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Information and advice for Student visa holders

If you are studying at St Mary's University on a student visa then you have a legal obligation to comply with the conditions of your immigration permission.

St Mary's has a trained UKVI Compliance and Immigration Team to assist you with questions related to visas and immigration. Please read through all of the guidance below to help you understand your visa conditions whilst studying at St Mary’s University.

For more detailed information about your Student visa status, please read the UKCISA information on protecting your student status.

The team is located on the 1st floor of the J building with Registry. Please ask to speak with a member of the team if you have any queries or questions.

Contact

Drop-in sessions

One-to-one drop-in sessions with the UKVI Compliance and Immigration Team are available on the first Tuesday of every month 1.30-3.30pm.

Please drop in during this time (first-come, first-served) or ask for an appointment to be booked for you.

Please note that you will be asked to complete a client care sheet so that we can record our meeting and share the notes from our discussions with you.

We respect client confidentiality, and your details will not be shared with any other areas of the University without your consent.

Email

If you would like to contact the team directly, please email studentvisas@stmarys.ac.uk.

You can get additional help to manage your academic work if you are not used to UK requirements or because your first language is not English.

  • Library Services - support with academic literacy and study skills.
  • The Royal Literary Fellows - targeted sup​port with written work.

Academic English Support

The Acade​mic English Support Programme is designed for any student who feels they need additional advice or support on language issues. Although this may be of particular use to students who speak English as an additional or second language, all undergraduate and postgraduate students are welcome.

The course is focussed on various aspects of academic English and different sessions will be offered to address these. Common topics include academic writing, presentations, grammar, reading and vocabulary.
Students are free to come to as many sessions as they’d like according to their needs and availability. The programme is free of charge and does not involve any compulsory assessments or homework, but to take full advantage of the course you should make some time available for self-study.

You may be required to extend or renew your student visa to allow you more time to complete your programme successfully or you may be able to make changes to your course at St Mary's. If you do require a student visa, you are strongly advised to prepare three months prior to your current visa expiry date.

CAS number (Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies)

You will need to request a new CAS number to support your student visa application. A CAS number will be assigned to you when you can show that you have the correct documents and finances in place to apply for a new visa. As a duty of care, we will check your documents before your CAS is assigned to ensure they meet the requirements for a Student visa, this will significantly help with avoiding a visa refusal.

Before requesting your CAS you are advised to book an appointment with the UKVI Compliance and Immigration Team to discuss your circumstances. Please include:

  • your full name
  • your regnum
  • the reasons you require a Student visa extension or renewal.

The UKVI Compliance and Immigration Team will respond within 48 hours.

Please use the checklist for making a Student visa application inside the UK and please use the UKCISA guidance for more information about the finances you require

From 5th October 2020, if a new applicant is applying for permission to stay and has been living in the UK with permission for 12 months or more on the date of their application, they will meet the financial requirement and will not need to show funds as part of their application. St Mary's policy includes additional checks to ensure applicants can afford to pay for the remainder of their studies. 

Begin your Student visa application extension

For more information, please visit:

  • GOV.UK – Student visa eligibility
  • UKCISA – making a Student visa application inside the UK.

CAS request 

  • You will need to request your CAS by completing the request form (below) and please attach copies of the documents you would like to be assessed. 
  • All documents submitted with a Student visa application must be originals
  • A CAS number will only be assigned when all of the visa requirements have been met.
Request your CAS

Student visa application costs

£490 is the standard Student visa application fee. You will also need to pay your immigration health surcharge as part of your Student visa application which is £776 per 12 months of leave. Calculate how much you will need to pay. If your permission includes part of a year that is six months or less you will be charged an additional £388 for this period.
£19.20 to have your biometric information (fingerprints and a photo) taken and you will be required to book an appointment as part of the visa application process.

  • £990 if you apply using the priority service (5 working days)
  • £1490 if you apply using the super priority service ('next working day').

