From 1 October 2012 if you have overstayed your leave by more than 28 days, any visa application for further leave will be refused. This change in the Immigration Rules will affect applicants applying for further leave under:
If you have limited leave to remain (Tier 4 or pre Tier 4 student leave is included in this category) you must ensure you apply to extend your leave, if needed, in time. If you wish to remain in the UK after the 28 day period you will have to leave the UK and reapply for a visa.
This change is in line with some other new immigration rules coming into effect for the family migration route from 9 July 2012. They affect you if you want to be in the UK as the family member of a person who has settled status (British citizen, person with indefinite leave). The rules about long residence if you have spent some time in the UK without immigration permission (the 14-year Rule) are also changing. In most cases, it will be more difficult to come to or stay in the UK under these provisions. If this affects you, you should seek legal advice as quickly as possible before the changes come into effect. Family visitors will no longer have the right of appeal against an entry clearance (visa) refusal if they are coming to see you and you do not have settled status in the UK, refugee status or humanitarian protection.
The UKBA recently announced that they were intending to increase the number of countries involved in the TB screening programme. Refer to the UKBA website
We initially thought that these additional measures could be introduced during summer 2012. However, it now looks like the UKBA will not introduce these measures until after summer 2012 (and in some cases not until 2013). So students applying for a visa over the summer will not be affected. However, we still recommend you check the specific procedures for your country when applying via one of the Visa application centres overseas.
The UK Government has published information of the immigration changes it plans to introduce on 6 April 2012. In summary the changes will be:
For full details please refer to the UK Border Agency website.
If you need to extend your student visa from within the UK then you will need to do this through a points-based assessment. Before you read the rest of this information, check the following to make sure that you are able to make a student extension application in the UK:
We advise you to check these web pages regularly so that you have the information you need to meet immigration requirements.
You should apply for an extension before your initial Leave to Enter/Remain expires if your permitted period of Leave to Enter/Remain is not long enough to cover the entire duration of your programme or you decide to enrol on a further programme of study. You are strongly advised to start completing your application form and start gathering your documentation at least two months before your Leave to Enter/Remain expires. Please remember it often takes time to get all the required documentation (please see the list opposite). Please note that from April 2012 all students on a Tier 4 visa will only be able to study at degree level in the UK for a maximum of five years (with exceptions for some programmes and PhD students). We are currently awaiting further details of this from the UKBA. If you think this will affect you please email email@example.com
To extend your student visa, you must pass a points-based assessment scoring 40 points.
To make a tier 4 visa application, you must first download the current form and policy guidance. Refer to the UK Border Agency website: Applying for permission to extend your stay in the UK page and download the Tier 4 of the Points Based System - Policy Guidance [PDF 599KB].
The ISAO and UKCISA also has a range of guidance notes including a guide to completing the Tier 4 application form. First of all, we recommend you download the ISAO detailed guide to making your application:
When you fill in your application, we advise you to use the UKCISA guide to completing the Tier 4 application form.
You should also look at the UKCISA guidance note on making a Tier 4 visa application: Making a Tier 4 student visa application from in the UK.
If you don't need to make a Tier 4 application at the moment, please look at the UKCISA guide to Protecting your Tier 4 visa status. This gives you helpful advice on what you need to do to ensure your next application will be successful.
After you have downloaded and read the information above, you will need to fill in the application form, pay your fee (the student visa application fee is currently £394 by post and £716 in person, and there is also an additional £197 or £358 fee for each dependant applied for at the same time) and include:
The amount of maintenance you need depends on whether you have an established presence in UK. To find out which category you fit into, you should look at paragraphs 145-148 of the Tier 4 Student policy guidance. If you are an overstayer, you will always need to show the higher maintenance.
You must be able to prove that the money you need to apply has been in your account for 28 days before you submit your application and the evidence must be no more than one month old. You will also need to sign a declaration stating that the funds are genuinely available for the purpose of funding your study and living expenses in the UK. The UKBA reserve the right to check that these funds continue to be available to you, if they have concerns regarding your ability to support yourself.
