Visa and compliance news - 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.

Following on from the clarification on course extensions in the December newsletter, 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 6 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

Members that are not Tier Four sponsors or not registered with the OISC (Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner) are not allowed to advise students about the visa application process.

However, it is possible to provide students and agents with some general information such as a link to the application form; a short list of documents that should be included with the application; a parental consent form for all under 18s; and most importantly a reminder to include the reasons why they have chosen to study in the UK/at your centre.

Of the refusals that have been sent to English UK, the most common reasons for refusal relate to the source and availability of funds, and, especially for certain nationalities, not enough from the students about their reasons for taking the course.

Whilst it is not a requirement for students to have any knowledge of English when applying for a short term study visa, it is worthwhile for students to include any certificate that they already hold. It is also worth including the level of the course on the course confirmation/visa letter.


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