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Travelling after final exams

Only for UK Student Visas, formerly known as Tier 4 (General) student visa

Moderators: Casa, JAJ, ca.funke, Amber, Zimba, vinny, Obie, EUsmileWEallsmile, batleykhan, geriatrix, John, ChetanOjha, archigabe, push

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bharatbajaj27
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Travelling after final exams

Post by bharatbajaj27 » Fri Jul 08, 2016 4:41 pm

Shadyoakdrive wrote:Hi Everyone,

I am a final year student at a university in the UK. My tier 4 visa expires at the end of October.
I have been lucky enough to secure a graduate scheme with a tier 2 sponsor that will commence sometime in September.
As my exams would be done by early June, I would definitely want to travel around Europe after the exams.(Probably come back around early July)

However, after reading around from some university websites such as:
http://www.kcl.ac.uk/campuslife/service ... ravel.aspx
http://www.city.ac.uk/international/int ... graduation

it seems that I might not be allowed to come back into the UK with my Tier 4 visa. As I am a resident of a non-visa country, I could still come back to the Uk for 6 weeks. However, I would need to be on my Tier 4 visa when I apply for the Tier 2 conversion.
Does anyone know how likely it is for me to face issues at immigration?

Edit: I also plan to postpone my Graduation ceremony to December so I might not be able to get the letter from my uni saying that I will attend the ceremony in July

Thanks!
Hi,

Looks like I am in the exact same situation now. My course ends in Sept., I have received a job offer for a job to start in Dec, and I want to travel in the period between that.

Can you please tell me what happened to you? Were you allowed to re-enter UK? Or did you not travel after your CAS end date?
Thank you so so much!

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Re: Travelling after final exams

Post by CR001 » Fri Jul 08, 2016 4:50 pm

bharatbajaj27 wrote:Hi,

Looks like I am in the exact same situation now. My course ends in Sept., I have received a job offer for a job to start in Dec, and I want to travel in the period between that.

Can you please tell me what happened to you? Were you allowed to re-enter UK? Or did you not travel after your CAS end date?
Thank you so so much!
User 'shadyoakdrive' last visited or logged into the forum in May 2015.
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bharatbajaj27
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Re-entry after course ends but before Visa expires

Post by bharatbajaj27 » Fri Jul 08, 2016 4:53 pm

I am currently on Tier 4 (Gen.) Visa and pursuing my MSc degree in the UK. My course ends in September 2016', however, my BRP is valid until the end of January 2017'. I have received a Job-Offer to work for a company in the UK on a Graduate scheme that starts in December 2016'. The company will sponsor my Work-permit (Without RLMT) as soon as I receive my graduation certificate (which I will receive during the graduation ceremony early in December).

I would love to go back home/travel in September after my course, and return back to the UK at the end of November 16' in order to 1) attend my Graduation ceremony, and then, 2) start my Tier-2 visa application from inside the UK (as the company which has already offered me a job, will sponsor my work permit. And I could work for the company on my Tier 4 until I receive a Tier 2, i.e., Jan 2017). The company will only provide me with a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) if I switch to Tier 2 from within the UK, for which my status of being a student if of utter importance.

Some people have suggested that on a tier 4 visa, entering the UK after the course ends, is uncertain. I am not sure whether this is a legitimate theory.

I believe that coming back to attend the graduation ceremony is a legitimate reason to re-enter (fairly study related reasons).

Is/was there anyone in a similar situation?
Any help/suggestion will be hugely appreciated.

Thank you!

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Re: Travelling after final exams

Post by sah10406 » Fri Jul 08, 2016 4:54 pm

bharatbajaj27 wrote:
Shadyoakdrive wrote:My course ends in Sept., I have received a job offer for a job to start in Dec, and I want to travel in the period between that.
Unless you are travelling to your home country, and your Tier 2 sponsor is happy for you to make the Tier 2 application there (they would need to amend your CoS and do the RLMT), I strongly advise you postpone your travel until you have obtained the Tier 2 leave.

Your Tier 4 leave is not general permission to enter the UK for any purpose. It is only valid for entering the UK to start or continue your studies. Attempting to use it to enter the UK for another reason could well result in cancellation of your leave, or at best admission as a visitor which would not allow you to apply for Tier 2 in the UK.

Many university websites give risky advice that it is fine to re-enter the UK on your Tier 4 leave, even if your course has finished, but this is terrible advice!
I do not give immigration advice. I refer you to Immigration Rules, guidance, other online content and to your sponsor.

bharatbajaj27
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Re: Travelling after final exams

Post by bharatbajaj27 » Fri Jul 08, 2016 5:01 pm

sah10406 wrote:
bharatbajaj27 wrote:
Shadyoakdrive wrote:My course ends in Sept., I have received a job offer for a job to start in Dec, and I want to travel in the period between that.
Unless you are travelling to your home country, and your Tier 2 sponsor is happy for you to make the Tier 2 application there (they would need to amend your CoS and do the RLMT), I strongly advise you postpone your travel until you have obtained the Tier 2 leave.

