International Student Immigration Service (ISIS)
Introduction of the Immigration Health Charge
26 March 2015
The Immigration Act 2014 gave the UK Government the power to introduce an immigration health charge. It is likely that this will be introduced for all immigration applications made on or after the 6 April 2015.
The immigration health charge will cost:
£150 for students and their dependants
£200 for other applicants e.g. Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur), Tier 2 and Tier 5 Youth Mobility
The sum is an annual amount and you will be charged the annual amount for each year of the maximum period of leave at the point you apply for your visa. For example, an undergraduate student is likely to have to pay an extra £450 at the point they apply for their visa. It is not an optional charge and failure to pay can lead to your visa being refused.
The following groups are exempt:
Entry clearance applications for 6 months or less;
Visitor visa applications (except the extended Student Visitor route)
Nationals of Australia and New Zealand, and British Overseas Territories Citizens who are resident in the Falkland Islands.
Some guidance has been produced by the Home Office, but full details are not yet available:
Changes to the immigration rules
2 March 2015
On the 26 February 2015, the Home Office published a statement of changes to the immigration rules. These changes affect the majority of immigration routes into the UK including:
General & Business Visitors
Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur)
Tier 5 routes
A summary from UKCISA is available.
We are in the process of seeking clarification on some of the changes. We will update our web pages as soon as we have full details.
Changes to the working rules from 6 April 2015
2 March 2015
From the 6 April 2015, there will be changes to the immigration rules for working visas including:
an increase to the minimum salary for Tier 2 to £20,800
removal of appeal rights for Tiers 1, 2 and 5
a study condition which requires you to obtain ATAS clearance if required for your programme before you are able to start your studies.
Change in immigration procedures after arrival
11 March 2015
The Home Office plan to implement major changes to the way that it issues permission to people who come to the UK for more than six months. Full details of these changes have yet to be released, but it is proposed that they will start for applications made on or after the 17 March 2015 in Pakistan. UKCISA have summarised the proposed changes for students:
When more information has been released, we will update our web pages and guides to keep you up to date.
Increase in visa application fees from April 2015
18 February 2015
The Home Office propose to increase the cost of visa applications from April 2015. The new fees are likely to be:
Tier 4 (General) application outside the UK - £322
Tier 4 (General) standard application in the UK - £439
Tier 4 (General) premium application - £839
Student Visitor - £85
Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) in the UK - £456
Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) outside the UK - £335
Introduction of Priority Visa Application Service in China
27 January 2015
The Home Office have now introduced a priority visa application service for Tier 4 applications in all 12 Chinese visa application centres across China. The Home Office advise applications through the priority service will be processed within 5 working days.
Further details can be found on the Home Office webpages:
Priority service in China
Early release for internship schemes in 2015
As in previous years, the Home Office have given permission for LSE to release students early for the Summer vacation / before your official programme end date to begin a formal internship scheme.
You must seek formal permission from both your academic department and the Registry before you can start working full-time on your internship scheme. Full details can be found on our working during your studies web page.
Working During your Studies
New Tier 4 visa condition
10 November 2014
A Tier 4 visa that you applied for on or after 6 November 2014 will have a new study condition: you can only use it to study the specific programme named on your CAS. This means that if you wish to progress to a new programme at LSE at the end of your visa, you will need to make your Tier 4 extension application before you can register.
Previously, a Tier 4 visa for study at LSE allowed you to start a new programme at LSE during the period at the end of the visa (which can be up to 4 months), without making a Tier 4 extension application until that visa was about to expire. In practice, people did often apply for the Tier 4 extension before registering on the new programme anyway, but it was not required.
For clarity, simplicity and good practice at Registration, it is likely that the School will in future require all students to make their new Tier 4 application before they can register on a new programme, regardless of when they applied for their current visa.
Appeals replaced with Administrative Review
10 November 2014
For Tier 4 applications made on or after 20 October 2014, the Appeals process for refusals has been replaced by Administrative Review (AR). An AR is when the Home Office reviews the decision-making process made by the caseworker when considering the application. It is not a legal process handled by the Immigration Tribunal.
UKCISA has prepared detailed information for students about your options after a Tier 4 refusal. As well as AR, it includes information about Appeals for those who made their Tier 4 application before 20 October 2014:
If your visa application is refused please keep all of the documents you have been sent by the Home Office and the envelope they were delivered in as proof of receipt. Contact ISIS immediately for advice.