FAQS STUDENT SPONSORS
Please select a heading to expand the full range of questions within that topic
Q: Can my licence be revoked after it has been granted?
A: Yes. Certain circumstances can lead to your licence being revoked. If this happens it will be revoked in all the tiers, categories and sub-categories which you are licensed under. For information on the circumstances in which UKVI will revoke your sponsor licence, see Annex 5. For information on the circumstances in which they may revoke your sponsor licence, see Annex 6. UKVI do not define in which exceptional circumstances they will not revoke your sponsor licence but when one of the circumstances listed in Annex 6 applies, they view this as a serious issue and will look for evidence that you were either not responsible for what happened or, if you were, you took prompt action to remedy the situation.
Q. What happens to my sponsored students if my licence is revoked?
A: If UKVI revokes your licence, they will:
Immediately end (curtail) the permission to stay in the UK, or worker authorisation of any migrants whom they believe were actively involved (complicit) in any dishonesty e.g. if the migrant agreed that you would arrange a non-existent job for them so they could come to the UK.
Reduce the length of the worker authorisation, or permission to stay in the UK of any other migrants (those who were not actively involved) to 60 calendar days. This is to give the migrant a chance to find a new sponsor. If the migrant has less than 60 days of their leave or worker authorisation remaining, it will not be reduced.
Q. If our licence is revoked, can we apply again?
A: Once your licence has been revoked you cannot make a further application for a sponsor licence for a period of six months from the date your licence was revoked. If you do make an application before that six month period has passed, it will be refused. The only exception to this is if your licence was revoked in error. If this happens we will contact you to make arrangements for it to be reinstated.
Q. We are opening a new boarding house and will be moving students into it quite soon. Are we required to inform UKVI about this?
A. It depends. UKVI need to know if there are changes to the school which result in a significant increase in capacity, but not if the new boarding block is a replacement for an older one. Appropriate planning permission, Health and Safety accreditation, as well as registering with any relevant authorities will also be needed, and it may be necessary to report the change to the educational oversight body.
Q. We have an enquiry from a pupil at another school that has to give a term's notice, and are therefore looking for the student to start at the beginning of next term (i.e. during the school year). When would we issue the CAS? Are there any timing restrictions?
A: The CAS can be assigned up to 6 months before the visa application, and, assuming a visa application is made in the UK the new visa could take between one day and 8 weeks to process (it all depends on whether a priority processing service is paid for). The previous school would also need to notify when they stop sponsoring the student – this should be done on or around the last day of study, by which time the new CAS and new visa will hopefully be in place.
Q. We are currently dealing with an enquiry for a student who we hope to offer a place to start at the beginning of the next academic year (September). This is after our current licence expires. What do we do?
A: Carry on and issue their CAS as normal. The licence extension process is straightforward from the sponsor’s point of view – it requires completion of a declaration and payment of a fee which is done through the sponsor management system. There may be a compliance audit as part of the application process, but there is no reason to think the licence will not be renewed and the same licence number will continue to apply.
Q: Schools need to provide a letter to students applying for Pre Settled Status. Would a rejection for any reason leave a black mark against the school?
A: No, Settled Status is not an immigration application in the same way a Student or Child Student application is. It has no bearing on a school’s compliances regime.
Q: Since Brexit, do EU pupils need to apply for a visa?
A: If studying less than 6 months, they do not require a visa. If studying for more than 6 months, they will need a visa. In most cases, this will be an visa rather than a physical visa in their passport.tus. The onus will be on the family to demonstrate they are allowed to live, work and study in the UK to your satisfaction. If they cannot demonstrate this, you may run the risk of non compliance with UKVI rules. Schools will not be expected to retrospectively check status of EEA national students who join the school before Brexit.
Q: Would a bank statement be ok for evidence of funds?
Q: If issuing a CAS for September entry, could you put a sponsor note on to continue sponsoring them but change the start date?
Q: We have issued a CAS for a student. Their father is applying for a Skilled Worker sponsored visa, so we believe the student will receive a Skilled Worker Dependent visa as well. Do we need to do anything?
A: A person can only have one valid visa at a time. If a new visa in a different category is issued after the student visa, then it will supersede the original visa. The school therefore needs to know and have sight of this visa to ensure the student has the right to study and so expiry date of the dependant visa can be monitored - and sponsorship can be withdrawn on the Sponsorship Management System.
