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Latest Immigration News and FAQ's

 

Latest News: Recent changes affecting international students coming to the UK to study.

  • COVID-19 & Immigration – Visit the UKCISA website for the latest information for International Students. You can find information on visa extension, flexibility to study on a distance learning basis, English language testing and frequently asked questions.  
  • General Student Visa (Tier 4) applicants: NHS Surcharge fee is due to increase from £300 per year to £470 per year in October 2020.  
  • New Points-based visa route will be introduced for EU nationals from January 2021. 

The UK Home Office published a policy statement in January 2020 outlining the plans for a new points-based system as the EU freedom of movement comes to an end after the 31st December 2020. The announcement states that from 1st January 2021 all EU and non-EU nationals will be treated the same. 

EU national students will need an immigration permission to study in the UK from 1st January 2021 onwards. You can access the full statement on the Home Office website. We will update our website as and when more information regarding this immigration route becomes available. EU nationals arriving in the UK by 31st December 2020 should look to apply for permission to stay in the UK under the EU settlement scheme. More information this can be found on our EU Settlement Scheme page.

  • Post-study work visa for General Student Visa (Tier 4) holders 

The UK government announced in October 2019 that it is looking to introduce a new immigration route to help international students stay in the UK for two years after they have finished their studies. This has not yet been included in the immigration rules, but you can read the latest on the plans by visiting the UKCISA and the UK government websites for more information.  

  • The EU settlement Scheme for EU/EEA and Swiss nationals and their family members  

Visit our EU Settlement scheme website for the latest information regarding this scheme.   

Visa and immigration Frequently Asked Questions:

 

How do I get a CAS?

Our admissions team issue CASs for unconditional offer holders. You will need to meet the academic criteria, pay £2000 deposit and provide a copy of your passport and any previous UK immigration permissions to our admissions team.  

As part of the CAS issuing process you will be asked questions relating to your immigration history. We need to make sure that you are a genuine student, are not exceeding the study limit on a Tier 4 visa and that you are academically progressing (if applicable).  

What is the earliest I can get my CAS?

The earliest you can get your CAS is three months before the start of your course. If you are due to start your studies in September, our admissions team can issue your CAS from June onwards.  

How much money do I need to show as evidence for living costs (maintenance) as part of my General Student Visa (Tier 4) application?

Length of course Money needed 
Nine months or less  

Course fees  

and 

£1,015 for each month of the course 

More than nine months

First year of fees 

and 

£9,135 to cover the first year in the UK (9 months x £1,015) 

 

Can I use my friend’s/brother’s/aunt’s etc. bank statements as evidence of having enough money for living costs in the UK?

The answer is no. You can’t use bank statements from your aunt, uncle, sister, brother, cousin, friend etc. Only money in your bank account or your parents’ (or legal guardians’) bank account can be used as evidence. Your application will be refused if you are unable to show the money in a manner specified by the UKVI. Make sure you check the Tier 4 policy guidance for guidance on maintenance. 

HOW DO I APPLY FOR A GENERAL STUDENT VISA (TIER 4)?

Please refer to our how to apply for a Tier 4 visa section

WHAT IS AN ACL CODE (GENERAL STUDENT VISA (TIER 4) APPLICATION)?

The Tier 4 application form (applying from outside the UK) will ask you to enter an ‘ACL’ location for your Biometric Residence Permit (BRP). Please note that we do not have an ‘ACL’ code. You are required to collect your BRP from a post office in Portsmouth (30 min train ride from Chichester/Bognor Regis). See “How do I get my Biometric Residence Permit (BRP)” section below 

How do I get my Biometric Residence Permit (BRP)

As we do not have an Alternative Collection Location (ACL) our Tier 4 students must collect their Biometric Residence Permit within 10 days of Arrival from the nearest Post Office. Our Collection point is the Post Office on Slindon Street, Portsmouth & Southsea. 

We organise trips to Portsmouth & Southsea during the international orientation events (September and January) to help you collect your BRP.  

Alternatively, you can collect your BRP independently by travelling to Portsmouth & Southsea by train (the post office is about 5 min walk from Southsea train station). 

In order to collect your BRP you must bring your passport and visa decision letter with you. You should also be prepared to give your UK address to the Post Office staff.  

How much do I have to pay towards the healthcare costs as part of my General Student Visa (Tier 4) application?

If your course is longer than 6 months, you will need to pay £300 per year towards the cost of healthcare in the UK. The amount you have to pay is calculated based on your length of leave, not the length of your course. 

For example: 

Length of course Length of leave (visa)
Less than 12 months  Length of your course + 2 months  
12 months or more  Length of your course + 4 months  

Check the Home Office website for more information on the health surcharge.  

MY GENERAL STUDENT VISA (TIER 4) APPLICATION IS DELAYED. CAN I ARRIVE AND REGISTER ONTO MY COURSE LATE?

Late arrival is not recommended and can very rarely be authorised. If you think you are going to be delayed e.g. you are unable to attend the international orientation event or your departmental induction week you should contact the admissions team as soon as possible.  You should allow enough time for your visa application. Please see our start dates here. 

