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International Student Support (ISS) are a team that helps international students with immigration queries by providing expert advice and guidance. ISS advise on Tier 4 (General) and Start-up visa applications. ISS will check supporting documents to ensure that your visa application fulfils the necessary criteria to be granted a visa within the rules of the Home Office. ISS are trained by the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) and are regulated by the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OSIC).

To view ISS’s assigning a CAS policy please click here:

The service that ISS provide is free of charge.

  • Advice and guidance on Tier 4 (general) visas for enrolled students Guidance through Tier 4 General applications in and out of the UK
  • Guidance through the Start-Up Visa process in the UK
  • Advice on student dependent visa
  • Guidance on change to academic status Guidance on BRP checking
  • Guidance on police registration
  • Advice on working rights in the UK during and after studies

For more information on services available from our International Student Support Team, please visit www.sunderland.ac.uk/internationalstudentsupport

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titleAdvice and guidance on Tier 4 (general) visas for enrolled students

ISS are trained at providing confidential immigration advice to current enrolled students. If at any point during your studies you require a visa extension to allow you to complete your course successfully, ISS will guide you through the CAS process in line with the current Tier 4 Guidance Policy.

Once ISS have established the length of leave you require, you will be sent a Student Care Letter which will outline the CAS process, state what documents are required for a CAS and outline application fees, tuition fees and health surcharge costs. You must approve this letter before the CAS process can begin. Once this has been approved ISS will guide you through the Tier 4 visa process up until you have submitted your Tier 4 visa application.

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titleGuidance through Tier 4 General applications in and out of the UK

Depending on your current immigration or academic status you may be required to make a Tier 4 visa extension out of country. ISS will assess your record and then advise on where you will be able to make your Tier 4 visa extension. ISS will then send you the Student Client Care Letter, once approved, the official CAS process can begin.

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titleGuidance through the Start-Up Visa process in the UK

ISS recommends that you seek advice at the earliest opportunity if you are interested in applying for the Start-up visa as well as discussing your business idea with the Enterprise team. Once you have received an official endorsement letter from the Enterprise Team, ISS will assist you with the Start-up visa application. If your application is successful, your Start-up visa will be valid for two years.

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titleAdvice on student dependent visas

If you are studying a course at postgraduate level that is 9 months or more, or you are government sponsored you are entitled to bring dependants with you to the UK. If you are making a Tier 4 visa extension and you have dependants who also require an extension, please let ISS know at the earliest opportunity so that you and your dependants can be advised accordingly.

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titleGuidance on change to academic status

During your studies you may wish to take a leave of absence or transfer course. Please note that any changes to your academic status may impact your Tier 4 visa therefore it is important that you seek advice from ISS and your faculty before making a decision. Once your faculty have approved any changes to your academic status you must bring your form to the Gateway Desk where a member of the team will pass this onto Enquiry Desk so this can be processed by ISS. Once ISS have assessed your form and is are satisfied that there is no impact on your current Tier 4 visa, your form will then be passed onto your faculty to process. If there is an impact on your Tier 4 visa, ISS will explain this via your Compass enquiry ticket or invite you to an appointment where this impact can be discussed.

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titleGuidance on BRP checking

When you have received a new BRP (biometric residence permitBiometric Residence Permit) card please ensure that you bring this to the Gateway desk so that this can be passed onto ISS. The team will assess your BRP card to ensure that the Home Office have issued you the correct leave and that your personal details are correct. If there is a mistake on your card, ISS will inform you via your enquiry ticket on Compass. ISS will then post your card to the Home Office for it to be corrected.

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titleGuidance on police registration

Depending on the length of your Tier 4 visa, you may be required to register with Northumbria Police. Before you can register you must fill in the online application - https://www.northumbria.police.uk/forms/ovro/

To find out if you are from a country that needs to register with the police please visit our FAQs.

