Applying for Tier 4 (General) Student immigration permission

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1 Finance Personal Immigration UK EU International Undergraduate Postgraduate Applying for Tier 4 (General) Student immigration permission

2 About the Advice and Counselling Service The offers a free and confidential service to all QMUL students,including those from Barts and The London, QMUL s School of Medicine and Dentistry. You can view our confidentiality policy on our website: Our Welfare Advisers In this guide we sometimes advise you to contact a Welfare Adviser for further guidance. Welfare Advisers in the have specialist training to offer you professional advice on a range of financial, practical and legal issues. This includes: financial support (loans, grants, bursaries, etc) tuition fee status planning and managing a budget cutting costs hardship funds dealing with debt immigration law international student issues financial support for student parents (childcare costs, etc) postgraduate funding welfare benefits, including disability benefits housing rights and council tax The Welfare Advisers role is to offer you advice about your individual situation, explaining your rights, and any options and solutions available to you. You can then choose what you want to do. If your situation is complex, a Welfare Adviser can advocate on your behalf where appropriate, for example, appealing against an incorrect assessment of Student Finance or a welfare benefit. You can get advice at any time during your course, as well as before you start at QMUL. How to contact a Welfare Adviser You can see a Welfare Adviser in person during one of our same day appointments (during term time only), or at a pre-booked appointment, or you can questions via our website. If you need to speak to a Welfare Adviser but you are unable to come to the the Mile End campus, we can normally offer a telephone appointment. Appointments are one to one and confidential. More information about how an adviser can help you, and how our appointments work, is available at index.html For more information on how to contact us to book an appointment, our opening hours, and the times of our same day appointments, visit qmul.ac.uk/contact Also see our A Z directory of support services for information on how to contact other support departments at QMUL, and external organisations which can also offer you support. Disclaimer Law, regulations and policies can change quickly so make sure that you are using the most up-to-date version of this guidance. Check the Advice and Counselling Service website for regular updates. The information in this guide is given in good faith and has been carefully checked. QMUL, however, accepts no legal responsibility for its accuracy. Regulation of Immigration Advice The OISC (Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner) is an independent organisation that monitors immigration advice and services. Welfare Advisers at QMUL are regulated under OISC guidelines to give immigration advice. We have to attend regular training to do this. If you ever need to complain about the immigration advice you receive, the has a complaints procedure. You can find this on our website at Alternatively, you can complain directly to the OISC. Their complaints form is on the website at

3 welfare.qmul.ac.uk Contents Introduction 5 Making a successful immigration application 5 What is Tier 4 (General) Student immigration permission? 5 Technical terms 6 Can I apply for Tier 4 (General) Student immigration permission? 7 Applications made to British visa application centres or sections (outside the UK) 7 Extension applications (inside the UK) 7 Previous studies in the UK 9 Obtaining a CAS 11 New students 11 Existing students 11 Check your CAS statement carefully: 12 Forms, application fees and where to apply 13 The Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) 13 If you are applying to extend your leave inside the UK, you will continue to have free access to NHS hospital treatment while your application is being processed as long as you make your immigration application before your current immigration permission expires. You should keep evidence of paying the IHS in case it is not clear to hospital staff that you have paid, while your immigration extension application is being processed. Applications made to British visa application centres or sections (outside the UK) 14 Extension applications (inside the UK) 17 How much money do I need to show? 22 Maintenance 22 Tuition fees 25 I still need to show some money for my tuition fees and/or maintenance 26 What else should I submit with my application? 30 Evidence of your qualifications 30 What is the Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS)? 30 Applying for Tier 4 (General) Student immigration permission 3

4 welfare.qmul.ac.uk Parental permission for students who are 16 or 17 years old 32 What can I do if my documents (such as my ATAS certificate or CAS) are not ready before my immigration permission expires? 32 Low risk nationals 36 Do I actually need to have this evidence? 36 Should I submit this evidence anyway? 36 What about the immigration application form? 36 Hong Kong SAR and Taiwan (ROC) passport holders 37 Application checklist 38 For applicants outside the UK 38 For applicants in the UK 38 All applicants 38 Keeping copies of your documents 39 Partners and Children 40 Babies born in the UK 40 Further information 41 After your immigration application has been decided 42 If you submitted your application to a Visa Application Centre outside the UK 42 If you submit your application to the Home Office in the UK 44 Is your immigration permission correct? 45 Registering with the Police 47 What to do if things go wrong 49 Problems with immigration applications made outside the UK 49 Problems with immigration applications made in the UK 51 Where can I get further information and assistance? 59 Contact the 59 Information provided by the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) 59 Other regulated immigration advisers 60 Appendix 1: Worked example showing funds in multiple bank accounts 61 4 Applying for Tier 4 (General) Student immigration permission

5 welfare.qmul.ac.uk Introduction Making a successful immigration application The UK immigration system for students has been, and is going, through a period of considerable change. Between March 2009 and July 2013, there have been more than 25 changes to the immigration rules for adult students. That s an average of one change every 55 days. This demonstrates how important it is to make sure that you are using the latest guidance when you make an immigration application. You may find that a document, which you used in a previous application, is no longer acceptable. Don t get caught out make sure you use the most up to date guidance when making an immigration application. Warning: When making an immigration application, do not take advice from your friends or other people who are not regulated to offer immigration advice. They could give you bad advice, which could result in your immigration application being refused. Every immigration application is different as everyone s circumstances are different. Do not assume that your application will be the same as your friends because you think your situation is similar to theirs. This Advice Guide The Welfare Advisers at the have written this advice guide to help you make a successful immigration application: if you read it carefully, you should be able to prepare your application so that it meets the immigration rules. The first half of this advice guide will help you prepare your application, and the second half explains what happens after you submit your application, and what to do if anything goes wrong. Video guidance We have also created a number of video guides that explain the requirements, show you how to prepare your supporting documents and how to complete your application form. The videos provide an overview, but you will still need to refer to this guide for the details. To access the videos, visit our website: If your situation is unusually complicated or if something has gone wrong, you may need to seek immigration advice. See the section in this guide Where can I get further information and assistance? What is Tier 4 (General) Student immigration permission? Tier 4 is part of the Points Based Immigration System. The Home Office administers the System. Applying for Tier 4 (General) Student immigration permission 5

6 welfare.qmul.ac.uk To obtain immigration permission to come to or stay in the UK as a Tier 4 (General) student, you must score a total of 40 points: You can get 30 points for a valid Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) from a Licensed Sponsor You can get 10 points for having a specified amount of money available to you The points based system is very rigid which has the advantage that, if you follow the rules carefully and provide all the correct documents, your application should be successful. The disadvantage is that if you make a mistake, the Entry Clearance Officer or Caseworker who decides your application is normally required to refuse your application, even if it is a very small mistake. It is unlikely that you will be able to challenge a decision to refuse your immigration application if you have made a mistake. Even if you are able to challenge a decision, this can cost money and take many months. For these reasons, it is very important that you make sure that you complete your application form correctly and submit all the required documents in the specified format within the relevant timeframe. If you follow this guide carefully, you should be able to make a successful application. Technical terms There are some technical terms associated with the Points Based System of immigration: What is a CAS? To apply for immigration permission under Tier 4 of the Points Based System, you will need a special reference number called a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS). This reference number is linked to a record on a secure Home Office database, which contains the details QMUL has provided about you and your programme of studies. When you make your immigration application, the Entry Clearance Officer or Caseworker will use this reference number to retrieve the information QMUL has provided about you and your programme of studies. If you take up an unconditional offer on an eligible programme, QMUL will provide you with a CAS reference number. QMUL will also provide you with a statement of all the information the university has provided to the Home Office, but this is only to help you complete your application form and you do not need to submit this statement with your immigration application. Who will be my Licensed Sponsor? Under Tier 4 of the Points Based System your immigration permission must be sponsored by an education institution, which is licensed by the Home Office. In this context, sponsorship does not mean financial sponsorship. QMUL is licensed by the Home Office as a Tier 4 Sponsor. This is the highest possible rating. If you accept an unconditional offer on an eligible programme, QMUL will normally agree to be your sponsor. 6 Applying for Tier 4 (General) Student immigration permission

7 welfare.qmul.ac.uk Can I apply for Tier 4 (General) Student immigration permission? Even if you have a valid CAS and the specified amount of money (see later sections Obtaining a CAS and How much money do I need to show? ), there are some restrictions on if, when and where you can apply. Applications made to British visa application centres or sections (outside the UK) To be able to apply for Tier 4 immigration permission at a British visa application centre or section, you must satisfy the following criteria: If you are starting a new programme or resuming existing studies, you cannot apply for your immigration permission more than three months before the start date or resumption date of your studies. You must be at least 16 years old. Extension applications (inside the UK) To be able to apply for Tier 4 immigration permission in the UK, you must satisfy the following criteria: If you are starting a new programme or resuming existing studies (e.g. after a period out of attendance), these must start within 28 days of the date that your current immigration permission is curtailed to or expires. If you are starting a new programme, you cannot apply for your immigration permission more than three months before the start date of your new programme. If you are applying for an extension so that you can finish your current programme, QMUL will not normally be able to issue you with a CAS more than six months before your current immigration permission expires. You must be at least 16 years old. You must have last been granted immigration permission as one of the following: o Current categories: Tier 4 (General) Student, Tier 4 (Child) Student, Tier 2 Migrant, Applying for Tier 4 (General) Student immigration permission 7

8 welfare.qmul.ac.uk o Withdrawn categories (if you applied for your current immigration permission before the category was withdrawn): Tier 1 (Post-study Work) Migrant Participant in the International Graduates Scheme (or its predecessor, the Science and Engineering Graduates Scheme), Participant in the Fresh Talent: Working in Scotland Scheme, Postgraduate Doctor or Dentist, Student, Student Nurse, Student Re-sitting an Examination, Student Writing-Up a Thesis, Student Union Sabbatical Officer, Work Permit Holder If your last grant of leave was not one of the categories listed above then you must return to your home country and apply for a Tier 4 visa from there. Exceptions There are currently three exceptions to this: Some Syrian nationals You must be a Syrian national who is normally resident in Syria, but who is currently resident in the UK with any type of immigration permission which is still valid, or which expired no more than 28 days before you apply. However, you still need to meet the other Tier 4 requirements. If you are in this situation then you can apply for Tier 4 (General) Student immigration permission from within the UK even if your last grant of leave was not in one of the immigration categories listed above. You can also apply for Tier 4 (General) Student immigration permission, even if this would cause you to go over the allowed number of years studying. See the section Previous studies in the UK for more information. However, you still need to meet the other Tier 4 requirements. This concession will end on 28 February Some Libyan nationals You must be a Libyan national who switched from Tier 4 to Discretionary Leave under a special Home Office concession brought in on 20 July 2011, and who now wishes to switch back to Tier Some dependants of overseas diplomats This is only possible in certain compelling circumstances: please see the guidance written by UKCISA for further information. 8 Applying for Tier 4 (General) Student immigration permission