For the details of the prices for the VIP service (formerly super premium service), send a General Enquiry to Sopra Steria to discuss your requirements. The VIP service means that a group of you (up to 10 applicants) can apply at the same time, a courier will also collect your documents, and the Home Office comes to you to take your biometrics. You should receive a decision within 24 hours.

There are a number of 'Value Added Services' available that you can select at an additional cost after you have submitted your application online. Some of these services include document checking (£48), an interpretation service (£70) and an SMS service (£2.00 per appointment). We would recommend that you do not select this service unless you want to pay additional costs. The important thing to remember is to include relevant documents as part of your application and take all originals with you to your appointment if required. You will be required to pay the application fee online before you are able to select an appointment date or time.

Your Biometrics Residence Permit (BRP)

You can opt to have your BRP delivered to St Mary's University. You will be unable to travel outside the UK until your new BRP is in your possession. You must not book travel until your new BRP is in your possession.

Collecting your BRP

We strongly recommend that you use the St Mary’s University address as the correspondence address on your visa application to have your BRP delivered to.

When your BRP has arrived, you will be contacted by the UKVI Compliance and Immigration team to arrange collection at a suitable time. In order to have your BRP sent to the University when completing the visa application form please use this address:

FAO UKVI Compliance and Immigration Team
Postroom or Security desk
St Mary’s University
Twickenham
TW1 4SX.

Do you require assistance with a qualified solicitor?

  • Immigration Law Practitioners' Association – to find assistance with immigration related issues including finding a local qualified Solicitor.
  • Free Movement – to find assistance with immigration related issues including online consultations, anytime, anywhere (starting prices are £90).
  • GOV.UK – find a registered immigration adviser via the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC) Adviser Finder.

UKCISA advice line

If you need specific free advice, you can contact qualified UKCISA student advisers on the student advice line.

Student advice line

You may not get through when you first call but please keep trying and you will be able to speak to someone.

Lines are open Monday to Friday (except for public holidays) from 1-4pm (UK time).

Contact number:

Standard national/international call charges apply.

Please note the following.

  • UKCISA only give advice by telephone. No personal appointments or advice by email.
  • UKCISA do not provide advice on social media or via email.
  • UKCISA do not provide any form of financial support such as sponsorships, scholarships, or grants.

Repeating 

Students must have classroom attendance to be classified a repeater. If students have timetabled classes covering the whole academic year, they may have the option to repeat the failed modules in the UK upon approval from the visa team and the course lead. In this instance, students do not need to apply for a new Student visa if their Student leave can cover the repeating period. However, they will need to extend their Student leave before they progress to the final year. If students need to repeat the final year while their Student leave cannot cover the repeating period, a new CAS needs to be requested from the visa team prior to their leave expiring to enable visa extensions from inside the UK.

Interrupted Studies

A Student visa is granted for the purpose of actively engaging with studies inside the UK. Where there is not adequate attendance covering the whole academic year to justify students’ remaining in the UK, and resit work for the failed modules can be submitted remotely, the student must take Interrupted Studies for the year upon approval from the visa team and the course lead. This requires them to return overseas, submit remotely, pass the resits and re-apply for a new Student visa before continuing the next level of studies in the UK. There will not be course fee liability for this option. The release of a CAS for a new Student visa application can only be considered by the visa team upon students successfully passing the resits.

You may require more time in the UK on a Student visa to complete your programme. This could be because you have repeated or will repeat a year of studies, or you have taken or will take a placement year.

You should contact the visa team after you receive the official result sheet at the end of the academic year. If you are successful in passing the year and eligible to progress to the final year of studies, we will guide you through the process of requesting a new CAS for your visa extension. The last day you can extend your visa from inside the UK is your current visa’s end date. Please do not request a new CAS before you receive the result sheet confirming your progression, as a CAS can only be released if you pass the previous level of studies, this is based on the academic progress requirement of the Immigration Rules.