Your Tier 4 leave is not general permission to enter the UK for any purpose. It is only valid for entering the UK to start or continue your studies. Attempting to use it to enter the UK for another reason could well result in cancellation of your leave, or at best admission as a visitor which would not allow you to apply for Tier 2 in the UK.

Many university websites give risky advice that it is fine to re-enter the UK on your Tier 4 leave, even if your course has finished, but this is terrible advice!
Thank you for your advice. But can I not re-enter on a TIer-4 saying that, I need to attend graduation ceremony (my graduation ceremony and job start date are in the same week). Like you rightly said, my university told me that many people have successfully entered (But I agree to you as well). Thanks

sah10406
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Re: Travelling after final exams

Post by sah10406 » Fri Jul 08, 2016 5:08 pm

bharatbajaj27 wrote:But can I not re-enter on a TIer-4 saying that, I need to attend graduation ceremony (my graduation ceremony and job start date are in the same week).
Immigration rules say no. I wouldn't risk it.

Universities are cavalier with their advice about this because they are not thinking about people who need to switch to Tier 2, only about people coming for graduation, which is of course fine to do as a visitor.
I do not give immigration advice. I refer you to Immigration Rules, guidance, other online content and to your sponsor.

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Frontier Mole
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Re: Re-entry after course ends but before Visa expires

Post by Frontier Mole » Sat Jul 09, 2016 11:38 am

The immigration rules do not specifically say no to re-entering after course completion. In fact the tier 4 visa specifically grants the additional post completion date time in order to allow for such things as resits and graduation.

Do I believe in your case that you are at a risk of being refused entry. No it don't.

You will need to ensure you have a letter from the University stating the date of the graduation ceremony to show you have a valid reason for entry under tier 4.

I would also keep have a copy of your offer letter from your employer and if possible the COS to show that your intent is to move onto another immigration status post arrival. This will cover off the possibility of the Border officer questioning your return so close to your visa expiry date.

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Re: Re-entry after course ends but before Visa expires

Post by sah10406 » Sat Jul 09, 2016 11:53 am

Frontier Mole wrote:The immigration rules do not specifically say no to re-entering after course completion.
If the course is finished, someone attempting to enter the UK would not all meet the requirements of the Immigration Rules for students. See also paragraphs 321 and 321A.
Frontier Mole wrote:In fact the tier 4 visa specifically grants the additional post completion date time in order to allow for such things as resits and graduation.
Yes, but not for travel and re-entry.
Frontier Mole wrote:I would also keep have a copy of your offer letter from your employer and if possible the COS to show that your intent is to move onto another immigration status post arrival. This will cover off the possibility of the Border officer questioning your return so close to your visa expiry date.
I totally disagree. This is actively demonstrating that they are entering for a different purpose than the entry clearance was issued, and risky under 321 and 321A.
I do not give immigration advice. I refer you to Immigration Rules, guidance, other online content and to your sponsor.

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Frontier Mole
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Re: Re-entry after course ends but before Visa expires

Post by Frontier Mole » Sat Jul 09, 2016 1:54 pm

We will have to agree to disagree

Tier 4 Policy Guidance version 04/2016 page 27 of 92, Para 96

How long can a Tier 4 (General) student come to the UK for
Type of course. Degree or above
Length of course 12 months or more
Length of stay allowed :
The full length of the course plus four months after the end of the course

Quoting Immigration Rules for general refusal to enter is like saying everyone that comes to the UK could be refused entry. Possible but not probable.

Where precisely does it state that travel and re- entry is not permitted post course completion on a tier 4 visa. It is accepted that there is a 4 month window to do whatever they want. It becomes an issue only when there maybe an intent not to return at the visa expiry. This individual is fully entitled to re-enter and apply for further leave to remain.

What your suggesting is that beyond course completion leaving the UK terminates your leave. Can't seem to find that rule??

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Re: Re-entry after course ends but before Visa expires

Post by sah10406 » Sat Jul 09, 2016 3:13 pm

Frontier Mole wrote:We will have to agree to disagree

It is accepted that there is a 4 month window to do whatever they want. It becomes an issue only when there maybe an intent not to return at the visa expiry. This individual is fully entitled to re-enter and apply for further leave to remain.
For sure we will have disagree about this. I have seen too many students acting on such advice who are refused entry under para 321A(1) or admitted as visitors, which effectively prevents them from switching to Tier 2. UKCISA's manual for international student advisers has a whole section warning against telling students it will be fine to re-enter the UK on their student visa after their course.
Frontier Mole wrote:What your suggesting is that beyond course completion leaving the UK terminates your leave. Can't seem to find that rule??
As already advised, para 321A provides for leave to be cancelled if they appear to have the "wrong" leave for the purpose they are entering the UK. Tier 4 leave includes the requirement to be studying at the sponsor institution.

