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Tier 4 (general) Visa Information for Students 2014 / 15


Contents

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Welcome to Bath Spa University

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Your Tier 4 (General) Student Visa

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Monitoring and Compliance

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Police Registration

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Opening a Bank Account

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Working in the UK

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Holidays and Travel

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Useful Contacts

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Welcome to Bath Spa University The International Liaison Team provides a variety of services and support for our International Tier 4 (general) visa sponsored students. Our aim is to guide these students through their student journey, from pre-arrival through to graduation, including key responsibilities for being in the UK as an International sponsored student. We are based in Student Space in Main House (MHG17), Newton Park, and we are always available for you to come and see us with any query, or to just say hello. We also operate an appointment system for those who wish to discuss specific topics and would prefer a more private room to do this.

The team consists of: Katy Mugford, Emma Bolt, Alice Brand and Katie-Jane Millington. If you wish to contact a member of the team you can email: intoffer@bathspa.ac.uk or call: Emma Bolt: 01225 875690 (Working days Monday, Tuesday and Thursday) Alice Brand: 01225 876277 (Working days Monday to Friday) Katie-Jane Millington: 01225 875870 (Working days Monday to Friday) Katy Mugford: 01225 876276 (Working days Monday to Friday)

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Your Tier 4 (General) Student Visa As an International student it is important that you comply with UK Immigration Regulations during your time in the UK. Your Responsibilites: • At registration, provide Bath Spa University (BSU) with your passport, academic qualifications as shown in your CAS and your immigration permission (vignette in passport or Biometric Residence Permit with BSU’s sponsorship number on it) so that we can take a copy for our records. You will also be expected to present your passport and visa/BRP at specified check-in points throughout the year. • Register your arrival with the police if you are required to do so, within 7 days of arrival in the UK • Ensure your immigration permission is valid throughout your studies • Keep BSU updated with your UK contact details • Keep BSU updated with any change of circumstance. For example, securing a credit bearing work placement, change in your course or change in the location (i.e. a different campus)

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• Keep the Home Office updated with your UK contact details and change of circumstances • Ensure you meet the attendance and progression requirements of your course: • No unauthorised absence • Have full attendance and engagement • Sign the register provided when attending classes • Submit all assessments and sit all exams • Progress through your studies • Advise Bath Spa University if you withdraw, defer or intercalate your study • Leave the UK if you withdraw or intercalate your studies • Do not breach the conditions of your visa e.g. working restrictions • To participate in required communications with the University – respond to communications from academic and support staff when required to do so, through accessing your University email account • Ensure that you are in the UK and ready for study at the beginning of each term. If you need to travel during term time please ensure that you have this agreed by the University • Submit a copy of your ATAS certificate if this is a requirement of your course (this will be specified on your CAS)


Our responsibilities: • Assign Confirmation of Acceptance for Study (CAS) numbers responsibly • Ensure students have the correct immigration permission and help them to maintain it • Hold copies of students original passport, academic qualifications as shown in the CAS and your immigration permission and ATAS Certificates where applicable • Keep a record of students current UK contact details • Notify the Home Office of students who fail to enrol or who are delayed in enrolment • Notify the Home Office within 10 working days of significant changes in a student’s circumstances e.g. withdrawal, exclusion, change of course, change of sponsor • Notify the Home Office if we are aware a student is in breach of their immigration conditions • Monitor student’s attendance and progression, and report failure to meet these requirements to the Home Office • Inform the Home Office of any visa refusals

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Monitoring and Compliance As a Highly Trusted Sponsor, Bath Spa University is responsible for the monitoring of Tier 4 (general) visa sponsored students to ensure that you are attending, engaging and progressing with your studies and that you are meeting the conditions of your visa. If there is a valid reason why you cannot attend, then there is an expectation that you contact your tutor or lecturer to explain. The University has a mitigating circumstances policy, that allows you to formally tell the University that you are experiencing problems outside of your control that are affecting your studies. Further information can be found here: https://www2.bathspa.ac.uk/services/student-services/ current-students/your-course/mitigating-circumstances. asp We complete attendance monitoring in several ways:

Face to Face Check In We will send an email to your Bath Spa University email account requiring you to come and see the International Liaison team to Check In three times a year if you are based at Newton Park Campus. If you are studying at another campus we will provide you with the location of your Check In. The email will include the dates of your Check In. You will need to take with you the following: • Your passport • Your visa or Biometric Residence Permit (if you have a BRP) • Your completed monitoring compliance form. A link to this form will be sent in the above email so that you can print and complete this Face to Face Check In is important and failure to do so within the timeframe given will be recorded by BSU. We ask you to Check In so that we can ensure that we have your current UK contact details, and so that both you and the University are compliant with UK V&I regulations. Students also have the opportunity to discuss any concerns or issues that they may have, or simply to say hello.

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Attendance Registers It is an expectation for all students to fully attend and engage with their studies, and each month your module tutors will be asked to provide information about your attendance in lectures, seminars and any other timetabled activities. We may also check data held for assessments and exams. This part of our monitoring does not require any action on your part other than to attend and engage, but is for your information only. Low or Non Attendance Letter If your attendance for timetabled activities and Check In is not deemed as satisfactory then you will initially be contacted by letter and/or email to highlight the importance of attending all timetabled study. Participation Appointments If your attendance continues to be unsatisfactory then you will be invited to attend a Participation Appointment with a member of the International Liaison Team.

