News

International Student Immigration Service (ISIS)

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.

Changes to the immigration rules

16 April 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:

  • Tier 4
  • Student Visitor
  • General & Business Visitors
  • Tier 2
  • Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur)
  • Tier 5 routes

A summary from UKCISA is available.

UKCISA|

These rules came into force on the 6 April 2015.  We are currently updating our guidance to reflect these changes, but you can refer to the Tier 4 Policy Guidance| for information.

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.

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|

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.

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