Acceptable evidence of maintenance may include:
You will also need:
The UK Border Agency has published its lists of financial institutions that do not verify financial statements to the satisfaction of the UK Government. Please check these lists before you make your visa application.
The lists of institutions whose accounts cannot be relied on for Tier 4 immigration applications become effective on 24 November 2011. If you apply on or after this date with financial documents issued by these institutions, the UK Border Agency will refuse your application. However, you should be aware that if you use documents from these institutions before 24 November 2011, your application runs a higher risk than usual of refusal because the UK Border Agency is likely to have problems verifying your documents. You should try to ensure that your funds are in an account with one of the institutions that is acceptable to the UK Border Agency before you make your immigration application.
As a licensed sponsor, the University is responsible for collecting copies of students' passports/visas and for notifying the UK Border Agency if a student does not register as expected, withdraws or is withdrawn from their programme after arriving (e.g. if they are in debt to the University), defers or suspends their studies or does not keep good attendance during their studies. It is very important to have a good attendance record if you wish to apply for a visa extension. See page 13 of your International Students Handbook for more details.
There are immigration implications if you are currently in the UK on a non-Sussex Tier 4 student visa and want to enrol at Sussex (this includes students who have been studying with the International Study Centre). If you applied for your current Tier 4 student visa before 5 October 2009 and you still have leave remaining which you want to use to study at Sussex, you will need to obtain permission from the UKBA by completing a Permission to Switch application form (cost £160). It will be necessary for Sussex to see proof that you have sent this application before we can enrol you, so please keep a copy of the postage receipt or acknowledgment letter from the UKBA and bring it to registration with you.
If you applied for your current Tier 4 student visa on or after 5 October 2009, this visa will be tied to your previous Tier 4 sponsor. Before we can enrol you at Sussex, we will need to see proof that you have made an application to the UKBA using a University of Sussex CAS. You will need to bring your postage receipt or a letter from the UKBA to registration to show you have made this application. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you are unclear about any of the above procedures.
An extension of your Tier 4 visa is sometimes permitted in order for you to re-sit or repeat studies. However, under the current immigration rules, some students will be expected to return home and return to the UK at a later date to re-sit the exam or submit coursework. We advise you to contact one of our immigration advisors for more information, where required. Please come to one of our advertised drop-in sessions or email email@example.com
If you decide to intermit from your studies at any time, you should be aware of both the academic and immigration implications of doing so. Most students are required by law to leave the UK while they take a break from their studies. If you require further advice on this whilst you are at Sussex, please arrange to see one of our immigration advisors.
If you think you may have received entry clearance which is incorrect, there is a scheme called the Entry Clearance Correction scheme where it may be possible to apply for your entry clearance to be amended, if a mistake was made. However you need to tell us about this in good time as it is not possible to use this scheme if your visa is close to its expiry date. Please contact Louise Mitchell, firstname.lastname@example.org, if you think you may be eligible for this.
Statement of Service [PDF 36.47KB] - please read this document, which explains our immigration advice service and details what students can expect from us and what we expect from you in order to give you accurate and timely advice.
For the latest information from the Home Office, visit the UK Border Agency website.
The identity card for foreign nationals is the first part of the national identity scheme and will be phased in over the next three years for all those coming to the UK for more than six months or extending their stay in the UK.Initially the card will be issued along with a sticker (vignette) in your passport. When you apply to extend your stay in the UK as a student, you (and your dependants) will have to provide biometric information (have your fingerprints scanned and a photo of your face taken) and, if you are granted an extension of stay in the UK, you will also be issued with an ID card. This means that, even if you apply by post, you will need to make an appointment to attend a biometric enrolment centre to provide biometric information. If you are sending an extension application by post, UKBA will wait until they have processed your fee before writing to you to make an appointment with your local biometric enrolment centre– the nearest centres are in Brighton or Croydon. You will need to be ready to respond to any letters from the Home Office and should prioritise attending the appointment over everything else, however important those things are (for example, you may have to miss classes or lectures). If you apply in person you will probably not be sent any letters, but will have your fingerprints and photo taken at your extension appointment. You will not be given your student extension (the ID card) on the day, but will have to wait for it to be sent to you by post. Do not make plans to travel until you receive your ID card. If an ID card is lost, a replacement card can be applied for. You will need to fill in a form is available for this purpose and pay £30 replacement fee. Biometrics (fingerprints and photo) would have to be given again. Should the card be lost abroad, e.g. if you travel home during the holidays, you should contact the nearest Entry Clearance Office.They may be able to issue a one-way vignette allowing you to travel back to the UK where a replacement card should then be applied for. If you hold an identity card you will be required to show this at the UK border when you travel into the UK, in addition to your passport.