Visa extension is not usually offered to Master’s students because of the lack of in-person attendance and active engagement following the exams. A justification for physically remaining longer inside the UK cannot be provided to the Home Office, carrying risk of visa refusals which will negatively affect students’ future immigration applications.

If remote submission or presentation is possible, students must return overseas before their visas expire. If physical resits are required, these should preferably be arranged before a student’s visa expiry date to facilitate their in-time course completion which provides options for their switching to other visa routes from the UK. If a physical resit can only be arranged after the visa expiry date, a student is recommended to return to the UK on a Standard visitor visa.

An exception to this is when a Master’s student may need to repeat the course partially or wholly due to Extenuating Circumstances, provided that the Extenuating Circumstances policy has been followed and accepted at the faculty level. 

A new CAS number for a student visa extension must be requested prior to the submission or resubmission of the soft bound thesis and where the period of registration allows.  

If more time is required to complete a PhD and a new course end date is agreed including completion of the full PhD (with viva); a CAS number can be issued subject to confirmation of satisfactory progress and engagement with studies. The visa team must receive confirmation from a supervisor that ‘in person’ attendance is required with full access to university facilities for the entire visa extension period. Where a new visa is granted, students will receive four extra months at the end of their new visa called: ‘extant leave’.  

In cases where a PhD student has a viva outcome of minor or major corrections, it is often necessary for them to remain on campus to conduct further research and maintain close supervision. In these cases a visa extension will be considered. Only one visa extension during the full period of study should be necessary unless there this is mitigation, e.g. Serious illness or injury. In these cases extenuating circumstances must be submitted by the student and will be considered. 

We are unable to support extensions of the original student visa where a student is no longer expected to actively engage with their studies. For example, if final submissions have occurred, there is no option to extend a student visa for more time to remain inside the UK if there are no longer studies to actively engage with.  

Applying for a Standard visitor visa 

If an applicant is overseas and does not have valid leave to enter or re-enter the UK, the visa team are unable to support a new CAS number request to attend a viva examination. The applicant must apply for a Standard visitor visa in accordance with the current Home Office guidance. 

Please read through the guidance and if you have any questions please contact us.

As your Student visa sponsor, it is our responsibility to advise you of your visa conditions while you study at St Mary’s University. It is very important that you read and follow all of the steps below. We’re here to assist and support you, so don’t be afraid to ask us any questions.

Please include your regnum and name when you email us: studentvisas@stmarys.ac.uk

For more information about your Student visa status, please visit the UKCISA website.

Your engagement throughout the full academic year is monitored. You must attend all timetabled (online or face-to-face) sessions and submit all of your work on time.

Reminder: please download MySMU app.

You must record your attendance for all timetabled sessions via a unique access code, presented to you via your lecturer at the beginning of each timetabled session.

Please arrive to your class on-time and record your attendance immediately. If you do not record your attendance there will not be an accurate record.

Unexplained absences will be investigated which may put your visa sponsorship at risk.

Minimum attendance threshold requirements:

  • foundation degree 85% per week.
  • undergraduate and postgraduate 70% per week (You must check if your programme has a higher attendance threshold, this will depend which degree you study).

If you do not attend or fully engage with your studies, you will be at risk of being withdrawn from the University.

You may need to travel to your home country urgently for a family emergency. Any absence during term time must be authorised by your programme director. Please do not leave your programme without authorisation.

Please complete the authorised absence letter request form, to be signed by your programme director.

Return the form to Registry or email it to studentvisas@stmarys.ac.uk

You must live as close to St Mary’s University as possible. This is to enable you feel a part of the St Mary’s community and to fully engage with your studies. If you would like assistance to find accommodation please visit our accommodation pages for more information.

If your accommodation is too far away from St Mary’s University and your attendance and engagement are affected because of the distance, you are at risk of being withdrawn.

