Tobago have been removed from the list.

Caps on degree level studies

Calculating the time spent studying at degree level does not need to include any study under the age of 18.

 Changes from 6 July 2019

Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur route closes.

Increase to the IHS Payment

20 February 2019

The IHS increased to £300 per year of study plus the additional time on the visa, from the 8 January 2019.

Frauds Targeting International Students

20 February 2019

There are a number of fraudulent schemes in circulation targetting international students.

Fraud One:

A new fraud against students has appeared but we are unsure if this is targeting international students only.  You may be contacted by someone claiming to be from LSE saying that you have cheated on your degree and that your degree will be withdrawn if you do not take action within five days. The number is a Watford phone number starting 01923, although this may be re-directed from a personal phone number as part of the scam. 

LSE would not contact you in this way with regards to an allegation of cheating. You will be contacted in writing prior to the award of your degree and we would not ask for any money.

If you are contacted with regards to the same issue please email 

Fraud Two:

This is an attempt to get international students to pay the fraudsters. If you ever receive any calls you are unsure of regarding paying money or your immigration status, let ISVAT know. This fraud usually targets Chinese nationals.

  • A student is contacted by someone claiming to represent the police or another official body from the student's home country - they have personal details and are very convincing.

  • They tell the student that they are suspected of a significant money laundering crime and their family are at risk - if they cannot afford the amount they are encouraged to borrow money or ask their family to send them more money.

  • They are told not to alert the British Police.

  • They are asked for money to make sure that they and their family are safe and not dishonoured.

  • They are told not to speak to friends and receive constant phone calls.

  • If you receive a phone call, do not pay any money. Speak to ISVAT and alert the UK police by completing an Action Fraud form. LSE will support you if you are contacted.

Fraud Three:

This scan usually targets Indian nationals and takes place across the world.  It is not limited to Tier 4 visa holders.  A person phones claiming to be from the Home Office and asking for money.  Unfortunately, the majority of the cases are with Indian students and it is not solely a UK issue.

  • The caller may appear convincing because they may have some limited information about you;

  • They may give you their name and telephone number to convince you they are genuine - the number they provide is an official Home Office number, but this is part of the fraud;

  • They will advise you to turn of your wifi and any access to the internet on your phone - this is so you are not able to do any research whilst on the call;

  • They usually say there is a serious problem with your immigration status and that you need to pay a fine because you have not completed a form correctly;

  • They will usually ask you to pay the fine in cash using Western Union - the amount varies but some students have been asked to pay up to £3000;

  • If you pay the money, they are likely to find additional reasons for you to pay extra - for example they may say that your issue with the UKVI is resolved but their checks mean that you now need to pay the embassy of your home country. They will be very persistent and sometimes threatening if they believe that they will be able to obtain more money from you.

How to respond:

  • Do not give the caller any personal information and do not confirm any information they have is correct;

  • Do not make any payment - the Home Office does not issue financial penalties;

  • You may wish to tell the caller you are aware the call is fraudulent and that you will report it to the Police or you may just wish to hang up;

  • Report the incident to ISVAT and online at Action Fraud.  You can also report this to the Police if you wish.

  • If you have any concerns about your immigration status, ISVAT can check this for you.

Frequently asked questions

What can I do to minimise the risk of my visa application been refused? 

Read our tips for preventing a visa refusal information sheet

How can I show that I have met the financial requirements for my application?

Check our meeting the financial requirements information sheet

My visa application has been refused, what do I do now?

First, read our Help, My visa application has been refused information sheet. You will then need to send us a copy of your refusal notice.

I'm on a dual degree and coming to LSE next year, what should I do?

Read, the information for Dual/Joint Degree students.

I've lost my passport and BRP what do I do now?

Read our Lost passport or visa information sheet for more information.

I want to travel, do you have any guidance?

Please read our travelling during or after your studies information sheet.

I'd like to work - where can I find out more about what I can and cannot do?

Read our Working during your studies and Working after your studies information sheets.

ISVAT Information Sheets




@ImTiffanyYu @LSEMarshall @LSEGenerate @nasdaqcenter @LSEnews I think we need the What3Words app to keep up with LJ's travels 😀

2 days ago

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