9 welfare.qmul.ac.uk You may also wish to contact a Welfare Adviser if you think this applies to you. Has your previous immigration permission already expired? Anyone who has overstayed their immigration permission by more than 28 days will usually have an extension application refused, although there are a small number of exceptions to this rule. See the section in this guide I have overstayed, what are my options? Previous studies in the UK Number of years spent studying in the UK under Tier 4 You will not be eligible for immigration permission to study in the UK under Tier 4 if you have or will have spent more than 5 years studying in the UK at degree level and above as a Tier 4 (General) student or as a Student (under the Immigration Rules before 31 March 2009). Medicine and dentistry courses are exempt from this 5 year limit. If you are applying for immigration permission to undertake a medicine or dentistry course, it doesn t matter if you have or will spend more than five years studying in the UK. However, it is our understanding that if you wish to make a future immigration application to study a course which is not exempt, the time you have spent studying any exempt courses will count towards the 5 year limit (sometimes called the five year cap). Please note, this is change of policy and will apply to all applications made from January It is our understanding that only the time you spend studying in the UK with Tier 4 or Student immigration permission will be included in the five year limit. This means that time spent in the UK before and after studying, granted by the Immigration Rules (e.g. if you are on a degree level programme of studies you are usually allowed to enter the UK one month before your studies begin and stay for four months afterwards) should not be counted in the five year limit. Time spent outside the UK during your programme of study should also not be counted in the five year limit, e.g. if you have to return home because you are re-sitting out of attendance. Keep evidence of your travel in and out of the UK in case you need to prove that you were outside the UK for a period of time. The five year limit is extended to six years if you wish to study a course at Master s level and you have successfully completed a degree level course in the UK where the standard course length was at least 4 academic years (this includes courses with a year in industry or a year abroad). If you take longer than expected to complete your course, for example because you need to retake part of your course or do resits, and to do so would take you over the five year limit, you can only extend your immigration permission if you had very compelling circumstances, such as injury, disability, or other compelling reasons. Students studying towards a Postgraduate Research Qualification (who have not already been awarded a Postgraduate Research Qualification in the UK) are also exempt from the cap. However, please note that if you have already completed a Postgraduate Research Qualification in the UK, you can only apply for immigration permission to study another course (at any level and in any subject Applying for Tier 4 (General) Student immigration permission 9

10 welfare.qmul.ac.uk area) if that course will not bring the total number of years you will have been in the UK as a Tier 4 (General) Student or Student (under the Immigration Rules before 31 March 2009) to more than 8 years. Postgraduate Research Qualifications include PhD and MRes qualifications, for a full list please see Annex 6 of the Tier 4 Policy Guidance: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-on-application-for-uk-visa-as-tier-4-student UKCISA have created a webpage and flowchart to help you calculate if an application for a further period of study will be possible under the cap: For more detailed information on the five year limit, follow this link to refer to paragraphs of the Home Office Tier 4 Policy Guidance: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-on-application-for-uk-visa-as-tier-4-student Progression of studies Higher education institutions are required to check that new students studies are at a higher level or complementary to any studies they have previously undertaken while in the UK with Student or Tier 4 (General) Student immigration permission. If you have studied a programme while you were in the UK with Student or Tier 4 (General) Student immigration permission which is at the same or higher level than your proposed studies at QMUL, it may not be possible to issue you with a CAS. You will be asked to provide information about any previous studies in the UK as part of the CAS request process. If you do not inform QMUL of your previous studies, your immigration application could be refused. If you have any questions about the level of your programme at QMUL or any previous programmes you have taken, contact the admissions team responsible for your application. 10 Applying for Tier 4 (General) Student immigration permission

11 welfare.qmul.ac.uk Obtaining a CAS New students Once you have firmly accepted an unconditional offer, the Admissions and Recruitment Office will send you an , which explains how you can apply for your CAS reference number. There is no fee for this. The Home Office has rules about the required level of English language for a particular course. If you have any questions about what level of English is required to get a CAS, contact the admissions team dealing with your application. During the CAS request process, you will be sent an asking you to verify your CAS by logging into the web portal. You should check the CAS statement carefully to make sure that all the information the university has provided is correct, and none of the required information is missing. If anything is incorrect or missing, you will be able to correct this, before your final CAS is issued. Existing students If you are part way through a programme at QMUL and you need to extend your immigration permission, you can request a CAS by logging in to your MySIS profile: You will find the form to request a new CAS under My Details. In order to complete the form, you will need to provide a copy of the personal details page of your current passport and a copy of your most recent visa sticker or biometric ID card (both sides). There are photocopiers in the main library, which you can use to scan your documents onto a USB memory stick. A new CAS for existing students costs 25 * If you have recently started your programme, you should be able to use the CAS which the Admissions and Recruitment Office sent to you as long as it is still valid (a CAS expires after six months and cannot be used more than once). If anything has changed since you started your programme, you need to to ask for your CAS to be updated. If you are applying for an extension of your immigration permission so that you can finish your current programme, the university will not normally be able to issue you with a CAS until 6 months before your current immigration permission expires. However, if you already have sufficient Applying for Tier 4 (General) Student immigration permission 11

12 welfare.qmul.ac.uk immigration permission to be able to complete your current programme, QMUL will not normally issue a CAS as you don t require further time in the UK to complete your studies. Your CAS will not be valid if: you have already used it to make an immigration application (even if your application was unsuccessful); or it was issued more than six months ago; or it was withdrawn by either the university or the Home Office Warning: During busy periods, it can take QMUL between 10 and 15 working days to issue a CAS. Please request your CAS as early as possible. Check your CAS statement carefully: You should check that all the information in your CAS statement is correct. We recommend that you pay particular attention to the following: Check that your personal details (name, date of birth, nationality and passport number) exactly match those in the passport you are planning to submit with your immigration application. Make sure you actually have any documents listed in the Evidence Used section, and that the documents you have are original. This section must also detail how the university has assessed your English language ability in all four areas, and that your course of study shows academic progression. What should I do if I notice that something in my CAS statement is incorrect or if something has changed? If you have already been issued a CAS and something changes, QMUL will need to amend your CAS. If you pay any money to QMUL, such as your tuition fees, after your CAS has been issued, this will not be automatically updated in your CAS. If something needs to be changed in your CAS, you should New students: Existing students: 12 Applying for Tier 4 (General) Student immigration permission

13 welfare.qmul.ac.uk Forms, application fees and where to apply The Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) The rules about who is entitled to free hospital treatment from the NHS (National Health Service) changed on 6 April Some treatment is free for everyone. For more information see: From 06 April 2015 you may need to pay an Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) as part of your immigration application so that you can have free access to hospital treatment from the NHS whilst you are in the UK. The immigration health surcharge is payable by those: Requiring entry clearance to come to the UK for a limited period where this permission results in leave of more than six months Making a leave to remain application (in the UK) for any length of time What you will need to pay will be based on the length of leave you will be granted if your immigration application is successful, including the time you are given before and after the course dates. The surcharge is calculated as 150 per year for each year of your leave. If your leave includes part of a year that is six months or less you will be charged an additional 75 for this period. If your leave includes part of a year that is more than six months, you will have to pay 150 for this period. Here are some examples: Course length/type Pre-sessional English 0 * 1 year master s degree year undergraduate degree year PhD 675 * Except if you are applying for an extension of your immigration permission in the UK. Applying for Tier 4 (General) Student immigration permission 13

14 welfare.qmul.ac.uk Some nationals (e.g. nationals of Australia and New Zealand) are exempt from the IHS due to reciprocal healthcare agreements. Anyone who has been awarded a Chevening Scholarship is also exempt from paying the IHS. Even if you are exempt, you will still need to register on the website (see below) and enter your details if you are applying to come to the UK for more than six months, or extending your permission inside the UK. From 5 July 2015 onwards, the IHS payment is integrated within the Tier 4 online application. If you are liable to pay the health surcharge, or if you are exempt but require an IHS reference number, when you are completing your Tier 4 online form you will be automatically directed to a new IHS payment website. Once you have completed the IHS process you will be given an IHS reference number to use in your Tier 4 application. If you are applying outside of the UK, the website will quote the fee in a foreign currency. Please note that we have observed that the exchange rates, which UKV&I are using appear to have 2-7% of additional loading fees. If you are applying to extend your leave inside the UK, you will continue to have free access to NHS hospital treatment while your application is being processed as long as you make your immigration application before your current immigration permission expires. You should keep evidence of paying the IHS in case it is not clear to hospital staff that you have paid, while your immigration extension application is being processed. Applications made to British visa application centres or sections (outside the UK) The form: Unless you are applying in North Korea, you will apply and pay for your immigration application online. You will be offered various options under the heading "Visa Sub Type". You should choose: Tier 4 (General) Student if you will be self or family funded, otherwise privately funded or funded by a student loan; Tier 4 (General) (Sponsored) Student if all of your tuition fees and living costs are going to be funded by an "official financial sponsor", which includes scholarships or bursaries provided by a university, the UK government, your home government (though this does not include student loans), the British Council or any international organisation or international company. This also includes any scholarships or bursaries that are paid by or via Queen Mary University of London. If you are only partially funded by an official financial sponsor you should not complete this type of application: complete the Tier 4 (General) Student 14 Applying for Tier 4 (General) Student immigration permission

15 welfare.qmul.ac.uk application instead. Tier 4 UK Government (Scholarship) Student ONLY IF you are the holder of a Chevening Scholarship or Fellowship, a British Marshall Scholarship, a Fulbright Scholarship or a Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan. If you are applying in North Korea, you will need to complete a paper version of the VAF9 form and Appendix 8. You can access the forms (online and paper) by visiting: https://www.gov.uk/tier-4-general-visa/apply Some of the wording used in the questions on the Visa4UK online application form can be confusing. You can find detailed explanations of some of these questions in this guide to the online form: The fee: 322 in the currency local to the visa application centre or section Additional charges: There are a number of countries where there is an additional fee of 59. To check the exact application fee for the country where you will be applying, please see the following link: https://visa-fees.homeoffice.gov.uk/y Where to make your application You can find which British visa application centre or section you need to apply to by visiting the GOV.UK website: https://www.gov.uk/find-a-visa-application-centre You are normally required to apply to the centre or section where you are normally living. Photographs You must submit one UK passport sized photograph taken within the last six months. Check that your photograph meets all of the Home Office requirements. You can find a summary of the requirements here: https://www.gov.uk/photos-for-passports Warning: Your application could be refused if your photographs do not meet the requirements. Applying for Tier 4 (General) Student immigration permission 15