You must make every effort to live as close by to the University as possible. 

Throughout your studies, you must keep your UK contact details updated via the student portal.

You must update your personal email address, mobile telephone number, and term-time UK address if there are any changes during your studies.

Please use the St Mary's student portal to do this.

You must inform the UKVI on certain changes to your circumstances.

  • A change of address can be reported through an online form.
  • A change of name, nationality, facial appearance, gender, or date of birth requires you to apply for a new biometric residence permit (BRP).
  • New passport details and other relevant changes require the MCC form to be completed and posted to the UKVI.

Please read UKCISA's guide for details on reporting changes to UKVI.

Keep your travel documents in a safe place. Do not leave your home with them in case they are lost - it is expensive and time consuming to replace them, and you are unable to travel without them.

If you apply for a new visa or passport during your studies, you must update your student record via the Student Portal. We must have a copy of any new immigration documents.

If there is an error on your BRP card, such as your working conditions are incorrect or the length of your visa is too long or too short, it must be investigated and sent for correction with the Home Office.

If your BRP or passport are lost during your studies you must apply for a replacement.

For information about correcting a BRP error, or if you lose your BRP, please visit UKCISA's BRP.

You are advised to apply for an officially recognised UK proof of age ID card with a National Union of Students (NUS) TOTUM card application.

This means that you can have a student discount card (TOTUM) and an official ID card. This also means you do not need to carry your passport or BRP with you.

Please keep these in a safe place at home.

The student discount card has a small cost per year. See TOTUM for more information.

Your visa conditions allow you to work a maximum of 10 or 20 hours a week during term time.

You may also be able to work more than 10 or 20 hours per week during recognised vacation periods.

Please refer to the Work During Studies FAQs for more explanations about your visa conditions.

Foundation degree and Undergraduate degree students can work more hours during recognised vacation periods as long as there are no resits or repeats to complete.

Postgraduate degree students at St Mary’s students do not have recognised vacation periods. 

Postgraduate students are unable to work more hours than 20 hours in between the start and end date of your programme.

Letters are not produced at St Mary’s University to provide to employers to explain the work conditions of your visa.

Please show your employer your BRP and print a student verification letter from the student portal to prove your enrolment status and your course start and end dates.

You must not work more hours than stated on your visa, as you would be in breach of your visa conditions and your employer would be breaking the law.

Foundation degree (and below)

Term-time working hours

10 hours of work per week maximum during term-time. You must not work more hours than stated on your visa. If your visa has incorrect working hours you must have your visa corrected.

Recognised vacation periods

  • Christmas break
  • Easter break
  • Summer break

Undergraduate degree

Term-time working hours

20 hours of work per week maximum during term-time. You must not work more hours than stated on your visa. If your visa has incorrect working hours you must have your visa corrected.

Recognised vacation periods

  • Christmas break
  • Easter break
  • Summer break

Postgraduate degree

Term-time working hours

20 hours of work per week maximum during term-time. You must not work more hours than stated on your visa. If your visa has incorrect working hours you must have your visa corrected.

Recognised vacation periods

No recognised vacation periods at postgraduate level.

Postgraduate degree students at St Mary’s students do not have recognised vacation periods.

Postgraduate students are unable to work more hours than 20 in between the start and end date of your programme.

As a Postgraduate student, when you submit your final piece of work at the end of the programme and there are no re-sits or repeats to complete, you are then permitted to work more hours in the last 4 months of your visa called ‘extant leave’. 

Letters for employers?

Letters are not produced by St Mary’s University to provide to employers to explain the work conditions of your visa. Please show your employer your BRP and print a student verification letter from the student portal to prove your enrolment status.

Become a student ambassador

Why not work as a student ambassador? Enthusiastic students are required to assist St Mary's with recruitment events.

National insurance number

If you find work, you will pay tax and National Insurance contributions on your earnings. For information about obtaining a National Insurance Number, please visit the UK government’s national insurance web pages.

