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What is the difference between ‘A’ trusted and Highly Trusted in Tier 4 category

A lot of confusion comes up from the students about Highly Trusted sponsor and ‘A’ trusted category of Tier 4 sponsor. I got a vast questions and email on this issue. Today I want to explain what is Highly Trusted Sponsor and ‘A’ Trusted Sponsor.

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Let me start from ‘A’ Trusted sponsor. ‘A’ Trusted sponsor/rated sponsor is a category of Uk Tier 4 student immigration system. If a college or university hold ‘A’ rating that means they have rights to bring overseas students in Uk. Generally A-rated sponsor can certify that he/she will be responsible for your maintenance on your Certificate of Sponsorship. So having a conformation of acceptance for studies (CAS) from a licensed sponsor (college or university) containing an unconditional offer of a place on a course of study at an acceptable level (points awarded 30).

What is Highly Trusted Sponsor?

This is an another appendix of Tier 4 student visa. Literally Highly trusted sponsor is an upgrade version of ‘A’ rating system which ensure standardization of immigration. Highly trusted sponsors (HTS) has few special benefits that other rating system doesn’t comply with it. HTS have all the facilities as ‘A’ rating system.

A sponsor with a Highly Trusted sponsor licence will be able to offer the following courses to international students under Tier 4 (General) of the points-based system: courses at National Qualifications Framework (NQF) level 3 and equivalents; and courses below degree level that encompass a work placement. Other sponsors will no longer be able to offer these courses (other than foundation degree courses containing work placements) under Tier 4 (General). Highly Trusted sponsors will still need to comply with the work placement requirements as set out in the Tier 4 sponsor guidance.

These are the main differences between highly trusted sponsor and ‘A’ rating system. I tried to describe as per my knowledge, if anyone know’s more depth of Tier 4 immigration system then please share with us and leave a quote what you want to know. Cheers!

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This is SM Nazir Hossain and I'm blogging about Studying in UK alongside my study when I get spare time. I'm passionate about digital marketing and I love to watch cricket, football, cinema. Desired profession Digital Marketing expert. Follow me in twitter @Twitter

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37 comments… add one
  • Shafiul
    January 26, 2011, 3:36 pm Reply

    dear Nazir vie
    this is a good helps the student to know the difference between A trusted and HTS.
    Thanks again
    keep it up.
    take care…..

  • atiya
    January 30, 2011, 7:56 pm Reply

    I agree wid da above mentiond comments. I waz also cnfusd abt dis bt nw aware. Thnx

  • Mithali Shetty
    February 11, 2011, 9:59 am Reply

    Thanks for your good information, it has helpd us to understand the difference in types of sponsors.

    • admin
      February 25, 2011, 2:21 am Reply

      Thanks for your comments.

  • Jashmeen
    February 24, 2011, 9:52 pm Reply

    Hello there,

    I am a student from Nepal and I am a Nurse back home. I came to this country on march 2009. Now I have finished my NVQ Level 3 in Health & Social Care on 31st of Jan 2011 and I am waiting for my certificates to come. I have letter from my previous college to prove this. My visa is expiring on 6th of May 2011. Recently I came to know about the college which is Highly Trusted Sponsor in UKBA. The college is offering BTEC HND in Health & Social care Level 4 and the next session is on March. I wanted to do level 5 but the session starts only from April and if I will enrol in April session there will be a gap of two months between my previous and new course which I think is not acceptable to the new UKBA rule.

    So, I am worried if my visa will extend in this level 4 or not? Please kindly reply my query ASAP. Thanking you.


  • Basharat
    February 24, 2011, 11:19 pm Reply

    Sir can we change my college from A listed college to highly trustified?
    is it bassible for me bcoz my college is A listed.
    and i want to change my college n i want to take admission in highly trustified college.

    • admin
      February 25, 2011, 2:11 am Reply

      Yes definitely you are able to change college from ‘A’ Trusted to Highly Trusted institute.

      Thanks for comments.