Important things to remember:
Your partner and children may be able to accompany you as dependants and may be permitted to stay the same length of time as you. There have been recent changes to the dependant rules and for a comprehensive guide to bringing your family to the UK or extending their time here, please look at your family's immigration. However, in all cases, you must be able to prove certain conditions to the UK authorities, for example, that you intend to live together and that you do not intend to take employment unless permitted. Dependants are free to work as long as the student they are dependent on has been granted Leave to Enter for at least 12 months. Dependants over the age of 16 are permitted to study full- or part-time and children up to the age of 16 are able to go to free state schools. Dependants should always obtain prior entry clearance before coming to the UK if they plan to travel separately from you.
For further information refer to Bringing your family on the Border Agency website.
In 2005 the government introduced laws regarding non-EEA nationals who wish to marry in the UK. Civil partnerships for gay or lesbian couples are now also legal in the UK and these partnerships bring similar rights to those of married couples. For more information on marriage in the UK, plus guidance on your rights once you have married, visit Your Family's immigration.
If you are leaving the UK but are planning to return, you will have to satisfy the immigration officer at the port of entry that you meet the necessary requirements for entry into the UK as a student. Before you travel abroad you should:
There are agreements between a number of EU states that allow certain nationals to travel freely for up to three months between the states as long as they obtain a visa to enter one of the countries and actually enter via that country. Countries that are currently part of the Schengen Visa scheme are Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain and Sweden. For information about how to apply, you should contact the embassy of the country in which you will be spending the most time or refer to the UKCISA website Frequently asked questions on Schengen visas [DOC].
Students from some countries have a stamp in their passport or wording on their sticker that tells them to register with the police. If your spouse or children entered the UK as your dependants, they are likely to also have this stamp. If there is no instruction on your sticker about registering with the police, you do not need to do anything.
If you have to register with the police, you are supposed to do so within seven days of your arrival in the UK. However Sussex Police do not always have the resources to allow students to register within this time limit. They arrange sessions at the University in induction week and throughout the year.
How to register:
Sussex Police come onto campus at various times during the year and you should contact them within 7 days of your arrival in the UK or receipt of your returned visa from UKBA. You need to contact them by email to make an appointment:
Send your name, nationality and place of study to them at: email@example.com
The Police will tell you when and where your appointment will be, make a note of this and make sure you turn up for your appointment.
The Police will reply to you as quickly as they can, please do not send them more than one email.
You will not be seen without an appointment and you will need to bring your passport, £34 fee, 2 passport size photographs and proof that you are a student at the University of Sussex (e.g. offer letter). Only students from the following countries or Stateless persons need to register:
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The Rules of the Police Registration Scheme require you to report the following changes within 7 days:
You can see the Police to make these amendments or you can send the information to the Police by post by recorded or special delivery. Their address is: The Nationality Unit, Sussex Police, Church Lane, Lewes, BN7 2DZ. If you send a pre-addressed special delivery envelope then the Police will return your documents in this way, otherwise it will be by normal post.
You should send your Police registration certificate along with any other relevant proof such as:
For a change of address - for example, a utility bill, bank statement or tenancy agreement.
For a new visa - you will need to send in your passport and Biometric Identity Document if you have been issued with one.
There is no fee to pay when you notify any of the above changes to Sussex Police.
You must keep your details up to date with the Police, in particular, changes of address. This is important if you need to make a visa application soon, as the information must be accurate. Don't leave it until close to your visa expiry date to update, as there may not be enough time.