Immigration advice and services regulated by the Immigration Services Commissioner.
Terms of advice service
We will always act in the best interests of our students, subject to regulatory and legal restrictions. We will treat you fairly and without prejudice or bias. We will provide detailed and accurate advice to the best of our abilities in a format that is accessible to you and which complies with regulatory requirements. We aim to be a friendly and approachable service, and to make you feel welcome when you seek advice from us.
We are unable to take any action on your behalf that is illegal, deceptive or contravenes immigration rules, or to recommend that you take any such action. We are also employed by the University of Exeter which holds a Tier 4 Sponsor License. We may not, therefore, be able to assist you where doing so would risk that license, but we will make this very clear to you if it is the case and advise you of any alternative options.
While we make every effort to provide accurate and detailed advice, your immigration status, applications and compliance are your responsibility.
The scope of our role extends to providing advice on your immigration status and communications with the Home Office. These communications may include immigration policy questions or questions regarding the progress of an application. We will also assist with certain documentation processing including scanning documents and uploading these to a visa application.
The University is not responsible for making decisions regarding your immigration status.
Our service is offered to all University of Exeter students free of charge. All immigration application fees are payable by you directly to the Home Office.
Regulation and our advisers
Our immigration advice is regulated by the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC).
Our advisers are all trained in student immigration and related immigration categories. We are constantly updating our knowledge through relevant publications, internal and external training, specialist networks, and direct dialogue with the Home Office. We are members of the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) and the Association of International Student Advisers (AISA).
Advisers in International Student Support are the only University staff legally allowed to give immigration advice. We are authorised to provide immigration advice to University of Exeter students and staff only.
All correspondence, documents and discussion of your case is included in your SID Online case file. This can only be accessed by the International Student Support team and the Immigration Compliance team. If physical documents are held at any time by International Student Support, these are kept in a locked cabinet. If we are inspected by the Home Office or the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner, we may be required to disclose some or all of your case file to them.
Consent and progress of your case
We will seek your consent in writing before taking any action regarding your case. We will also notify you once we have taken that action and/or when we have received any updates regarding your case, within 3 days.
Only basic information and signposting is provided via our webchat service. Where more in-depth advice is required, we will move to communicate with you through SID Online. We will only ask you for the minimum of personal information in order to advise you as accurately as possible. You can download a transcript of our conversation at any time during the chat. All conversations will be deleted from the chat platform within 1 month. The chat platform we use complies with GDPR rules.
Conflict of interest
Where we become aware of a potential conflict of interest regarding your case, we will immediately inform you of this fact so that you can decide how you wish to proceed.
Note that International Student Support advisers are employed by the University of Exeter and cannot take any action that contravenes the terms of the University’s Tier 4 Sponsor License. This means that if you reveal to us that you have breached the conditions of your visa, while we will help you to try to rectify the situation if we can, we are required to report the breach to the Home Office. We will always make you fully aware of this fact. In addition, you should be aware that the University’s Immigration Compliance team can access your case file.
Referrals to other services
Where the advice that you require is beyond our ability or you decide not to use our service, we will refer you to an appropriate service if we are able to. This will be done impartially and with no gain for the adviser or the University and with no negative effect on your status at the University, provided we are able to continue to comply with the terms of our Tier 4 Sponsor License.
Withdrawal from a case
We will only usually withdraw from a case on the rare occasion that there are legal concerns, sponsor license concerns, or where there has been harassment of staff. If we need to withdraw from your case, we will notify you that we are no longer able to assist you and provide you with details of alternative sources of help.
We aim to provide an excellent service at all times, but if at any point you feel that we have dropped below our usual high standards, you can make a complaint in writing or in person to Jim Price, Head of Student Immigration Services. Alternatively, you can make an official complaint via the University’s Students Complaints Procedure. Complaints concerning immigration advice and services can also be made through the OISC Complaints Scheme.