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Student Support
International Students' Newsletter
Autumn Term 2011

UK Immigration Information and Guidance

Other Topics

Social Events - Colchester campus

UK Immigration Information and Guidance

The University of Essex website has an immigration area containing information and guidance about UK immigration for students. There is information for European students as well as those from outside the European Economic Area (EEA). Please be aware that our website is currently awaiting updates so we would advise you to seek clarification from the relevant advice service.

Immigration advice is available to University of Essex students from Student Support on all issues relating to student visas except, making a Tier 4 application in the UK. Advice regarding making a Tier 4 application in the UK is available from the Students' Union Advice Centre.

Latest immigration news

Keep up-to-date by looking at the latest news section of the UKBA website and UKCISA website. Changes are made frequently to immigration law and guidance so don't rely on old information or friends and family, check for yourself.

Have you got a Tier 4 visa? Do you know what your responsibilities are?

If you have, or are applying for, Tier 4 immigration status you should note that Tier 4 immigration status has some conditions attached. These are printed on the entry clearance sticker or residence permit in your passport, or on your Biometrics Residence Permit if you have one. There are also some requirements and obligations related to the immigration rules, and related to your studies and your Tier 4 sponsor.

There can be serious consequences for you if you break the conditions of your visa or don't take the necessary action if there are changes to your circumstances or study.

Please read the UKCISA guidance note "Protecting your Tier 4 student immigration status" to find out more.

Have you changed your address since you applied for your Tier 4 visa?

  • If you have Entry Clearance or have made an application to the UKBA for a new Tier 4 visa in the UK and it is still to be decided, you should complete the Migrant change in circumstances form. More information on the UKBA website with a link to the form.
  • If you have a Biometric Residence Permit (BRP), formerly known as the Identity Card for Foreign Nationals, you should follow the procedures on the UKBA website.
  • If you are required to register with the Police make sure you also update your Police Registration Certificate.
  • Make sure the address the University has for you is up-to-date, you can change it via your myEssex portal.

Read the UKCISA guidance note "Protecting your Tier 4 student immigration status" to find out more.

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Is your student visa correct? Entry Clearance Correction Scheme

Did you obtain your student/Tier 4 visa overseas?

No - Unfortunately, you can not apply to this scheme if your visa was issued in the UK.

Yes - the expiry date on your entry clearance sticker should not be the date your course finishes, you should expect to have some time after this. In addition most students should be able to work. Read the information on our website to check you have the correct conditions. more...

If you think your student/Tier 4 entry clearance is incorrect, we may be able to apply to the UK Border Agency for it to be amended via the Entry Clearance Correction Scheme, there is no charge for this scheme. You can not apply direct to the UKBA.

After reading the information on our website, if you think your Entry Clearance is incorrect please contact Student Support as soon as possible by completing the online enquiry form. Please note that we may not have time to request a change to your entry clearance if it is due to expire soon.

Is your visa due to expire?

If you need to extend your student visa to continue to study, you should begin by reading all the relevant information at least 4 months before your current visa expires, this is because it can take time to get your documents and you must ensure that you have had the required funds for the specified time in a relevant account.

The Students' Union Advice Centre are authorised to give immigration advice to University of Essex students wishing to make a Tier 4 visa application in the UK. Please see their website for further information and follow links to the UKCISA and UKBA guidance.

If your visa has already expired or if you do not have current immigration permission as a student, please contact the Students' Union Advice Centre immediately.

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Should you register with the Police?

Students from certain countries who are studying at the University for more than six months are required to register with the Police within seven (7) days of arrival in the UK. Your visa should state if you are required to register with the Police, if it does this is a condition of your visa, you must not breach (break) the conditions of your visa.

If you are already registered with the Police but have changed any details held, such as your address or have extended your visa, you must inform the Police immediately. more...

If you have failed to register with the Police in time please seek advice from the Students' Union Advice Centre immediately.

