For students arriving into the UK this summer please take note :
The UK government has recently extended the use of e-gates to a few non-visa national countries; including South Korea and Japan. Students should NOT to use the e-gates as this would mean they do not get the short term study visa stamp which they need.
There is a risk that students may be incorrectly directed by border officers to the e-gates and therefore enter without a stamp. There are signs at airports but these can easily be missed/ not understood.
What to do if a student arrives without a stamp in their passport?
Unfortunately it is not possible to have a stamp issued in the passport once the student has left the airport.
Students who have used the e-gates can enrol and start their course and study for up to 6 weeks. The Home Office are being flexible for students studying for up to 30 days of study. These students will not need a short term study stamp.
Students who are studying for more than 6 weeks are also allowed to enrol and start their course. However in order to complete their course they must make arrangements to leave the UK within 30 days so that they can get the correct short term visa stamp on arrival (e.g by taking a holiday to Europe; NOT Ireland).
Our response to the changes
The Home Office are taking steps to ensure that students are guided through the correct channels but we are concerned that the messaging at airports is not sufficiently clear. English UK has already provided feedback to the Home Office about students being directed to the e-gates and not being offered the option of using the immigration desks.
Please remind your students that they must have a (short term study) stamp in their passports and therefore need to see a Border Force Officer.
Posted by Rick Johns
Kingsway English Centre