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Extending your immigration permission to study in the UK The UK government now runs the Points BasedImmigration System. Tier 4 is the student tier and applies to all those wishing to come to, or remain in, the UK to study on or after the 31st March 2009. This factsheet is designed to provide some basic guidance on the requirements of Tier 4 (General) and how you can make an application to extend your immigration permission to study. This factsheet is for information only and may not be exhaustive. The UKBA change immigration rules and requirements regularly; all applicants should ensure they read the UKBA Tier 4 Policy Guidance, Help Text Leaflet and Photo Guidance available on the UKBA website: http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/studyingintheuk/ The Advice Centre is able to offer advice on student visa extensions made inside the UK only. For any other queries we have to refer you to other, more appropriate organisations.

Remember, your UK immigration status is your responsibility. Recent changes in Immigration Rules for Tier 4 students and their dependants The Immigration Rules in relation to Tier 4 have recently been amended with the changesin force as of 06 April 2012; all Tier 4 applications submitted on or after this date will be subject to the new restrictions. The changesinclude: -

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Increased application fees Increased maintenance requirements The amount of time that can be spent on a work placement during studies Limits on the number of years that can be spent studying at degree level and above

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Limit on the amount of accommodation fees paid to the Tier4 sponsor that can offset living costs English language requirements for those studying a pre-sessional course followed by a degree level course Changes to other Points Based System categories relating to working options after studies.

For more information you should check the UKBA website and the current Tier 4 Policy Guidance. Further advice and guidance about the changes and how they may affect your studies can be found on the UKCISA website: www.UKCISA.org.uk.

Making a Tier 4(G) Application Under the Points BasedSystem, Tier 4 requires you to have 40 points in order to make an application. - 30 points for having a valid Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS)from a Tier 4 sponsor - 10 points for having enough Maintenance/Funds - money to cover course fees and monthly living costs In addition to meeting the Points requirements you must also ensure you make a valid application that meets all the Immigration Rules and is compliant with the Tier 4 Policy Guidance requirements. Any application that does not meet all the requirements carries a risk of rejection or even refusal. Some of the required documents are listed below; this is not an exhaustive list, other documents may be required depending on your individual circumstances.

Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS): As of 22 February 2010 all students applying under Tier 4 must possessa CASfrom the Tier 4 sponsor you are or will be studying with. A CASis a unique number issued to you by your Tier 4 Sponsor. University of Essex students can request their Tier 4 (General) CASfrom the following sections:

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Colchester and Loughton Campus currently registered students (including those re-taking modules or writing up) - visit the Registry (Room 6.116) Southend Campus currently registered students (including to re-take modules or for writing up) contact your Student Support service (2nd Floor, Gateway Building)

This information was correct at the time of printing 06/04/2012; please ensure that you check the UKBA web pages, Tier 4 Policy Guidance & Help Text Leaflet when making an application to ensure you have the most up to date information. 016/12


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Starting a new Undergraduate or Postgraduate course at the University of Essex (including those currently on a Pre-sessional or Bridging Year) you will be able to obtain a CASonce your offer is unconditional - contact the relevant Admissions department For students commencing a new Bridging Year, General English or Pre- sessional English course your CASwill be available from the International Academy

If you are returning to your studies following a period of intermission, or you are resitting exams, you will be able to request a CAS3 months before you are due to return to recommence your course or take your first resit examination. Important things to know about your CAS: - It can only be used once – if you have been issued with more than one CASall other CASswill be made obsolete by the UKBA when you make your application - If you need to make another application then you must request a new CAS - The University will only issue CASsto students in the UK with valid permission to be in the UK (seek advice immediately if you do not currently hold a valid visa) - Both the UKBA and the University as your Tier 4 Sponsor can withdraw a CASat any point - You may not be able to make an application from within the UK if your current immigration permission ends before your new course commences, pleasecontact an adviser for more information. If you are planning further study at a different institution within the UK you should contact that institution to request a CASand immigration advice.

Maintenance Requirements : This refers to course fees plus living expenseswhilst you are in the UK. The UKBA has specified how much money each student should be able to show. You must ensure you check the Tier 4 Policy Guidance to make sure you meet the maintenance requirements at the time of applying.

