UK Immigration Highly Trusted Sponsor Facts

The Highly Trusted Sponsor program in the United Kingdom is a system designed to improve the immigration process for well-qualified students.

When a university or school becomes a highly trusted sponsor they are allowed a greater deal of autonomy when recruiting students into their academic programs.

All schools strive to become Highly Trusted Sponsors, but only a few are able to succeed. The others will eventually be considered to be inappropriate for the program and then can only accept students from the European Economic Area.

Schools that wish to recruit international students should pay special attention to the requirements of the Highly Trusted Sponsorship program.

Students who wish to travel to the UK to study should look at the list of Highly Trusted Sponsor schools. Universities and colleges with this designation are much more likely to be highly qualified academic facilities.

Here we will list some facts about the Highly Trusted Sponsor program (HTS) in the United Kingdom.

  • The Highly Trusted Sponsor program is a validation system used in the United Kingdom for letting education institutions bring in international students.
  • When an institution applies for HTS they are assessed on a point system which analyzes the institution's recruitment practices. If they institution passes with more than 70 points out of 100 it is then considered highly trusted.
  • Institutions are considered to score a "near-miss" if they get between 50 and 70 points. These near-miss institutions are given a second chance to score higher than a 70 within six months of the initial application.
  • Institutions like schools or universities must be authorized sponsors under the guidelines provided by the United Kingdom's Border Agency.
  • In order for a student to come to the UK to study, they must have a sponsoring institution.
  • Tier Four immigration is the class designed for foreign students who wish to come to the UK to study full-time.
  • Sponsors are expected to prevent people from potentially abusing the system and to ensure that the institution is genuinely trying to take a student onto their study program.
  • Sponsors who are given basic Tier Four sponsorship licenses are expected to apply for HTS within 12 months of getting sponsorship.
  • Sponsorship can be revoked if the institution does not meet the requirements of HTS within 12 months, does not bother to apply within 12 months, does not renew HTS status or if the application for HTS is rejected.
  • The United Kingdom Visas and Immigration can decide how many students an institution can take on for studies.
  • Sponsors are responsible for informing the UKVI if the student never shows up or leaves the course before its proper completion.
  • Sponsors are to keep current records on the students that they have sponsored. Abuse of the system or violations of the requirements will result in sponsorship status being revoked for that institution.
  • The United Kingdom's Border Agency claims that "HTS status is designed to ensure that all education providers are taking their obligations on immigration compliance seriously."
  • Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) is necessary for the student and the educational facility. The CAS allows a student to study in the United Kingdom and confirms that the student is allowed to study in the UK.
  • The CAS is not an actual document, but rather a number identifier used when the student applies for a visa with the UKVI.
  • A sponsoring institution must pay £13 for every CAS it assigns. This fee is only payable online.
  • Even if the student does not use the CAS, the fee will still stand.

Below are some resources for both students and schools who wish to know more about the Highly Trusted Sponsor program.

Wikipedia has an easy to understand article about how the Education Quality Assurance program works in the UK:

This is the official policy manual for the Tier 4 immigration program in the UK:

This is a more extensive list of the Tiered immigration system policy:

This is a list of all of the Tier 4 sponsorship schools and employers (Highly Trusted Sponsors are labeled as such in the list):

This is a useful tool for finding out your eligibility for the points based immigration system:

This is a recent article about the proposed criteria changes to the Highly Trusted Sponsor program: