immigration advisory services

immigration advisory services

Student Visa Services

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Services and retainer packages for the Provision of Immigration Support

We offer a number of services which can be provided individually or as part of a package. Packages range from £500 a month. Costs vary dependant on the number of services required, the number of international students and the number of colleges or sites.

Services provided under these packages include the following.

Advice and Support

Through this service we provide advice to nominated representatives within your organisation on any immigration matter under Tier 4 of the Points Based System. This includes any matter relating to a student before or after entering the UK as well as any matter relating to the college’s position as a sponsor.

Contact with the college will normally be by email. This is due to the risk of misunderstanding either the questions being asked or the advice being given, in particular where this advice is being passed to a third party (for example, a student). We are, however, happy to discuss matters on the phone as well as by email although in most cases we will reply by email to ensure that the advice being provided is clear. Enquires will normally receive a response on the same day and our aim will be to respond to all enquiries by no later than the end of the next working day (Monday –Friday).

The service described above does not include advice direct to students. We do provide advice direct to students before, on and after entry for either an additional monthly charge or a nominal charge per student and which also provides many of our other services free of charge to the college.

Site visits

In addition to visits for audits and training, you may also require on-site visits for other purposes such as student “surgeries” at pre-set times for students to make enquiries or to assist them in preparing their applications

Audit and Inspection

We provide an immigration audit of each college/location to ensure that the college is meeting its responsibilities as a licensed sponsor. Audits can be conducted at whatever frequency you require and may be by appointment or unannounced to provide re-assurance that you are meeting your responsibilities and/or in preparation for a visit by the UKVI. The audits also provide us with an opportunity to get to know your systems and meet the people with whom we might be working. The discussions which take place during the audit and the final debriefing also have a training element. Ideally the audits would be conducted at an early stage in the contract.


The audits are intended to be constructive and to build confidence in the way colleges meet their responsibilities whilst at the same time replicating the type of visit performed by the UKVI. Each of the audits follows a similar format:

  • An on-site interview with the Principal or other nominated person on the college’s processes and procedures for meeting its responsibilities as a licensed sponsor
  • Examination of a sample of files for international students to confirm that processes and policies are being implemented
  • Oral feedback on findings and recommendations for improvement and the inclusion of good practice during and at the end of the visit
  • A written report covering findings and recommendations

 

HTS Healthcheck

Following requests from clients, Veristat is pleased to announce a new HTS Health Check service to help education providers prepare for a visit by the Home Office (UKVI) associated with an application to renew HTS.

The Veristat HTS Health Check is an objective, external review covering key areas likely to arise during a UKVI visit together with examples of good practice from over 4 years' experience of conducting compliance audits for schools, colleges and universities.

  • Preparation for a UKVIvisit
  • Performance against HTS criteria
  • Student applications and recruitment 
    • Agents
    • Checking documents and issuing CAS
  • Student registration
    • Checking and recording documents
  • Record keeping 
    • CAS documents
    • Passports and residence permits
    • Contact details
  • Monitoring visa expiry
    • Sponsored students
    • Other non EEA students
  • Monitoring student engagement
  • (Re)-registration
    • Attendance
    • Placements

Clients are asked to provide some background material.  The review is conducted within a day and is followed up with a report of key points identified. 

 

Value for Money and Outsourcing

  • Working with colleges and universities to identify the scope for improved VFM including good practice, partial outsourcing and staff training in working with international students
  • Supporting International student advisors in providing immigration advice
  • Supplementing college and university resources during peak time
  • Auditing current or prospective partner/feeder colleges to provide sponsors with the confidence that their licence and reputations are not put at risk.

 

Student Services

  • Providing ‘Visa days’ via an on-site presence to assist students in the completion of their applications for visas and/or extensions of stay reducing the pressure on international offices
  • Assistance to students on the completion and submission of applications to extend their stay. We also support students in making in-person applications

 

Information and updates

We will provide you with regular information on changes to UKVI’s policies and procedures as well as feedback on any frequently asked questions raised by your and other colleges. We can also provide material for recruitment packs, good practice guides etc.

Training

We also offer training days for staff under our monthly retainer packages. These can be taken at any time and include as many staff as you wish although ideally the maximum number per session would be around 15. All training would be provided on your premises and where appropriate we would use the audit visits to help identify training needs.

Website

We provide advice on website content in relation to immigration including background information on current requirements and material Q&A for student reference.

 

Sponsorship Licensing

Sponsor licence applications

We offer full support and advice if you are looking to apply for a licence, additional licence or amend an existing licence

Suspensions

We also provide support if you have been suspended by reviewing processes, recommending areas of improvement based on good practice and assisting in the preparation of representations to get your college back on track.

Downgrades

We provide support on responding to UKVI action plans to get the college back to an “A” rating, including dummy inspections before the UKVI return to re-assess progress.

Highly Trusted Status (HTS)

We provide support in applying for HTS and in assessing the likelihood of success through audits and sharing of good practice.

Student compliance

We provide advice and practical steps on recruitment practices including the use of application forms, student “contracts" and questionnaires to assist in assessing intent and student compliance including attendance management.

Management of Agents

We provide support and advice on all aspects of working with agents including the role of the agent in establishing student intent, policies and contractual arrangements.

Additional Services

As far as possible, we believe that these packages include all of the services you might require but we are continually developing new services to meet clients’ needs so please let us know if there is a specific service you require that does not appear here. In the course of working with you, we may also recognise additional areas in which we can offer you support but which might not have been recognised as part of a package for example, options for improving the management of student extensions. In such a case, we would discuss the matter with you and develop costed proposals for your consideration.