Q: We have issued CAS for new students due to start in September. What will happen if they start at a later date?
A: You will need to add a note to their CAS through the sponsor management system to advise of the later start date. Remember they only have a 30 day window on their initial entry visa to arrive in the UK. If they will be delayed in travelling they may need to get this visa changed (see answer to Q3).
Q. We have been approached by an overseas recruitment agency who is looking for a boarding school for a Japanese child. What procedures should we follow?
A: It is important to have a clear agreement signed by both the agency and the school, clarifying terms with regard to agency fees. Due diligence with regards to the procurement process is important - we have an agency checklist which can help with this. You should ask for references from other schools that the agency works with, and keep these on your records. If you have any concerns regarding a specific agent, you should report these concerns to the Home Office.
Q: What are the rules for a sponsored student who is over 16 (and under 18) and living independently. We have an application from an overseas student who wants to be sponsored to live in a student residence. Would this be permitted?
A: In these circumstances students are permitted to live independently, but if under 18 you have to ensure appropriate safeguarding measures are in place. UKVI will expect you to know the accommodation is suitable; that the student has parental permission to live independently and you will need to update the SMS / CAS record to show a change of circumstances.
Q: The student is coming for 1 year, the first year of 6th form so will be 16 on arrival. Should she apply for a child or student CAS?
A: Child student is the easier option (as there is no English language requirement) and it can be for any student who is under 17 on the day of application.
Q: What are the requirements for parent consent letters?
A: The sponsor guidance states a parent consent letter for students and child students under 18 must do the following:
confirm the relationship between the parents or legal guardian and the child
confirm that the parents or legal guardian consent to the application
confirm that the parents or legal guardian consent to the child’s living and care arrangements in the UK
confirm that the parents or legal guardian consent to the child’s travel to and reception arrangement in the UK, if the application is for entry clearance
be signed by both parents or legal guardians, or just one parent or guardian if they have sole responsibility for the child.
Note that a sponsor must keep a copy of the letter on record for sponsorship compliance.
Q: What do we put on the CAS application form for a scholar, in response to the questions about payment as her place is funded by the College?
A: It would be best to show that no fees are outstanding on the CAS, otherwise the parents may potentially have to prove their ability to pay. It does not matter who pays the fees as long as they are paid, so we suggest you put that fees have been paid and add a note to say it is a fully funded scholarship.
Q: When our visa applicant reaches the IHS part, she is taken to another page to pay. However, the fee being charged seems to be more than what it should be. Do you know if the visa fee is included in the IHS charge?
A: UKVI assign individuals an extra 4 months' leave for courses lasting a year, whereas courses under a year the student should only get a month of extra time on the end of their visa. This will take them over a year for the IHS, hence the higher figure.
Q: When the visa is applied for outside the UK, will it be sent to the student/parents or does the student collect from a post office once in the UK?
A: Initially the student will get approval and use this to travel to the UK - typically a sticker within a passport. Once in the UK they will need to collect the BRP from the Post Office unless the educational institution is an alternative collection location.
Q. We are enrolling a student from a family that has moved to the UK. The student does not require a students visa as they are applying for their own visas. The father's company is paying the school fees. Should the school insist on seeing the visas?
A: Yes. It is necessary to know the immigration status of all students, including those who do not need sponsoring. You must also monitor visa expiry to ensure that a student (sponsored or non-sponsored) does not continue to study with you if their visa expires.
Q. Regarding police registration: We only have one new student on a student visa who is over 16, and they are Canadian, which I understand is not on the list of nationalities to have to register with the police. Is this correct?
A: Yes, police registration is only necessary for those over 16 when they first get their visa, if they are from certain countries. Canada is not one of these countries. The entry clearance visa within the passport should state whether the student needs to register with the Police, but please note this endorsement is no longer on the BRP. Failure to register with the police would mean the student is not compliant with the terms of their visa. Further details of how to register, and the list of countries can be found here.
Q: Do we need to check general "Right to Study"?
A: Whilst not an absolute legal requirement, UKVI say you should know the identity and immigration status of all students. This helps with your ability to comply and monitor sponsored students. There are also other practical advantages such as knowing who might need a visa for a non-UK school trip.
Q: We have an American day student and we do not sponsor day students. The American parent is applying for a visa for the child. Is this ok?
A: It depends on the type of visa the student / parent obtains. Any dependant visa will allow the child to study in the UK.
