Ben Carter

VISA - Duration/Expiration


We are aware that in the new funding rules (as was referenced on a DfE Webinar yesterday), an apprentice's VISA must encompass the duration of the apprenticeship (Page 8, P20.4). This area of the funding rules appears to contradict itself on Page 111 (P290), where under immigration status, the rules state:

"Any individual, or relevant family member, who has applied for an extension or variation of their current immigration permission in the UK is still treated as if they have that leave. Keeping this permission applies as long as the application was made before their current permission expired. Their leave continues until the Home Office make a decision on their immigration application.".

If an apprentice's VISA will expire during the apprenticeship duration, though they are able to apply/ascertain an extension prior to this expiration, maintaining permissions - is this apprentice still eligible for initial funding, or do we need to ensure the initial VISA encompasses the entire duration from the outset?

Kind regards,



No one has replied to this post.

Steve Hewitt

Hi Ben

I put a ticket in about exactly this a month ago, yet to hear back...

As we know, learners *cannot* apply for extensions until their visas are nearly finished, so it's nearly impossible for most to have visas that cover more than a relatively short Apprenticeship. I cannot believe there is a policy intent to stop those with visas from accessing Apps, but you're right that this is what the current wording implies...

Ruth Canham-James

We had this conversation yesterday after it came up in the ESFA webinar. There are some types of visa that are very likely to get extended (barring extreme circumstances), but the student can't renew in advance. If they have a year left on the visa, but want to sign up for an 18 month apprentice, it would be absurd to turn them away. We were thinking of waiting until we had a real example to take to ESFA (it would be very rare for us), and challenging the policy as discriminatory. 

Ben Carter

Morning Steve Hewitt & Ruth Canham-James,

what do we make of the changes to the Immigration Status ruling in Version 1 (released a couple of days ago)? It appears most of what we were discussing back in June has been removed from the new rules, due to a 'restructure'. Do we think this is a mistake; or should we perceive P20.2 as encompassing this?

Look forward to hearing your thoughts,


Steve Hewitt

Ouch, just getting round to the new rules today...

Why on earth have they taken the "have applied for extension" bit out???? If it's not there, people won't know.

[heads off to Customer Help for another fruitless three month conversation...]