Visa fraud: students be aware

Students from countries outside of the U.K. and European Union must have a valid visa to study in the U.K. for all programmes over 6-months in duration.

In order to apply for and receive a visa schools issue international students with a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies letter (also known as a CAS letter) up to three-months before their programme start date and once they have satisfied their admissions requirements, including gaining required grades, appointing a suitable guardian, paying the necessary fees and completing all documentation.

The visa application process is completed online and in your home country. This includes all fees being paid and all conditions being met before departing the home country to go to the U.K. Once you have your visa and you are on your way to the UK, you shouldn’t hear from the UKVI again.

Recently, however, the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) department and the Home Office have become aware of international students being targeted by fraudsters when they arrive in the UK.

This includes students being told there is a serious problem with their visa, demanding them to pay fees or fines and even asking them to purchase gift cards and vouchers.

Give fraudsters the boot, not your personal details!

If you are called by someone claiming to be from the Home Office, demanding anything, even if the call seems genuine, DO NOT:

  • engage with them
  • give any personal details
  • give any financial information or card numbers

If you do receive a call or have already been contacted please DO:

  • report it to your school immediately via your guardian or housemaster/housemistress so that they can report it to the relevant authorities.

Be advised, it is without exception:

  • students will not be contacted by the UKVI asking for any visa fees or fines. 
  • If there is an issue with a students’ visa the Home Office will contact the school directly.

If you have any concerns or questions about your visa please speak to your Welfare Officer or your Housemaster/mistress.