The personal and financial circumstances of the applicant and any dependant

All factors in this category are quite reasonable and predictable:

The Genuine Student Rule in Student Visa
The Genuine Student Rule in Student Visa

MONEY: Your economic circumstances. How much money you have and where your money comes from.

REGULAR INCOME: whether you have a credible source of funds to meet course fees, and living costs for yourself and any dependents for the duration of the course in the UK. When making this assessment, the decision-makers will not be taking into consideration any income from prospective employment in the UK.

WHO PAID? How you were able to acquire the necessary funds for course fees, as well as accommodation in the UK and living expenses in the UK for yourself and any dependant.

TRAVEL: What will be the distance between your place of study and your proposed accommodation in the UK? The longer the distance the weaker your chances of succeeding with the ‘Genuine Student’ rule.

EXPENSES: What will be your average monthly expenditure and any dependant in the UK?

ANY PROBLEMS: What are your personal circumstances? Are there any challenges (health, work, dependents, marriage etc) where these might make it difficult to complete a course of study?


The qualification, course provider and agents

The Genuine Student Rule in Student Visa
The Genuine Student Rule in Student Visa

Tier 4 (General) UK immigration route has been subject to great abuse in the UK. Since the introduction of Tier 4 (General) UK immigration route, over 450 colleges have now lost their right to bring international students to the UK for non-compliance and fraud issues. The UKVI has now created a number of very detailed policy guidance documents for the Higher Education Providers to help them understand their role as a sponsor of the Tier 4 students. Here they are checking not only the genuineness of the students but also the course providers.

SUSPICIOUS HEP (Higher Education Providers): if you are applying to study at an institution that is under investigation or has been identified by the Home Office as an institution of concern. This is in relation to Tier 4 Sponsor compliance rules. So, please make sure that the Education Provider you chose is a reputable Sponsor and is fully approved by the Home Office.

HISTORY OF NON-COMPLIANCE: where the application is being managed by an agent about whom the Home Office has concerns.


Role of dependants

WHAT’S THE MAIN REASON? If you are travelling with dependents, the decision-maker will be looking closely at the circumstances of your dependents to establish your main reason for applying. The decision-makers will need to be satisfied that the main reason for travelling is not for employment, education or health care benefits for the dependants.


Pull factors

WHY THIS CHOICE? Did you choose the UK because of the academic reputation of the UK’s education institutions in comparison with those of other countries, for example, is the UK perceived to be the best for postgraduate study?

WORKING: Was the ease of working during or after the course your deciding factor?


The Genuine Student Rule in Student Visa
The Genuine Student Rule in Student Visa

What if, after considering all of the above factors, the decision-maker is still not convinced that you a genuine student? Will the application be refused straight away? Not necessarily. In certain circumstances, you may be invited for an interview.

They can conduct it in a variety of ways. It will depend on where you are located and your availability.

These may include:

  • a telephone interview. The decision-maker will contact you by phone and ask if you can answer questions about your application. If you are happy to do so, they’ll continue with an interview of the phone.
  • alternatively, they may arrange an interview at a designated time and location.


Do bear in mind that if you do not undertake an interview without a reasonable explanation, the decision-maker is most likely to refuse the application on general grounds for refusal.



If, after conducting an interview, the decision-makers are still not convinced that the genuine student rule is met, they will refuse an application. There is no right of appeal against such a refusal. However, you will be allowed to apply for an administrative review. This is when the Home Office Administrative department will be looking at the initial decision of their colleagues to see if they’ve made a mistake.

If the decision-maker refuses the application, he is under an obligation to make sure his refusal letter fully explains the reasons for the decision. This letter should cover any information obtained at the interview and include any concerns raised as part of the case working process.

It’s worth bearing in mentioning that refusals on this basis are subjective.  A detailed refusal letter, as well as a transcript of the interview (if applicable), must normally support such a decision. These documents will be important in any administrative review, so they must set out the reasons for refusal as fully and clearly as possible.





Tier 4 General Student UK Immigration Route

If you are interested in this UK immigration route and would like to know more, please feel free to REQUEST IT HERE. As soon you as do this, I’ll send you an email with more information about general grounds for refusal for students, show you how to check if you need a visa, explain the rules about the duration of the course and exceptions, which may apply to this rule. However, most importantly, when you subscribe to this list, you’ll be the first one to be informed of any forthcoming events (such as free online masterclasses, free digital mindmaps or e-books) where I explain various aspects of this route and answer most frequently asked questions. I do not spam. All you’ll get from me is a newsletter, which I personally write, once a week, from which you can always unsubscribe within 10 seconds. GET MORE INFORMATION ABOUT TIER 4 (GENERAL ROUTE HERE).

The Genuine Student Rule in Student Visa (Tier 4 (General) Applications (Part 3 of 3)