Types of work not permitted

You cannot be self-employed, run a business, or work as a professional sportsperson, including a sports coach. In addition, you cannot be employed as an entertainer. You may not hold a permanent full-time job while studying.

UKCISA

Please visit the UKCISA's pages on working in the UK.

Some courses include work placement opportunities.

If you are completing a work placement as part of your course, you can also work 10 or 20 hours per week during term-time in a different job as stated on your BRP.

Your work placement details must be reported to the Home Office. Most work placements are arranged via the Workplace Learning Team.

You will require a letter to provide to your employer before you can start working at the company that explains your visa requirements.

Whilst on your placement your engagement and/or progress will be monitored. If you do not attend your placement as planned because of unauthorised absences, you are at risk of being withdrawn from St Mary’s University.

If your have any questions about work placements and your visa conditions, please contact studentvisas@stmarys.ac.uk

Any changes to your studies are likely to have implications to your visa. For example:

  • changing your course
  • withdraw/leave of absence
  • repeat or resit exams
  • transfer of university
  • change of immigration status.

Once you have completed enrolment, please contact studentvisas@stmarys.ac.uk with any questions about making any changes to your studies.

Once you have agreed for changes to be made via your Course Lead and the visa team, you will be able to request the necessary changes via the student portal.

The Schengen Visa Scheme allows those who wish to visit certain countries within the European Economic Area (EEA) (and Switzerland) to travel between these countries using only one visa. You should contact the Embassy in London of the country or countries you wish to visit.

The countries are:

  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Italy
  • Latvia
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • The Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland.

You will require a No Objection letter to apply for a Schengen visa. Once you are an enrolled student, you will be able to request a No Objection letter from the visa team. You should only travel during suitable breaks in studies.

More information about how to apply can be found at UKCISA’s Schengen. 

There are many requirements for students and their families while studying under a Student visa.

For information about dependants, please visit UKCISA.

 The Graduate Immigration Route (GIR) will be open to you if you have successfully completed an eligible course and you have valid student or Tier 4 permission.

Eligibility requirements

 * You must have studied your course in the UK for at least the last 12 months or the full length of your course, whichever is shorter. (Not studying overseas or remotely).

* You must successfully complete your entire course, you are not eligible to apply if you leave St Mary’s University with an Exit Award.

* You must submit your application from inside the UK.

* The UKVI Compliance and Immigration Team will confirm with you via email when you are eligible to apply after the exam board for your programme.

* You will need to pay a new visa application fee and pay for 2 years of IHS costs as part of your visa application costs. Please ensure you have the funds in place before you apply.

* Programmes below degree level, are not eligible. For example, foundation degrees.

 For more information please see our Graduate Visa FAQs.

Please read through and listen to all relevant slides in the video. Use the timestamps to find the slides relevant to you. The presentation will give you useful information that guides you through the enrolment process, getting started, different visa categories and your visa conditions according to the type of visa you have entered the UK with.

It also explains the Student Visa service and what you can expect in terms of service provision at St Mary’s University.

It is very important that when you apply for a visa, you do not enter the UK unless you know that your visa has been granted.

Do not book travel to enter the UK unless you are sure your visa has been granted. You must follow all visa guidance correctly from your home Country when you apply.

We highly recommend that you understand all of the attendance and engagement requirements under the Student visa route and that you read all sources of information available. We do not want for you to be disadvantaged having not fully understood all visa implications.

