Student rip-offs

The UK Border Agency’s policy of ripping off foreign student continues – not withstanding the crazy application system (I had to fill some 16 pages last time I applied for extension), now they have increased the fees further – changes highlighted below in bold. Below is part of the email I received from the university’s immigration advisory services today!

INTRODUCTION OF TIER 4 (THE STUDENT TIER) IN MARCH 2009
As you may be aware, the UK Government is in the process of introducing a
Points Based Immigration System (PBS).

From the end of March 2009, the student visa will become part of PBS and
will be known as a Tier 4 General Student visa. PBS requires all applicants
to score 40 points and this is achieved by providing the following
information when you apply to extend your student visa:

• 30 points for a visa letter from a licensed sponsor*; and
• 10 points if you can show you have enough money (known as maintenance)to
cover your course fees and monthly living expenses (which are set by the
UKBA) for up to 12 months

* Your place of study will be the sponsor (not financially though, unless they give you scholarships too!).

The UK Border Agency (UKBA) and the UK Council for International student
Affairs (UKCISA) have produced guidance and this can be accessed via the
following links:

http://www.ukcosa.org.uk/student/pbs_students.php
http://www.ind.homeoffice.gov.uk/studyingintheuk/applyingafter-March/

Please note that the UKBA has not formally announced the specific date in
March when these changes will come into effect but you are advised that it
is likely that it will be at very short notice.

Further information will be posted on the Immigration Advice Service website
and/or emailed to international students at their University email address
but please be aware that the changes will result in the introduction of an
amended FLR(S) application form for those renewing their visas in the UK and
a new VAF 3 form for those applying outside the UK.

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INCREASE IN VISA APPLICATION FEES
UKBA has announced that it intends to increase the fees it charges for its
immigration services. It is not known when these fees will be introduced
but it is possible that it will be as the changes to the immigration system
for students are introduced around the end of March. Therefore, if your
visa is due to expire in the next few months and you will be a continuing
student at University of York, you may wish to consider making an early
application to avoid the rise in fees.

Set out below are details of visa types, the current fee and the proposed
increased fee:

TIER 1 (Post Study Work)

Applying from outside the UK the current fee is £205; the new fee will be
£265.

Applying from inside the UK by post, the current fee is £400; the new fee
will be £500*

Applying from inside the UK in person, the current fee is £600; the new fee
will be £700*

APPLYING FOR A STUDENT VISA OVERSEAS

Applications made overseas for a student visa currently attract a fee of
£99; the new fee will be £145.

EXTENDING A STUDENT VISA IN THE UK

The current fee for postal applications is £295; the new fee will be £357*

The current fee for an application made in person is £500; the new fee will
be £565*

* Each dependant applying at the same time as the main applicant will have
to pay £50.

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BIOMETRIC DATA REQUIREMENTS FOR ACADEMIC VISITORS AND THOSE APPLYING TO
TRANSFER THEIR VISAS TO A NEW PASSPORT.

UKBA has announced that it is expanding the immigration categories which
will now require an ID card. These new categories will include Academic
Visitors who are granted leave for longer than 6 months and those who apply
to transfer their visas from an old or lost passport to a new one.

The ID card will replace the visa sticker that used to be placed in an
applicant’s passport and therefore once issued, the holder will need to
travel with both his/her passport and ID card whenever he/she enters or
leaves the UK. These changes will come into effect from 31 March 2009.