LSBF suspended from Tier 4 register

10 September, 2015

The London School of Business and Finance (LSBF) in the UK has been temporarily removed from the register of Tier 2 and Tier 4 sponsors by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI), leaving the institution unable to recruit non-EU international students while a final decision on sponsor status is considered.

The new LSBF campus in Tower Hill, London, opened earlier this year

A statement on the UKVI website confirms that LSBF’s sponsorship was removed on September 1. “Removal from the Tier 4 and Tier 2 sponsor registers means the college cannot sponsor any new international students or workers,” said UKVI in the statement.

LSBF is part of the Global University Systems (GUS) private higher education group, which recently acquired the University of Law in the UK.

UKVI has granted LSBF a standard 20-day period to appeal the decision to remove sponsorship.

An LSBF Spokesperson said, "We regret UKVI's decision to temporarily remove LSBF from the register of sponsors. It is tantamount to a temporary suspension. Having received and reviewed the data supplied by UKVI, which relates to visa refusal and course completion rates and which led them to their decision, we are confident that LSBF is 100 per cent compliant with its sponsor obligations.

“Accordingly, we expect that upon receipt by UKVI from PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) of representations correcting errors in UKVI’S initial assessment, LSBF will be reinstated on the register of sponsors. This decision does not impact our current students and their studies, which continue uninterrupted.”

LSBF was suspended from the then-called Highly Trusted Sponsor list in 2014, since which time it has been working with PWC to audit compliance with sponsor regulations.

The UKVI statement outlines a series of scenarios for non-EU students and future students of LSBF.

“Existing sponsored students and workers may continue with their studies or employment until a final decision on the status of the licence is made by the Home Office,” the statement confirms.

UKVI advises students outside the country that already have a visa not to travel to the UK until a final decision is made. Students that have a Certificate of Acceptance of Studies (CAS) issued before the suspension may still apply for a visa, although the final decision will be held until LSBF’s sponsor status is confirmed.

An LSBF Spokesperson told StudyTravel Magazine that it was offering as much support as possible to affected students, including offers of deferred course starts and online tuition, and that all relevant study travel agents have been contacted.

Matthew Knott
News Editor


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