16 welfare.qmul.ac.uk Passport or travel document You will need to submit your current passport or travel document. Make sure that it has not expired. You will also need to submit any previous passports you ve held unless they have been lost, stolen or returned to the issuing authority. Other documents You may need to submit other documents with your application, such as your previous qualifications or bank statements. All documents you submit must be originals (not photocopies faxes or printouts from the internet), unless the Home Office policy guidance specifies otherwise. See the following sections of this Advice Guide: How much money do I need to show? and What else should I submit with my application? Translations If a document is not in either English or Welsh, you will also need to provide an English translation of the document. Paragraph 16 of the Tier 4 policy guidance explains the requirements for translations for students who are applying from outside the UK: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-on-application-for-uk-visa-as-tier-4-student Biometrics You will need to attend a British visa application centre or section to record your biometric details. A scan of your fingerprints and a digital photograph of your face will be taken. Your visa application centre or section will give you information on how and when you should do this. Will I be required to attend an interview? You are likely to be required to attend a video or telephone interview as part of your entry clearance application. If this raises a doubt over whether your application is genuine, you may be required to attend an interview with an Entry Clearance Officer at the visa application centre. The Entry Clearance Officer may consider the following: Your immigration history in the UK and other countries Your education history, study and post-study plans Your financial circumstances QMUL and any official agents we use overseas If the Entry Clearance Officer is not convinced that you are genuine, you may be refused entry clearance. See the section of this guide called What to do if things go wrong. Tuberculosis (TB) Screening You ll need to have a tuberculosis (TB) test if you re coming to the UK for more than 6 months and are resident in any of the countries listed on the following web page: Do you need TB screening? 16 Applying for Tier 4 (General) Student immigration permission

17 welfare.qmul.ac.uk https://www.gov.uk/tb-test-visa/countries-where-you-need-a-tb-test-to-enter-the-uk If your test shows that you don t have TB, you ll be given a certificate which is valid for 6 months. You will need to include this certificate with your UK visa application. For more information about Tuberculosis testing, visit the GOV.UK website: https://www.gov.uk/tb-test-visa/overview How long will my application take? The UK Government aims to decide 90% of standard applications within 15 working days. Depending on the post you apply to, there may also be the option of making a priority application (within 5 working days) or a super priority application (within one working day). You can find out how long it is currently taking the UK visa application centre or section you are applying to, to decide applications on the following UK Visas & Immigration website: https://visa-processingtimes.homeoffice.gov.uk/ The information on this website indicates the situation one month ago and may not represent the current processing times. For example, from July onwards Visa Application Centres become increasingly busy as students make their applications to start programmes in September. Extension applications (inside the UK) If you are applying in the UK you should make your application using the online form on the UK Visas & Immigration website. To access the form, visit, https://www.gov.uk/apply-tier-4-visa and then select Start now. When you have completed your application, you will pay for your application online. You will then be prompted to print out a cover sheet, which you will send with your passport and supporting documents to the Home Office. The address is on the cover sheet. UKCISA have written guidance on applying using the Online application form, which you can read by going to this link: General-application-in-the-UK/Submitting-your-application The fee: 439 for a postal application (The Home Office states that it usually takes 4 to 14 weeks to decide an application plus additional time for postage and to register your biometric details.) 839 for an in person application (You will normally receive a decision on the same day, but you will need to make an appointment in advance. You will normally receive your plastic Biometric Residence Permit with your new immigration permission in 3-5 working days after your appointment.) Where to make your application By post: You should send your cover sheet, passport and supporting documents to the address on the cover sheet. Applying for Tier 4 (General) Student immigration permission 17

18 welfare.qmul.ac.uk We recommend that you send your application via Royal Mail Special Delivery so that you can track your application and if it is lost or damaged, you will receive compensation. In person: If you are applying in person you will need to attend one of the Home Office s Premium Service Centres. There are seven centres in the UK: Belfast Cardiff Croydon (this is the closest to QMUL and is about an hour from the Mile End campus by public transport) [Directions] Glasgow Liverpool Sheffield Solihull You can try to book your appointment when you pay for your online application. Be aware that during busy periods, appointments may not be available. Deadline for posting your documents or attending your appointment If you use the Tier 4 Student online application form, you must submit your online application form at the very latest before midnight on the day your immigration permission expires. If you have selected the standard service, you then have a further 15 working days to post your documents to the Home Office. If you have selected the premium service, you must attend an appointment within 45 working days. Warning: if you use the Tier 4 Student online application form and you need to show funds, you must have held your funds (see next section) for the 28 days before you submit and pay for your application online. If you are posting your supporting documents via Royal Mail, you must post them on or before the 15 th working day after you submitted your online immigration application. If you are using a private courier company, they must deliver your supporting documents to the Home Office on or before the 15 th working day after you submitted your online immigration application. Photographs You must submit two UK passport sized photograph taken within the last month. You can read a summary of the requirements here: https://www.gov.uk/photos-for-passports Warning: in the UK, one of the most common reasons why applications are retuned as You can obtain suitable photographs from the university s Copy Shop, which is located on the Ground Floor of the Temporary Building. 18 Applying for Tier 4 (General) Student immigration permission

19 welfare.qmul.ac.uk invalid is because an applicant s photographs do not meet the requirements. The charge is 5. See the Copy Shop s website for more information: Passport or travel document & UK Biometric Residence Permits You will need to submit your current passport or travel document. Make sure that it has not expired. Make sure all the details (such as your given names and family names) are written correctly in your passport. When QMUL issues you with any documents (such as your degree certificate and your CAS) we will copy your name and other details exactly as they appear in your passport. If you have renewed your passport since you were last granted immigration permission, you will also need to provide your previous passport (unless it has been lost, stolen or returned to the issuing authority). If you have been issued with a Biometric Residence Permit, you will also need to submit this with your immigration application. Other documents You may need to submit other documents with your immigration application, such as your qualifications or bank statements. See the following sections of this Advice Guide: How much money do I need to show? and What else should I submit with my application?. All the documents you submit must be originals (not photocopies, faxes or printouts from the internet). Translations If a document is not in either English or Welsh, you will also need to provide an English translation of the document. Paragraph 15 of the Tier 4 policy guidance explains the requirements for translations for students who are applying in the UK: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-on-application-for-uk-visa-as-tier-4-student If you are making an immigration application in the UK, please note that a translated document you have previously successfully used may not meet the Home Office requirements for applications made in the UK. The translation requirements for applications made in the UK are not the same for applications made overseas. Submitting your application before you have enrolled If you are moving between courses at QMUL you must submit your online immigration application before you can enrol for the new course. You then have 15 working days to post your documents to the Home Office from the date of submitting your online application. You are advised to take your required documents to enrolment, including a copy of the printed cover sheet from your online application, before you post the required documents to the Home Office. Applying for Tier 4 (General) Student immigration permission 19

20 welfare.qmul.ac.uk If for any reason you need to post your documents to the Home Office before you enrol, you must take your passport and qualifications to the Student Enquiry Centre (Ground Floor, Queens Building) so that they can take copies of your documents. If the Student Enquiry Centre have not taken a copy of your documents and you are unable to provide them because they are at the Home Office, you will not be able to fully enrol. Biometrics Before your immigration application is processed, you will need to register your biometric details (A scan of your finger prints and digital photograph of your face). If you post your immigration application, the Home Office will write to you to invite you to book an appointment to register your biometric details. There are a number of places where you can choose to go to register your biometrics details. You can register your biometric details at selected Post Offices (currently Post Offices charge for the service. You will need to pay by cash or debit card: credit cards are not accepted). The letter inviting you to register your biometric details will explain how to book your appointment and will give you details of the places where you can go. You should normally receive this letter within 15 days from the date you submitted your application to the Home Office. For more information about providing your biometric details at a Post Office, see: If you are submitting your application in person at a Premium Service Centre, your biometric details will be recorded when you submit your application. Will I be required to attend an interview? The Home Office may write to you and ask you to attend an interview. For more information about interviews see the UKCISA website: How long will my immigration application take? If you make your application in person at a Premium Service Centre, you will normally receive a decision on the same day. Your plastic Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) will normally be posted to you within three to five working days. For postal applications, the Home Office expects to be able to process 98.5% of straightforward applications within 8 weeks. Some applications can take longer, but this is unusual and the Home Office should write to you if this happens. These processing times are from the date when the Home Office receives your application to the date that they make a decision. It may take a few more days for the notice of their decision, your supporting documents and your Biometric Residence Permit to be posted to you. During the summer, and before Christmas, the Home Office receives a very large number of applications and it may take longer than normal for an application to be processed. If you are applying in person, you may find that there are very few appointments available during these periods. 20 Applying for Tier 4 (General) Student immigration permission

21 welfare.qmul.ac.uk If your application takes longer than 8 weeks to be processed and you have not received anything in writing explaining that it will take longer, you can contact the UK Visas and Immigration contact centre on: *. Unfortunately, the time it takes to process your immigration application is outside of QMUL s control, however if you need to travel urgently and your passport is at the Home Office, you can contact the for advice. * This is a national rate number and you can use any call allowance included in your phone contract. Applying for Tier 4 (General) Student immigration permission 21

22 welfare.qmul.ac.uk How much money do I need to show? The amount of money you will need to show depends on how long your studies will be, if you have recently been studying in the UK, and if you will be receiving official financial support, or a scholarship. Maintenance Maintenance is the money you will need for your accommodation and other living expenses while you are studying in the UK. Reduced maintenance requirement In some circumstances, you may be able to show a reduced amount of money for your maintenance if you have an established presence in the UK. Paragraph 14 of Appendix C of the Immigration Rules explains when a student will be considered to have an established presence and can benefit from the reduced maintenance requirement: 14. An applicant will have an established presence studying in the UK if the applicant has current entry clearance, leave to enter or leave to remain as a Tier 4 migrant, Student or as a Postgraduate Doctor or Dentist and at the date of application: (i) has finished a single course that was at least six months long within the applicant's last period of entry clearance, leave to enter or leave to remain, or (ii) is applying for continued study on a single course where the applicant has completed at least six months of that course. (iii) is applying for leave to remain as a Tier 4 (General) Student on the Doctorate Extension Scheme You will not have an established presence if: Your current immigration permission is in another immigration category (E.g. Tier 1 Post Study Work, or as a dependant); or Your immigration permission has run out,(e.g. because it has been curtailed (cut-short) or it has expired); or You did not complete your previous programme and you have not studied at least six months of your new/current programme; or 22 Applying for Tier 4 (General) Student immigration permission

