Postgraduate students applying for visa extension (either by qWbC0FIo

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									                                                                          International office


    Step-by-Step Guide on Tier 4 Leave to Remain Visa Application
Under the Points-based immigration system (Tier 4), you will need to obtain 40 points before you can
apply for a student visa: either Entry Clearance (EC) from overseas or Further Leave to Remain
(FLR) in the UK. The 40 points consist of 30 points from a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies
(CAS) reference issued by the institution where you intend to study and 10 points from the evidence
that you have sufficient funds to support yourself. This document aims to guide you through the FLR
application process so you can complete your Tier 4 application and submit it to the UKBA.

1. Preparatory Stage (12 weeks before your current visa expires)
1.1 How to get application form and further information?
1.1.1 from the UK Border Agency (UKBA) website at:
         www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/studyingintheuk/adult-students;
         Tier 4 (G) Form, Help Text and Guidance Notes can be downloaded at:
         www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/studyingintheuk/adult-students/can-you-apply;

1.1.2 from our International Office site: www.leedstrinity.ac.uk/immigration for
         o   Visa ABC leaflet to signpost you to the various channels about immigration matters;
         o   CAS Request Form;
         o   Tier 4 (G) – FLR application Step-by step guide (-- you are reading it now!);
         o   UKBA Student Visa Webpage links (as in section 1.1.1)
         o   Link to the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) Student Guides
             www.ukcisa.org.uk;
         o   Web links to immigration advisory services registered with the Office of the Immigration
             Services Commissioner (OISC) or the Law Society.

1.2      What documents are required?
      Two identical recent colour passport photos (with your name written on the back of each
     photo:
             measure 45mm x 35mm; and
             be taken against a light grey or cream background; and
             be clear and of good quality; and
             not be framed or backed; and
             not be digitally altered; and
             be full face, without sunglasses, hat or head covering unless for religious reasons.
        Completed Tier 4 (G) form (Sorry that we will not be able to check individual applications)
        Payment of £394 (postal) (by postal order1, payable to the “Home Office”)
        Your current passport or travel document (please check if it is still valid and will not run out in
         the period within which you are requesting the visa to be extended. If required, you must
         contact the nearest embassy / consulate to get it renewed as soon as possible);
        Your police registration certificate if you are required to do so by the immigration authority on
         entering the UK – please check the stamp on your passport. If required, please promptly
         update the details with the Police and the address recorded must be consistent with the

1
  This payment method is particularly recommended when the application is submitted two weeks within the
current visa expiry date as a postal order is much more reliable than any other methods. When UKBA fail
to collect payment if you pay by card, esp. one issued by an overseas bank, your application will be rejected as
a result – this has happened to several students, including one who had to leave the UK as an Overstayer.


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        address on your bank statements. Please note that if you do not update the Police with the
        required changes, you will be committing an immigration offence and your FLR application will
        be consequently refused;
       Tuition (and accommodation if living on campus) fee payment receipt(s), if available. It is in
        your interest that you have paid all the outstanding fees before applying for FLR. You need to
        show that you have sufficient funds to cover both the tuition fees and living costs to apply for
        further leave. The CAS will confirm to the UKBA the fee amount paid;
       Evidence of your finances (bank statements covering at least 28 days before your
        application submission date and more details can be found in Section 1.4.2, pay slips if
        you work, etc. If you are sponsored, then also an original letter from your sponsor confirming
        this together with bank statements or other documents as evidence of their financial status);
       If you have recently registered as a student at Leeds Trinity University College after
        transferring from another institution, you will need to provide the following documents as well:
        o the Unconditional offer letter from Leeds Trinity;
        o all the documents used to obtain the unconditional offer from Leeds Trinity (e.g. High
             School, College or University completion certificates and qualification, English language
             certificate, and / or reference provided by a former employer, if applicable).
        All the documents mentioned above must be original. If required, you may need to provide
        other documents as well.

1.3     How to apply to switch visa sponsor? -- any student wishing to
        move to a new institution is required by UKBA to apply to switch
        sponsor.
If your current permission to stay is based on a Tier 4 application made on or after 5 October 2009,
you must make a new Tier 4 application. You can leave your original sponsor to join us before
obtaining UKBA’s approval on your new Tier 4 application, but this will be at your own risk. If UKBA
refuses your new application, you may not be able to return to the course with your original sponsor.
You have to make a new Tier 4 application while your existing permission to stay is still valid.
If your current permission to stay is based on a Tier 4 application made before 5 October 2009
AND the existing permission to stay as a Tier 4 student covers the entire duration of the course at Leeds
Trinity, you may not need to apply for a new Tier 4 leave, but you must obtain permission from
UKBA to change your sponsor, otherwise UKBA may curtail your permission to be in the UK as a
Tier 4 student. The UKBA fee for this sponsor switch application is currently set at £160 and you can
download the switch application form and guidance notes and other relevant information at:
http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/employers/points/sponsoringmigrants/sponsoring-students/switching-sponsor/
Once you have applied for permission to change your sponsor and have received an
acknowledgement from UKBA, you can begin their new course without waiting for their permission -
but this will be at your own risk, as UKBA may refuse to grant this permission.

Whichever is the case, please bring the letter from UKBA confirming the receipt of your Tier 4 or
sponsor switch application to show the Student Admin staff on registration; or to show them in Room
AM36 no later than one month after registration. Once you have obtained your new Tier 4 visa or
permission to switch from the UKBA, please bring your passport, BRP card and any documents sent
to you by the UKBA to Student Admin for verifying, copying and filing so your record kept in the
Student Admin office is up to date, as required by the UKBA.

1.4     How to Prepare for Your Tier 4 Application?
.Since the Tier 4 form is extremely lengthy and the International Office is unable to guide you through
the application procedure as we are not registered with the OSIC, you need to analyse the situation
and start preparing for all the required documents in good time. For example, you may immediately
need to request bank statements, which may take a few weeks to obtain depending on the
individual bank’s policy and efficiency. We strongly recommend you submit a full postal bank



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statement with your address details on, not print-out copies from online banking. You will
need to show that you have held the required amount of money for a consecutive 28 day period
ending no more than 1 month before you submit your Tier 4 application. For example, if you post
your application on 15 September, then your bank statement should have been produced sometime
between 17 August and 15 September. You need to show that your account has been running a
credit balance above £8002 each month of the course up to a maximum of 9 months over the last
28 days up to the closing balance shown on the bank statement. For example, for a 9-month course,
if your statement is produced on 1 September, then the statement should show that the credit
balance has been maintained at over £7,2003 between 3 August and 1 September. Please note that
failure to produce this with your application will mean you will not gain the 10 points required (in
addition to the 30 points from the CAS) to extend your visa and consequently you will have your
application refused.

2. Application Completion Stage (at least 8 weeks before your
   current visa expires)
2.1     Download the CAS Request Form (see Section 1.1.2), complete and email it
        form to CAS@leedstrinity.ac.uk;