321A. The following grounds for the cancellation of a person’s leave to enter or remain which is in force on his arrival in, or whilst he is outside, the United Kingdom apply;

(1) there has been such a change in the circumstances of that person’s case since the leave was given, that it should be cancelled;


See also the Tier 4 modernised guidance for border force officers, page 162-163, "Tier 4: grant or refuse entry at UK port":

* if a passenger has a valid Tier 4 entry clearance but you have evidence to show that they do not meet the requirements of the rules, you can only refuse leave to enter and cancel entry clearance under paragraph 321A of the Immigration Rules
* if a person returns from a short absence abroad within a period of leave which they were previously granted and you decide to refuse entry, you must also refuse under paragraph 321A


See also the Tier 4 modernised guidance page 164, "Tier 4: examples of when to refuse entry for change of purpose":

Where the passenger’s leave to enter derives from an entry clearance, you can examine the passenger to establish whether the leave should be cancelled on the grounds that the person’s purpose in arriving in the UK is different from the purpose specified in the entry clearance.

In the examples below, you must refuse leave to enter and cancel entry clearance under paragraph 321(A) of the Immigration Rules.

Example 1 – passengers who are entering the UK to work

The student arrives and says they are actually coming to work in the UK or you discover evidence of this in their luggage:
• in such cases, where the student confirms work is their purpose of entry, or where there is documentary evidence confirming this, there are sufficient grounds for you to refuse leave to enter based on change of purpose (this includes passengers who apply for leave under Tier 4 to study at a private education provider from 4 July 2011)
I do not give immigration advice. I refer you to Immigration Rules, guidance, other online content and to your sponsor.

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Re: Re-entry after course ends but before Visa expires

Post by Frontier Mole » Sun Jul 10, 2016 8:30 am

I see your argument and I am very familiar with the guidance. However the guidance is only that - guidance. To invoke the immigration rules general refusal you have to step away from the intention of your tier 4 visa and the conditions of the visa.

The change of circumstances / intent part of the Border Force guidance is primarily to account for students who on the face of it are returning to the UK where there is a belief the reason for entry will not meet the tier 4 criteria. The most common would be the revocation of the tier 4 licence, notification from the Sponsors that the student was no longer studying, evidence found or known that the student was working in breach, returning for the purposes of marriage (usually EEA spouse to be).

In this case I know you are giving the most risk adverse advice you can, which offers the maximum protection to the OP. As you say you are aware of students that have fallen foul but there are probably different circumstances in every case.

The individual is a Masters graduate attending a HEI, has secured future employment under the Tier2 Graduate Entry Scheme, returning to graduate and will have evidence to show that there is intent to remain legally. They are not breaching their tier 4 conditions.

The risk of refusal at the primary control point is exceedingly low. As you point out there is never a guarantee of entry.

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Re: Re-entry after course ends but before Visa expires

Post by vinny » Sun Jul 10, 2016 11:51 pm

Waiting for Freedom of Information answer, after internal review. Initial answer apparently misunderstood the question.
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Re: Re-entry after course ends but before Visa expires

Post by cs95tdg » Mon Jul 11, 2016 7:43 pm

vinny wrote:Waiting for Freedom of Information answer, after internal review. Initial answer apparently misunderstood the question.
Thanks for sharing that, it would be good if the OP does get an appropriate official answer to that recent request, as this type of query on re-entering does appear to be raised by many students. One example where I shared my not so recent experience from a number of years ago... http://www.immigrationboards.com/uk-tie ... 10226.html

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Re: Re-entry after course ends but before Visa expires

Post by vinny » Mon Jul 11, 2016 11:34 pm

sah10406 wrote: For sure we will have disagree about this. I have seen too many students acting on such advice who are refused entry under para 321A(1) or admitted as visitors, which effectively prevents them from switching to Tier 2. UKCISA's manual for international student advisers has a whole section warning against telling students it will be fine to re-enter the UK on their student visa after their course.
The Duty Officer wrote:Thank you for your email of 5 July to the DMC inbox regarding your re-entry into the United Kingdom with a valid Tier 4 visa after the completion of your course to attend your graduation and to apply for a Tier 2 visa in-country. It has been passed to me to respond.

All travellers arriving in the UK are required to present to a Border Force officer at passport control a valid passport which confirms their identity, nationality and Immigration status to the satisfaction of the examining officer.

As your course will have ended by the time you exit and return to the UK, you may request leave to enter the UK as a visitor and present to the officer an extant Tier 4 student visa. The officer has the discretion to grant you entry to the UK based on the valid visa, even though your visit is not directly related to study.

I hope this addresses your concerns.

Yours sincerely

Duty Officer
Border Force
National Immigration & Customs Enquiries (BF NICE)
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Re: Travelling after final exams

Post by vinny » Fri Jul 15, 2016 11:24 pm

An example of a refusal.
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Re: Travelling after final exams

Post by Frontier Mole » Sun Jul 17, 2016 7:54 am

I am waiting for the Tier 4 policy team to come back to me with their answer on return to the UK in the post course completion time allowed. Once I have their answer then either way there is likely to be a training issue for Border Force staff.

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Re: Travelling after final exams

Post by funke17 » Fri Apr 13, 2018 5:36 pm

I had a similar issue with Immigration and really hope my story helps you guys:

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Re: Travelling after final exams

Post by CR001 » Mon Apr 16, 2018 5:56 am

funke17 wrote:
Fri Apr 13, 2018 5:36 pm
I had a similar issue with Immigration and really hope my story helps you guys:

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Kindly also note that this topic is from 2016!
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