23 welfare.qmul.ac.uk You are re-sitting out of attendance and your previous immigration permission has run out (E.g. because your immigration permission expired or you had Tier 4 Student immigration and this was cut-short). If you are not sure if your Tier 4 Student immigration permission has been cut-short, you should show the full amount of money for maintenance. Length of programme You will need to show that you have 1,020 for each remaining month of your programme up to a maximum of nine months (or two months if you meet the reduced maintenance requirement). You need to check your CAS statement for the start and end dates of your programme, to calculate the remaining length. If your CAS states that your programme starts or finishes part way through a month, you need to include the whole of that month when you calculate how long the remainder of your programme is. Depending on the remaining length of your programme on the day that you apply, you will need to show: Remaining length of programme in months Full maintenance requirement Reduced maintenance requirement 1 1,020 1, ,040 2, ,060 2,040 * 4 4,080 2,040 * 5 5,100 2,040 * 6 6,120 2,040 * 7 7,140 2,040 * 8 8,160 2,040 * 9 9,180 2,040 * 10 9,180 2,040 * * If you qualify for the reduced maintenance requirement and your programme is longer than two months, the amount you need to show is capped at 2,040. The amount you need to show is capped at 9,180. Applying for Tier 4 (General) Student immigration permission 23

24 welfare.qmul.ac.uk Things you can deduct from the amount you need to show for your maintenance Money you have already paid to QMUL for your accommodation If you will be living in QMUL halls of residences you can deduct up to a maximum of 1,020 of the money paid to QMUL for accommodation for the year from the amount you need to show towards your maintenance. If you have paid more than 1,020 you can still only deduct 1,020 from the amount you need to show for maintenance. The amount you have paid should be shown in your CAS statement. You can only use evidence that you have paid money for accommodation, if you have paid the money to QMUL or the University of London. You cannot use money paid to other accommodation providers. Official financial sponsorship If you will be receiving money for living expenses from any of the following: The British Government The government in your home country The British Council An international organisation An international company the Home Office has previously stated that they regard this as meaning a company with presence in more than one country. The Home Office will try and verify this themselves e.g. by checking company stationery or websites A university (including funds provided or administered by QMUL) An independent school Then you can deduct the amount you will receive for the year from the amount you need to show for maintenance. If you will be receiving money for your living expenses from QMUL, this should be detailed in your CAS statement. If your living expenses will be paid directly to you, you will need to provide a letter from the organisation as proof. Paragraph 180 of the Tier 4 policy guidance explains the requirements for the letter: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-on-application-for-uk-visa-as-tier-4-student Warning: If you are receiving or have received sponsorship in the last 12 months from a government or an international scholarship agency which covers/covered both your tuition fees and your living expenses, you must provide a letter from your financial sponsor confirming that they give their consent for your immigration application. If you do not provide this letter, your application will be refused. 24 Applying for Tier 4 (General) Student immigration permission

25 welfare.qmul.ac.uk Tuition fees You must be able to show that you have the money to pay for your tuition fees for the year. Your CAS statement should show how much you must pay for the year. Definition of the year If your programme is one year or longer, the Home Office will assess your finances based on an academic year. The academic year that the Home Office will use to assess your finances will depend on your situation, when your CAS is issued: For new students it will be the first year of your programme If you are applying part way through an academic year then it is the current academic year If you are applying between academic years (E.g. during summer holidays) then it is the next academic year. In this section we will refer to this as the year. Things you can deduct from the amount you need to show for your tuition fees Money you have already paid to QMUL for your tuition fees If you have already paid money to QMUL for your tuition fees, this information should be included in your CAS statement. Your CAS statement will only detail money paid for the year (see above). It will not detail money paid in previous years. Note: If the amount you need to pay for tuition fees has been reduced (E.g. because you have a Science and Engineering Scholarship or a discount for prompt payment), this may be shown as money you have paid to the university. The reason this is shown in this way is because the Home Office systems are not able to account for tuition fee reductions. Official financial sponsorship If you will be receiving money for your tuition fees from any of the following: The British Government, The government in your home country The British Council An international organisation An international company the Home Office has previously stated that they regard this as meaning a company with presence in more than one country. The Home Office will try and verify this themselves e.g. by checking company stationery or websites A university (including funds provided or administered by QMUL) An independent school You can deduct the amount you will receive for the year from the amount you need to show for your tuition fees. Depending on how your sponsorship is arranged, your sponsorship may be detailed in your CAS statement or you may need a letter from the organisation providing your Applying for Tier 4 (General) Student immigration permission 25

26 welfare.qmul.ac.uk sponsorship. Paragraph 180 of the Tier 4 policy guidance explains the requirements for the letter: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-on-application-for-uk-visa-as-tier-4-student Study abroad (associate) students If you are a study abroad student and your home institution is paying your tuition fees, your CAS should state that the tuition fee payable by you is 0.00, in which case, you will not need to show that you have any money for your tuition fees. If your home institution will also be paying for your accommodation at QMUL, this should also be detailed in your CAS statement. PhD students writing up If you are a PhD student and you are applying for time to write up, there is no fee. On your application form you will need to enter 0.00 as your course fees. If you are making your application in the UK, you should select no to the question Have you or your parent(s)/legal guardian(s) already paid any of your course fees? as you have no fees to pay. I still need to show some money for my tuition fees and/or maintenance Warning: one of the most common reasons for immigration applications being refused is because an applicant s financial evidence does not meet the requirements of the Home Office policy guidance. Please read this section very carefully to ensure you meet the financial requirements. If you have not been able to deduct all of your tuition fees and maintenance (see above), then you will need to show that you have enough money to cover the remaining amount. Whose money can I show? You can only show money held: In your name (but this can be a joint account) or in the name of: Your parent(s) (you will need to include your birth certificate with your application) Your adopted parent(s) (you will need to provide your adoption certificate with your application) Your legal guardian (you will need to provide a court document that confirms the appointment of your legal guardian) If you are from a country where birth certificates are not issued, the Home Office will accept another type of official document such as a government-issued household register. They will not, however, accept an affidavit, even one sworn before a court. If you are using money held by your parent(s) or legal guardian, you will also need to provide a letter from them confirming that they will allow you to use this money. Full details of the requirements for this evidence can be found in paragraphs of the Tier 4 policy guidance: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-on-application-for-uk-visa-as-tier-4-student 26 Applying for Tier 4 (General) Student immigration permission

27 welfare.qmul.ac.uk How long must I have had this money? You, your parent(s) or your legal guardian(s) will need to show that the required amount of money has been held continuously for 28 days. This means that the account balance must not have dropped below the required amount of money at any time during the 28 day period. The closing balance (the last day of the 28 day period) must be within 31 days of the date you submit your application. If you submit evidence which covers more than 28 days, the Caseworker or Entry Clearance Officer will only consider money held for the 28 days up to your closing balance. They will ignore any balances before the 28-day period. If you submit evidence from more than one account, the Caseworker or Entry Clearance Officer will look at the combined total of all your accounts during the 28-day period before your closing balance. If the closing balances for your accounts fall on different dates, the case worker will choose the date of one of your closing balances and consider the combined total of all your accounts during the 28 day period up to that date. They will try to choose whichever closing balance date would allow you to show that you have maintained the required amount of money for 28 days. They can only choose a closing balance that is within 31 days of the date you submit your immigration application. For more information about using multiple bank accounts, see the worked example in Appendix 1. Declaring that money is available When you make your immigration application, you will have to declare that the money you are showing is genuinely available to you for your tuition fees and your living expenses and will remain available to you (unless you use it to pay for your tuition fees or living expenses). Warning: Do not make a false statement about the availability of your money. For example: if the money you show belongs to someone else and you have to give it back before your studies are complete, you would not be able to make the above declaration without making a false statement. If you make a false statement to the Home Office, your immigration application could be refused. If your immigration application is successful, but the Home Office later finds out that you had made a false statement, your immigration permission could be cancelled. If your immigration application is refused or your immigration permission is cancelled because you have made a false statement, any application you make for immigration permission to travel to the UK may automatically be refused for 10 years. Which documents can I use as evidence? To make sure that your financial documents will be accepted, check the requirements in paragraph of the Tier 4 policy guidance: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-on-application-for-uk-visa-as-tier-4-student You can use any of the following documents as evidence of the money available to you, your parents, adopted parents or legal guardian: Applying for Tier 4 (General) Student immigration permission 27

28 welfare.qmul.ac.uk A bank or building society statement (see sample statement on the next page) A building society pass book A letter from your bank confirming your funds have been held for 28 days A letter from a regulated financial institution confirming that you have a loan that is provided by the national government, the state or regional government or a government sponsored student loan company, or that is part of an academic or educational loans scheme. (If you have obtained a loan from a different source (such as from a bank) in order to finance your studies then you must transfer the funds into your own bank account (or that of your parents or legal guardian) and wait 28 days before using one of the other forms of evidence listed above.) Certificates of deposits These are not listed in the Immigration Rules or policy guidance as acceptable, but the guidance the Home Office issues to its staff states that a certificate can be accepted if it meets the following requirements: the certificate of deposit must have been issued within 31 days of the date of application at least 28 days must have elapsed between the date of the deposit and the date of issue of the certificate; and there must be no wording on the document which indicates the funds are frozen or otherwise inaccessible. Banks outside the UK You can use a statement from an account in a bank which is not in the UK. The Home Office uses the currency converter on the Oanda website (http://www.oanda.com) to look up the exchange rate on the date you submit your immigration application. If your account is not in pounds sterling then you will need to check that, according to that conversion rate, your account(s) show that you have held enough money for the 28 day period. The Home Office has very strict requirements regarding the documents they will accept as evidence of the money available to you. There are some financial institutions which do not cooperate with the Home Office and the Home Office will not consider evidence from these financial institutions. A list of these financial institutions can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/immigration-rules-appendix-p This list is frequently updated, so you may find that a document from a financial institution that was previously accepted, may not be accepted when you make a new immigration application. 28 Applying for Tier 4 (General) Student immigration permission

