Visa and compliance update - May 2019
30 May 2019


Since Monday 20 May 2019, nationals of South Korea and Japan, along with nationals of Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Singapore and the United States have been encouraged to use the e-gates when going through immigration instead of queuing to be seen by a border force officer.

While students are eligible to use the e-gates if they meet the criteria (i.e they have a chip in their passport and are accompanied by an adult if they are under 18), it is important that they are told they should not be using it.

In order to be allowed to enrol and complete their course, students must be given a stamp in their passport. When going through the e-gates, no stamps are issued which means that those who arrive without a vignette in their passport are considered as standard visitors. Visitors can only study for up to six weeks and only if the course is not the main reason for entering the UK.

Students who have used the e-gates can be allowed to enrol onto their course. However, they should take the necessary steps in order to get the required short term study stamp within the first six weeks of their studies.

Please remind your students and agents from Japan and South Korea to ignore the request to use the e-gates. They need to be seen by an immigration officer to get the short term study stamp, which will allow them to study.

30 day course extension

Since July 2018 the Home Office guidance for short term students have stated that students applying for a short term study visa must intend to leave the UK within 30 days of their course ending and should not be adding additional study after their arrival in the UK that will last for more than the 30 days.

English UK understands that a number of members are not aware of this requirement and are allowing students to extend their time in the UK beyond the 30 day period.

It is worth noting that students who do not comply with the terms of their visa may be penalised when they make subsequent visa applications.

A work around that has been suggested by the student migration policy team at the Home Office is for students to indicate on their visa application form that they intend to extend their studies once they are in the UK. Caseworkers will take this into account when processing the application. Students should submit evidence of funds for the longer period of stay.

Students who have not stated their intention to study for longer are expected to re-apply for a new visa before starting the new course.

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