2.2     Procedures involving Finance:
2.2.1   Please ensure you have paid all the fees due including tuition and accommodation fees if you
        live on campus;
2.2.2   You can make any fee payment for tuition, accommodation or resit to Leeds Trinity either to
        Finance Office (in AM4) in person, by bank transfer or by phone using a credit/debit card.
        For further information check here on How to Pay.
2.2.3    Finance Office will check the fee status and confirm the payment details with International
        Office.
2.3     CAS to be assigned:             On receiving confirmation from the Finance Office and
        instruction from your academic department confirming the agreed new course end date, the
        International Office will input details onto the UKBA website to generate a unique CAS
        reference for you. A scanned copy of the CAS should normally be emailed to you within 10
        days after us receiving your CAS request form. Since the CAS statement is the printout of
        data generated from the UKBA online system, an email copy is acceptable, i.e. there is no
        need for it to be stamped or printed on letterheads. When reading the CAS statement, please
        check if the details provided are correct, except for a few problems due to the shortcomings of
        the current UKBA online system, including:
            “nationality” can only be selected from a list of countries, e.g “India” is used as the term
            for both “nationality” and “country”;
           “course start date” cannot be backdated or changed so it cannot be earlier than the date
            when the CAS is generated – the only way to rectify this for students who enrolled much
            earlier is for the Sponsor (Leeds Trinity) to add “a Sponsor Note” to specify the actual
            course start date (this is the only way possible with the current UKBA online system, so
            please do not worry about the “Course Start Date” section – please just ignore this section
            since the correct date should have been included in the “Sponsor Note” section,
            normally on Page 1 of the CAS statement). Please make sure you put down the same
            course start date in the application form as the date we put in the “Sponsor Note”
            section;


2
  But if you have had at least 6 months’ continuous leave as a student in the UK immediately prior to this Tier
4 application, then you may qualify for the reduced maintenance level, i.e. you will only need to show a
minimum credit balance of £1600, instead of the standard figure of £7200.
3
  See Footnote 2 above


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           “course end date” cannot be changed after a CAS has been assigned and the only way
           to rectify this is for us to add the new course end date in the Sponsor Note section. For
           example if you were assigned a CAS with 30 June 2011 as the original course end date
           but before submitting your Tier 4 application, you have been notified that due to the need
           for a resit, the actual course end date for you will be postponed to 30 November 2011. In
           this case, since we cannot change the “course end date” section in the CAS statement, we
           will have to put 30 November 2011 as the actual course end date in the Sponsor Note
           section. Please make sure you put down the course end date quoted in the “Sponsor
           Note” section in your Tier 4 application (if it differs from the date originally assigned in the
           “ Course End Date” section);

2.4    Complete the Tier 4 (G) form using the guidance provided through workshops and
       the various sources listed in Section 1.1.2 – please do not forget to include in the form Leeds
       Trinity’s Sponsor Licence Number (0AD2WWN94) and your CAS reference (normally a long
       reference starting with the letter “E”). You also need to include the CAS statement printout in
       your Tier 4 application pack. You need to write the CAS reference on the Tier form to apply
       for either Further Leave to Remain in the UK or Entry Clearance (from outside of the UK,
       more information on this can be found at UK Visas website:
       www.ukvisas.gov.uk/en/applyonline )

2.5    Collect all the required documents and get ready to submit your Tier
       4 application: Please carefully check the list in Section 1.2 and the Summary Sheet
       on the Tier 4 (G) form itself. Please ensure all documents required are submitted with the
       Tier 4 form as any missing document may seriously delay or disqualify your application.

3. Submission Stage (at least 4 weeks before your current visa expires)
3.1 Check the form yourself or seek legal advice
       Please note that we will not be able to check individual applications -- it is your own
       responsibility to complete all the sections correctly. Sometimes an application may be
       rejected when a single box has not been ticked so please make sure you have taken great
       care in completing the form. You could seek professional legal advice for immigration or
       other matters and we recommend you check the websites of the OISC or the Law Society. We
       are aware of some local firms who offer services to check forms and you could contact them
       directly, for example,
               o Immigration Legal Advice Centre (www.ilac.org.uk)
               o Henry Hyams Solicitors (www.henryhyams.com)
               o Richardson & Co Solicitors LLP (www.richardsonlaw.co.uk)

3.2 Deadline for submission
       Your application needs to reach UKBA before your current visa expires. Please note that
       applications made after the expiry date will be refused straightaway since you have in effect
       become an “Overstayer”. You should submit your application as soon as you have
       completed the form and obtained all the required documents. In fact, if you are still waiting for
       a document other than a CAS while the deadline is approaching, you should submit your
       application before the deadline by enclosing a note explaining why that document is not yet
       available and when you intend to forward it to the UKBA. An application submitted in time
       with a minor document missing, although not ideal, is still better than a late application which
       will automatically make you an “Overstayer”. Of course, you must submit the missing
       document as soon as possible, or your application will still be refused.




