The following document summarises how the Student Immigration Team at the University of Stirling supports students, and how we operate. It also outlines what we expect from students using our service. It is important that all students asking for advice or using our services read and understand the information contained within this leaflet.
1. What is Immigration Advice?
The Immigration and Asylum Act 1999, as amended, defines ‘immigration advice’ (section 82) as advice relating to a particular individual given in connection with one or more ‘relevant matters’ by a person who knows that he is giving such advice. ‘Relevant matters’ as defined in the act would include an application for, or for the variation of, entry clearance or leave to enter or remain in the United Kingdom (e.g. as a Tier 4 student).
The 1999 act defines ‘immigration services’ as the making of representations, in connection with one or more relevant matters, on behalf of a particular individual, including in correspondence with a government department (e.g. UKVI).
Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner’s (OISC’s) code of standards:
Such services are regulated when provided in the course of business, whether or not done for profit. Everyone providing immigration advice or immigration services in the UK, including licensed sponsors must comply with OISC’s code of standards.
2. What sort of Immigration Advice or Services does the University provide?
The Student Immigration Team offers all international students support and guidance in relation to their immigration status in the UK. We provide free immigration advice in relation to Tier 4 applications and we can advise students applying in some Post Study Work categories.
We also advise students on the implications of non-compliance with their visa. We may ask you to meet with us to discuss your attendance, or conduct that may affect your immigration status. The aim of these meetings is to help you recover the situation so as not to put your immigration status at risk.
The immigration services we provide include liaising with UKVI (or other government departments) on your behalf in relation to your immigration status or any outstanding applications. We will always discuss this with you beforehand and obtain your authority to do so.
If we cannot provide advice or a service in relation to your particular enquiry or immigration status we will tell you. We will provide you with information to help you decide how to proceed.
You can pick up a leaflet detailing how we can help from the Student Hub or you can check our webpages online.
3. How can I access Immigration Advice at the University?
In the first instance please email firstname.lastname@example.org, setting out your enquiry. Please include your student number and/or full name in any correspondence. We will normally respond to enquiries to this mailbox within 2 working days.
Alternatively please contact the Student Services Hub via email - email@example.com, post box or in person. The Hub team can schedule also you an appointment with one of our Advisors.
4. How long will it be before I see an Advisor?
If we are unable to resolve your enquiry by email or telephone we will schedule an appointment. We have appointments every day and aim to schedule appointments with an Advisor within 3 working days.
We will normally notify you of your appointment time by email and ask that you reply and confirm attendance in writing. At busy times during the start of semester it may take longer for an appointment slot to become available and we aim to prioritise appointments for students by visa expiry dates.
5. How can I arrange an initial appointment?
As above you can request and appointment by email or you can request an appointment directly through the Student Services Hub. Staff will ask you to confirm your availability and offer you the next available appointment.
If you schedule an appointment in-person at the Student Hub, the team will confirm the date, time, and place for your appointment directly with you.
6. What happens at the appointment?
The aim of the meeting with an Advisor is:
- To discuss your enquiry and understand why you need our assistance
- To discuss your immigration status, and to explore what advice you need and how we can help
- To check your documents if you are submitting an application and to help you complete the online application form
- To resolve your query and provide comprehensive advice if possible
- To give you information about other resources which may be more appropriate if we cannot help
You may be asked to attend another appointment to discuss your case, or be asked to submit further information or documents. Your Advisor will let you know if this is the case at the end of the appointment.
7. What happens next?
If you have successfully completed an application we will send the documents to UKVI on your behalf. We will issue you with a receipt if we have taken your documents and we will ask you to sign this receipt. We will keep you up-to-date with progress on your application by email.
If you need to come back then subsequent appointment dates will be agreed directly with the Advisor and recorded on our calendar.
8. How many appointments will I have?
Our aim is to resolve your query or process your application at your first appointment. However, there may be times when we ask you to return with more information or additional documents.
Sometimes it may not be possible to compete an application. In these instances we will book another appointment with you so that you know when to return. There are no limits on how many appointments you can have.
9. What does the service expect of me?
- We ask that you provide honest and accurate information at all times. This will allow us to provide you with the best possible advice and you to avoid putting your immigration status at risk
- Turn up for appointments and arrive on time
- Bring all required documents in the format requested
- Provide us with up-to-date contact details (email and telephone number) so we can contact you if required
- Give at least 24 hours – preferably 48 hours - notice of cancellations, so that we can offer freed-up appointments to other students who need our support
- Allow us to keep confidential notes and information about your engagement with the service
- Recognise that there will be times when we may need to share information with other colleagues or external agencies in order to provide the best level of support available (note: we will always seek to discuss information-sharing with you)
- Reply to requests for information after appointments to ensure we can close your enquiry and update your student record.
- Engage with all agreed contact points set up during the appointment and provide confirmation of any action taken when required.
- Holders of a Tier 4 visa attend and engage with any agreed future academic contact points
10. Is my information confidential?
Depending on the nature of your enquiry we may have to share your information with colleagues across the institution and/or with external organisations e.g. UK Visas & Immigration or Police Scotland. We will always discuss this with you first and you may have to provide written authority for us to share your information.