Skip to content
Chevron pattern Chevron alternate pattern

Visas

Visa advice service code of practice

Last updated: 14 January 2021

Code of Practice

The Visa Advice Service is delivered by the university’s Immigration Compliance Team, which comprises the Immigration Compliance Co-ordinator, the Visa and Immigration Officer and the Immigration Compliance Administrator.

Advice can be given on the following: Tier 4 visa applications, Student Visitor visa applications, General Visitor visa applications, registering with the police, working during and after your studies, and reporting changes of circumstances to UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI)

A member of the team should be available term-times and vacations, as follows:

Advice Disclaimer

All advice is offered in good faith, based on information that you provide about your current situation. Whilst every effort is made to ensure that the advice given is accurate, the requirements relating to visas are complex and change frequently, often at short notice. We cannot therefore accept responsibility for any errors or omissions in information or advice given, for consequences arising from the use of our advice, nor for decisions made by the Home Office or other agencies regarding immigration applications.

Referrals and Withdrawals

The Adviser must advise within the limits of his/her competence and/or authority. If the Adviser considers that your case requires advice or guidance that exceeds these limits, you will be referred to an appropriately qualified professional, either internal or external to the university.

The Adviser will only withdraw from a case if it is in the best interests of the student. If the Adviser does consider it necessary to withdraw from your case, you will be informed in writing and, where possible, referred to an appropriately qualified professional.

Conflict of Interest

The Adviser must not act where there is a real or potential conflict of interest between them and the student. The Adviser must explain fully and clearly to the student any circumstances in which they might have any personal interest or advantage in acting for them and, if necessary, make a referral to another member of staff or appropriately qualified professional.

Equal Opportunities

The Immigration Compliance Team is committed to providing a service where equality of opportunity is a reality for all students. We aim to ensure that no student receives unfair or unlawful treatment due to race, colour, nationality, ethnic or national origins, religion, creed, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, disability or age.

Record Keeping

During your appointment the Adviser may make notes on your enquiry and the information and advice he/she provides.

After the appointment, the Adviser should send you an email confirming what was discussed and detailing any advice that may have been given. The Adviser should also create a written record of what was discussed and store this securely on your student record.

Data Protection and Confidentiality

The Visa Advice Service operates in accord with the 1998 Data Protection Act. This Act aims to ensure that personal information is used in a way that is fair to individuals and protects their rights. You have the right to confidentiality, meaning that any information received will not be disclosed to anyone outside the Immigration Compliance Team without your express permission. The only exceptions to this are:

We may decide it is in your best interest to contact an external organisation, such as the UKVI (a department of the UK Home Office) or the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA), for further advice or opinions. Whenever possible, we will advise you if we intend to do this. However, there may be occasions when this is not practical, and in these circumstances we would act under the assumption that, by coming to us for help, you are allowing us to resolve your situation the most effective way we can.

Please note that, although the Immigration Compliance Team memberswork in an open-plan office environment, there are enclosed office spaces available for private discussion. If you wish to discuss matters in private, please mention this to the Adviser either at the start of your appointment or when booking your appointment, and appropriate arrangements will be made.

The Regulation of Immigration Advice and Codes of Standards and Ethics

The provision of immigration advice is regulated by the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC) which provides a Code of Standards and Rules. These documents set out the principles and standards with which immigration professionals must comply. The University of Gloucestershire is authorised to provide immigration advice and services by the OISC.

The University of Gloucestershire is a member of the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA). All services and advice provided by the Immigration Compliance Team is in accord with the UKCISA/AISA Code of Ethics.

Only members of the Immigration Compliance Team are qualified and authorised to give immigration advice at the University of Gloucestershire. Where the level of immigration advice required is beyond their scope you will be referred to an appropriately qualified legal professional. Contact details of some of the relevant organisations can be found at the bottom of this page.

Feedback

We welcome your feedback and invite suggestions for how we might improve and develop the service we provide. The most effective way to submit feedback is by emailing comments to visas@glos.ac.uk.

Complaints

If you have a complaint regarding our service, please let us know and we will do our best to resolve the matter swiftly and informally.

If you are still unhappy, the university has a formal Complaints Procedure. The first stage of this procedure is to put your complaint in writing to the Complaints Officer, who provides an initial response. If, after the Complaints Officer has investigated, the matter has still not been resolved to your satisfaction, you are advised to write to the Academic Registrar to request that your complaint be heard by a Complaints Panel. If you remain dissatisfied with the outcome of the Complaints Panel, you are entitled to contact the Office of the Independent Adjudicator for Higher Education (OIA). Please be aware that the OIA will only consider cases once the university’s own internal complaints and appeals procedures have been exhausted.

If your complaint is specific to a piece of immigration advice you have been given, please note that you can make a complaint to the OISC irrespective of whether or not you have made a complaint to the University. Details of how to do this can be downloaded from the OISC’s website.

Useful Contacts

*Remember to check the fee a solicitor will charge you before you book a consultation.

Was this article helpful?