The International Student Support Team Code of Practice
The staff in the International Student Support Team provide free advice, guidance and information to current students at the University of Strathclyde and their dependants. We also provide guidance and information to applicants to the University of Strathclyde in relation to applying for the correct immigration permission to undertake their studies. Our advice services are limited to Tier 4, Student visa, Standard Visitor Visa (for study), Short-Term Study Visa, Start-up visa, and applications to the Graduate Route. We also offer guidance and support for straightforward applications to the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) to students; complex EUSS applications and applications as a Family Member of an EU national will be signposted to Citizens Advice Scotland. We are unable to advise on applications made inside the UK if your previous permission has expired. Please note that we will not provide immigration advice via telephone or at our enquiry desk due to the complex nature of immigration.
Advice is given in good faith, based upon the information provided by you. You should give us all the information you have that may be relevant to your enquiry and ensure that this information is accurate and up to date. If we are dealing with an ongoing case for you, you should inform us if any of your circumstances change, for example, if you change address or take time off from your course.
The advisers will make every effort to ensure that the advice you receive is accurate and based on our interpretation and understanding of relevant rules, regulations and procedures. It is not a substitute for legal advice nor for relevant legislation.
The advice we provide is specific to your particular circumstances at the time of your enquiry so you should not assume that our advice to you would apply to friends or other students. Regulations, procedures and points of contacts may also change. You may also refer to the relevant organisations or government agencies listed below for further information and updates:
For University rules, regulations and procedures: http://www.strath.ac.uk/sees/educationenhancement/qualityassurance/universityregulations/
For immigration matters
The Home Office: www.gov.uk/visas-immigration
The UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA): www.ukcisa.org.uk
If you are receiving advice from more than one service (in the University or elsewhere) we will discuss with you how our service can assist you and whether we can make a constructive contribution. In some cases, you may be advised that you should agree to work with one lead service. That service may be a University service or an external service such as a solicitor or advice agency. We may be unable to advise you if your enquiry presents a conflict of interest for the International Student Support Team.
The International Student Support Team may decide to withdraw service from a student if they believe that the student has provided false or misleading information about their situation. The team may also withdraw service from a student if that student behaves in a way that is threatening or detrimental to the wellbeing and safety of staff or other service users.
All advice is given in good faith based on your situation, the information you have given and current Immigration Rules and UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) practice. We provide advice and guidance on immigration matters relating directly to study at the University of Strathclyde; in particular, Tier 4 and Student visa routes of the Points Based System for immigration, Start-Up Visa, Graduate Route, Short-term Study Visa and Dependant Visas. We will provide advice where the principal immigration applicant is a student of the University of Strathclyde. Where this is not the case (for example if the principal applicant is a student at another University) we may need to refer to another agency. We can also provide information on other aspects of UK immigration but may need to refer you to other providers for in-depth advice or if the level of advice you have requested goes beyond the advisers’ competency.
Decisions on whether to issue or extend a visa or permission to stay are the responsibility of UKVI. We can advise you on making an application, but the University of Strathclyde and the International Student Support Team are not responsible for the outcome of that application. Decisions on whether to issue a Confirmation of Acceptance for Study are made by the University of Strathclyde Visa Compliance Team.
The International Student Support Team provides advice and guidance on immigration matters related to study at the University of Strathclyde for current and offer holders and their dependants. The University is exempt from the general prohibition on the provision of immigration advice and services imposed by the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 because it falls within one of the categories specified in the Immigration Advice and Services Order 2001 (SI1403). The International Student Support Team’s services are regulated by the Office of Immigration Services Commissioner's (OISC).
Confidentiality and Data Protection
Information you supply to us may be discussed within the International Student Support Team (including the Head of Student Support and Development). It may also be shared with other University services, including support and administrative services, where it is necessary for us to obtain more information in order to deal with your enquiry. However, we will normally seek your permission before sharing your information with external agencies. If we contact another University service or department we will share only the information that is needed in order to resolve our enquiry.
With the exception of the circumstances described above, no information will be given to any external agency without the student’s consent, unless:
- The provision of that information is required by law
- In the view of the International Student Support Manager and/or Head of Student Support and Development there is a serious risk of harm to our client or to others.
In circumstances where information has to be shared, the Advisers will ensure that such discussions take place in an appropriate environment – and not normally outside the University, except when seeking additional advice from an external adviser.
International Student Support staff will ensure that all individual case records are locked securely at the end of each working day and that all computer records are held securely and are appropriately protected.
If the International Student Support Team need to contact you, they will either do so by emailing your University email address or by other means of contact you provide. All staff will ensure that no reference to the purpose of the call is made when making telephone contact through third parties. Please note that we will not provide immigration advice via telephone or at our enquiry desk due to the complex nature of immigration.
If you have a complaint about our service, you may raise this in the first instance with any member of staff from the International Student Support Team or the Head of Student Support and Development. Complaints will be dealt with under the University’s Complaints Handling Procedure that can be found on the University web site at: http://www.strath.ac.uk/media/ps/strategyandpolicy/ComplaintsHandlingProcedure.pdf