Q: We have a family relocating from Egypt and sons will be day pupils. They will be on their father's visa. What do we need to see?
A: As a minimum, copies of the child’s visas or BRPs. These could just state “dependant” so it could be useful to see the main applicant (father’s) visa to understand the visa status of the family.
Q: If a BRP is not collected and returned, is it the school or visa holder’s responsibility to request it to be resent?
A: Ultimately the visa holder – but it is a simple online form which can actually ask for it to be redirected to any convenient address in the UK.
Q. We have recently had a sponsored boarding student who has been out of the country, and when returning to the UK they passed through the biometric gates at the airport and so did not receive an entry stamp in their passport. The school have records of the flights, taxis etc for the student but we are concerned that we cannot prove when the student returned without a stamp in the passport. Is this a problem and do we need to advise students to queue up for a stamp at airports in future?
A: On first entry to the UK (i.e. before collecting a BRP) a student is supposed to be seen by an Immigration Officer and have their visa and passport stamped, however this is no longer essential for certain nationalities who are allowed to use the e-gates. Once in the UK and having collected a BRP, they do not then need to see an Immigration Officer on each entry, as long as the BRP remains valid. It remains good practice to retain proof of travel, flights, taxis etc as part of the safeguarding requirements. UKCISA have further information on this here.
Q. What are the timescales for visa extensions?
A: A visa extension application should typically be made within the last 28 days of the visa validity (see next question). We would therefore advise that if you wish to extend the Tier 2 sponsorship of a student, you assign the extension CAS no earlier than the last three months of the visa expiry date. This is because the CAS is valid for six months, and will ensure the CAS is valid at the time that the individual can apply to renew their visa.
Q. Why should a visa extension typically be made within the last 28 days of validity?
A: If an application for an extension is submitted before this time, it is likely to be accepted (there can be good reasons for an early extension), however if someone applies too early they run the risk of losing their time at the end of the current visa. This creates a risk of being short of time resident in the UK, should the individual wish to apply for indefinite leave to remain. To put this into context, if I have a 2.5 year spouse visa, and I apply for an extension after 2 years 3 months and am granted another 2.5 years, then my residency will reach 4 years 8 months. I am only eligible to apply for indefinite leave to remain once I reach five years residency, so I will have to apply for another visa extension.
Q. A student’s visa expires on 31 December and an application will be submitted in the UK before that date. The student hopes to go home (China) for the Christmas break. If the visa does not come back before the holidays, will they be able to get back at the end of the trip? They will have a copy of the application form with them.
A: No. If the application is submitted in the UK, the student must wait for the decision to come through before travel. If they are out of the UK then the correct application process would be through a visa application centre in the country of residence. Chinese nationals need visas to enter the UK for any purpose and lack of a visa is likely to result in being denied boarding of the aircraft.
Q. We have a boarder from Hong Kong who has now got a full British Passport, which has been seen and copied to file. The student’s father has asked us to help the student apply for residency, what does this mean and what can we do?
A. A full British passport holder has the right of abode in the UK and does not require residency. It is worth checking that it is a full British passport which describes the holder as a British Citizen, rather than a British National Overseas, British Overseas Citizen or similar – all non British Citizens using “other” British passports need a visa to study in the UK.
Q. Who has safeguarding responsibility for their overseas students when they are off the premises in the UK? For example when a student goes to stay with another student's family for a weekend as a guest. Both the student's parents and the hosts parents are required to sign a form, but who retains safeguarding responsibilities?
A. The school retains overall safeguarding responsibilities and should only be putting students into the hands of authorised / trusted people. Clearly a school cannot monitor what is happening whilst the student is being looked after by a third party, but they do need to ensure the third party is an appropriate person and all relevant permissions are in place.
Q: We have current year 11 pupils that wish to carry on studying, whose visas expire in September or October – can they return to the UK and apply from here?
A: Yes, in UK applications are possible, but it requires the completion of an online application form, a credit card to pay fees, the ability to upload documents to UKVI and attendance at a biometric enrolment centre. In other words a lot of work which is likely to need some support. This would be fine for older pupils, or if a parent, guardian or legal advisor is to help, but if the burden falls on a member of staff at school it will take up lots of time and there is a question of liability if something goes wrong with the application.
Q: We are a Day School and have year 13 pupils on study leave. There is no distance learning taking place. Should they be monitored?
A: Yes, in any way you can. Any interaction can be defined as a contact point and hence attendance.