UK Immigration Information and Guidance
From the 6 April 2012 changes will
be made to several areas of the immigration rules including Tier 4,
the student tier. These include:
Limits to the
number of years international students can spend in
the UK as a Tier 4 student. If a student makes a
Tier 4 application when they have already spent the
maximum time allowed in the UK, their application
will be refused.
increases in the amount of maintenance (funds) Tier
4 applicants must show they have and a cap of £1000
on the amount of paid University accommodation fees
that can be offset against this fund requirement.
In addition Tier 1 (Post Study Work) will be
abolished on the 5 April 2012 and there will be changes to Tier 1,
Tier 2 and Tier 5, see below.
Please read the information on the
Statement of Intent and ensure that you are aware of what this
may mean for you. If you have any queries please
contact an immigration adviser in Student Support, after the 15
March 2012 when the changes will be written into the Immigration
Rules, by completing the
immigration enquiry form.
Increase in application
fees - The UKBA have announced an increase in their fees
from 6 April 2012. There will be an increase in
application fees for Tier 4 applications made inside and outside of
the UK. It is vitally important you pay the correct fee otherwise
your application will be rejected as invalid which may lead to you
having to leave the UK. See the
UKBA website for further information.
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Changes to your studies
If you are in the UK with a Tier 4 visa it is very
important to be aware of your conditions and responsibilities.
Certain changes to your planned study could mean that you have to
take action immediately, for instance you may need to apply for a
new visa, contact the UKBA or even leave the UK. Please see the
immigration area of the University's website for more
If you are thinking of changing your course,
intermitting, withdrawing or taking a leave of absence it is vital
that you check what this will mean and what action you need to take,
failure to take the appropriate action could lead to problems in the
future regarding your immigration status. Further advice is
Student Support, please complete the
immigration enquiry form
rejections and refusals
Have you made an application in the UK to extend
your Tier 4 visa? Are you still awaiting the outcome or have you
received the outcome and not had immigration advice?
If you receive, or have received, a letter from the
UKBA rejecting or refusing your application it is imperative that
you seek immigration advice IMMEDIATELY from Student Support, please
online immigration enquiry form in the first instance. Don't
delay seeking immigration advice as this can have serious
consequences to your options and immigration status.
Please note that the University may not be able to
continue to sponsor you under Tier 4 and may not be able to allow
you to continue with your course if you do not have valid
immigration permission to study in the UK.
If you are due to make a Tier 4 application we
recommend you read the UKCISA guidance and; if you are eligible,
use the Batch Scheme run by the Students' Union Advice
Centre to make your Tier 4 (General) application in the
UK, they will check your application and documents are
correct and send it to the UKBA for you. (Please note
that we have not seen any rejections or refusals when
the application was made via this scheme). More
information on making a Tier 4 application in the UK is available on
Will you need to apply for a visa for more time in the UK to complete your
studies or; would you like to take another course below degree level?
Please note that if you are over 18, there is a limit to the time you
can spend in the UK studying courses that are below degree level as
a Tier 4 (General) student. If you make a Tier 4 application either
in the UK or overseas and you have already spent the maximum time
allowed studying courses below degree level as a Tier 4 (General)
student, your application will be refused. The maximum time allowed
is 3 (three) years.
If you have any concerns about this time limit and would like advice
or to check your circumstances, please contact Student Support as
soon as possible by completing the
immigration enquiry form.
Further guidance on applying to extend your Tier 4 (G) visa in the UK
is available from the
Students’ Union Advice Centre.
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Please note this scheme will be abolished by the UK Government
on the 5 April 2012. If you have not completely finished and been
awarded your degree by
the date the scheme is cancelled it will not be possible for you to
apply. Further information regarding applying for the scheme is available from the
Students' Union Advice Centre.
Please note that as of Friday 30
March 2012 it will not be possible to order a Tier 1
Post-Study Work award confirmation
letter from the
University via the online Student Documentation Ordering System. If
you believe you are eligible to apply for Tier 1 (PSW) please
request the letter before this date.
