Thanks to the hard work of Students’ Unions in our campaign to Give the Home Office the Yellow Card, NUS have had a major win for international students. The Home Office have Home Office and UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) have just announced a commitment to a set of new and transparent service standards for any application made from January 1st. Changes include:
– A commitment to processing all out of country student visa (Tier 4) applications within a standard timescale of 15 working days.
– A commitment to processing all in-country student visa (Tier 4) applications within a standard timescale of 8 weeks.
– Fairer Time Policies. Making the “clock” for applications start when an application is received and stop when a decision is issued. This will, for the first time, include the time taken for a student to provide biometric evidence.
– An application will not be refused for some errors or omissions. When an application contains an error or omission, the Home Office will write to students within the “standard timescale” requesting the extra information needed with a date by which they need to reply. If the student replies, the application will be processed within the standard timescale.
– Better communication. If an in-country application is complex, the Home Office will write to the student and explain why the application will not be decided by the standard timescale and what will happen next.
– The Home Office will report quarterly on the performance of its service standards including complex cases so that there is added transparency.
– Separate to this, the Home Office have also created a new mechanism whereby applicants can request their passports back online.
These represent incredibly significant changes for the experience of international students applying for a Tier 4 visa. Find out more about the changes on NUS Connect here.
This happened as a direct result of our lobbying and campaigning. We will be sending emails to the over 1,140 students and Students’ Unions lobbied local MPs and the Government on this issue to thank them personally for all the help.
What you can do now: Our work for international students is far from over as we tackle the proposals within theImmigration Bill.
- NUS has developed a short survey to help us campaign against the unfair proposals in the immigration bill. We have already received over 2000 responses. The survey closes on the 30th January and we would appreciate your help in getting as many replies from students as possible.
- NUS will be launching an action for Lords as soon as the bill passes to the Lords. It will include a list for unions of Lords connected to their universities and a letter to send to them.
- NUS has launched The Great Education Exchange a board game about the international student experience you can use to lobby MPs and Lords about international student issues including the immigration bill. Let us know if you want a copy.
- Continue to encourage students to write to MPs and sign our petition.
We’ve shown time and time again that we can achieve substantial wins for international students when we collectively campaign for them. I’m sure we can do the same again.