Working in the UK during your studies

It is very important that you do not breach (break) the work conditions of your visa. More information regarding working in the UK whilst you are studying is available on our website.

Most students from the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland can work in the UK without restriction. However, certain EEA nationals will need to make an application for permission first. Students from Bulgaria or Romania may need to apply for a registration certificate as a student, further information.

Tier 1 (Post Study Work)

It is possible for students who have been awarded a relevant degree to apply to remain in the UK to work or seek work under Tier 1 (Post Study Work) of the immigration rules. You must meet all the criteria of the rules to apply.

Please note that the UK Government have announced that this scheme is to close in April 2012, if you have not been awarded your degree by the date that it closes you will not be able to apply to the scheme.

If you make an application for Tier 1 (Post Study Work) before your exam board has met, meaning that your final results are not available and you have not been awarded your degree, your application is very likely to be refused. A refusal will have serious consequences for any future immigration applications. Please seek immediate immigration advice from the Students' Union Advice Centre.

UKCISA Survey - Tier 4

UKCISA are inviting students who have applied for a Tier 4 visa during 2011 to help them prepare recommendations to send to the UKBA, by completing a short survey, there are 5 i-pod shuffles to be won. The survey closes on the 31st October 2011.

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Other topics

World events – support for you

If you are a University of Essex student who may be affected directly or indirectly by world events, such as political developments or natural disasters, you’re encouraged to contact Student Support in the first instance if you require any form of help or advice. You are welcome to visit the office during normal opening hours if you are based at the Colchester campus (above the Campus Shop, Square 4) or you can telephone 01206 872366 or e-mail sso (non-Essex users add @essex.ac.uk).

Should I be paying Council Tax?

Are you a full-time, registered student or dependant of a non-EEA national and are living in private rented accommodation where all the occupants are full-time students or dependants?

Yes - Provided your course is for an academic year or more you should not have to pay Council Tax and will need a Council Tax exemption certificate, you can request a certificate on-line.

No - You will probably be liable for Council Tax, for further information and advice contact your campus Student Support service.

University halls of residence are exempt dwellings so you will not be charged Council Tax.

If your partner has a visa as your dependant, they would not usually be liable to pay Council Tax. You will need to explain this to the council and take their passport and visa to the council offices as evidence, you could also take a copy of the UKCISA information sheet, see link below.

If you are taking a pre-sessional or pathway English programme followed by a degree course at the Colchester campus, we may be able to assist you in obtaining exemption for the whole period. However, please note that this is at the council's discretion. If you are in this situation please visit the International Academy to see if you are eligible to receive a letter.

Please read the UKCISA information sheet entitled 'Council Tax and international students'.

 

Social Events - Colchester campus

University of Essex Hospitality Scheme

Are you studying at the Colchester campus and are NEW to the University of Essex?

No - Unfortunately, because spaces are very limited the scheme is only open to new international students.  However, you can apply for HOST and the Friends International scheme - further information on the Student Support website.

Yes - NEW international students based at the Colchester campus are eligible to apply for this scheme NOW, read on:

Volunteer hosts from the local community are matched with two international students and asked to meet with them over the University's Christmas vacation. In previous years visits included going to the host's home for Christmas lunch, trips to the pantomime, fish and chips by the sea and much more.

This year we have spaces for approximately 16 new students that will be issued on a first come, first served basis. Applications close at 4pm on Monday 14 November 2011.

PLEASE DO NOT APPLY IF YOU ARE GOING AWAY FOR CHRISTMAS. For more information and to apply....

Invitation to an evening at the Town Hall

Current EU and international students at the Colchester Campus are invited to a Rotary Club reception at the Town Hall on Tuesday 08 November in the evening. Further information and details about how to sign up are on our web site, be quick because spaces are allocated on a first come, first served basis. New students are given priority.

Southend and Loughton Campus students - sorry we can't invite you to join in this time but look out for another Rotary event in the spring to which you'll be invited.

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