29 welfare.qmul.ac.uk If you are using a bank statement or statements, make sure that it has the following features: Your bank s name and logo 30/06/2014 Mr J Smith A BANK Date Type Value Balance 01/06 Opening Balance /06 Cash /06 DD Phone /06 Mum and Dad /06 A shop Cinema /06 Travel tickets B shop /06 Closing Balance The date of the statement Your name or your parent/ legal guardian s name and account number Balances that show that you have held the required amount of money continuously for the 28 days up to and including the closing balance The date of the closing balance must be within the last 31 days It is a good idea to use a highlighter pen to indicate each of the above features on your bank statement, so the Caseworker or Entry Clearance Officer can easily see that your statement meets the requirements. Warning: one of the most common reasons why Tier 4 (General) applications are refused is because an applicant s financial evidence does not meet the requirements of the policy guidance. Carefully check your documents against the Home Office policy guidance to make sure this does not happen to you. Applying for Tier 4 (General) Student immigration permission 29

30 welfare.qmul.ac.uk What else should I submit with my application? Depending on what is stated in your CAS statement, you may need to submit other documents with your immigration application. Evidence of your qualifications If it is stated in your CAS statement that the university has assessed your ability to undertake a programme of studies based on your previous qualifications, you must provide evidence of these with your immigration application. You should submit your original certificate or transcript. If your certificates or transcripts are not in English, you will also need to provide an English translation of the document. Paragraphs of the Tier 4 policy guidance explain the requirements for translations: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-on-application-for-uk-visa-as-tier-4-student You can tick no to the question on the application form which asks Have you been assessed by the sponsor by other means, for example references or a portfolio of artwork because QMUL assesses candidates on academic criteria. Warning: one of the most common reasons why Tier 4 (General) applications are refused is because an applicant hasn t provided the documents listed in their CAS statement. What is the Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS)? Students from outside the European Economic Area and Switzerland are required to have a security clearance certificate before starting studies that lead to postgraduate qualifications in some subject areas. (This includes undergraduate degrees that result in postgraduate qualifications, such as an MEng degree). If you are required to have an ATAS certificate for your studies, you will not meet the requirements to apply for Tier 4 (General) Student immigration permission until you have your certificate. If you are required to have an ATAS certificate for your studies, you will not be allowed to start your studies or enrol at QMUL until you have your certificate. If you are a current student, and you need to extend your immigration permission, you will be required to show your ATAS certificate before you can be issued a CAS. 30 Applying for Tier 4 (General) Student immigration permission

31 welfare.qmul.ac.uk How do I apply for an ATAS certificate? For more information about which subject areas and qualifications require an ATAS certificate and to apply, go to: https://www.gov.uk/academic-technology-approval-scheme There is no charge for applying for an ATAS certificate and you can apply for as many certificates as you have offers. It can take 20 working days for an ATAS certificate to be issued and sometimes longer during busy periods. What do I do if my ATAS application is delayed? If you have not had a response from the FCO, check your inbox is not full (and therefore rejecting the message). Also check your Spam folder or Junk folder to make sure that the has not been filtered out. If it is more than 20 working days since you have applied for your ATAS certificate, you can (please note, if you contact them before 20 working days have elapsed they will not respond to your ). If you applied more than 20 working days ago, you have then ed and you have not had a response within two working days, please contact the for assistance. You will need to provide us with a copy of your application confirmation ( ed to you) and a copy of the you sent to Applying for Tier 4 (General) Student immigration permission 31

32 welfare.qmul.ac.uk What do I do if something changes after I apply for my ATAS certificate? If you have been granted an ATAS certificate, but something changed, you will need to apply for a new ATAS certificate with your new details within 28 calendar days of any such changes being agreed. * Relevant changes include: your CAS number your passport number your JACS code your course end date is postponed for a period of more than three calendar months there are any substantive changes to the contents of your course or to your research proposal Parental permission for students who are 16 or 17 years old If you are 16 or 17 years old you must provide a letter from your parent(s) or legal guardian giving their consent for you to apply for immigration permission and travel to the UK to live independently. The requirements for the letter are detailed in paragraphs of the Tier 4 policy guidance: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-on-application-for-uk-visa-as-tier-4-student What can I do if my documents (such as my ATAS certificate or CAS) are not ready before my immigration permission expires? You must meet the immigration requirements on the date that you make your online Tier 4 application. However, you then have a further 15 working days to post your supporting documents to the Home Office, or up to 45 working days to submit your supporting documents if you are attending an in person appointment. You are not required to be in possession of all your supporting documents on the date you make your online application, however you must be sure that you will be able to obtain all of the required documents within the 15 or 45 working days deadline, and that those documents will demonstrate that you met the requirements on the date of your online application. For example, you might obtain your bank statements after the date of your online application, but the statements must show that you had held the required funds for 28 consecutive days before the date of you submitted your online application. Under the Points Based System, there is no official mechanism for submitting late documents after the 15 or 45 working days deadline (such as an ATAS certificate, CAS reference number, or bank * This is a QMUL requirement for all students, and it is also an immigration condition for those who applied for Tier 4 immigration permission on or after 06 November Applying for Tier 4 (General) Student immigration permission

33 welfare.qmul.ac.uk statements). Your Tier 4 application should be fully complete with all supporting documents submitted within the 15 or 45 working days. If you will not be able to obtain documents within the 15 or 45 working days deadline, that demonstrate that you met the Tier 4 requirements on the date of your online application, you should return to your home country before your current immigration permission expires. Once you can meet the requirements for a Tier 4 application, you can apply at home, without overstaying your immigration permission in the UK. You will need to consider: The expense of travelling home; and The time this process will take and how that may affect your studies. You will need to discuss this with your academic school and check that they agree to you leaving the UK for the required amount of time. If they don t, you will need to consider interrupting your studies. If you can meet the Tier 4 requirements on the date of application, but you cannot obtain all of the required documents within the 15 or 45 working days deadline, you can either return home and apply from there (see above), or submit your online application before your current immigration permission expires. If your late document is an ATAS certificate, in the online application you will need to write something in the box What is your Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) reference number?. You can write something like Awaiting decision - see covering letter. If you apply in the UK and don t have all of the required documents, you have two options: 1. In your online application, choose to apply in person (note this is a lot more expensive). This gives you the longest amount of time (up to 45 working days) to attend an appointment at the Home Office at which you will need to produce all of the required documents, or 2. Choose a postal application. This only gives you 15 working days to post all of the required documents to the Home Office. If some of your documents are missing, this means that your application will be incomplete, and could be refused on this basis. However you can try writing a covering letter to send with your application, explaining which document is missing, why it is missing (for example, you are still waiting for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to process your ATAS application), that you still have not received it and that you will forward it to the Home Office as soon as you do. When you get the late document, send it to the correspondence address on your application cover sheet (the address is slightly different to the address where you sent your passport and other supporting documents). When you send your documents, make sure you use Royal Mail Recorded or Special delivery post so you can prove when the Home Office received your documents. Applying for Tier 4 (General) Student immigration permission 33

34 welfare.qmul.ac.uk A caseworker will not normally make a decision on your application until you have registered your biometric details. Please note that a caseworker may not wait for you to send your late documents. They can make a decision based on the documents that are available to them. If this means that your application does not meet the requirements, your application will be refused. If your application is refused you could: Challenge the decision if you can show that the Home Office had all the documents on the day of the decision or the caseworker didn t follow the Home Office policy guidance (see below). Attempt to make a new and complete application in the UK. If you stay in the UK after your immigration permission has expired you would be in the UK illegally. Your new immigration application will normally be refused if you have stayed in the UK for more than 28 days before making your application. Please see the next section, What will happen if I make a late application. Return home to make a new application. If this would take a long time you may need to interrupt your studies. If you stay in the UK for more than 90 days after your immigration permission expires, you could be banned from making an immigration application to return to the UK for at least one year from the date you leave the UK. See the section of this Advice Guide called What to do if things go wrong for more information about refused and invalid applications. Home Office policy guidance on missing documents The Home Office states in paragraph 18 of their Tier 4 Policy Guidance that: If you have submitted specified documents in which: Some of the documents in a sequence have been omitted (for example, if one bank statement from a series is missing); - A document is in the wrong format (for example, if a letter is not on letterhead paper as specified); or - A document is a copy and not an original document; or - A document does not contain all of the specified information; we may contact you or your representative in writing, and request the correct documents. We must receive the requested documents at the address specified in the request within 7 working days of the date of the request. We will not ask for further information where we do not anticipate that a correction of minor errors or omissions will lead to an approval or where a specified document has been completely omitted. You will still need to have met the requirements under Tier 4 on the date you submit your application. If you are unable to provide the required documents in the required format by the Home Office s deadline, your application may be refused. You can access the Home Office Policy Guidance on this webpage: 34 Applying for Tier 4 (General) Student immigration permission

35 welfare.qmul.ac.uk https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-on-application-for-uk-visa-as-tier-4-student Note: even though the Policy Guidance explains that a Caseworker may contact you, this might not happen and your application could still be refused on the basis of missing or incorrect documents. If you are aware that a document is missing, or is in the wrong format, or is not an original, we do not recommend that you wait for Home Office to contact you. Instead, you should try and send it to the Home Office at the earliest opportunity (see above). What will happen if I make a late application? If you cannot meet the Tier requirements by the expiry date of your current immigration permission, you may be considering overstaying your permission and making a late application to the Home Office. You need to consider the following: You would be in the UK illegally if you stay in the UK after your immigration permission expires and you have not made a valid immigration application (submitted the online application) before it expired. If the authorities become aware that you are overstaying (e.g. if you were in a car that was stopped by the police) you could be detained and possibly removed from the UK. Your new immigration application will normally be refused if you have stayed in the UK for more than 28 days before making your application. If your late application is refused or invalid, you may be required to leave the UK. If you stayed in the UK for more than 90 days after your immigration permission expired, you could be banned from making an entry clearance application to return to the UK for up to one year from the date you left the UK. Note: even if the reason why you stayed for more than 90 days was because the Home Office took this time to make a decision, you could still be banned. You would have to declare that you have overstayed in any UK immigration application. The online Tier 4 application form asks if you have overstayed, and asks you to explain why. Please consider these options and their possible implications carefully. Applying for Tier 4 (General) Student immigration permission 35

