Visa and compliance news - November 2018
27 November 2018


Short Term Study (STS) visas

English UK has recently needed to contact the Home Office policy team about a case where a student had been advised to obtain a new period of leave for a new course of study despite having a valid 11 month short term study visa.

Having completed the course, the student enrolled on a further course of study that would be completed within their original 11 month visa. The student was advised (as a non-visa national) that as they could not complete the new course within the 30 day period, they needed to leave the UK and request a new STS on return to the UK. However, the student was stamped back into the UK on their 11 month visa instead of being given a fresh STS visa on which to study. 

English UK is keen to see if there is a trend. If there have been cases where short-term students have either been permitted to re-enter on their visa after their original course has ended, or been given a new visa despite still having a valid STS, please get in touch with Naadiya Rawat with the following details: the length of the original visa and the port of re-entry.

To ensure compliance with data protection, please redact any personal data from students' visa/passport if you intend to send these.

Complying with GDPR / Data Protection Act 2018

1. Restricted data transfer

This is where data is being sent to a processer or controller in countries which are not in the EEA or where there are no adequacy decisions. This would apply to any correspondence relating to student bookings which contains personal data.

Before making the transfer of data, the ICO recommends that organisations answer a series of questions until they reach a provision which permits the restricted transfer

One of the provisions allowing for the data transfer is the adoption of standard contractual clauses. These documents have been agreed by the European Commission. The clauses contain the contractual obligations on the data exporter and the data importer, and rights for the individuals whose personal data is transferred. Individuals can directly enforce those rights against the data importer and the data exporter.

Organisations must use the standard contractual clauses in their entirety and without amendment if they are entering new contracts with ETOs, or making their current contract GDPR compliant. They must choose the right set of clauses (which differ depending on whether the data importer is a controller or a processor). When implementing the standard contractual clauses as part of a wider contract, it is important to ensure that the standard contractual clauses take precedence.

2. Establishing the legal basis for processing

Before establishing legitimate interests as a legal basis for processing there is a 3-step test to be followed and the test needs to be reviewed periodically.

The three steps are:

  • identify a legitimate interest
  • show that the processing is necessary to achieve it and
  • balance it against the individual’s interests, rights and freedoms.

The ICO recommends that a record of the legitimate interests assessment (LIA) is kept to help demonstrate compliance if required. The details of the legitimate interest must be included in the privacy notice.

3. Nominating a Data Protection Officer (DPO)

Unless a centre is an organisation which is required by law to have a DPO, the ICO’s advice is that the decision is solely one for the centre to make. For auditing purposes, each centre should document their decision if they opt not to have one.

English UK cannot give any specific guidance on the need for a DPO other than referring members to the ICO and/ or the Penningtons Manches helpline.

GDPR Helpline

The Penningtons Manches GDPR helpline runs twice a month, on Wednesdays between 10.30 – 11.30. This is an advice line is for general pointers only and clarifications. 

Please note that Penningtons Manches cannot provide specific legal advice through the helpline. As a general rule and by way of guidance if a call goes over 10 minutes it would be likely to be considered advice.

It would be good to hear from those of you who have used the helpline. Please let us know what your experience has been.

Brexit and immigration

Penningtons’ are running a couple of seminars on Brexit and its impact on immigration in December; one in London and one in Reading. If you would like to attend, or for more information please follow the links below. 

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