The responsibilities of all University Staff in ensuring continued compliance of Home Office regulations
The continued compliance of Home Office regulations is a matter of concern for all staff at the University. It is important to note, however, that you must never give visa immigration advice to a student or fellow staff member unless you are fully qualified to do so. The Student Life directorate has an Information, Advice and Guidance department with trained specialist advisers. They are the appropriate source for information and advice on visa and immigration matters at the University and students should always be signposted there.
View a full list of key university personnel involved in Home Office related processes.
In addition to the operational teams in the Student Administration and Student Life Directorates (and the compliance team who also exist to provide policy assurance and help ensure a robust approach is taken to compliance), all staff across the University will have a part to play. Having such understanding of the Points Based System and an holistic approach across the university community will ensure that the institution is in the best place possible when the Home Office carries out its audit (announced or unannounced); it also means that staff will feel able to comply with Home Office requests in the most efficient and comprehensive way possible.
What can you do to help safeguard the University’s licence?
- Understand the basics of the Points Based System;
- Understand the responsibilities of our international students;
- Understand the responsibilities of the University as a Tier 4 Sponsor and comply with defined University procedures that have been created to safeguard the Tier 4 Sponsor status;
- Never provide visa immigration advice to a student unless qualified to do so;
- Know where to send international students for help and support;
- Know where to go for further information and support for yourself;
Notify the Student Administration Directorate immediately if:
- there are any concerns regarding the attendance of a sponsored student;
- there are any significant changes to a sponsored student’s circumstances, e.g. a change to immigration status, a change of course or early completion of studies, withdrawal, suspension or interruption of studies;
- there is any information to suggest a sponsored student is in breach of the conditions of his/her immigration permission.
During a compliance visit to the University, Home Office Compliance Officers will more than likely wish to visit Schools and Colleges; they can ask to speak to (or formally interview) any sponsored students or migrant workers, administrative colleagues, academic staff and/or senior managers.
The Home Office has the right to inspect students’ records, personnel files and any other records (such as recruitment and payroll details). They will carry out a detailed and thorough audit, so it is in the interests of all staff to participate proactively in understanding the basics of the Points Based System and ensure accurate records, that can be accessed swiftly, are kept.