WHAT HAPPENS IF MY GENERAL STUDENT VISA (TIER 4) VISA APPLICATION IS REFUSED?

Visa applications outside the UK:  The visa application centre will give you a refusal notice, which will show why the application was refused and whether you have a right to an “administrative review”. You should contact the admissions team as soon as possible after receiving a refusal notification to help you decide whether to request a review or to submit a new application (with a new CAS). 

Visa applications in the UK:  If your application is refused, it may be possible to submit an administrative review, if you believe that the Home Office have wrongly refused your visa.  You may be in danger of becoming an “overstayer” and therefore will need to act quickly to decide on the best course of action. It is important that you contact the International Student Advisory Service at the University as soon as you receive the refusal notification so that we can help you either to submit an administrative review or to submit a new application (with a new CAS),  if possible. 

MY FAMILY/FRIENDS WOULD LIKE TO VISIT ME IN THE UK. HOW CAN I INVITE THEM?

If your friend or relative is a national of a country that is OUTSIDE the EEA (European Economic Area), they will have to apply for permission to come to the UK as a visitor.  

Some nationalities are able to apply for Visitor Entry Clearance at the airport when arriving in the UK, but other nationalities have to apply for a Visitor Visa at a British Embassy or High Commission before leaving home (these national are called ‘Visa Nationals’). You can check which category they belong to by visiting https://www.gov.uk/uk-visa 

Standard Visitors will normally have to apply online. 

What documents are needed?

https://www.gov.uk/standard-visitor-visa 

Your visitor must show the visa application centre some documents: 

  • At least 3 months’ bank statements, payslips or some other evidence to show that they can pay for the trip and that they have enough money to support themselves without working or getting any help from public funds. 
  • Evidence that they intend to leave the UK at the end of their visit (for example, a letter from their employer). 
  • Proof of your enrolment at University of Chichester (see below). 
  • A letter of invitation from you (see below). 

Students sometimes ask us for an additional formal letter of invitation for their vistor, but this is not necessary.

Proof of your enrolment at University of Chichester 

The only formal document you normally need for University of Chichester is recent proof of your enrolment. You can print an enrolment letter via CHIVIEW. 

Do not use an old enrolment letter: if you already have one, but it is more than a few weeks old, get a new one. If your visitor is coming to the UK to attend your graduation, you can show a letter from the University that confirms that you, the student, have been invited to attend your graduation ceremony. Make sure the letter includes the date of the graduation ceremony. 

Your letter of invitation 

Write a letter, addressed to the Entry Clearance Officer at the Embassy were your visitor is applying for their visa. Include in your letter: 

  • the full name and date of birth of the proposed visitor(s) 
  • their relationship to you (parent, friend etc.) 
  • why they want to come and visit you (for a holiday, to attend your graduation etc.) 
  • how long they want to stay in the UK and, if possible, their proposed arrival and departure dates. 
  • where they intend to stay; if they plan to stay with you, give your full address. 
  • your own immigration status in the UK (for example student until 2023). 

What to do next?

Send your invitation letter and proof of enrolment to your friend or relative so they can include them with their visa application. Do not send it direct to the Embassy or Visa application centre. Again, you do not normally need any additional letter from University of Chichester, only proof of your enrolment.  

Please note that the above information is for guidance only. Please check the Home Office website for the latest visa regulations.  

Do I need to register with the police?

All relevant foreign nationals are required to register with Sussex Police Nationality Unit.  If you are unsure, you will need to check your visa which will clearly show this registration as a condition of your stay if it is required. 

Police Registration is by appointment only, and organised centrally by Sussex Police Nationality Unit.  Do not try to register at the local Police Station in the area where you are living.   

Please do not worry if you can’t register within 7 days of arrival – the department responsible for registration are very busy and realise that this may be impossible. 

Contact the International Student Advisers – Paivi Leivo and Jane Smith and they can help you book your first appointment at a local registration centre.  

What do I need to bring with me to register with the police for the first time? 

  • Your passport & BRP 
  • Two recent passport size photographs 
  • Registration fee of £34.00 (cash only) 
  • Student Status letter (print via Chiview with term-time address) 
  • If an organisation or company is sponsoring your studies, you should bring a letter from the organisation to confirm this. 
  • Completed foreign nationals registration form

Police Registration Certificate updates 

Please note that you need to update your Police Registration Certificate every time your circumstances change e.g. your address changes. This can be done at the nearest Police Station in Chichester or Bognor Regis.  

Sussex Police Nationality Unit – Police Registration Information   

DO I HAVE TO REPORT MY NEW ADDRESS TO THE HOME OFFICE?

 

General Student Visa (Tier 4) holders, should report the following changes to the Home Office.   

  • Changes to your personal details 
  • Criminal convictions that you have not previously told the UKBA about 
  • Changes in your contact details 
  • Changes in your family members’ details, if they are in the UK as your dependants and 
  • Any other information you think the Home Office should know 

 

MY GENERAL STUDENT VISA (TIER 4) EXPIRES BEFORE MY GRADUATION CEREMONY TAKES PLACE. WHAT SHOULD I DO?

