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Tier 4 Briefings - an update on student visas (November 2013) Sally Saca, Head of ISAT Alex Lewis, Immigration Compliance Officer.

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Presentation on theme: "Tier 4 Briefings - an update on student visas (November 2013) Sally Saca, Head of ISAT Alex Lewis, Immigration Compliance Officer."— Presentation transcript:

1 Tier 4 Briefings - an update on student visas (November 2013) Sally Saca, Head of ISAT Alex Lewis, Immigration Compliance Officer

2 Today Brief overview of recent changes to the Tier 4 student route Changes that have taken place to university processes to ensure compliance

3 The Tiers TierGroupIntroduced Tier 1Highly skilled workers29 Feb 2008 Tier 2Sponsored work routes27 Nov 2008 Tier 3Low skilled workersSuspended Tier 4Students31 Mar 2009 Tier 5Temporary workers/Government Authorised Exchange 27 Nov 2008

4 Sponsor Duties Brookes is a 'Highly Trusted Sponsor' As a sponsor, we issue 'Confirmations of Acceptance for Studies' (CAS) to students to apply for a Tier 4 (General) Student Visa Students obtain a 'Brookes' visa Obligations - record keeping, monitoring attendance, reporting (non enrollment, changes of circumstances, refusals)

5 Changes since July 2012 ●Overstayers - the applicant has stayed in the UK beyond the leave they were granted ●From October 1 2012 - if period of overstay is for more than 28 days, extension applications are now automatically refused, if applying in the UK ●If the period of overstay is 90 days or more, applicants applying for entry clearance, will face a ban of a minimum of 1 year from returning to the UK ●From October 1 2012 - gap between the end of an applicant’s leave and the start date of the course must be no more than 28 days

6 Credibility Interviews ●Now part of the Tier 4 student application process overseas (to be introduced in the UK) ●Interviews are 4-5 minutes long, and are conducted via video link with the Home Office in the UK ●If students fail this interview they are asked to attend a longer face to face interview in an application centre in their country ●If refused - very difficult to make another application for study in the UK

7 Students and work ●Max 20 hours a week during term time (degree level and above) ●Full time during 'vacation' ●Placements - not more than 50% ●Full time at the end of course (4 months for courses of 1 year plus) ●Tier 2 for graduate level jobs paying at least £20,300 ●Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur Scheme ●New 6 April 2013 - Doctorate Extension Scheme

8 ●Students completing PhD programmes can apply to extend for 12 months to gain experience in their field ●Applications must be made in the UK ●Students must have Tier 4 leave ●Universities still need to sponsor and monitor their students Doctorate Extension Scheme

9 ●Removal of appeal rights - for extension applications in the UK - to be replaced by admin review with fee attached. Decisions reconsidered by Home Office with no independent tribunal ●NHS charging - possibly £150 for students, Currently at House of Commons Committee stage. (dependents could be £200) ●Housing Immigration Status check - landlords to check status - £3000 fine if found to have no permission to stay in the UK To be introduced

10 Approved Temporary Withdrawal ●Maternity leave, health problems, problems at home etc ●The period which students are taking ATW will be reported to the UKBA ●They should return home asap ●They will receive a letter to say their leave will be curtailed in 60 days, if their ATW is for more than 2 months ●Students need to obtain a new visa in their country to return to the UK and re-commence study ●Students considering ATW, should be referred to ISAT for immigration advice

11 ISAS has now become ISAT - International Student Advice Team ISAT is one of the teams that make up ‘Student Central’ Will be located in the JHBB, when it opens… Immigration Compliance Officer post created and Alex Lewis took up post in January 2013 The post is located within the ISAT team Changes at Brookes

12 Higher Education Assurance team has been created Specific responsibility for auditing HEI’s Audits can announced or unannounced Audits will sample 10-20% of Tier 4 students Will be participating in new co-regulation steering group H.E.A.T

13 KPMG conducted a full audit in February 2013 Framework for conducting spotchecks was developed as a result Spotchecks occur roughly every 2 months and issues are reported to PBS Advisory Group. Key to ensuring ongoing compliance with the regulations Internal Audit and Spotchecks

14 Clearly defined process has now been created and implemented. First run this semester successfully captured the required copies from September entrants. Copies of the process can be emailed to interested staff. PGT Recordkeeping process

15 Designed to increase staff and student knowledge of Tier 4. Newly implemented this semester ‘Regulations on compliance with Tier 4 rules’ located in section D of the regulations. For more information on any of the regulations covered please contact Tier 4 regulations

16 CAS policy pulls together rules, policies and procedures for a clearer picture at audit. CAS issuance central to Sponsor duties Training register and policy designed to evidence staffs ability to issue CAS on an ongoing basis CAS policy, Training policy & Training register

17 Strengthens recordkeeping systems and adds a mid semester check-point to attendance monitoring policy Runs in semesters 1 & 2 between weeks 6 & 7 each year Documented follow up process to pick up non- compliance Detailed in the University regulations under section D Tier 4 Check-in process

18 Early warning emails sent to students at monthly intervals prior to visas expiry Advisors follow up students who have not taken action to extend their visa Student batch scheme check and sends off applications for students Safer applications for students, lower refusal rates & higher levels of compliance as a result ISAT

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