36 welfare.qmul.ac.uk Low risk nationals To find out if you are considered to be a low risk national by the UK Government, please see the list in Appendix H of the Immigration Rules: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/immigration-rules-appendix-h You will qualify for differentiation arrangements if you are a low risk national applying in the UK or applying in the country or territory associated with your passport. This means that, when you make your immigration application, you do not need to provide: 1. Evidence that you have the required funds for your studies 2. Evidence of your previous qualifications (as listed in the Evidence used section of your CAS statement) Instead, you will need to declare that you have access to this evidence. Do I actually need to have this evidence? Even though you are not required to submit the above evidence, you must have it in your possession. After you have submitted your immigration application, the Entry Clearance Officer or Caseworker who considers your immigration application may contact you and ask you to provide your evidence anyway (we understand that this should only happen in a small minority of cases). A Border Forcer Officer may also ask you to show your evidence when you arrive in the UK and you should carry it with you in your hand luggage. Should I submit this evidence anyway? No. If you qualify for differentiation arrangements, your application will be processed more quickly if you do not send this evidence. If you send your evidence anyway, the Entry Clearance Officer or Caseworker will need to verify the documents that you have sent are genuine and meet the requirements of the Immigration Rules. This may delay your application. What about the immigration application form? Applying in the country or territory associated with your passport If you are one of the above nationals and you are applying in the country or territory associated with your passport, you can select evidence not required under guidance, but held by applicant, where it appears on the online form. 36 Applying for Tier 4 (General) Student immigration permission

37 welfare.qmul.ac.uk Applying in the UK If you are one of the above nationals and you are applying in the UK, the online application form will automatically work out which documents you are required to submit with your immigration application. The form will recognise that due to your nationality you qualify for differentiation arrangements, and it will not prompt you to provide evidence of your finances or your academic certificates or transcripts. Hong Kong SAR and Taiwan (ROC) passport holders If you have a Hong Kong SAR passport or a Taiwan (ROC) passport and you are applying in the UK using the online application the Home Office has confirmed that you should select 'Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of China' or 'Taiwan' (as appropriate) in answer to the question about your nationality, even though your passport states that your nationality is 'Chinese' or 'Republic of China'. Applying for Tier 4 (General) Student immigration permission 37

38 welfare.qmul.ac.uk Application checklist Use the following checklist to make sure that you are ready to submit your immigration application: For applicants outside the UK You have evidence of a tuberculosis test (if you are required to provide this) For applicants in the UK You have your UK Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) (if you have been issued with one) You have your police registration certificate (if your immigration permission requires you to register with the police). If you are required to register with the police, you must register any new immigration permission and any changes of address within 7 days. You should take extra care to make sure your registration certificate is up-to-date before submitting your immigration application. If you have not yet enrolled, ensure that you have shown your passport and qualifications to the Student Enquiry Centre (Ground Floor, Queen s Building) and copies have been taken of these documents. If the Student Enquiry Centre have not taken a copy of your documents and you are unable to provide them because they are at the Home Office, you will not normally be able to fully enrol. All applicants Your passport is valid and that it has your correct details All the information in your CAS is correct (check your CAS statement) Your CAS is less than six months old (your CAS statement should state when it was issued) Your CAS statement explains how QMUL has assessed your English language ability, and how QMUL has assessed your academic progression You have evidence of your qualifications (if listed in your CAS) and these are in English or you have official English translations * You have your ATAS certificate (if required by your CAS) * You should not provide this if you qualify as a low risk national (see previous section) 38 Applying for Tier 4 (General) Student immigration permission

39 welfare.qmul.ac.uk You have permission from your parents (if you are 16 or 17) You have evidence of your finances which you have checked meets the requirements of the Home Office policy guidance * Your photograph(s) meet the Home Office photograph requirements Your passport or travel document is still valid You have the correct application payment You have completed the form(s) correctly Keeping copies of your documents Warning: You must keep a copy of your online application form, and everything you send with your immigration application, as well as any correspondence you receive from the Home Office. This includes your passport and any supporting documents you send (e.g. photographs, bank statements and certificates). This is very important as the Home Office may keep all your documents if your immigration application is refused. You will need copies of these documents if you wish to challenge the decision or submit a new application. If there is a problem with your application, you may need to show your photocopies to a Welfare Adviser in the so that they can provide you with advice. If you are a current student and you are in the UK, you can use the photocopiers in the main library to scan your documents onto a USB memory stick. There is a procedure to request the Home Office to return your documents however, it can take the Home Office a long time to do this and, if you have a deadline to meet (e.g. if you are submitting a new application or challenging a decision) you may not get your documents back in time. * You should not provide this if you qualify as a low risk national (see previous section) Applying for Tier 4 (General) Student immigration permission 39

40 welfare.qmul.ac.uk Partners and Children Your partner and/or child can only apply for immigration permission to join you in the UK if: you are studying a postgraduate programme at QMUL, which is 12 months or longer; or you are a government-sponsored student and you are studying a programme at any level, which is more than 6 months long. There are transitional measures for partners and children who already have immigration permission to join you in the UK. In this context, partner includes: Husband or wife Same-sex civil partner A partner who you have been living with for at least two years in a relationship similar to marriage or civil partnership The UK immigration rules state that you and your husband, wife or partner must be 18 or older on the date when they arrive in the UK. Your children must either be: under 18; or if they already have immigration permission as your dependant, they must not have formed an independent life. For children to be granted immigration permission as a dependant, in most cases, both parents must also be in the UK or plan to travel to the UK with them, unless there are serious and compelling reasons for only one parent being here. If you think this applies to you and your family, you may like to get specialist immigration advice to see if you would have a strong case before you apply. You will need to show that you have additional money to support your dependants. There is more information on the GOV.UK website: https://www.gov.uk/tier-4-general-visa/family-members Babies born in the UK Birth in the UK does not automatically make a baby a British citizen. The baby needs to have a parent with British citizenship or settled status in the UK in order to be born British. From 6 April 2015 an Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) has been introduced for people who need immigration permission to come to the UK and who will be staying for more than six months, or who are extending their immigration permission in the UK for any length of time. This charge is 40 Applying for Tier 4 (General) Student immigration permission

41 welfare.qmul.ac.uk payable at the time of making an immigration application, to provide for free access to NHS hospital treatment. If you have a baby who is born in the UK, they are exempt from paying charges for NHS hospital treatment while they are aged 3 months or less. Therefore if you would like your baby to be able to get free hospital treatment after 3 months, you are advised to make an application for leave to remain in the UK for your baby soon after they are born. Alternatively, you may decide to pay for private medical insurance for your baby. There is information about how to apply for immigration permission for babies born in the UK on the UKCISA website. Further information You can find more information about the requirements and how to apply for immigration permission for your family on the UKCISA website: Warning: The immigration rules changed several times. Even if you have applied with your dependents before, you may find that you are unable to apply under the new rules or that the requirements have changed. If you have questions after reading this information, see the section in this guide Where can I get further information and assistance? Applying for Tier 4 (General) Student immigration permission 41

42 welfare.qmul.ac.uk After your immigration application has been decided If your application is successful, the Home Office will return your documents and issue you with immigration permission. If your application is not successful see the section of this Advice Guide called What to do if things go wrong for information about refused and invalid applications. There are different processes for applications made to British visa application centres and sections outside of the UK and applications made to the Home Office in the UK. If you submitted your application to a Visa Application Centre outside the UK If you submitted your immigration application to a British Visa Application Centre outside the UK, your documents may be posted to you or you may need to travel to the centre or section to collect your documents and passport. Your passport should contain an Entry Clearance sticker: Check all the details are correct. See the section Error on an Entry Clearance issued outside of the UK below. When you travel to the UK, the immigration officer at the airport/seaport/eurostar terminal will stamp your sticker (see example above). 42 Applying for Tier 4 (General) Student immigration permission

43 welfare.qmul.ac.uk Biometric Residence Permits From February 2015, the UK will be issuing Biometric Residence Permits to students who apply outside of the UK and are applying for immigration permission, which will last longer than 6 months. The new system started for students making an application in Pakistan from February Other countries will be added in phases: Phase 1 Phase 2 Phase 3 Phase 4 Phase 2 countries are included in the new system for applications made on or after 14 April Phase 3 countries are included in the new system for applications made on or after 29 May Applications made in all remaining countries outside the UK will be affected from 31 July You will be issued with a short-term Entry Clearance Sticker, which will be valid for 30 days. You will also be given a letter of decision which details the conditions and length of your immigration permission. The 30 days will start 30 days before the course start date on your CAS (or from the date that your visa is issued, if this is less than 30 days before the course start date on your CAS). If you do not travel to the UK during this 30 day period then your vignette will expire and you will need to apply for another 30-day vignette if you still wish to travel to the UK. When you enter the UK you should show the border force officer your 30-day vignette and the decision letter. You will then need to collect your Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) within 10 days of arriving in the UK. You need to take your passport and decision letter with you. If you do not collect your BRP within ten days of arriving in the UK you may have to pay a fine and/or your visa may be cancelled. We explain how you request where to collect your BRP from in our guide to completing the Visa4UK online application form. You will be able to choose whether to collect from the QMUL man campus or from a Post Office. Students who are bringing dependants will only be able to collect their BRP s from a Post Office. You should not travel outside of the UK again until you have collected your BRP. Applying for Tier 4 (General) Student immigration permission 43

44 welfare.qmul.ac.uk If you lose your passport and / or your decision letter before you collect your BRP, please follow our online guidance about what to do. You can read more here: If you submit your application to the Home Office in the UK In person applications If you submitted your application in person at a Home Office Premium Service Centre, they will return your documents with a letter telling you if your application has been successful. They will usually do this on the same day. Sometimes the Premium Service Centre may keep your documents if they cannot make a decision on the same day. If this happens, they will usually make a decision within 10 working days and post your documents back to you. Your immigration permission will be issued as a separate plastic card called a Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) (see below). You will not get your card on the day of your appointment: your card will be posted to you and this usually takes about 3-5 working days. Postal applications If you submitted your application online, the Home Office will post your documents to you with a letter telling you if your application has been successful. The Home Office aim to decide most postal applications within eight weeks of the date they received your application. Your immigration permission will be issued as a separate plastic card called a Biometric Residence Permit (see below). This will be sent to you separately and may arrive before or after you receive your passport and other documents. Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) If you apply for immigration permission in the UK, you will be issued with a Biometric Residence Permit. Your permit will look like this: 44 Applying for Tier 4 (General) Student immigration permission

45 welfare.qmul.ac.uk Check all the details are correct. Is your immigration permission correct? The Home Office will usually grant additional time before and after your studies. How much additional time you receive will depend on the length of your studies. The caseworker or Entry Clearance Officer will use the information in your CAS to decide how much additional time to grant. This is detailed in the following table: Length and type of programme of studies If applying outside the UK, length of permission to be granted before start of studies Length of immigration permission to be granted after studies Any programme which is at least 12 months long Any programme which is at least six months long, but less than 12 months long A pre-sessional programme which is less than six months long A programme which is not a pre-sessional programme and is less than six months long 1 month 4 months 1 month 2 months 1 month 1 month 7 days 7 days Applying for Tier 4 (General) Student immigration permission 45