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3.3 Submit the application yourself by post or in person
       You can post off your completed application yourself or book an appointment to hand in your
       application in person in one of the UKBA Public Enquiry (PEO) Offices. Please note that the
       fee for the PEO application is currently £716, which is much higher than the postal application
       fee, which is £394 at present.

3.4 Special circumstances
       If you have any special circumstances (except for minor driving offences), you may need to
       seek professional advice from immigration advisors. Some law firms may offer free advice to
       people with low income/savings.

3.5 Application with dependants
       If you have dependants applying together with you, you will need to submit their documents
       as well -- all of which should be original, too. You will also need to show additional funds
       available. Please refer to the UKBA policy guidance on dependants and you will find that a
       higher maintenance level is required. You may find the UKCISA website helpful for your
       dependant’s application: www.ukcisa.org.uk/student/info_sheets/your_family.php.

       Leeds Trinity will not be able to issue any supporting documents for your dependant as you
       will need to prove the relationship between yourself and your dependant. Leeds Trinity will
       not issue any document other than the standard Registered Student letter as we can only
       sponsor our own student’s the visa application.

4 After the submission
4.1 How long will it take for the UKBA to process my application?
       If you have booked an appointment and gone in person for the Premium services to one of
       the PEOs in London, Birmingham, Glasgow or Liverpool, you may be granted leave to remain
       in about a week, provided your application is straightforward and your have submitted a fully
       completed application; if you apply by post it could take anything up to 14 weeks, while in
       busy periods, especially in the autumn, it could take even longer than this. Hence we highly
       recommend you do not make any travel arrangements before obtaining your Visa.

4.2 Correspondence from the UKBA and obtaining your FLR visa
       If you apply by post, you may receive a letter from the UKBA confirming they have received
       your application and that they have allocated you a case reference number which you must
       quote in any future correspondence with the UKBA, if needed for any reason. About two
       weeks after that, your will receive another letter from the UKBA asking you to arrange and
       attend an appointment to submit your biometric details, which will form part of the application
       process (further details about the biometrics are given in the next section). If your application
       is successful, details of your FLR will be shown on the Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) for
       foreign nationals, which will be issued when all your documents are returned to you at the end
       of the application process. You will need to update the Police (if required) and present the
       BRP card at passport control if you leave and re-enter the UK.
       Please also bring your new BRP card and Police registration certificate (if applicable) to
       Student Administration (in AM36) as they need to copy all these important documents. To
       comply with UKBA’s monitoring requirements, your files held in the Student Admin office have
       to be maintained up-to-date while you also need to keep up to date your contact details held
       on the e-vision account. Please note that UKBA officials inspect institutions from time to time
       and if the institution’s record system is not kept up to date or any breach of the immigration
       rules occurs, both the institution and the student concerned will be penalised. This could lead
       to the institution having its sponsor licence suspended or withdrawn and the student having


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       his/her student leave curtailed or cancelled. Please carefully read an important document
       here which clarifies the duties by you as a student and by us as your visa sponsor: Statement
       of responsibilities under Tier 4.

4.3 How are my biometrics recorded?
       As part of the Tier 4 (G) application process, you are required to provide Biometric data.
       Please follow the guidance given in the letter you will receive.

   Can Leeds Trinity Get the UKBA to Speed up Visa Applications?
Sorry, although we would like to help our students, unfortunately we are not able to chase up. If
required, you can contact the UKBA directly.




The information published in this guide is subject to changes. For first hand information, please
check the UK Border Agency latest news page: www.bia.homeoffice.gov.uk/news-and-updates/ for
updates on applying under the PBS Tier 4 general student category.




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