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Resources and Guides

New Immigration Rules came into effect on the 6th April 2017. Whilst we believe these rules are likely to have very little impact on most of our students, we are writing to you about the key changes. Please note the changes listed below are not exhaustive and it is recommended that you always come and try speaking to one of the advisers in our team if you think your circumstances have changed.  

Leave to Remain

  • Applicants on old categories of leave, including Tier 1 Post Study Work, are no longer able to extend their stay in the UK using the Tier 4 (General) category. Pre-Tier 4 students can still apply in the UK for Tier 4 (Child) student leave if they are eligible to do so.
  • The 28 day provision that permits a leave to remain application within the first 28 days following visa expiry has been reduced to 14 days.
  • If you have made an application and wish to attend a premium customer service centre appointment to complete your application you will have 45 business days instead of calendar days to attend the appointment.
  • Any applications submitted whilst another application is being decided will be treated as an application to vary the outstanding application.

Please note, the University of Salford does not endorse applications made during any period of overstay including the first 14 days after visa expiry. We encourage all students to make visa applications before their leave expires or return home to make an application if they are required to do so.

Students sponsored by a government or international scholarship agency

  • Tier 4 students who are sponsored by a government or international scholarship agency must provide their financial sponsor’s consent to any further applications where the sponsor has provided finance for both tuition fees and maintenance.

Work

  • Work has been defined as a “period of 7 days beginning with a Monday”. If you are a Tier 4 student and work part time, you must therefore ensure that your working pattern fits within this definition.

Placements

  • If you have a Tier 4 visa and you would like to do a work placement, you must apply for a new visa from your home country before starting the placement as your programme will now be longer (please read this document for advice).

General grounds for refusal and overstay

  • The trigger for an automatic refusal of entry clearance and a 12 month entry ban will be reduced from 90 to 30 days of overstays.
  • If the period of overstay started before 6 April 2017 the 90 day period is still applicable.
  • Certain periods of overstay will be disregarded, including cases where overstayers applied for leave to remain within the 28 days (applications made prior to 6th April 2017) and 14 days (applications following 6th April 2017) following visa expiry.
  • It important that students and their dependents retain all evidence of applications, refusals, administrative review applications and decisions if they are made during periods of overstay.

Please note, the University of Salford does not endorse applications made during any period of overstay including the first 14 days after visa expiry. We encourage all students to make visa applications before their leave expires or return home to make an application if they are required to do so.

These changes are not exhaustive and there are also changes that have come into effect in relation to Tier 1, Tier 2, Tier 5 and Visitor Categories. For further information you are advised to check the resources below:

UK Council for International Affairs

The UK council for International Affairs (UKCISA) provides immigration advice and support for International Students from within the UK. You can visit their website below:

https://www.ukcisa.org.uk/

UK Visas and Immigration

UK Visas and Immigration provide a large volume of information available for the general public. Their full history of immigration rule changes are detailed below:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/immigration-rules-statement-of-changes

If you wish to speak to an advisor within the University, please either visit the team in University House (working hours are 09:00-17:00, Monday – Friday) or contact us using the contact details below:

Email: HomeOfficeCompliance@salford.ac.uk | Telephone: 0161 295 0023 (option 3 then option 3)

On the 24th November 2016, Immigration Rule changes came into effect which impact students currently sponsored under Tier 4. Below is a summary of the changes that are likely to effect students currently sponsored by the University of Salford: 

Overstaying

Applications submitted within the 14 days of an overstay period will not be automatically rejected by the Home Office on the grounds that the applicant has overstayed. The overstay period normally begins:

  • The expiry of leave to remain, unless and on time application is pending; or
  • Following the period an administrative review can be submitted
  • Once an appeal route has been exhausted or the applicant has withdrawn the appeal
  • Once an administrative review has been concluded, withdrawn or abandoned

The University of Salford does not endorse any visa applications made during the existing 28 day overstay period and does not issue CAS to students during this 28 day overstay period. The University of Salford will continue this policy when the existing rules surrounding the 28 day overstay period is reduced to 14 days.

Evidential Flexibility

Where a series of documents are have been submitted to the Home Office to support an application, and documents within the series appear to be missing, the caseworker can request the missing documents before refusing the application. From the 24th November:

  • The documents at the start and end of the sequence must have been provided in order for ‘evidential flexibility’ to be applied
  • The documents will only be asked for once and must be received within 10 working days of the request

Academic Progression

The exemption for student re-sitting or retaking an element of the programme of study from academic progression previously only applied to final year students who have a retake or resit pending. From the 24th November 2016 it will also apply to students who have already taken the resit or retake and require further time on their course of study as result.

