International students starting their education in the UK from 1 January 2024 will not qualify to bring dependents to the UK unless they are enrolled in a postgraduate ‘Research Course’.
The list of postgraduate courses that qualify as a ‘Research Course’ is prepared by UKVI based on the program names provided by CAS Sponsors, i.e. universities and HEIs in the UK.
CAS sponsors in the UK have already notified UKVI about the list of PG courses that they consider to be research programmes. The last date to notify these changes was the 17th of July 2023.
The CAS applications made after the 17th of July 2023 will be segregated into research courses and taught courses and accordingly considered to be eligible for dependent visas according to these new guidelines.
Furthermore, all the main applicants for UK visas will select their ‘Academic Course Level’ in the CAS application form. Whether they would be allowed to bring dependents to the UK or not will be decided on the basis of this information.
Applications of candidates received before the 17th of July 2023 will be dealt with as per the previous guidelines.
Changes in the Academic Course Level in the CAS Form
On 3rd July, the UK Home Office made some changes to the ‘Academic Course Levels’ in the CAS application form. New values for research-based PG courses were introduced, which are as follows.
- RQF 7 Research for Masters, Diplomas and Certificate courses.
- RQF 8 – Research for PhD and D.Phil.
- SCQF 11- Research and SCQF 12 – Research for job roles.
The new guidelines issued by the UK Home Office are in line with the current government’s goal to reduce Net Migration to the UK i.e. the difference between the immigrants and emigrants to the country.
To know details about the changes introduced by the UK Home Office in Dependent Visas and Switching Visa Routes read the official document of the UK Home Office released on the 17th of September 2023.
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