Immigration Updates

International Student Immigration Service (ISIS)

Changes to the payment system for the Immigration Health Surcharge

29 June 2015

The Home Office released new information this morning on the payment system for the Immigration Health Surcharge.  Currently payment of the surcharge is separate to the Tier 4 application form and we are aware that some people may have already paid the surcharge before being able to submit their application.

On the 5 July 2015, the IHS payment will be incorporated as part of the Tier 4 application form.  If you have already paid the IHS but are unable to submit your Tier 4 application form by 5:59pm on the 4 July 2015, you will need to:

  • complete a new Tier 4 application form;
  • re-pay the Immigration Health Surcharge as part of your application - failure to do so may result in your application being refused.

It is possible to obtain a refund if you are able to confirm that you have paid the Immigration Health Surcharge twice.  Details can be found in the UKVI Questions and Answers.

Comprehensive Sickness Insurance for family members of EEA students

22 June 2015

From the 22 June 2015, all family members of EEA students residing in the UK will be required to hold Comprehensive Sickness Insurance(CSI).  When applying for immigration permission as a family member of an EEA student, you will need to show that you have held CSI from the 22 June 2015 or the date of entry to the UK, whichever is later.

You can find more information for EU/EEA students on the UKCISA website.

Changes to the endorsements on BRPs

22 May 2015

From the 24 May 2015, BRPs issued for students who have applied for their Tier 4 visa outside the UK may not show the requirement to register with the Police within 7 days.  We have been advised that this will be included on your decision letter, so you should check this letter carefully to see if you need to register with the Police.

Police Registration

Telephone Scam against international students

22 April 2015

We have been made aware that a new scam targeting international students is currently taking place.  Details of the scam can be found on the UKCISA website.

The Home Office would not contact you by telephone to request additional payment regarding your visa.  If you receive a telephone call do not give any of your personal details and do not pay them any money.  Contact ISIS immediately and we will be able to help you report it.

Introduction of Exit Checks when leaving the UK

On the 8 April 2015, the Home Office re-introduced exit checks when leaving the UK.  You should ensure that you are aware of the date your visa expires. Either apply for a new visa if possible or leave the UK before the expiry date of your current visa.  You should not plan to overstay in the UK.

Introduction of the Immigration Health Charge

Updated 14 April 2015

The Immigration Act 2014 gave the UK Government the power to introduce an immigration health charge.  This was introduced on the 6 April 2015.

Payment of the immigration health charge is not currently included as part of the online application forms and you are required to complete payment before submitting your application.  Details on the immigration health charge and how to calculate it can be found on the Home Office website.

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 £525 at the point they apply for their visa because they will be issued with a visa for three years and four months. It is not an optional charge and failure to pay or pay the correct amount can lead to your visa being refused.

The following groups are exempt but will still need an Immigration Health Charge number for applications:

  • 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.

Tier 4 Doctorate Extension Scheme applicants are advised to contact ISIS for advice before paying the charge.