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Unfair Withdrawal of Sponsorship by University

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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Niharika63
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Unfair Withdrawal of Sponsorship by University

Post by Niharika63 » Tue Aug 02, 2022 9:13 pm

Hi,
I am an international student from India and am currently studying in Aberystwyth University, Ceredigion, Wales.

I had approached the International Student Advisor to help me with an employer who was withholding my wages and trying to coerce me to work more than 20 hours per week (which is a breach of my visa conditions). The International Student Adviser misinterpreted this as me breaching the conditions of my visa when in fact I had not. At this time, I was initially reassured that I would be helped and that I had come to the right place as an international student. However, no help was given to me. After a few days, I got an email from the university Compliance Team that my student visa has been withdrawn and that I should go back to my country as soon as possible. I feel helpless and harassed and I think I have been treated extremely unfairly. Is there any way out of this situation?

vinny
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Re: Unfair Withdrawal of Sponsorship by University

Post by vinny » Wed Aug 03, 2022 2:48 am

If you have not breached any conditions, then the University may be in breach of their contract with you under the Consumer Rights Act?

Then if you used a credit or debit card to pay your University fees, etc., then you may be able to use a Section 75 or chargeback claim.

Complain and ask for a remedy and compensation?
This is not intended to be legal or professional advice in any jurisdiction. Please click on any given links for further information. Refer to the source of any quotes.
We do not inherit the Earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.

Niharika63
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Re: Unfair Withdrawal of Sponsorship by University

Post by Niharika63 » Wed Aug 03, 2022 3:33 am

What happened was, without thinking I told them that I worked for more than 20 hours for 2 weeks because the employer forced me to. But later I found out, that I had in fact not worked for more than 20 hours. The university basically took me for my words and took action without any investigation. Can I lodge a complaint against them gor this? Or will my initial claim of having worked more than 2p hours be held against me?

Niharika63
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Re: Unfair Withdrawal of Sponsorship by University

Post by Niharika63 » Wed Aug 03, 2022 3:34 am

APART from that one statement,there is literally no proof that I gave worked more than 20 hours.

vinny
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Re: Unfair Withdrawal of Sponsorship by University

Post by vinny » Wed Aug 03, 2022 4:04 am

Then they do have a duty
Breaking your immigration conditions

If your sponsor has any suspicions that you are breaking the conditions of your permission to stay, for example, by working more hours than you are allowed to, then they are obliged to inform the Home Office. This could result in your current immigration permission being curtailed or future applications being refused.
to report your confession.
This is not intended to be legal or professional advice in any jurisdiction. Please click on any given links for further information. Refer to the source of any quotes.
We do not inherit the Earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.

Niharika63
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Re: Unfair Withdrawal of Sponsorship by University

Post by Niharika63 » Wed Aug 03, 2022 4:56 am

Do you think there's any way out of this if I want to stay in the uk? Or if I can prove that there is no evidence at all for this.

lolo2
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Re: Unfair Withdrawal of Sponsorship by University

Post by lolo2 » Wed Aug 03, 2022 9:31 am

Niharika63 wrote:
Wed Aug 03, 2022 3:34 am
APART from that one statement,there is literally no proof that I gave worked more than 20 hours.
How is your performance in the course? Have you been missing lectures or failing/having bad grades?

When I did my masters, one student had a poor performance in just one module and his visa was curtailed once the course director found that he was working more than 20 hours a week.

Anyway you already told them, mistakenly or not, that you worked more than 20 hours a week. That's enough for them to suspect that you're breaching your visa conditions as vinny quoted.

I am not sure how successful a complaint/appeal can be given these particular circumstances.

sah10406
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Re: Unfair Withdrawal of Sponsorship by University

Post by sah10406 » Wed Aug 03, 2022 9:37 am

Niharika63 wrote:
Wed Aug 03, 2022 4:56 am
Do you think there's any way out of this if I want to stay in the uk? Or if I can prove that there is no evidence at all for this.
It's up to the university, and they alone. As advised above, in a way they did the right thing, so it is not unfair, but it is for sure harsh and unusual. It is rare for a sponsor to take such action only based on a single breach of the work conditions. IMHO it is also rather out of proportion, and not in line with the Home Office's own approach to such minor breaches of conditions. Paragraph 9.8.3 of the immigration rules says they "may" (not "must") refuse an application "where a person has previously failed to comply with the conditions of their permission". In my experience, they usually exercise discretion and ignore a single small breach of the work condition, if it is disclosed and explained in the application with an apology.

So it is not clear why the university visa compliance people have taken such a hard-line approach with you. As the previous answer says, maybe there have been other things happening that mean the university was already looking for a way to legitimately withdraw your sponsorship.

The university advice service is normally a separate part of the university, but they may in some circumstances be obliged to report you to their visa compliance colleagues (not all of them do). But they need to warn you about that in some way that allows students to decide for themselves whether to disclose a breach of conditions when asking for advice. You did choose to do that. They should also have a policy or procedure about what happens in those situations, and treat everyone the same, not just make "an example" of a specific student.

There *may* still be a chance to "unwithdraw" you, and it's possible that the Home Office has not yet been formally notified. But of course only the university knows that. If this is really as out of the blue as you say, get advice about your options from the Students Union.
I do not give immigration advice. I refer you to Immigration Rules, guidance, other online content and to your sponsor.

