Archive for July, 2012

Advice for students to the UK

Advice for students preparing to come to the UK to study

If you are a student looking forward to traveling to the UK to begin your studies here this year you can now start preparing for your journey. As part of your preparation the UKBA want to help you ensure that you have everything you need to get through the UK border as securely and quickly as possible.
This advice explains some of things you can do to help with this.
1. Make a note of a suitable UK contact including full name, address and a phone number which will be required when you complete your landing card.
2. Ensure you complete your landing card before you meet the Border Force officer in the UK.
3. If you carry your passport in a protective wallet, please take it out before you present it to a Border Force officer.
4. Never give false or misleading information (including forged or counterfeit documents) to a Border Force officer.
5. Have your university confirmation of acceptance for studies (CAS) letter and medical card (if you have one) in your hand luggage that you carry with you on to the aircraft. If you don’t have a CAS letter, please bring thorough details of your course of study.
6. There are restrictions on food products that you can bring to the UK from outside the European Union, even for personal use. Restrictions apply to products made from meat, dairy, fish, eggs and honey, as well as some fruit, vegetables and plants (e.g. bulbs, seeds, cut flowers and tree bark).
7. There are also restrictions on the amount of goods such as tobacco, alcohol and gifts you can bring in the UK. If you exceed your allowances all of your goods can be taken away from you.
8. Never bring in counterfeit goods, illegal drugs, firearms (including realistic imitations), offensive weapons (including knives) or indecent or obscene material.
9. Make sure you are familiar with the conditions of your visa including the number of hours you are allowed to work.
10. You must declare any sums of cash of €10,000 or more (or the equivalent in another currency) if you are travelling from a country outside the European Union.

With this information above you can ensure you pass through the UK border securely and as swiftly as possible. There is more useful information here:


New FLR (M) and FLR (O) application forms

New  versions of FLR (M) and FLR (O) application forms

The new versions of the FLR(M) and FLR(O) application forms were published yesterday on 9th July.

If you are applying as a partner for leave to remain (permission to stay) on or after 9 July 2012, you must use the new version of the FLR(M) form dated 07/2012. Any applications received after 9 July 2012, which are not on the new form will not be accepted. The postmarked date will be considered to be the date of application for postal applications.

The new rules state that if you are applying as a parent of a child in the UK for leave to remain (permission to stay) on or after 9 July 2012, you must use the new version of the FLR(O) form dated 07/2012. Applications received after 9 July 2012, which are not on the new form will not be accepted. The postmarked date will be considered to be the date of application for postal applications.

There is more information about the various changes to immigration rules brought in on the 9th of July on the UKBA website.

Family Visit Visa Appeals Change

Immigration Appeals (Family Visitor) Regulations

Regulations 2012 come into force today (9th July 2012). The regulations set out who qualifies for a full right of appeal against a visa refusal to visit family in the UK.

This change was originally announced by the government on 18th June 2012, the Immigration Appeals (Family Visitor)

These regulations change the appeal rights of family visit visa applicants. If you are applying to visit your uncle, aunt, nephew, niece, first cousin, or a relative who does not have settled, refugee or humanitarian protection status in the UK, and your visa application is refused, you will not have a full right of appeal. A limited right of appeal will remain on human rights and race discrimination grounds.

New interviews for student visas

This summer, 2012,  UK border agency officers will be given new powers to interview international students and refuse visas if they are not satisfied the applicant is genuine, immigration minister Damian Green announced today. The targeted interview system will be introduced ahead of the summer surge in student applications. Officers will concentrate on uncovering abuse in countries where it has been most prevalent.

Across the globe high-risk applicants will be identified and asked a number of questions about their immigration and education history, study and post-study plans, and financial circumstances. During the next year it is expected the agency will carry out up to 14,000 student applicant interviews.

Following a successful pilot, UK Immigration Minister Damian Green has announced that a targeted interview system for students will be introduced this summer and will concentrate on high-risk applicants.

If you are a student, you may be interviewed and asked a number of questions about your immigration and education history, study and post-study plans, and financial circumstances. We expect to interview up to 14,000 students in the next 12 months. We will refuse visas if we are not satisfied that you are a genuine student.

Immigration Minister Damian Green said: ‘With more interviews and greater powers to refuse bogus students we will weed out abuse and protect the UK from those looking to play the system.

‘Under the current system UK Border Agency officers are unable to refuse some applications even if they have serious concerns over the credibility of the student – we are toughening up the system to ensure genuine students benefit from our country’s excellent education sector.

‘Britain is open for business to the brightest and the best migrants but the message is clear – if you lie on your application form or try to hide your true motivation for coming to the UK then you will be found out and refused a visa.’

Today’s announcement follows an interviewing pilot carried out by the agency last year to tackle concerns about the legitimacy of some applicants. More than 2,300 student visa applicants were interviewed in 13 overseas posts with the aim of testing how effective face-to-face interviews would be – in addition to existing strict application processes that consider fraud and other factors.

Under a pilot system carried out by the Home Office late last year, around a fifth of the applicants were refused entry to the UK based on their interview. The Home Office concluded that one of the main issues was the inability of interviewees to display the required level of English. Some were unable to answer basic questions in English without the aid of an interpreter – despite stating on their application forms that they had the necessary language qualifications to study at higher and further education standards in the UK.

Other government .  Over 450 colleges are no longer able to bring in students from overseas. In addition the number of student visas issued has fallen by 21 per cent over the last year. The new powers will come into force on 30 July 2012.

Changes to Family Migration Rules

Immigration Rules Update

A number of changes to the Immigration Rules came into effect tomorrow 9th July 2012. These changes will affect non-European Economic Area (non-EEA) nationals applying to enter or remain in the UK under the family migration route.

These changes will define the basis on which a person can enter or remain in the UK on the basis of their family or private life, unifying consideration under the rules and Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

However if you already have leave to enter or remain in the UK, on the basis of being the spouse or partner of a settled person, you will need to meet the rules which were in force before 9th July 2012 if you apply for settlement.