Studying in the UK - Immigration Information
Students considering applying to study in the United Kingdom should be aware of revised immigration rules relating to visiting students from abroad. A new points-based system of immigration has been introduced by the UKBA (United Kingdom Border Administration) and foreigners enter Britain under various tiers of the system. Visiting students come under Tier 4, and are required to be sponsored by an educational establishment to study in Britain. Stetson University College of Law has approved sponsor status under Tier 4 of the points-based system.
Ways to Enter the United Kingdom (UK) as a Student
There are two distinct ways of entering the UK as a student:
- Student Visitor OR
- Tier 4 General Student Visa
You should read carefully the following information relating to these two routes of entry and decide which route is appropriate for you. You should also consult the information on the visa categories on www.visainfoservices.com.
- Attachment 1: Visa Options for Students
- Attachment 2: Proof of Funds Information
- Attachment 3: UKBA WorldBridge Visa Information "How to Apply"
- Attachment 4: Pages 15-20 of Tier 4 Policy Guidance. Includes Information regarding money needed, money that can be used, Money already paid to the Tier 4 sponsor, documents needed to claim points for Maintenance funds, documents needed to show money available to the student, documents needed to show official financial sponsorship, a student using money held by his/her parents.
- Attachment 5: Sample paper application forms Appendix 8, Tier 4 (General) student Self-Assessment, and VAF9 Personal Details Form.
STUDENT VISITOR -- (NO INTERNSHIP)
Entering the UK as a "Student Visitor"
You may request entry as a Student Visitor upon arrival in the UK. This means that you do not need to apply in advance for a visa. You may only enter as a Student Visitor if you are an American Citizen (with a US passport). Note: If you however are a visa national, i.e. hold a passport from another country and are studying in the US, you may not be able to enter the UK as a Student Visitor, but will need to apply in advance for a Student Visitor Visa VAF 1D if you are not planning to participate in an internship, or a tier 4 General Student Visa if you are planning to participate in the internship program. (see visa application section below). To determine if you are a Visa National visit www.ukvisa.gov.uk.
• Restrictions on Students Who Enter as Student Visitors
Students who enter as Student Visitors may only arrive in the U.K. a maximum of 7 days before the Study Program begins, may not extend their stay in Britain and will have to leave at the end of the Study Program they are participating in, and may not participate in the Legal Internship. Program, or any other paid or unpaid work. Notes: (1) you will be unable to change your mind about participating in a legal internship if you have entered as a Student Visitor as the General Student Visa (required to participate in an internship) may only be applied for in advance of entry to Britain. (2) If you wish to stay in on Britain after the program you will need to leave at the end of the program and re-enter as a tourist (general visitor).
• Student Visitor Entry Requirements
To enter as a Student Visitor you will need to produce on entry a letter from a Tier 4 Sponsor confirming that you have been accepted on a course of study in Britain including the dates of the study program. Stetson University College of Law will provide you with this letter. It is essential that this is kept with you throughout the study program, and if you travel in Europe produced with your passport when you re-enter the UK.
You will also be required to produce proof that you can support yourself for the duration of the program without recourse to work or use of public funds, and that you can meet the cost of your return, or onward journey. Please read carefully Attachment 2: Proof of Funds below which applies to all students whether entering as a Student Visitor, or on a General Student Visa.
TIER 4 GENERAL STUDENT VISA (WITH LEGAL INTERNSHIP)
Entering the UK on a Tier 4 General Student Visa
If you wish to participate in the Legal Internship Program (which is regarded as work even though it is unpaid), you will be required to apply in advance for a General Student Visa, and will be required to be enrolled as a full-time student.
Restrictions on Students Who Can Enter on a Tier 4 General Student Visa
- You are required to leave Britain at the end of the study program. If you wish to stay in on Britain after the program you will need to leave at the end of the program and re-enter as a tourist (general visitor).
- Your internship work can only constitute 50% of the total program hours and you must be enrolled as a full-time student.
Important General Notes Regarding Applying for Your VISA
- You cannot apply until 3 months before the program starts; therefore the earliest you can apply for the Fall 2014 program is May 16, 2014.
- The UK Border Agency advises you to start your visa application process at least 5-10 weeks prior to your planned travel dates.
- Your visa must be used within 6 months of its issue.
- You cannot arrive in Britain until 7 days before the study program begins; therefore Aug. 9, 2014 is the earliest you can arrive.
- You must leave Britain at the end of the program (Nov. 28, 2014).
- Dependents cannot travel on this visa.
- You cannot send your visa application forms and documents in until you have your Biometrics results. Your applications and documents must, however, be submitted within 2 weeks of your receiving your biometrics.
- Bank statements used to support your visa application must be no more than 28 days old at the time of application (this is the date that you pay your application fee online).
- If your application has exceeded the estimated processing time, you can email Worldbridge free-of-charge using the send us an email link on the Customer Services page of the Worldbridge website www.visainfoservices.com.
Important Note: It is absolutely essential that your application and documents are fully complete when you send them. Further documents sent in after your application will not be accepted by the UKBA and an application which is incomplete in any way will result in your visa being refused.