In our previous updates following the changes introduced in October, we explained our understanding that the removal of the provision relating to joint venture agreements for branch purposes was a mistake by UKVI.
We can confirm that UKVI has now formally confirmed that reference to joint venture arrangements in the Tier 4 guidance issued on 1 October 2013 was removed inadvertently.
In an email to this firm from policy, they confirmed that:
‘The aim of the changes made on 1 October to the Tier 4 sponsor guidance in relation to branches and sites was to clarify their definition for Tier 4 purposes. The references to the ability to demonstrate common ownership or control by means of a joint venture agreement were removed inadvertently and we will reinstate them in the guidance in December. There will be no consequence for joint ventures that were already in place before the October guidance change in respect of compliance with Tier 4 sponsorship requirements.
We will be reviewing whether joint ventures are appropriate in the context of the provision of courses of study to international students through partnerships and will take the views of education providers in due course’.
If you need further information on this or other changes introduced on 1 October 2013, we can be contacted here.