Tier 4 Student Maintenance – Preparing for the Surge

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Tier 4 Student Maintenance

The Home Office has laid out actions academic institutions can take to prepare yourself and your students during this busy period.

This year, the Home Office aims to deliver 100% of compliant cases within the 8 week service standard by:

  • Increasing the number of trained staff processing Tier 4 applications;
  • Introducing evening working during the student surge period; and
  • Continuing to develop our IT capability

The Home Office have already started to put these measures in place, including the removal of the print and send application form from 1st August.  From this date, all applications will be submitted online, this will hopefully ensure a much smoother journey for the applicant. The on-line application form can be found at the link below. Please ensure that you use this link and delete any previously saved links.

https://www.gov.uk/tier-4-general-visa/extend-your-visa

As a result of this change, you may notice that the applicant is asked to provide your sponsor licence number at the start of the application. In addition, in the application cover sheets the Home Office will ask the applicant to either send documents to Bootle or to Sheffield.  These changes will help to ensure the Home Office maintain an excellent customer service throughout the busy surge period.

The Home Office has informed that institutions can help them to deal with applications as efficiently and quickly as possible by:

  • Ensuring that the Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies is completed accurately. For example, it is important that the CAS correctly reflects the level of fees paid by the student, so that we do not need to request further clarification
  • Encouraging your students to submit any supporting documents to the correct address and in a timely manner
  • Encouraging your students to enrol their biometrics as soon as they receive their enrolment request
  • Contacting the Student Batch line on 0114 207 5994 or, if you are a premium sponsor, your dedicated account manager in the first instance if you have any issues

If you are a premium sponsor and receive premium customer service, the Home Office will be providing additional account manager cover at the weekends and evenings during the surge period, to deal with urgent queries and issues. In addition, the Home Office will also provide additional data that will help to identify those students who have not enrolled their biometrics. The Home Office will write to you shortly to outline these services in more detail.

If you are not a premium sponsor, please contact the educators’ helpdesk at the e-mail address below: EducatorsHelpdesk@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk.

If premium customer service is of interest to your institutions, you can find out more by visiting the dedicated Home Office page:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/tier-4-premium-customer-service-for-sponsors/tier-4-premium-customer-service-for-sponsors

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