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All campusesat the University of Essex are outside London for the purposesof the maintenance requirements If you have a financial sponsor you must provide evidence as per the Tier 4 Policy Guidance If supplying bank statements as evidence you must be able to show that you have held the money needed (course fees + living costs) in your account for a consecutive 28 day period ending no more than one month before the date of your application . The money should not drop below the minimum amount required for the 28 day period or before the Date of Application Please note the amount of money required per month has increased as of the 6 th April 2012. Any student applying after this date will need to meet these new maintenance requirements on the date of application. You may be eligible for a reduced maintenance level if you fulfill the UKBA’s ‘Established Presence’ requirements – see the UKBA Tier 4 Policy Guidance for full details (Tier 4 Policy Guidance v.04/12, page 25, paragraphs 145-148). You are only eligible for ‘Established Presence’ if you have current leave as a student or under Tier 4. If you have made payments to the University towards your fees and/or accommodation since your CASwas produced you can request that your CASis updated by contacting the section that issued it or, alternatively, request an official receipt from the Income and Payments Office. A till receipt will not meet the UKBA requirements as an official receipt. If you have paid all or some of your accommodation fees to your Tier 4 Sponsor before making your application you may be able to offset this against your living costs. You can only deduct money that has already been paid, up to a maximum of £1000even if you have paid more than this. Ensure you read the Tier 4 Policy Guidance (v. 04/12, page 27, paragraph 161).

Any evidence you provide of your finances must be in the correct format as outlined in the UKBA Tier 4 Policy Guidance. If the evidence does not meet the Tier 4 Policy Guidance requirements your application may be refused.

Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS ): If you want to study or continue to study a postgraduate course in the United Kingdom, you may need to apply to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO)for an ATAS certificate. You may also need an ATAScertificate if you wish to carry out research here for longer than 6 months. An ATAS certificate is only required for certain coursesand you must have the certificate when you make your application for a visa. This information was correct at the time of printing 06/04/2012; please ensure that you check the UKBA web pages, Tier 4 Policy Guidance & Help Text Leaflet when making an application to ensure you have the most up to date information. 016/12


The FCOstate that applications are expected to take 20 days but this can be longer in busy periods, we recommend you allow at least 3 months. Your application will be refused if you need an ATAScertificate but don’t provide one. http://www.fco.gov.uk/en/about-us/what-we-do/services-we-deliver/atas/

Low Risk Nationals : If you are from a ‘low risk’ country (a full list can be found in the Immigration Rules Appendix H) the UKBA has stated you will not be required to provide evidence of your funds or your qualifications as part of your application (providing you are applying with a Highly Trusted Sponsor such as the University of Essex). The UKBA can request these documents at any point during the application process. With this in mind, the Advice Centre would always recommend you err on the side of caution and provide these documents for the UKBA’s consideration to ensure they can make a fully informed decision and for the application to be dealt with as smoothly as possible. If you wish to send your application through the Advice Centre’s Batch Scheme you will be expected to provide all the necessary documents as per the Tier 4 Policy Guidance requirements so that we can ensure your application is valid and complete.

Police Registration : If a condition of your visa is to register with the Police, you must ensure you submit your Police Registration Certificate with your application. It is a legal requirement to report any changes to the Police within 7 days. This means you must report any visa extensions, changes of address, or change to your personal situation to the Police Foreign Nationals Office. Failure to report these changeswithin 7 days may be grounds for refusal. Updates to an existing certificate may be done on campus through an appointment with the Campus PCSOAlex Willmott (email pcso@essex.ac.uk to organise this). If you are registering for the first time or need a new certificate you will need to contact the Colchester Police Station.

Other Documents: All required documents must be included with your application and be precisely what the UKBA have asked for as stated in the relevant Policy Guidance. All documents must be original and if not in English, professional translations must be provided. Seethe Tier 4 Policy Guidance and the Help Text Leaflet for detailed information. If documents are incorrect or missing your application may be rejected or even refused.

How much will it cost? There is a charge for extending your stay under Tier 4. The fee is per application and is currently:

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£394 Tier 4 postal application £716 Tier4 in person application

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£197 per dependant applying by post at the same time as main applicant £358 per dependant applying in person at the same time as main applicant

Where to get application forms Forms can be downloaded and printed from the UKBA website along with Photo Guidance notes, the Help Text leaflet and Policy Guidance notes about Tier 4. It is strongly recommended that you read all guidance notes supplied with the forms before you attempt to complete them. The UKBA often make changesto the form, it is your responsibility to always ensure you have the most up to date version before you make your application. http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/visas-immigration/studying/adult-students/applying-inside-uk/

Dependants: If you intend to extend your immigration permission as a student and you have dependants already with you in the UK, your family members may be able to apply to continue their stay in the UK as your dependants – you should check Tier 4 Policy Guidance and PBSDependant Policy Guidance for further information. If you have dependents applying with you they will each need to complete a separate application form – PBS(Dependant). These forms should be downloaded and printed from the UKBA website along with the relevant Guidance Notes. http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/sitecontent/applicationforms/pbs/dependants

Keeping Copies of your passport/immigration permission and documents Before sending your application you should ensure that you have a copy of everything you send to the UKBA including a copy of your main passport page and any pagesthat contain immigration stamps or stickers. As your sponsor the University of Essex must keep a copy of your passport and your UK immigration permission. When you request a CASa photocopy of your main passport page will be taken. Once your application has been processedand you have received your new immigration permission you must take this to the Registry for them to take a copy for their records.

Methods of sending your application to the UKBA This information was correct at the time of printing 06/04/2012; please ensure that you check the UKBA web pages, Tier 4 Policy Guidance & Help Text Leaflet when making an application to ensure you have the most up to date information. 016/12


Pleasenote that processing times can vary, and it is impossible to predict how many weeks or months your application will take if you make a postal application. The Advice Centre can check your application form with you and advise you on how to make a complete, valid application form. There are three possible ways to submit your application 1. The Student Batch Scheme

The Students' Union Advice Centre can send your application on your behalf to a specialist section at the UK Border Agency. This service is available on an appointment basis only . Each appointment last 45 minutes (unless otherwise stated). During busier periods appointments are limited to 2 appointments per application. Appointments are issued on a first come first serve basis. In order to use the service pleasebe aware of the following: • You must bring your completed application form and all relevant documents to your appointment. We cannot fill the form in for you • To use the Batch Scheme you must pay by postal order or bankers’ draft • We require two photocopies on DIFFERENT COLOUR PAPER (I.E. NOT WHITE PAPER) of the form and all documents • You must bring your completed form with all documents including your postal orders and 2 photocopies to your appointment in order for us to be able to send your application. If anything is missing we will not be able to send it through the batch scheme. • We charge £1 per application towards the cost of postage • We reserve the right to refuse any application • Your application remains your responsibility at all times. • We have no influence over the UKBA and the decision made regarding your extension. Due to high demand for the UKBA Batch Scheme an appointment can not be guaranteed before your visa expires, if this is the caseyou will need to make your application direct to the UKBA before your current visa expires. If you are based at the Southend or Loughton campus pleasecontact the SUACby emailing suadvice@essex.ac.uk or telephone 01206874034 The Advice Centre has produced a guide to help you fill in the application form which can be found on our website www.essexstudent.com/advice 2. Posting the application yourself

You can post your application directly to the UKBA, you must use recorded or special delivery. We recommend you keep a photocopy of all your documents and your application for your own records. The addressto send your application to is the ‘Postal Address’ on the front page of the application form. You should keep the tracking reference number as proof of submitting your application. 3. Applying in Person (premium service)

If you wish to make your application in person you should read the UKBA application form and guidance notes for details. Croydon is the nearest UKBA Public Enquiry Office. To book an appointment you should use the online service : http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/aboutus/contact/applyinginperson/book-appointment/ . Alternatively you can ring 0870 606 7766. Important - If your leave is about to expire or you cannot book a convenient appointment we strongly advise you to submit your application by post. You must not allow your visa to expire before submitting your application to extend even if you have an appointment booked at the UKBA.

Where to find more information Students: http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/visas-immigration/studying/adult-students/ Dependants : http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/sitecontent/applicationforms/pbs/dependants UKCISA - We may also refer or suggest you contact UKCISAon their student helpline 0207 107 9922 open Monday – Friday 1pm – 4pm. www.ukcisa.org.uk

This information was correct at the time of printing 06/04/2012; please ensure that you check the UKBA web pages, Tier 4 Policy Guidance & Help Text Leaflet when making an application to ensure you have the most up to date information. 016/12


The Advice Centre has trained, experienced advisers who are able to give immigration advice. We are only able to give advice to our level of competency, therefore, in some caseswe may have to refer you to a specialist Solicitor. Immigration advice and services are regulated by the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC),and we have to abide by the Commissioner’s Codeof Standards. The OISChas the power to investigate complaints made about immigration advice and services provided. We can only provide advice to University of Essex applicants and students. For more information pleasesee the OISCwebsite. http://www.oisc.gov.uk/

This information was correct at the time of printing 06/04/2012; please ensure that you check the UKBA web pages, Tier 4 Policy Guidance & Help Text Leaflet when making an application to ensure you have the most up to date information. 016/12


/Tier-4-Factsheet-1612  

http://www.essexstudent.com/pageassets/services/advice_centre/immigration/Tier-4-Factsheet-1612.doc

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