Compliance and Participation Meeting Further to the first two points of communication regarding attendance, should there be no improvement in your attendance and engagement then you will be invited to attend a Compliance Participation Meeting with the Deputy Registrar. This meeting will partly be to establish whether there are any mitigating circumstances to explain low or non-attendance and to discuss whether there are any implications for your visa status which the University would be required to action in line with the UK V&I regulations. There will then be clear guidance of what will be expected of you along with details of any follow up meeting which may be required.

This will be to discuss whether you are having any difficulties attending or participating in your course, or if you have any other issues which are having an impact on your studies so that we can identify ways you can get help or support.

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Police Registration If you need to register with the Police upon your arrival in the UK, then it will say this on your Tier 4 (general) student visa or Biometric Residence Permit (BRP). If you are unsure whether you need to register with the Police you can find out further information here: https://www.gov.uk/register-with-the-police You will need to do this within 7 days of your arrival in the UK, as stated on your visa or BRP. If you are living in the Bath area the address for Bath Police Station is: Manvers Street Bath BA1 1JN

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The Police Station will record: • Your full name • Your gender • Your marital status • Your date and country of birth • Your nationality • Your address in the UK • The address of last place you lived outside of the UK • Your passport details • What you can and can’t do with your visa, including how long you can stay • That you’re a student If any of these details change you must tell the Police, and you may need to register again if you move somewhere else in the UK.


You will need to take with you: • Your passport • 2 passport size colour photographs • Your Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) card if you have one • Details of your course and place of study (a Student Status Certificate will confirm this)

Registering with the Police costs £34 and you can pay at the Police station. This will be charged for the initial registration certificate. Please ensure you keep your Police Registration Certificate safe. Please do not attend the Police station to register in a group larger than three people as this is a busy station and they may not be able to process large numbers of Certificates. We do not want you to be turned away and it to be a wasted journey.

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Opening a bank account To open a bank account you will firstly need to complete the online registration and enrolment for your course. You will also need to ensure that you have an up to date UK address, and that you have provided this address to us.

Please ensure that you keep any bank statements safe and that you inform your bank if your address changes.

Bath Spa University can then provide you with a letter which confirms the following:

http://www.ukcisa.org.uk/content/2506/Opening-a-bankaccount

• Your name • Your date of birth • Your course title • The start and expected end date of your course • Your UK term time address and your overseas home address You will need to take this letter and your passport with your student visa when you open your bank account.

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If you would like further information about Opening a UK Bank Account please refer to the following link to UKCISA:


Working in the UK If you are studying with a valid Tier 4 (general) student visa at Undergraduate or Postgraduate degree level for 6 months or more then the following work is permitted: • Part-time during term-time, which is no more than 20 hours a week • Full-time during vacations • A work placement as an assessed part of your course, providing the work placement does not amount to more than 50% of your course Please see section 7 for details of term dates. For further information about work which is and isn’t permitted please see here: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/ attachment_data/file/261401/Tier4migrantguidance.pdf

When you receive your timetable it may look like you have a lot time available outside of your timetabled study. However you will need to allow time for independent study, coursework, revision for examinations and additional reading for your subject. Although you can work the 20 hours a week during term time we advise all students to consider the time that is needed to allow for all of these activities, as well as enjoying your time in Bath before you commit to any employment. If you feel that you are finding it difficult to balance work and study time you can always contact our Student Support team who will be able to advise how to manage your time.

Please note that the primary purpose of a Tier 4 (general) student visa is to study.

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Holidays and Travel Whilst you are studying with BSU you may wish to travel to experience other countries and cultures during University vacation periods. Term dates and vacation periods for the University can be found here:

Cultural Celebrations Whilst studying at BSU we want you to experience everything about studying and living in the UK. However BSU understand that festivities and celebrations held in your home country may fall at times of the year when you are expected to be in full time study. Should this be the case please come and see the International Liaison Team for further discussion.

https://www.bathspa.ac.uk/about-us/term-dates Please ensure that you always have your valid in date passport. If you hold a Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) rather than a visa vignette in your passport, you must ensure that you take this on your travels as you will need to present this on re-entry back into the UK. If you will be leaving and re-entering the UK during term time you will need to have written permission from BSU. You will need to ensure that you carry this with you as Entry Clearance Officers at UK Immigration may ask you to explain why you are travelling during term time whilst registered as a full time student.

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Schengen Visa If you wish to travel to Europe you may require a Schengen visa. For further information about this visa, including how to apply and the documents you will need, please see the following information provided by the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA): http://ukcisa.org.uk/International-Students/Immigration-/ Other-immigration-matters/Schengen-visas/


Useful Contacts University Contacts

External Contacts

Bath Spa University: Newton St Loe Bath, BA2 9BN Email: enquiries@bathspa.ac.uk Tel: +44 (0)1225 875875

UK Visas and Immigration General immigration enquiries for UK based customers: Tel: 0300 123 2241

International Liaison Team: Email: intoffer@bathspa.ac.uk Tel: +44 (0)1225 875690 | +44 (0)1225 876277 International Relations Team: Email: international@bathspa.ac.uk Tel: +44 (0)1225 875777 Student Housing Team: Email: accommodation@bathspa.ac.uk Tel: +44 (0)1225 875843

https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/uk-visasand-immigration Notify the UK V&I of a change of address: https://contact-ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/aboutus/ contact/changeAddress The UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA): Tel: +44 (0)20 7788 9214 http://ukcisa.org.uk/

Student Support Service: Email: studentsupport@bathspa.ac.uk Tel: +44 (0)1225 876543

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Tier 4 (General) Visa Information for Students Bath Spa University