46 welfare.qmul.ac.uk If you are re-sitting or interrupting your programme, it is our understanding that the Caseworker or Entry Clearance Officer should work out the total length of your programme when deciding how much additional time to grant. For the caseworker or Entry Clearance Officer to be able to work this out, the original start date of your programme must be detailed in your CAS (under the Evidence provided field). Correcting an error Check your CAS statement Check the dates on your CAS statement. If you have been granted the wrong length of immigration permission because of an error on your CAS statement the Home Office will not normally correct the error. Instead, you will need to apply for a new CAS statement and make a new immigration application for the correct length of immigration permission. Error on an Entry Clearance issued outside of the UK If you checked your CAS statement and can see that an error has been made on your Entry Clearance sticker, contact the Visa Application Centre that issued your immigration permission to ask for this to be corrected. If you are unable to do this before you need to travel to the UK, bring a copy of your Entry Clearance sticker, your decision letter, your BRP (if you have collected it) and your CAS statement to the at QMUL. One of our Welfare Advisers will contact you with further advice on correcting the error. Error on a Biometric Residence Permit issued in the UK If you have not been granted enough immigration permission from within the UK, or if the conditions of your permission are not correct (e.g. your working hours are wrong, or you have been incorrectly required to register with the police), you can ask for this to be corrected. How you do this depends on when you applied for your immigration permission: 1. Immigration applications made before 20 October 2014 You should with the details of your Biometric Residence Permit and the error. If you are unable to fix the error by ing the Home Office, bring a copy of your Biometric Residence Permit and your CAS statement to Reception at the Advice and Counselling Service at QMUL. One of our Welfare Advisers will contact you with further advice on correcting the error. 2. Immigration applications made on or after 20 October 2014 You must submit an Administrative Review to the Home Office ask for this to be corrected. You must do this within 14 calendar days of the date you received your Biometric Residence Permit. This should be stated in the letter which comes with your BRP. Contact the for further advice. The Administrative Review procedure is also explained on the GOV.UK website: https://www.gov.uk/ask-for-a-visa-administrative-review/if-youre-in-the-uk 46 Applying for Tier 4 (General) Student immigration permission

47 welfare.qmul.ac.uk Registering with the Police If you have been granted immigration permission that is more than six months long, you may be required to register with the police if you are a national of one of the following countries: Afghanistan Iraq Russia Algeria Israel Saudi Arabia Argentina Jordan Sudan Armenia Kazakhstan Syria Azerbaijan Kuwait Tajikistan Bahrain Kyrgyzstan Tunisia Belarus Lebanon Turkey Bolivia Libya Turkmenistan Brazil Moldova United Arab China Morocco Emirates Colombia North Korea Ukraine Cuba Oman Uzbekistan Egypt Palestine Yemen Georgia Peru Iran Qatar You may also be required to register with the Police if you hold a Hong Kong SAR passport, a Macao SAR passport, or a Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus passport or travel document. Your immigration sticker or Biometric Residence Permit should state that you are required to register with the police. However, if your immigration sticker or permit doesn t include this requirement, then it is our understanding that you don t need to register with the police, even if you are a national of one of the countries listed above. If you are not a national of one of the countries listed above, but your sticker or permit says you must register with the Police, this is probably a mistake. Take a copy of your sticker or permit to the at QMUL. One of our Welfare Advisers will contact you with further advice on correcting the error. How do I register with the police? If you are living in the London Metropolitan Police Area If you are living in the London Metropolitan Police Area you will need to register with the Overseas Visitors Records Office when you arrive in the UK. You are required to do this within 7 days of arrival if your entry clearance has been issued on a sticker in your passport. If you are required to collect your Biometric Residence Permit after arriving in the UK, you are required to register with the police within 7 days of collecting your BRP (which you are required to collect within 10 days of arriving in the UK). You will also need to register with the Overseas Visitors Records Office if you are issued with new immigration permission while in the UK. Applying for Tier 4 (General) Student immigration permission 47

48 welfare.qmul.ac.uk If you change your address you will need to update your Police Registration Certificate, but you can do this at your local police station. There is information on the website, including special arrangements for police registration at the start of the academic year: More details, including the location and opening times of the Overseas Visitors Records Office, can be found on the Metropolitan Police website: If you are living outside the London Metropolitan Police Area, contact your local Police Station for information on how to register. 48 Applying for Tier 4 (General) Student immigration permission

49 welfare.qmul.ac.uk What to do if things go wrong Problems with immigration applications made outside the UK What should I do if my immigration application has been refused? If your application is refused, the visa section or centre will contact you and provide you with a refusal notice. You should note the date when they give you the refusal notice. If you intend to ask for your application to be reviewed you will need to submit your request within 28 days of the date they gave you the notice. You can get advice from a Welfare Adviser at the about your refusal. For us to be able to advise you please forward us the following documents: Your full refusal notice Your CAS statement Your completed application forms (a copy of your online application form, or paper form VAF9 and Appendix 8) Your financial evidence Any other documents you were required to submit with your application The details page in your passport You will also need to provide us with the following details: The date you submitted your immigration application The date you received your refusal notice Your contact details ( is our preferred method of contact) You can either scan your documents and them to or fax them to us on +44 (0) If you are scanning your documents make sure your scans are high enough resolution so that we can read your documents, but not so large that they will be returned by our e- mail servers. We recommend that your scanned pages should not be more than 300KB per page. Once we have a received your documents and details one of the Welfare Advisers in the Advice and Counselling Service will review your documents and will then you a Client Care Letter which will explain if your refusal is correct or not and what your options are now. If you are clear about the reasons for your refusal, you can use this guide to help you submit a new application. If you are unclear why your application was refused, you may prefer to wait for a Welfare Adviser to reply to you before deciding what to do next. Applying for Tier 4 (General) Student immigration permission 49

50 welfare.qmul.ac.uk My programme of studies is starting shortly, but I am not able to travel to the UK in time. What should I do? Your CAS statement will state a latest date you can enrol at QMUL. Sometimes students are unable to travel to the UK in time to meet this enrolment deadline. There could be a number of reasons why this might happen. For example, you might not get your immigration permission in time if you apply shortly before you need to travel and there is a delay in processing your application. You might be delayed for another reason, for example bad weather or personal difficulties. If you are not able to arrive at QMUL in time for the latest date of enrolment, you need to contact your academic school at QMUL, before travelling to the UK, to see if they will exceptionally allow you to enrol late. If they will allow you to enrol late, your academic school will need to liaise with QMUL Admissions to ensure that a sponsor note is added to your CAS, stating that your enrolment deadline has been extended. Without this you may encounter problems trying to enter the UK. It is important to check that your immigration permission will allow you to arrive later than planned. Your entry clearance sticker is only valid for a 30 day period. If you cannot enter the UK within that 30 day period you must: Apply to the Visa Application Centre for a replacement 30 day sticker Pay a fee of 120 Provide your biometric information again You do not have to make a whole new Tier 4 application. Warning: If the university will not allow you to enrol late, you should not travel to the UK, as you will not be allowed to enrol. The university will notify the Home Office that you will not be allowed to enrol. If the university notifies the Home Office that you will not be allowed to enrol, the following will happen: If your immigration application has not yet been decided, it will be refused, as your CAS will no longer be valid. If your immigration application has been granted, but you have not yet travelled to the UK, your immigration permission is likely to be cancelled. If you try to travel to the UK, you are likely to be refused entry at the airport, seaport or rail station. If your immigration application has been granted and you are already in the UK, the Home Office should curtail (cut short) your immigration permission to 60 days. During these 60 days you can travel home or try to find a new programme and make a new Tier 4 (General) Student application to start that programme. If you are a new student and you will not be able to arrive in time for your programme, and if you are not allowed to enrol late, please contact the admissions team at QMUL dealing with your application to QMUL to see if it is possible to defer your offer of a place until next year. The contact details for the appropriate admissions team will be listed in correspondence related to your admission at QMUL. 50 Applying for Tier 4 (General) Student immigration permission

51 welfare.qmul.ac.uk If you are a continuing student you may need to interrupt your studies. See our guide Resitting, interrupting or leaving your course - a guide for international students for more information. What do I do if the Immigration Officer refuses to let me into the UK when I arrive? If you are refused entry to the UK when you arrive, you should seek immigration advice immediately. If you are arriving at Heathrow airport during QMUL s arrivals weekend in September, the International Office will have provided you with a contact number for our staff at the airport. You can contact the on +44 (0) during office hours (our opening times are listed on our website) Outside of our office hours, please leave a message on our answer phone with the following information: Your name Your QMUL student number A contact telephone number The airport and terminal number (E.g. Heathrow Terminal 5) We will review your message and try to help you when our office opens on the next working day. Alternatively, you can use the search facility on the Immigration Law Practitioners Association website to find an immigration solicitor: Problems with immigration applications made in the UK The Home Office have requested that I send them more information/documents. What should I do? You are required to submit mandatory documents within 15 working of submitting your online application, if you are applying by post. If you fail to send all of the mandatory documents, the caseworker should contact you, in writing, to give you one opportunity to correct any omission or error you have made which could make your application invalid. The caseworker should give you 10 working days to respond to their request. If you don t respond within that timeframe, your application should be refused. Please note that caseworkers only have to contact you about missing mandatory documents: the caseworker is not required to ask you to provide more documents simply because the ones you have sent don t meet the requirements, for example if your bank statements don t show enough money. Therefore it is essential that your check all your documents carefully before sending them, to ensure that they meet the requirements. If the Home Office contact you to ask for more documents so that they can decide your application, it is important to get advice from the to ensure that the documents you now submit to the Home Office meet the requirements, as this will usually be your last opportunity to do so. Applying for Tier 4 (General) Student immigration permission 51