Niharika63
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Re: Unfair Withdrawal of Sponsorship by University

Post by Niharika63 » Wed Aug 03, 2022 9:50 am

lolo2. My performance in my course has been very good and I have hardly ever missed any lecture. My professor himself is stunned at how hostile the university is being.

lolo2
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Re: Unfair Withdrawal of Sponsorship by University

Post by lolo2 » Wed Aug 03, 2022 10:32 am

Then seek advice from the students union, they should be able to help, but you need to act now.

If your professor (you mean the course director?) is supporting you, it can be very helpful on appealing this action from the international students office.

csh1983
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Re: Unfair Withdrawal of Sponsorship by University

Post by csh1983 » Thu Aug 04, 2022 5:12 am

Niharika63 wrote:
Wed Aug 03, 2022 4:56 am
Do you think there's any way out of this if I want to stay in the uk? Or if I can prove that there is no evidence at all for this.
Based on the information provided, it appears the university withdrew your student visa sponsorship without following a due process. They should have investigated this matter before reporting you to the Home Office.

I believe you have a strong case and unless you are confident that the student union is independent and will act in your best interest, I would strongly suggest seeking advice from a solicitor as well.

You sought advice from the international student adviser regarding the withheld wages. No support or advice offered in this regard but they reported you to the university compliance team which lead to the withdrawal of your student visa. The university has a duty of care to protect international students being victims of modern slavery. Therefore, you should also consider making a formal complaint about how you were treated by the international student advice service.

Niharika63
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Re: Unfair Withdrawal of Sponsorship by University

Post by Niharika63 » Mon Aug 08, 2022 9:32 pm

I have informed salvation army about how I was treated by my employer and the university and they are now trying to get me through a certain NRM scheme, through which I can get free legal aid etc. But I dunno if the home office will deem my case as modern slavery.

vinny
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Re: Unfair Withdrawal of Sponsorship by University

Post by vinny » Tue Aug 09, 2022 1:08 am

Niharika63 wrote:
Mon Aug 08, 2022 9:32 pm
But I dunno if the home office will deem my case as modern slavery.
I doubt it.
This is not intended to be legal or professional advice in any jurisdiction. Please click on any given links for further information. Refer to the source of any quotes.
We do not inherit the Earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.

lolo2
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Re: Unfair Withdrawal of Sponsorship by University

Post by lolo2 » Tue Aug 09, 2022 7:31 am

I am not sure how your withdrawal from the university due to the breach of your visa conditions and having an abusive? employer during your part-time job have ended up being a case of modern slavery.

Unless we are missing some details here.

Have you contacted the students union of your university?

If you're doing this to stay in the UK by any means, perhaps it's not the most wise take.

sah10406
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Re: Unfair Withdrawal of Sponsorship by University

Post by sah10406 » Tue Aug 09, 2022 8:04 am

Niharika63 wrote:
Mon Aug 08, 2022 9:32 pm
But I dunno if the home office will deem my case as modern slavery.
Modern slavery? Are you joking? Your employer asked you to work a few extra hours for your normal rate of pay. You had no problem or issue doing it until you realised it was a breach of your Student visa work conditions. Your employer was not being compliant of their responsibilities, and neither were you.

Are you seriously now reframing the situation with you as a victim of modern slavery, with you being trafficked and/or exploited by your employer for commercial gain? It would be funny if it wasn't so offensive to real victims.

Read the link in Vinny's post above, and this: https://www.antislavery.org/slavery-tod ... n-slavery/

This is about your university taking reasonable action against you for a minor breach of your work conditions. In that sense you may be a "victim" of a heavy-handed application of sponsor visa compliance, but you are not a victim of modern slavery.
I do not give immigration advice. I refer you to Immigration Rules, guidance, other online content and to your sponsor.

Niharika63
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Re: Unfair Withdrawal of Sponsorship by University

Post by Niharika63 » Tue Aug 09, 2022 12:20 pm

Well, if you can't help, don't bother replying. This is not a platform where you make judgemental calls on what a certain thing is or isn't. I'm here to get myself out of a very unfortunate thing that happened to me and trying to find ways out of it. If you can help me about this, please do so. I'd you can't, well, then you can't. I hope I have made this clear to you.

sah10406
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Re: Unfair Withdrawal of Sponsorship by University

Post by sah10406 » Tue Aug 09, 2022 3:44 pm

Niharika63 wrote:
Tue Aug 09, 2022 12:20 pm
If you can help me about this, please do so. I'd you can't, well, then you can't.
I already did. I put considerable thought, effort and time into my previous reply outlining some practical advice for you, posted above on Wed Aug 03, 2022 9:37 am.

However you now appear to be determined to pursue this outlandish "modern slavery" angle rather the more logical, realistic and promising plan of just negotiating with your university to unwithdraw sponsorship and revert to your previous situation.

Several of us have discouraged you from this new approach in very clear terms, because we cannot see how it could be useful or successful in solving your current problem. If you see that as unhelpful, so be it.
I do not give immigration advice. I refer you to Immigration Rules, guidance, other online content and to your sponsor.

Niharika63
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Re: Unfair Withdrawal of Sponsorship by University

Post by Niharika63 » Tue Aug 09, 2022 6:04 pm

Well if the more logical and promising action of asking the university to sponsor me again or to reinstate the current sponsorship would have worked, I wouldn't have posted on this platform in the first place.

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