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titleAdvice on working rights in the UK during and after studies

You may be allowed to work during your time at University. This depends on the length of your visa. Please refer to your entry clearance sticker in your passport or your BRP card for how many hours you have been allocated for working in the UK. It is vital that you do not work over your allocated hours as this is in breach of your Tier 4 visa conditions.

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Compass is the University's portal for all enquiries. No matter how big or small your question is, Compass will be able to help. You'll be able to take a look at handy FAQs, book appointments, update your personal records along with submit enquiries for any questions you may have and be up to date with what's happening every step of the way.

Once you have submitted an enquiry, you will be kept up to date with what's happening and will be able to track your enquiry all the way to it's resolution. You'll receive email notifications on your enquiry everytime there's an update, whether this is notes or whether your ticket has to be transferred to another team within the University to be answered. This email notification will go to your student email account.

Once you open your enquiry, your 'Ticket History - Notes' tab will show you everything that's been going on, meaning you'll always be kept in the loop. You'll also have access to all your enquiries that have been resolved, so if the problem ever comes back up, you'll know what to do.

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titleCompass UoS App

It's now even easier to keep track of your enquiries, view our FAQs or book appointments via the Compass UoS mobile app. If you have a smartphone, simply download the Compass App from the App Store or Google Play. You'll receive handy notifications on any of your open enquiries and will always be able to contact us directly through the app itself.

You can also access the Compass directly through the UoS app. Simply look out for Compass on your menu.

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titleFAQs

The Gateway deal with thousands of questions every year from the weird and wonderful such as "What was the score in the Sunderland game on the weekend?" to the nitty gritty ones like "I have not received my Student Loan yet, however when I check my application it looks like I applied for the wrong course, what can I do?".

As we deal with varying questions every single day, chances are the question you have, no matter how big or small may have already been answered. Our FAQs are here to give you instant access to the answers you need, all you need to do is type your question in and we'll search our whole FAQ database to see if we have a suitable answer.

View our FAQs >>>

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titleSubmit an Enquiry

If you're stuck with something or having problems with anything here at the University, The Gateway Team will be able to help. All you need to do is submit your enquiry via Compass. Once you log in, you'll be able to create a ticket for yourself with the question that you have. We simply ask that you give us a bit of information about your query so that we can help. If we can't answer your question, we'll be able to transfer your query to a colleague who will be able to and you'll be notified of who's now dealing with it.

Please note, any communication from International Student Support will be via Compass, and in the first instance will be directed to your student email address. We may need a bit more information from you to help resolve your enquiry, so from time to time we may add a 'note' onto your ticket. This may be asking a question to you, or it may just be giving you a brief update of what's happening.

Submit an Enquiry >>>

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titleEmailing from a personal account

Whenever you email the International Student Support, we will automatically create an enquiry for you to keep you up to date with what's going on.
If you are emailing from a personal email account, we will still receive your enquiry and you'll get an automatic response to let you know what your enquiry number is and how to access it. From then on, once we add a note or a resolution any notifications of these updates will go to your student email. So, it's very important that you check your student email account regularly.

If you email back to the original enquiry update, we will not receive this. If you would like to add a note to your enquiry, simply do so via Compass by clicking onto the links within your email notifications.

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titleEmailing from a student account

Whenever you email International Student Support, we will automatically create an enquiry for you to keep you up to date with what's going on.
If you are emailing from a student email account, we will still receive your enquiry and you'll get an automatic response to let you know what your enquiry number is and how to access it. From then on, once we add a note or a resolution any notifications of these updates will go to your student email. So, it's very important that you check your student email account regularly.

If you email back to the original enquiry update, we will not receive this. If you would like to add a note to your enquiry, simply do so via Compass by clicking onto the links within your email notifications.

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titleBook an Appointment

ISS are based at the Gateway, City Campus and Prospect Building, St Peters Campus. To book an appointment please go via the following link to see current availability of the service. Please make a note of the campus you have booked appointment for.  Once you have booked an appointment you will be sent a confirmation email that will state the date and time of your appointment.

Book an Appointment >>>