If you wish to recruit, or already have, foreign students then you can rely on Albany Solicitors to manage this for you without risk.
The UK has long been seen as one of the best places in the world to study, attracting students from every corner of our globe to the best schools, colleges and universities our island has to offer. In turn, many education providers are now also reliant on their foreign students as an excellent source of high calibre students and tuition fees. Our specialist immigration lawyers can assist you with every element of managing your foreign students, including:
• Obtaining a Grade A Sponsor License, including applying for a new license and renewing an existing one. (Guide on how to apply for a Tier 4 sponsor license and how to sponsor a student. )
• Creating and allocating Confirmation of Acceptance of Studies (CAS) – We can help assign a CAS under an appropriate Tier 4 route
• Day to day management of the Sponsor Management System (SMS) – We can act as your representative using SMS.
• Assisting with visa applications – We can provide general or individual immigration advice for international students.
• Ensuring all relevant documents are retained and verified. Specific record-keeping is required to stay compliant with the Home Office.
• Advising on illegal working – It is the sponsor’s duty to report any breach of immigration law.
• Managing on going compliance with complex Home Office requirements. The Home Office can revoke your license if you fail to comply with the Home Office.
• Challenging civil penalty notices / revocation of licenses – We can act as your legal representative on the above issues.
• Vetting of students prior to applications – It’s the sponsor’s duty to ensure the student is genuine before issuing a CAS.
• Additional ad hoc s/inspections to ensure your organisation maintains sufficient records and reporting procedures in order to maintain your sponsorship status.
We can help with all aspects of Tier 4 licensing, including advising on which sub categories may be most appropriate before you even start. We can also organise full compliance audits of your organisation, and assistance in resolving any issues before the Home Office do.
Remember, if you get this wrong then not only may you lose your rights to sponsor foreign students, meaning they can no longer study with you, but you risk large fines of up to £20,000 per issue and even a criminal record.
We will also be more than happy to assist post graduate students if they wish to switch from Tier 4 Student visa to any of the following visa categories:
Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur: Graduate students can remain in the UK for one year to develop an entrepreneurial business idea if they are endorsed by an UK higher education institution (HEI). We can also help extend an existing Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) visa.
Tier 1 Entrepreneurs: Applicants who either have access to funding of £200,000, or access to funding of £50,000 from particular specified sources can apply for a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa. We can support the process of set up or take over a business to meet the Home Office requirement.
Tier 1 Investors: If applicant wishes to invest in the UK but does not wish to be involved in the running of a business, then the Investor route would be suitable. We can assist with all aspects of securing the visa, including:
• obtaining advice on suitable investment vehicles
• managing your investment portfolio
• ensuring funds can be transferred into the UK – we may be able to assist where currency restrictions apply
Tier 2 (General) : Applicants who have been offered a graduate level job by an employer who holds a Tier 2 license and have been issued a Certificate of Sponsorship are eligible for the Tier 2 (General) visa category.
It is usually better to apply under Tier 2 from within the UK because the number of Tier 2 (General) applications made outside the UK is limited.
We can act on an individual’s behalf to submit an application which will meet maintenance and English language requirements as set out in the Home Office’s Tier 2 guidance as well as working with the employer and education provider to support the applicant.