UK border control for short-term students

Home Office published updated Guidance for institutions with non-visa national students, which states that students for short-term courses (up to 6 months) from non-visa countries should not use electronic gates (E-Gates) while passing through passport control at the UK border, unless they have separately obtained entry clearance. This applies primarily to citizens from Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea and the United States of America, who can since recently pass through passport control in a simplified way without seeing a border officer.

In accordance with Part 3 of the Immigration Rules, citizens from non-visa countries (those, who do not require a tourist visa for a short-term visit) can study in the United Kingdom for up to six months. They do not need to apply for Tier 4 visa. Instead, they may receive permission for short-term studying directly from a border guard officer upon arrival in the UK. The officer will stamp their passports confirming the right to short-term training.

Unfortunately, the introduction of electronic gates led to the situation where some students who need to see a border officer and get a stamp do not fulfil this requirement, but pass directly through the gates. This means that they are in the UK as visitors, not as students. And in fact, they have the right to study in the UK only for thirty days.

Failure to comply with this rule may result in visa refusal in the future.

Posted on Jun 26, 2019.

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