      • shai
        September 11, 2011, 9:49 am Reply


  • Qingqing
    May 18, 2011, 11:48 am Reply

    Alpha Meridian Colleges
    I’ve recently been studying at a private college in South-East London, Greenwich, the name is Alpha Meridian College, I have been reading up alot about colleges and students and new laws, and I must say, my college is great, the teacher are professional, the staff are friendly and helpful and the students good to! I have studied Business Management for 2 years and studied my ABE Diploma Part 1 and 2, I’m now looking to progress to my Advanced Diploma which is a level 6 course, but I am quite upset with the current UKBA laws that have just come in to place, I mean, why should I have to take an English test to prove my level of English and waste money for nothing (£115 if I do an IELTS test) when I am already an established student in the UK and have proven that my English is sufficient as I have studied the previous 2 levels IN ENGLISH!!!!! Anyway, If someone can answer that I’d be greatful, and if you are interested in Alpha Meridian College, you can check out their courses, they have Business Management, Information Technology, Computing, Accounting and they are even running MSc and BSc programmes with Edge Hill University in September.

    Anyway, I just thought I’d have a moan about the UKBA, I really feel that is unfair about the English requirement, sometimes I just feel like they want us to waste money for nothing =/ A-Rated is fine for now, all colleges dont need to be highly trusted until April 2012 guys, so relax!

    Have a nice day guys! CU! ^_^

  • Xue Tian
    May 18, 2011, 11:58 am Reply

    My college is also Alpha Meridan, they run good course there and good staff and teacher, they are a-rated but they have been in London the same building for about 1994 or 16 years, I sure they are get A-Highly Trusted before apral 2012, you find them here Alpha Meridian College. For people who intrest for the study there you can look at the Courses and my school have the Twitter and Facebook.



  • TIMA
    May 24, 2011, 11:44 am Reply

    Stop your fake publicity! encouraging this colleges.
    My best advise is to enroll in a HTC.

    There is a college in Reading that YOU MUST AVOID at all cost, the University tutorial college.

  • Jawad Ahmad
    May 30, 2011, 9:02 pm Reply

    i have some confusion about the working hours allow to student studying at NQF level 6 . as i am studying in LCA and i have to apply for extension of my visa in july
    i want to know that work(20 hrs per week) is allowed to A rated college’s student or not studying at NQF level 6? as per new policy implement in july ?
    or just allow for highly trusted institute’s students ?

  • neha
    June 22, 2011, 10:57 am Reply

    if i take admission in highly trusted college after 4th of july can i able to work for 20 hrs plz let me know thanks.

    • admin
      June 22, 2011, 11:11 pm Reply


      Thanks for your enquiry. I don’t think so you will obtain work permit unless you admit in a University. Thanks again.

  • neha
    June 22, 2011, 9:33 pm Reply


    what are .the work rights for dependents after 4th of july plz let me know thanks

    • admin
      June 22, 2011, 11:14 pm Reply

      Please download it to read all the details of new Tier 4 Student Policy.

      Thanks Neha

  • Gurpreet
    August 6, 2011, 10:10 am Reply

    hi i m gurpreet i’ve applied for uk tier 4 visa in june new delhi uk vfs… my college in ‘A’ rated …applied study level NQF 6 also give Ielts 5.5 … but still not getting ma visa …could plss tell why there is so delayed in VISA …

  • umer
    August 16, 2011, 12:58 am Reply

    I am a student at A rated college at the moment and i am going to change my college and want to join lsc Highly Trusted College.Plz guide if i will apply for new visa can i got work permission on that visa.Students who will apply for Highly Trusted College will allow for 20 Hours work or not.

    • admin
      August 16, 2011, 6:25 am Reply

      Thanks for you nice comments. No even if you get admit in HTS colleg you won’t part time work permit. Only government college’s and university students will get the part-time work permit.