We hope you enjoy your time at St Mary’s University and if you have any questions about your student visa conditions or anything related to immigration and visa compliance, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Timestamps

  • 00:09 – introduction Student visas
  • 00:54 – checklist
  • 01:51 – your attendance and engagement
  • 03:06 – your accommodation
  • 03:36 – your contact details
  • 03:57 – your passport and Biometric Residence Permit (BRP)
  • 04:51 – apply for a proof of age card
  • 05:24 – digital visas EU/EEA nationals
  • 06:48 – standard visitor visas (student)
  • 08:36 – Study Abroad
  • 10:15 – working during your studies
  • 12:21 – work placements
  • 13:18 – changes to your studies
  • 13:57 – travelling around Europe
  • 14:42 – dependants
  • 15:21 – visa extensions/renewals
  • 16:42 – graduate immigration route
  • 17:48 – resources.

If you are an international student new to the UK you are advised to open a bank account in the UK. This is the safest and most effective way of managing your money. If you intend to take up part-time employment you will find that your employer will want to pay your salary into a UK account.

Basic bank account

This should allow you to pay in and take out money and you are normally provided with a cash-point (ATM) card or debit card to enable you to draw money out. Basic accounts do not offer any form of credit, so you will not be given an overdraft facility or credit card.

You should be able to open a basic account with any of the main UK banks without making a payment or with a minimum of £1. However, you may be offered a more flexible account if you are able to pay in a substantial amount.

There are several useful websites you can visit that will give you information on the types of account that are available to you. It is worth doing some research as you might find that some banks will be more flexible with the type of account they will offer you or the proof of identity that is required.

You will need to find out if the bank will offer you either:

  • a cash card
  • a debit card
  • an overdraft facility
  • regular statements
  • telephone banking
  • internet banking.

You should also check whether:

  • money can be transferred from abroad
  • you are able to make direct debit payments
  • any outstanding balance at the end of your studies can be transferred back to your bank in your own country, if required
  • there are any account charges and if so, how much? 

When you have this information you can make a decision about which bank you would like to open an account with. Most of the main UK banks have a local branch within 15 minutes walking distance from St Mary's.

Proof of identity

You will need some or all of the following documents (depending on the bank requirements) to be able to open an account:

  • your passport, with student visa if appropriate
  • your national photo ID card if you are from an EU country
  • a letter of introduction from St Mary's, giving details of your course and confirming your overseas and UK address. You can request this from the e:Vision Portal
  • a copy of your rental agreement
  • utility bills (gas, electricity, phone etc) with your name on it

Please ensure you take all the necessary documentation with you when you go to open an account.

You may need to wait for 2 weeks or more before your account is fully functional so you will need to ensure that you have enough cash or travellers cheques to last you until your account is set up.

Direct debit payments

If you set up a direct debit with St Mary's in order to pay tuition fees or accommodation fees, you must ensure that you have enough money in your account on the agreed payment dates.

If the direct debit amount is more than the money you have in your account, the bank will refuse to make the payment and will charge you about £30 - £40 every time the payment is declined. St Mary's will also charge you for declined payments.

Local banks

Please see the list below of some of the main banks which are located in Twickenham, close to St Mary's. There are also branches in Teddington, Kingston & Richmond which are also close to the University. You may also wish to consider using an online bank, such as Monzo or Revolut.

  • Barclays Bank plc
    2 York Street, Twickenham, Middlesex
    Telephone: +44 (0) 845 755 5555
  • HSBC plc
    2 London Road, Twickenham, Middlesex
    Telephone: +44 (0) 845 740 4404
  • Lloyds TSB
    17 Heath Road, Twickenham, Middlesex
    Telephone: +44 (0) 845 300 0000
  • NatWest plc
    25 King Street, Twickenham, Middlesex
    Telephone: +44 (0) 845 610 1202
  • Santander
    1 King Street, Twickenham, Middlesex
    Telephone: +44 (0) 845 765 4321

Useful websites

To work in the UK you need a National Insurance Number. National Insurance is a type of UK taxation. When allocated a National Insurance Number this will be a number unique to you.

To get a National Insurance Number you need to wait until you are in the UK to apply.

How to apply

To apply for a number you will have to call the JobCentre Plus application line:

0345 600 0643 (Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm)

They may ask you to attend an interview. More information of getting a National Insurance number can be found on the Gov.uk website.