To request a letter from the University after the
30 March you will need to contact the Immigration Advisers in
Student Support by completing the online
enquiry form. The adviser will look into your case and if we
agree that you are eligible to apply, we will contact the Documents
Team in the Registry to see if the letter can be produced. Please
note that Registry cannot guarantee a letter can be produced at
short notice and in time for you to make the application.
Working in the UK After Studies: The UK Government have announced changes to other
work related immigration categories in the "Statement of Intent:
Changes to Tier 1, Tier 2 and Tier 5 of the Points Based System;
Overseas Domestic Workers; And Visitors" dated
February 2012. We recommend you read the UKCISA guidance on working
in the UK after studies, their guidance is likely to be updated
shortly after the immigration rules and guidance are amended.
Unfortunately, the University is not able to provide immigration
advice on working in the UK after studies.
Biometrics Residence Permits (BRP)
If you applied for your Tier 4 visa in the UK you
will have been issued with a Biometrics Residence Permit
(previously known as an Identity Card for Foreign Nationals),
this is your visa and you must show it at the UK border along with
your passport when entering the UK.
You have certain responsibilities as a holder of an identity card,
including to check it and report and errors within 10 days of
receiving it, full details are available to read on the
UKBA website. If you have lost your identity card or had it
stolen you must report this to the UK Border Agency within 3 months,
you will also need to apply for a replacement card, further
information is available on the
UKBA website. There could be serious consequences if you do not
contact the UKBA within the timescales they set.
Please read the UKCISA guidance entitled
'Protecting your Tier 4 student immigration status' for further
information and a link to the UKBA website.
If you are from outside the EEA and you have been issued with
Tier 4 entry clearance overseas, please check that it is correct.
Does it cover the whole length of your course
plus the standard extra amount of time at the end? You may be entitled to a longer
period of time in the UK or you may have been given
the wrong conditions. Read the information on our
and if you think it applies to you contact Student Support
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If you are an International or EEA/Swiss student you must check the
rules on working in the UK in relation to your immigration status. For
instance, you may not be able to work at all,
if you can work you may be limited to the amount of hours you are able to
work during term time. Your entry
clearance/residence permit should state if you can work and if so
how many hours you can work per week.
If you have a Tier 4 visa and have been given
conditions that allow work, the hours and type of work you can do
are restricted. Please check what you are allowed to do before you
start work as breaching the conditions of your visa is an offence
and can have very serious consequences for you and your immigration
The UK Council for International Student Affairs provides invaluable
advice and support for EEA and international students on many issues
including fees, immigration and working. They have a dedicated student
help line available to callers Monday to Friday 1-4pm, telephone 020
7107 9922 and a very useful website:
Immigration advice and services are regulated by the Office of the
Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC), and we as an institution
have to abide by the Commissioner’s Code of Standards. The OISC has
the power to investigate complaints made about immigration advice and
Student Support and the Students’ Union Advice Centre at the
Colchester campus have trained, experienced advisers who are
authorised to give UK immigration advice to University of Essex
students. The service you contact will depend on
the nature of your enquiry. Immigration advisers are only
able to give advice within their level of competency, therefore, in
some cases students may be referred to a specialist Solicitor or
If you are based at the Southend or Loughton campus you can contact
the relevant service by completing the on-line
enquiry form (Student Support) or sending an email
To find out which service to contact and how please
immigration area of the University's website.
No other department is authorised to give
immigration advice at the University of Essex. Official documents
for visa purposes are only available from specified departments,
information is available in the immigration area of the University's
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If you are a University of Essex student who may be affected directly
or indirectly by current world events, such as political
developments overseas 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).
information on their website regarding what returning students can
apply for and when. Eligible returning undergraduate overseas
students, must apply for accommodation each year by the
This newsletter is produced by Student Support,