52 welfare.qmul.ac.uk If you are using the Tier 4 Student online application form, the Home Office will automatically send you a letter reminding you to send your passport and photographs. This letter is sent out if the Home Office haven t received and scanned your documents onto their system within 8 days. During busy periods it make take the Home Office some time to scan your documents, so you may receive this letter even if you can see from your postal tracking information that the Home Office have received your documents many days before the letter was sent. If your postal tracking information shows that the Home Office received your documents, you can ignore this letter. Once your documents have been scanned, the Home Office will send you a letter inviting you to register your biometric information. My application has been returned to me as invalid. What should I do? If your application is returned to you as invalid, the Home Office will return your documents to you, with a letter telling you why your application was invalid, for example you failed to provide a mandatory document, or your passport photographs do not meet the Home Office requirements. If you were not contacted by a caseworker to give you an opportunity to submit a missing mandatory document before your application was returned as invalid (see previous section) please contact a Welfare Adviser in the. If your current immigration permission has not yet expired you can make a new immigration application. If it has taken the Home Office some time to return your application, you may need to provide updated documents. For example, you may need to provide new bank statements if the ones you originally submitted are now more than 31 days old, or new photos if yours are now more than 1 month old. You should also check to make sure that you are using the current version of the Tier 4 guidance. Normally, your CAS should not have been used by the Home Office if your application was returned to you as invalid. As long as it has not been used and is now not more than six months old, you can use the same CAS for a new immigration application, and you do not need to apply for a new one from QMUL. You should also confirm with the Academic Registry ( or telephone +44 (0) ) that the Home Office caseworker did not use your CAS, just to be sure. If it has been used, you will need to request a new one from QMUL as a CAS can only be used once. If the Home Office has taken the application fee, they will usually post you a cheque as a refund. If your immigration permission has now expired, see the section, Have you overstayed in the UK? below. If your application has been incorrectly returned as invalid If your application is returned as invalid, but the reason given is not correct or not clear, you can contact a Welfare Adviser in the who may be able to seek clarification from the Home Office. Refusals: if you have made an in time application, which has been refused, see the section My application has been refused, what can I do? below. 52 Applying for Tier 4 (General) Student immigration permission

53 welfare.qmul.ac.uk Have you overstayed in the UK? Overstaying in the UK means being in the UK without immigration permission. Overstaying may have implications for all future immigration applications, both within the UK and overseas. You cannot work if you are an overstayer, and you will have to pay for any non-emergency NHS hospital treatment. You may have overstayed if: You did not make a new immigration application on or before the date your current immigration permission expired or was curtailed (cut short by the Home Office), or You made a new immigration application on or before the date your current immigration permission expired, but it was returned as invalid, and your permission has now expired, or You made a new immigration application on or before the date your current immigration permission expired, but it was refused and you did not submit an appeal or request an administrative review by the relevant deadline. Please note: if you received the letter from the Home Office more than two business days* after the date on the letter, keep your postmarked envelope as evidence and contact The Advice and Counselling Service for advice. When did I start overstaying? If you did not make an immigration application on or before the date your immigration permission expired you are considered to be overstaying from the date your immigration permission expired If you made an immigration application on or before the date your immigration permission expired, but your application was returned as invalid, you are considered to be overstaying from two business days* after the date on the letter from the Home Office informing you that your application was invalid If you made an immigration application on or before the date your immigration permission expired, but your application was refused and you choose not to appeal or submit an administrative review, you are considered to be overstaying from the day after your appeal or administrative review deadline. I have overstayed in the UK - what are my options? I have overstayed for 28 days or less You have two options: 1. Return home before you have stayed in the UK for more than 90 days, and make an application for entry clearance to return to the UK. As your immigration permission has already expired, you will not meet the Home Office s definition of having an established presence in the UK, so you will need to meet the higher maintenance requirements. Also, * Business days are any days which are not a Saturday, Sunday or a UK bank holiday. Applying for Tier 4 (General) Student immigration permission 53

54 welfare.qmul.ac.uk you will need to check if your academic school will approve this absence from your studies, to go home and make a new immigration application. If not, you might need to consider an Interruption of Studies (http://www.welfare.qmul.ac.uk/international/leaving/index.html) 2. Make a further immigration application to stay in the UK The Home Office will consider applications from people who have overstayed in the UK for less than 28 days, however this is a potentially risky option as it could take the Home Office a long time to consider your new application. If your new application is refused and you had, by then, overstayed for more than 28 days, and you try to make a further application in the UK, it will normally be automatically refused. If your new application is refused and you have overstayed for more than 90 days, and you try to make an entry clearance application overseas, this will normally be automatically refused for 12 months following the date that you leave the UK. Therefore if you are applying in the UK within 28 days of becoming an overstayer, it may be advisable to apply in person at a Premium Service Centre. At some times of the year, you may find that you are unable to get an appointment at a Premium Service Centre as there are more people who want appointments than there are available appointment slots. As your immigration permission has already expired, you will not meet the Home Office s definition of having an established presence in the UK, so you will need to meet the higher maintenance requirements. I have overstayed in the UK for more than 28 days, but less than 90 days Any immigration application you make in the UK will normally be automatically refused if the applicant has overstayed for more than 28 days on the date of application. There are certain exceptions to this rule please contact a Welfare Adviser in the for advice. However, you can return home before you have overstayed for more than 90 days and make a new application there to return to the UK. Also, you will need to check your academic school will approve this absence from your studies, to go home and make a new immigration application. If not, you might need to consider an Interruption of Studies (http://www.welfare.qmul.ac.uk/international/leaving/index.html) Please note that if you are in the UK and you have overstayed for more than 28 days, our understanding is that the Academic Registry will not normally issue you with a CAS as you will not be able to make a successful immigration application in the UK (unless you have extenuating circumstances see above). You will normally have to leave the UK before the Academic Registry will issue you with a CAS. If you are overstaying because your application was returned as invalid, you should also confirm with the Academic Registry ( or telephone +44 (0) ) at QMUL that the caseworker did not use your CAS. If your CAS has been used, or is now more than six months old, you will need to request a new one as a CAS can only be used once. 54 Applying for Tier 4 (General) Student immigration permission

55 welfare.qmul.ac.uk I have overstayed in the UK for more than 90 days You are not able to make a new application within the UK, as you have overstayed for more than 28 days. If you stay in the UK for more than 90 days after your immigration permission has expired and then return home, any immigration application you make to return to the UK may automatically be refused for at least 12 months from the date you leave the UK. Making a new application If you are making a new application, you should check that all the documents you are providing are still valid. Make sure that in your new application: Your bank statements are not more than 31 days old, and your photos are not more than one month old Your bank statements show you have held the specified amount of money in your account for the 28 days leading up to the closing balance. You have a valid CAS. My application has been refused. What can I do? Your application will be refused if it does not meet the requirements of the immigration rules, for example, if you do not provide evidence of adequate funds, or if you do not have a valid CAS, or if there was more than 28 days between the end of your most recent immigration permission and the start date of your new programme of study. If you are in the UK and your application has been refused, you have the following options. If your application was not in time see the section Have you overstayed in the UK?. It is your decision which option you choose. Please be aware that if you want to formally challenge a refusal, you must do so within 14 days: Option 1: You can get legal advice by contacting an immigration solicitor. Make sure that the immigration solicitor you choose is authorised to provide immigration advice and services by the Office for the Immigration Services Commissioner. You can find an immigration solicitor by using the directories listed in the section of this advice guide called Where can I get further information and assistance, under Other regulated immigration advisers at the end of this advice guide. You will normally need to pay for legal advice. Option 2: You can bring all of the following documents to the Reception: A copy of your Tier 4 (General) application form (you should be able to print this from your account on the UK Visas & Immigration website) A copy of all the documents that you sent with your application (but do not include any documents that you did not submit with your application, as this may confuse the advice you receive) Applying for Tier 4 (General) Student immigration permission 55

56 welfare.qmul.ac.uk A copy of the pages in your passport that contain your personal details and the stamps or stickers relating to your studies in the UK A copy of the refusal letter that the Home Office sent you One of the Welfare Advisers in the will look at these papers and we will you or call you within five working days to advise you whether you have grounds to challenge the decision to refuse your application. It is unlikely that you will be able to successfully challenge a decision if you: have not completed the application form correctly have not provided all of the specified documents or they do not include all of the specified information do not meet the specified requirements in order to score the required points e.g. you have not had the specified maintenance funds for the specified period If you do not have valid grounds to challenge the refusal, you will normally have to make a new immigration application (see above) but a Welfare Adviser will send you a Client Care Letter by detailing all of your available options. Option 3: You can telephone UKCISA(the UK Council for International Students), for advice about your situation. UKCISA staff are experienced in advising students about the UK s immigration regulations and can give you advice by telephone. The service is free. We advise you to have the documents listed above with you when you telephone, so that you can refer to them. The UKCISA advice line is open Monday to Friday, 1-4pm: +44 (0) For more information, see their website: My application has been refused and the Home Office have kept some/all of my documents. What can I do? If your application is refused, and your immigration permission has expired, the Home Office will normally keep your passport. They will normally return any other documents you sent. If they have retained any other documents, call the UK Visas and Immigration contact centre on * If you apply for an Administrative Review of the decision to refuse your application, and if this is successful, your passport will then be returned to you. If you decide to try and make a new immigration application, the application form allows you to indicate that your passport is already at the Home Office. Select Already with UK V and I on the online application form. * This is a national rate number and you can use any call allowance included in your phone contract. 56 Applying for Tier 4 (General) Student immigration permission

57 welfare.qmul.ac.uk If, instead, you decide you want to leave the UK, call the Immigration Compliance and Enforcement Team with your travel plans. You can find contact details for the team where you live here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/contact-details-for-immigration-compliance-andenforcement-teams/contact-details-for-immigration-compliance-and-enforcement-teams The Immigration Compliance and Enforcement Team will then arrange for your passport and documents to be returned to you. Your documents will usually be returned to you at the airport, seaport or Eurostar terminal, when you leave the UK. You should call the Immigration Compliance and Enforcement Team before you book your flights, to make sure that they would have enough time to arrange for your passport and documents to be returned to you. I have posted an immigration application, but I need to travel soon. What can I do? At certain times of the year, it can take the Home Office many months to process postal immigration applications. If you need to travel urgently, you can call the UK Visas and Immigration contact centre on * and explain the reasons why your situation is particularly urgent (e.g. to attend the funeral of a relative). They may ask you to fax or your request and you should include your details and any reference numbers connected with your immigration application. The Home Office do not make any guarantees that they will be able to process urgent applications more quickly. If you cannot wait for the Home Office to process your application, you can ask to withdraw your application. This means that the Home Office will return your application to you unprocessed. If your immigration permission has already expired, you will be considered an overstayer from when your application is returned to you. You will not receive a refund of your application fee. To withdraw your immigration application, see the following page on the GOV.UK website: https://www.gov.uk/cancel-visa. At certain times of the year (e.g. before Christmas), it can take the Royal Mail longer than usual to deliver post. If you are going to withdraw your application, it is important that you withdraw it in time for the Home Office to post your application back to you. It can also take the Home Office a number of days to locate your documents and post them out to you. You cannot, normally, collect your passport and documents from the Home Office s offices. If you decide to withdraw your application so you can travel home, you will need to apply for entry clearance from your home country before returning to the UK. Normally, your CAS should not * This is a national rate number and you can use any call allowance included in your phone contract. Applying for Tier 4 (General) Student immigration permission 57

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