Thursday, 19 August 2010
Sunday, 1 August 2010
Saturday, 24 July 2010
Thursday, 1 July 2010
**This post only applies to non-EU (excl. Switzerland) students wanting to apply/extend their student visas**
Disclaimer: The UK immigration system is a very complicated process and if you need help, please go to an OSIC registered adviser and please do not rely on my post.
This is my second post on the topic of student visas for non-EU students. This time, I would like to focus on what to do when things go wrong.
This can go wrong surprisingly easily. When I mean "go wrong", I mean being refused a visa and/or told to leave the country. You might think "this will never happen to me" but it does happen and much more frequently to unsuspecting students who are careless in their application.
Let's look at the case of my friend from Hong Kong, let's call him F. F is a full time student in the UK, his visa was almost expiring so he applied for an extension whilst in the UK. F filled out everything, F remembered to include his CAS (Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies) which was implemented recently. F also remembered to include bank statements showing F had funds and of course, photos. F also went all the way to Croydon to submit his biometric details. A couple of weeks later, F's application came back with his passport and a letter explaining that his application had been refused. This was because F had provided the "wrong" photos. By now his original visa had expired but the UKBA told F that he can re-apply in the UK. So F got the "correct" photos and he sent the application back with all the documents including his bank statements.
What F didn't realise was that F was making a "fresh" application by re-applying. A couple of weeks later F's application came back (once again) with a letter explaining that F's application had been refused. This was because F had provided bank statements that were out of date. The bank statements may have been valid when he applied the first time but it was now out of date as he was making a new application when he re-applied. This time F did not get back the passport, the immigration officials kept it. He was not given a right of appeal or admin review as F had re-applied when his original visa expired making it an "out of time" application. F was told he had no right to live in the UK and was an illegal immigrant, he had to leave immediately. But F did not have his passport. F had to buy flight tickets and then F had to call the UKBA to prove he had a ticket and his passport was released. F eventually got his visa back home.
All because of "wrong" photos. Find out the UKBA's photo requirements here
This can not only happen due to wrong photos but also due to wrong bank statements. This case also emphasises the importance of making an application BEFORE your visa expires as this will get you the right of appeal or admin review.
There is also a little known application called Long Residence Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR). ILR is basically a permanent residence visa a bit like the Green Card. You normally get ILR through family or work but you can also get it just for living in the UK for 10 years (or 14 years if you are an illegal) This is continuous residence and should not include gaps created by making an application when your original visa has expired. Find out more here.
**UPDATE IMPORTANT** : If you are looking to do some part-time jobs whilst studying in the UK please read.
As an adult student under Tier 4 (General), you are allowed to:
- do part-time work during term time;
- do full-time work during vacations;
- do a work placement as part of your course;
- work as a postgraduate doctor or dentist on a recognised Foundation Programme; and
- work as a student union sabbatical officer for up to two years.
For more information about work placements, see the Your course of study page.
The maximum amount of part-time work you can do during term time is:
- 20 hours per week if you are studying a course at or above UK degree level or a foundation degree course, and/or if you made your application to study under Tier 4 (General) on or before 2 March 2010; or
- 10 hours per week if you are studying a course that is below UK degree level and is not a foundation degree course, and you made your application to study under Tier 4 (General) on or after 3 March 2010.
The work you do must not fill a full-time permanent vacancy (other than on a recognised Foundation Programme), and you must not be self-employed, employed as a doctor in training (except on a recognised Foundation Programme) or as a professional sportsperson (including coach) or entertainer.
You can work full-time during vacation periods, within the above limits. If you have completed your course and you make an application to remain in the UK under the points-based system before your existing permission to stay expires, you can work full-time (within the above limits) until your application is decided.As for your family and dependents, if your course is 12 months or more, they will be allowed to work.
The new government has announced new measures, however they have not yet been implemented. Ideas include a compulsory Private medical insurance for students to prevent them from using the National Health Service and a "deposit" which involves a student depositing a sum of money to the government and the student gets the money back when he/she leaves the UK. You now need to know English to study English as a Foreign Language and when you arrive the immigration officials will make sure you know how to speak it!
As you can see, this is a continuously revolving system and it seems the only way this is going is to limit the number of non-EU students as much as possible.
Tuesday, 29 June 2010
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Thank you to all my regular readers!