It has also now been clarified that students applying for DES or to undertake a role as a student union sabbatical office are now exempt from academic progression.

Academic progression is also deemed to be satisfied where a student is progressing from the Bachelors element to the Masters element of a integrated masters (i.e. BEng level to MEng level).

English Language

Where a qualification equivalent to a Bachelors, Masters or PhD programme of study obtained from a majority English language speaking country has been used to show evidence of English language ability, the qualification must be accompanied by an original document from UK NARIC which confirms the assessment of its equivalency. Students completing short term study in the UK as part of their studies at a home institution in the United States must also show this.

Where relying on the exemption from providing a Secure English Language Test (SELT) to support a Tier 4 application on the basis that a student has obtained a qualification in the UK, the qualification obtained must be a Bachelors, Masters or PhD (not an equivalent of any of these).

Full details of the changes to the Immigration Rules can be found by clicking here.

Please see here for key information on the changes that came into effect on the 6th April 2016.  Some of the key details are as follows:

  • students applying in the UK under Tier 4 as a Student Union Sabbatical Officer will only have to show two months’ maintenance costs
  • Tier 4 students are now prohibited from engaging in ‘business activity’
  • study conditions have been tightened surrounding students transferring to a programme of study different  from the one indicated on their CAS. Students can only transfer if there is sufficient time on their Tier 4 visa to allow them to complete their new course and new course is related to the course of study for which they applied for leave.  Alternatively the course must, in combination with the previous course, support the student’s overall career aspirations.
  • Tier 4 visa applications could be refused if the applicant has an outstanding National Health Service (NHS) debt of £500 or more.
  • Tier 4 visa applications could be refused if the applicant has been instructed to pay the Home Office’s legal costs (after being involved in a legal case with the Home Office) but has failed to do so.
  • students can only apply to extend in country if they are submitting a Tier 4 visa application for a course at the same level of study where:
    • the application is for a new course of study and demonstrates deeper specialisation or career development, or
    • the application is for the same programme of study but the student is submitting a visa application to extend on a PhD programme of study.

You can find more information regarding these rule changes and what they mean for you here.

Please see here for key information on the changes that came into effect on the 15th July 2015.  Some of the key details are as follows:

  • for any entry clearance applications decided on or after 14th July 2015, where the student is studying on a pre-sessional course or a course of study longer than six months, the start of the entry clearance permission will be whichever of the following is the later date:
    • one month before the start date indicated on the CAS or
    • seven days before the date indicated on the visa application as the ‘intended date of travel’
  • for applications made on or after 3rd August 2015, in order to demonstrate ‘Academic Progression’ students can only apply to extend in country if they are submitting a Tier 4 visa application for a course at the same level of study in accordance with the following:
    • the application is for a new course of study and demonstrates deeper specialisation or career development, or
    • the previous course and the new course support the genuine career aspirations of the student
    • the application is for the same programme of study but the student is required or has been required to repeat part of the programme of study, or
    • the application is for the same course but the student is submitting a visa application to extend on a PhD programme of study.
  • from 3rd August 2015 any additional leave granted before or after the course start and end dates indicated on the CAS will also be included in the time limits on study
  • for applications made on or after 12th November 2015 students will no longer be able to show only two months’ maintenance funds if they have been in the UK for six months or more and sponsored under Tier 4; also known as having an ‘established presence’.  The exception to this is those who are applying as part of the Doctorate Extension Scheme.
  • from 12th November 2015, the permitted time limit for studying courses below degree level under Tier 4 will be reduced from three years to two years.

Please see here for key information on the changes that came into effect on the 6th April 2015.  Some of the key details are as follows:

  • From 6th April 2015 anyone making an immigration application on or after this date who is currently studying on an ATAS related course will require an ATAS or the application may be refused. This does not affect students applying through the short term study route or students already holding indefinite leave to remain.
  • From 6th April 2015, anyone applying for entry clearance will require a tuberculosis certificate where they have been living in any of the following countries for six months or more prior to the date of application.
  • From 6th April 2015, anyone who has limited leave to enter (i.e. an end date on their leave) can be asked by the Home Office to provide information or evidence, or to attend an interview, in order to check whether their leave should be curtailed for a variety of reasons where the sponsor has withdrawn sponsorship of their Tier 4 visa .
  • From 24th April 2015, the ‘student visitor’ route will be replaced by the ‘short term study’ route.  Students making entry clearance applications under the short term study route will be able to make the application from any entry clearance post that accepts such applications.