Immigration advice for educational establishments

Penningtons is viewed as a key link between the UKBA and educational institutions in the process of implementing and working through PBS reform.

Chambers UK
Business Immigration

Our immigration team provides unrivalled advice to higher and further educational establishments, independent schools and English language schools. Our in-depth knowledge of the sector and our strong links with educational associations and senior Home Office officials enables us to provide cutting-edge solutions to educational establishments amidst ever-changing immigration rules.

The Penningtons Manches immigration education team is recognised as a leader in the sector with a reputation for devising intricate compliance solutions for education providers. 

Our clients value our expert guidance, in-depth knowledge of Tier 4 and proactive approach when dealing with the Home Office - whether it is conducting an in-depth audit, creating bespoke training, advising on the immigration effects of mergers, takeovers and joint ventures or providing day to day compliance solutions. 

Our team works closely with our colleagues from the Penningtons Manches education sector group who include corporate, commercial, dispute resolution and employment lawyers to offer full service solutions to our clients. 

We regularly provide immigration training for organisations such as UKCISA, UK NARIC, ILPA, Study UK and English UK members and a dedicated compliance helpline for UKCISA members. The team is also actively involved with liaising with the Home Office on guidance changes which may affect sponsors.

We offer expert advice on:

  • compliance audits, health checks, due diligence and preparation for Home Office visits
  • negotiating on sponsors’ behalf with the Home Office
  • ongoing Tier 4 compliance and best practice
  • board level risk management
  • partnership and branch agreements between HEIs and privately funded colleges
  • lobbying and policy recommendations
  • challenging negative decisions – including sponsor licence suspensions, revocations and BCA refusals
  • operational agreements, terms and conditions, agreements with work placement providers and internal policies and procedures
  • training and advisory services including SMS training

Recent work highlights

Judicial review for LMU

Representing the first university to have its tier 4 licence revoked, to obtain permission to challenge the decision by way of judicial review allowing existing students to continue their studies.


Compliance audit

Undertaking a comprehensive review of a leading education establishment's processes for handling its immigration requirements and working alongside it to improve compliance. Our recommendations to the Home Office resulted in no action being taken against the licence.


Change of ownership

Liaising with the Home Office on the prospective sale of an organisation to ensure that the High Trust Status (HTS) was retained following the sale enabling the new owners to continue teaching overseas students.

Related expertise

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Penningtons Manches LLP

Penningtons Manches LLP is a limited liability partnership registered in England and Wales with registered number OC311575 and is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. San Francisco is an associated office.

Penningtons Manches LLP