Useful websites

UKCISA

UK Government website

National Health Service

The UK's National Health Service is often referred to as the NHS. The NHS provides treatment through a range of services from Accident and Emergency centres to Local GP (General Practitioner) doctor's surgeries. Some services are free and some are paid for.

If you are studying with St Mary's University on a student visa on a full-time course that is longer than 6 months, you will be asked to pay the immigration health surcharge. Paying this surcharge will qualify you to receive NHS treatment from the beginning of your stay on the same basis as anyone who is ordinarily resident in the UK. EU students can use a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) to access NHS care until the end of the Brexit transition period, when the situation may change. UKCISA will update its healthcare guidance for EU students as more information is finalised.

If you are entitled to NHS treatment, these services will be free of charge:

  • consulting a GP and most other GP services (e.g. visiting a clinic)
  • treatment in a hospital (both emergency and non-emergency treatment).

You may need to pay for:

  • medicines prescribed by your GP
  • some GP services (e.g. vaccinations for travel, getting a sickness certificate) - ask your GP for details of costs
  • dental treatment
  • optical treatment.

Accessing Healthcare

Your General Practioner, or GP, is your primary doctor. When you arrive in the UK, you should register with a GP surgery (i.e., a doctor's office) as soon as possible. The York Medical Practice and Cross Deep Surgery are the two closest surgeries to the St Mary's campus. If you are living elsewhere in London, you can find a local doctor on the NHS website.

How do I register for these services?

Once you've decided which GP you'd like to use, follow the instructions on their website to register as a patient. You will need to fill in a few forms, and you may need to visit them in person to complete your enrolment.

Private Healthcare

Students not eligible for NHS treatment are advised to ensure their insurance policies cover healthcare during their stay or get private medical health insurance so that they can access healthcare when needed.

The UKCISA website has information on private medical insurance for international students.

Build your CV, gain volunteering experience, make friends… Become a St Mary's Global Peer Mentor!

What is a Global Peer Mentor?

A Global Peer Mentor is a St Mary's student who volunteers to meet with incoming international students after they arrive in the UK. Global Peer Mentors are a social resource for international students – you will help them settle in, answer questions they might have about St Mary's/life in the UK, and be a familiar, friendly face on campus for them.

Who can be a Global Peer mentor?

Sign-ups are open to any and all full-time undergraduate or postgraduate students. There will be a short training session for accepted Global Peer Mentors.

What can being a Global Peer Mentor do for me?

Being a Global Peer Mentor will build your CV with valuable volunteering experience, broaden your horizons, and give your university experience an international flair – all from the comfort of St Mary's campus! Global Peer Mentors will also receive additional counselling from the Careers and International departments on making the most of their experience and presenting it to future employers.

Apply to be a Global Peer Mentor

If you'd like to volunteer to be a mentor, please complete the Global Peer Mentor Application Form. If you would like to be matched with a mentor who can settle in at St Mary's, please complete our mentee application form here

For more information contact international@stmarys.ac.uk

Graduate Immigration FAQs

 

Latest News

11th March 2021:

Graduate route ("Post-study work")

The new Graduate immigration route will open for applications at 0900 on 1 July 2021.

The Graduate route is a work route for those who have a degree or other relevant qualification awarded by an approved UK Higher Education provider. It is an unsponsored route, so your application does not need sponsorship or any endorsement by an employer or by your university. It is similar to the old Tier 1 Post-Study Work route.

More information provided from UKCISA


4th March 2021:

Legislation was laid in Parliament today (4 March 2021) which sets out changes to the Immigration Rules.

This includes the introduction of the new Graduate route which will open for applications on 1 July 2021. The launch of the route demonstrates the Government’s determination to support the education sector, and our commitment to the International Education Strategy, which sets out our ambition to increase the number of international higher education students to 600,000 by 2030.

