Visa and compliance news for agents - January 2019
30 January 2019

Updated short term study guidance and course extensions

The short term study guidance was updated on Monday 14 January 2019, although there are no changes to the content and wording.

We would like to draw your attention to page seven of the guidance relating to what students must not do. The last bullet point states: "Applicants must not add additional study after their arrival in the UK that will last in excess of the 30 day period at the end of the original period of entry requested."

While the Home Office made it clear that students should not extend their course by more than 30 days after the end date of the original course(s) for which they applied for the visa, they do refer to students' "declared intentions in the visa application form" on page four. This shows that they accept that some students may want to be in the UK for a period that is longer than the originally booked course dates.

On that basis, students can state on the application their intention to study for a longer period than the booked course. The Home Office will therefore assess the application based on the longer dates, and students will need to show that they have sufficient funds for the whole period.

International health surcharge

The cost of the health surcharge has doubled for applications made from Tuesday 8 January 2019.

Students applying for a visa to stay in the UK for more than six months (i.e for the 11-month visa and a Tier Four visa) will be charged £300 per year.

This fee is added to the cost of the visa application form and must be paid for alongside the cost of the visa itself.

Visa refusals and how you can help students

If you help students with their visa application form, it is worth noting that the main reasons that English UK see for refusing the visa relate to the source and availability of funds, and especially for certain nationalities where students do not give enough explanation about their reasons for taking the course.

To avoid getting a visa refusal, we recommend that you remind students to include the following with their applications:

  • Evidence of money to pay for the course and to spend while in the UK and where the money comes from
  • Parental consent form for all under 18s
  • Reasons for choosing to study in the UK and for undertaking the course
  • Any English language certificate they already have.
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