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On 13 July 2015, the UK immigration minister announced foreign students at publicly funded colleges holding Tier 4 visas will no longer be allowed to work up to 10 hours weekly starting August 2015. Previously, the work ban affected only students at private colleges.
Furthermore, students with Tier 4 visas will only be allowed to start a new course at the same education level if linked to the previous subjects "or the university confirms that this supports their career aspirations. There will be credibility interviews and sanctions against universities who abuse this rule".
The new immigration provisions also forbid college students to prolong their visas if they are not registered "at an 'embedded college', one which has a formal, direct link to a university that is recognised by the Home Office." Hence, starting November of the given year, students applying for new courses will have to leave the country first and apply for a new visa from abroad.
Additionally, the maximum length of a further education visa was reduced from three to two years.
According to the government, "these changes will help reduce immigration abuse ensuring the UK maintains a competitive offer and attracts the brightest and best international students. The UK continues to welcome genuine students to our world class universities."
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