You can find information relating to dates and locations of your graduation on our graduation ceremonies page. If you leave the UK before your graduation takes place or if your General Student visa (Tier 4) expires before the date of your graduation, and you have not applied to stay in the UK under a different category e.g.  work or further study elsewhere, you will need to leave the UK and obtain a General Visitor Visa to attend the Graduation event. 

If you require an invitation letter for your visa application, please contact the Graduation team.   Please find more information on the Standard visitor visa category on the Home Office website

I AM A GENERAL STUDENT VISA (TIER 4) HOLDER AND I WOULD LIKE TO WORK WHILE I AM A STUDENT. IS THIS POSSIBLE?

Tier 4 students studying at the University of Chichester are allowed to work as follows: 

Below-degree level course e.g. Pre-sessional 

Degree-level or above  

e.g. undergraduate, postgraduate*, MhPhil, PhD 

10 hours / week during term- time 20 hours / week during term-time 
Full-time during vacation

if you are a Tier 4 student studying on a part-time postgraduate degree you are not allowed to work.  

There are certain restrictions in terms of what type of work you can do when you have a Tier 4 visa. Make sure check our full guidance notes on General Student Visa (Tier 4) and Employment on our Visas and Immigration pages.

I AM A GENERAL STUDENT VISA (TIER 4) STUDENT STUDYING AT DEGREE LEVEL AT THE UNIVERSITY OF CHICHESTER. CAN I DO ADDITIONAL STUDIES ELSEWHERE?

You are allowed to take extra courses in the UK (e.g. evening classes). These extra courses do not need to be at any particular level, and your education provider is not required to have a Tier 4 sponsor licence. You will need to continue your studies at the University of Chichester and the supplementary course(s) should not hinder your progression on the main degree course. 

Please refer to the latest Tier 4 Policy Guidance for more information on supplementary courses. 

I HAVE LOST MY BRP. WHAT CAN I DO?

Lost or stolen Biometric Residence permit (BRP)/visa/passport 

It is important to keep your passport and BRP secure and make photocopies of your documents. Please note that you do not have to carry your passport or BRP in the UK, so you can leave them at home most of the time. 

This information helps you understand what to do if your BRP/passport is stolen or lost and how the replacement processes work in the UK and abroad.  

Biometric Residence permit (BRP) / passport was lost or stolen in the UK 

I lost my BRP in the UK: 

  1. Report it to the nearest Police Station and ask for a reference number. 
  2. Report the loss to UKVI via their online form. 
  3. Apply for a replacement online 
  4. Pay £161 application fee and collate your supporting documents to be sent with your application. 
  5. Have your biometrics taken (photo and fingerprints) 
  6. You must apply within 3 months of reporting the loss. 

I lost my passport in the UK: 

  1. Report it to the nearest Police Station and ask for a reference number. 

  1. Contact your Embassy in London to find out about passport replacement application process. 

  1. If your visa was a vignette in your passport you will need to apply for a replacement visa by completing a transfer of conditions form once your replacement passport is issued. 

Biometric Residence permit (BRP)/ passport was lost or stolen outside the UK 

I lost my BRP outside the UK: 

  1. Report it to the nearest Police Station and ask for a report/reference number. 

  1. Report the loss to UKVI via their online form. 

  1. Apply for a BRP replacement online* to return to the UK. Once you are back in the UK you must follow the BRP replacement steps above and apply for a new BRP within 1 month of returning to the UK. 

*BRP replacement application process: 

The application process can take 1-2 weeks and can be problematic if you have also lost your passport. If you are not in your home country it might be advisable to travel there to submit your application especially if your permit to stay in your particular location is due to expire. When completing the online application form you must select the following options: 

  • Reason for a visit: Other 

  • Visa types: Others 

  • Visa  Sub-type: replacement Biometric Residence Permit 

I lost my passport outside the UK: 

  1. Report it to the police in the country you are visiting. 

  1. Contact your Embassy in the country you are visiting to apply for a replacement passport. 

  1. If your visa was a vignette in your passport you will need to submit a new Tier 4 visa application using your previous CAS. You will also need to print a student status letter via Chiview to support your application.  Other supporting documents may be asked and you should be prepared to submit original documents. 

Do I need to tell anyone if I have lost my passport/visa/BRP? 

You must let the University know that you have lost your document(s) and that you are applying for a replacement. 

What happens once I receive my BRP replacement card/passport? 

Once your replacement BRP/vignette/passport arrives you must give a copy of it to Academic Registry. You should also update your police registration certificate and inform the UKVI of change of circumstances (if applicable) 

Who can help me with the BRP replacement application? 

Contact the International Student Advisory Service (ISAS) who can advise you on how to submit your replacement application and what supporting documentation to submit.  

Can I travel while I wait for my BRP replacement card? 

You won’t be able to travel outside the UK while your application is pending. 

Useful information: 

What is a BRP? 

UKVI BRP guidance 

UKCISA- passport/visa/BRP problems