      All the Best

  • Aamir khan
    September 3, 2011, 12:59 am Reply

    really your work is appreciable sir..
    I belong to Pakistan and have completed BBA(hons) with specialty in finance and IT and secured 80% marks in aggregate. I have topped my batch for five times now i am little confuse with my career plan. i want to do admission ACCA in any highly trusted collage that is located in bradford but i see there is only one HTC i.e. bradford college, unfortunately in bradford college there is no ACCA program, on other side there is another A-Rated college named as Bradford college f management in which ACCA is present but my friends who is studying there already telling me that A-Rated are not good colleges also i will face difficulties in obtaining visa and no work will be allowed to me in a week if i get admission in A-Rated colleges. But in HTC bradford College there is MA International Financial Management and MA International Business management courses for which i am eligible, and these both courses are for one year so my friends are telling me tht you will get one year and 3 month visa maximum if i come to uk on MA course , so please help me that which way will be good for me to come to uk through which i could get visa for little longer also through which i could get more hours per week to work.
    I Shell be very thank ful to you
    thanks Best Regards

    Aamir khan

    • Zahid
      February 11, 2012, 10:45 pm Reply

      Dear Aamir,
      Congratulations on scoring 80% marks. let me tell you about your friend. he is misguiding you. you should personally call to college and ask the details. as far as i know all postgraduate courses contains atleast two semesters and dissertation or thesis to submit. so it requires atleast 18 months of study which means you’ll get visa for two years. don’t just listen try to find the authenticity of the information you get.

      I hope this helps.



  • jimmy
    February 15, 2012, 10:04 am Reply

    thanks brother i realy admire to u for this work this is such a great work and information thanks brother god bless

    • admin
      February 19, 2012, 5:33 pm Reply

      We really appreciate our visitors comments. Thank you for your feedback.

  • Sandip
    February 18, 2012, 6:23 pm Reply

    I m currently study in uk and my visa finish on June 30 2012 so I want extension my visa so which college I have to choose means high trusted or A I have confusion and A rated collage give 20 hrs working term time or not?so Plz give information about this collage.L

    • admin
      February 19, 2012, 5:26 pm Reply

      Private college students will not get any part time work permit and not even Highly Trusted College as well. Only University students will get part-time work permit. Thanks

  • Nauman
    April 12, 2012, 5:59 am Reply

    Thanks Man you made me easy now — this was alwayz a mess to me — thanks u very much live long and happy — Stay blessed

  • ruby
    May 16, 2012, 5:34 am Reply

    hello there,
    i just need to know that my visa in tier 4 gona expire in july so i am taking admision in A rated it fine to take admision in A rated college???will ukba accept my cas from A rated college???plz guide me.

    • admin
      May 17, 2012, 1:19 am Reply

      Dear Ruby
      Yes you will get visa if you follow UK Tier 4 Visa guidance properly. However you must be careful about ‘A’ rated college because many of them getting suspended. So make sure your college has got real intention to run their business or they been assured from QAA oversight review in 2012.


  • rekha
    September 24, 2012, 4:40 pm Reply

    you are doing a good job. Are government colleges providing 20 hours work for students and full time to dependents now??????????

  • iFFE
    October 5, 2012, 10:09 am Reply

    which are best colleges of HTS or ” A” rated ..? HTS and ” A “rated means govt funded colleges? i ve some confusion. please clear this
    i want to take admission.

    • admin
      October 6, 2012, 5:33 pm Reply

      Of course Highly Trusted. Join with us in Facebook.

  • sherry
    September 11, 2013, 12:07 pm Reply

    really informative……

  • sherry
    September 11, 2013, 12:16 pm Reply

    can i gt your e-mail plz? by name you seems like a pakistani.can you plz give any website or e-mail to be in ontact with you that may be beneficial for both or you write me at
    i just wants to discuss some issues or a business purposal related to international studies as currently i am working in a Uk based service concern in Consultancy in capacity of intentional student advisor.
    I’ll really appreciate for your kind response.

  • Syeda
    January 31, 2014, 12:51 am Reply

    Hello there. Can an A-rated college offer PhD Level 8 programme? Thanks.

  • Bharat
    July 7, 2014, 9:01 pm Reply

    Hi I m Bharat from India. I done my MBA from London and after I got my PSW. So totally I stayed 4 year In London and after Becoz of family problem I hav to come to india. So again I am going to apply for student visa and my main question is this 4 year will be counted in 10 years process leading to PR or not.

    • admin
      July 10, 2014, 8:03 pm Reply

      You will not be count for 10 years. Every entry clearance visa is different and it doesn’t count as consecutive staying in UK. Thanks

  • Jan
    March 7, 2015, 1:07 pm Reply

    I would appreciate if you explain the difference between “Highly Trusted” and “Highly Trusted Premium”.

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