The Graduate route will enable international students to remain in the UK to work, or look for work, for two years (three years for doctoral students) after they have completed their studies. All international students who have successfully completed a degree (or other permitted qualification) at undergraduate level or above at a Higher Education Provider with a track record of compliance, and who have valid Student (or Tier 4) permission at the time of application, will be able to apply. The introduction of this route will significantly improve the UK’s offer to international students.

The Graduate route will be unsponsored, meaning applicants will not need a job offer in order to be eligible. There will be no minimum salary requirements nor caps on numbers. Graduates on the route will be able to work flexibly, switch jobs and develop their career as required. Whilst the route will not lead to settlement, those on the route will be able to move into another work-based route, such as the Skilled Worker route – which does lead to settlement – once they meet the requirements.

Sponsors will be required to notify the Home Office when a student has successfully completed their course in order for that student to be eligible to apply for the Graduate route. We have been engaging closely with sector bodies and we will provide further operational detail on how this notification function will work in the near future. Students will be required to know the Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) they used for their most recent Student (or Tier 4) application in order to apply for the Graduate route. Sponsors who are Higher Education Providers with a track record of compliance may wish to advise potentially eligible students of this in advance of the route opening on 1 July 2021.

Due to COVID-19, we have also put in place concessions for students unable to travel to the UK due to the pandemic. Applicants who began their studies in autumn 2020 now have until 21 June 2021 to enter the UK (updated from the previous date of 6 April 2021) in order to be eligible for the route. Students who began their studies in January or February 2021 will need to be in the UK by 27 September 2021.

A full list of the changes to the Immigration Rules can be found on GOV.UK

The Home Office is changing the way in which you will be able to view your UK immigration permission (visa status).

This will affect how you check your immigration permission and also how you prove what immigration permission you have.

Biometric Residence Permits (BRPs) and vignettes placed in your passport are being completely replaced by a digital immigration permission known as an ‘eVisa’ or ‘digital status’ for all visa holders. You can continue to travel as normal with your Biometric Residence Permit.

Later this year from June 2024, you will need to open a new account with UKVI to access your eVisa. You must wait until you are emailed by UKVI before you can open a new account. After you have registered, your immigration permission (your eVisa) can be viewed through this account. You will be able to share your permission with St Mary’s University, your accommodation landlord or an employer. The part of the UKVI account where you can access your permission and learn how to share it with others is called ‘View and prove’.

What will happen next?

The Home Office will send you an email containing instructions on how to access and share the details of your eVisa in summer 2024. There are likely to be some delays as millions of emails are being sent out to visa holders across the UK. 

Once you receive the email, please read the instructions carefully, as it will explain how to create a UKVI account, verify your personal details and biometric information on the GOV.UK ID Check (a mobile phone app), and view and prove your digital visa.

You will not need to share the details of your eVisa with the St Mary’s University visa team in the short term, if we need any details from you, we will contact you again in the future. We may need a ‘share code’ from you to view your visa but this has not been officially confirmed by Home Office representatives.

* After Brexit, most international students from European countries will already have an ‘eVisa’ and this information is for any students who have a physical Biometric Residence Permit.

Disclaimer

This information is sent to you on the basis of what we been informed by the Home Office and this is all that we know at this stage. We have presented some FAQ's that you may find helpful.

You may want to invite family members for your graduation ceremony or a short visit for up to 6 months. The visa team does not provide bespoke letters for the purpose of your family applying for Visitor visas, but we have a template for you to edit and use in their applications.

Entry clearance posts can be extremely strict, we hold no responsibility for the decisions made at visa centres across the world and if applications are refused we have no power to overturn decisions.

Our advice is for any family member/visitor applying for a visitor visa from overseas to strengthen their visa application by including a full itinerary of their visit to the UK, including flight booking/ticket information to and from the UK. The intent and purpose of the visit must be clearly explained. 

Download our inviting visitors template