Assessing intent for Tier 4 Students
The UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) requires that a Tier 4 sponsor is satisfied that a student is able and intends to follow their proposed course of study before issuing a Confirmation of Acceptance for Study (CAS). Ability is normally assessed through qualifications but the sponsor must also have a way of assessing intent. We use our experience as ex-UKBA staff to conduct intent interviews for you.
Responsibility for assessing intent
The UKVI regard it as crucial that education providers make a thorough assessment of prospective students from overseas to avoid unwittingly sponsoring people posing as students whose real intention is to work illegally or otherwise abuse the immigration laws.
The fact that prospective students can speak English and/or have the appropriate qualifications may show that they are capable of following the course but do not necessarily mean that they intend to do so. But it is against measures of the number of students enrolling and completing the course that education providers are assessed for HTS and retaining their licences.
It is obviously impossible to eliminate all risk that a student will not follow or complete the course. What the UKVI is looking for is evidence that education providers have followed the UKVI’s good practice guidance and been diligent in their recruitment methods. HTS criteria require that an education provider follows good practice in the recruitment of students and evidence of the existence of good practice may also be used to provide a stronger defence against any action the UKVI may take to downgrade or remove a sponsor licence.
The UKVI recommends making enquiries into a prospective student’s background and circumstances as a means of assessing the credibility of the student’s intentions in studying in the UK. This is often the most complex area for an education provider and one which with the benefit of our experience we can provide for you.
Prior to the introduction of the Points Based System (PBS) the UK Visas and Immigration would interview prospective students in some depth when applying for a visa or on arrival in the UK about their ability to follow the course and their intentions in coming to the UK to study. As ex-UKBA staff, we have conducted those types of interviews both in the UK and as visa officers abroad. We know the questions to ask and how to assess the answers.
How we can help
- We will conduct Skype interviews on your behalf.
- The interview will be conducted in accordance with a set of questions agreed with the education provider and drawn from UKVI good practice guidance and our own experience of conducting such interviews whilst working in the UKVI.
- Once the interview has been completed, we will email you a transcript and recording.
- You decide whether to offer the student a place on the course and if so, issue the CAS.
- As good practice, we recommend that you retain the transcript on file as evidence of the steps you have taken to satisfy yourself regarding the student’s intent.
- If you prefer to conduct the interviews yourself, we can also train your staff on the questions to ask and the interpretation of the answers.
Contact us today to discuss how we can help you to meet your responsibilities for assessing intent