Expat Forum For People Moving Overseas And Living Abroad banner

Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 8 of 8 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
22 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hello! I'm currently in the process of getting the CAS number for my Masters Program at the University of Sheffield. I'm gathering up everything I can get together for my visa before I can actually apply (My money won't be in my account for 28 days until July 15th so I have a couple weeks to wait.)

I've been working with an agent (Study Across the Pond) and I've sent her an email regarding my questions but they say it never hurts to get more advice and opinions so I've decided to turn to the brilliant folks here for their input as well.

I've been dating my British boyfriend for one year publicly and 3 years total. He lives and works in the city I will be studying in. However, my desire to get a masters in the UK started before we met and I do truly intend to work hard to get a masters degree that I feel like would help me in a career and have no intentions to overstay my visa if I got it. However, I'm afraid this will cause problems with my acceptance into the country.

So that issue and a few other questions have me nervous. I'll post the email I sent to my agent here.

--start email--

Hello!

I've gone over the guidance and sample application and did the webinar and it was all very helpful! However, I do have a few questions that I've not been able to answer and I was hoping you'd have answers.

I noticed a part where it details my last 5 trips to the UK. My last two are easy. However, during the summer I did a 4 week study abroad with 1 week of general visiting on the end and 2 weeks of general visiting on the beginning.

Would this be considered one trip or three?

The whole trip was from June 24th-August 15th 2015. However. I stayed from June 24th-July 16th.

UK June 24th-July 16th

Paris July 16th-19th

UK July 19th- July 31st

Amsterdam July 31st-August 2nd

UK August 2nd-August 15th

Then I flew back to the US.

So would that trip be broken up?

Also, will frequent visits be considered a red flag? I spent a week in the UK in March and two weeks in December. As well as a week last March.

Second, if I have a good idea of where I'll be staying but nothing on paper. Should I put the address I believe I'll be staying at or the standard university address?

Third, would my frequent visits be a thing what would slow my process down and be advised against for priority service?

Fourth, It asks about is this my first passport. I had one as a minor and am currently using my first passport as an adult. So would I answer yes or no to that question?

Fifth, It asks if I've ever voluntarily elected to leave the UK. Does that mean just general leaving from a trip or something with immigration?

Sixth, Marital status. Would I put single or is there an option for in a relationship but not married?

Seventh, Would my references be considered as assessment by other means? (Other examples include a portfolio, film reel, or audition but references was also mentioned)

Eighth, in the additional information. Would it be wise of me to mention that I am in a relationship with a UK citizen? It's not the driving force behind my decision to study as I've wanted to do my masters in the UK since before we were together. But I don't want to seem like I'm hiding anything.

Will this be something that would raise a red flag on my visa?

Sorry for all the questions but I really want to make sure I get this all right.

Thanks Again,
(Name omitted)

--End email--

Any and all help I could get with these questions and concerns would be highly appreciated! Thank you so much to anyone who replies. This is all overwhelming and a lot to juggle :juggle:

Hopefully it all goes smoothly though, I can't wait to start work on my degree in the UK! :plane:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
26 Posts
Are you me?? We're eerily similar. Successfully applied for my student visa two years ago, so I can tell you what I did in reference to each of your questions! Obviously each application is different, so wouldn't want this advice to be taken as absolute, but whatever I did must have worked!

1. I was in the exact same situation, and when applying for my masters student visa, I listed each of those as separate trips. Didn't present any problems, no questions asked about my frequent visits to the UK, and my application didn't seem to be delayed. Obviously I don't know if it made them read over my application more carefully, but everything was processed swiftly.

2. I put down the general university address, as I had yet to be allocated accommodation. No problems there either.

3. Were your travels all as a tourist or on the correct relevant visas? If so, and you have had no trouble entering or exiting the UK, you'll be fine. I paid for whatever priority service was available to me at the time (two years ago) having travelled extensively between the US and UK the previous year.

4. I answered that it was not my first passport, and put the details of my most recent one before the current.

5. 99.99% sure this refers to being asked to leave officially, not just leaving after a trip.

6. Single if you're not married.

7. What references are you referring to? Don't remember the application exactly so remind me which question you're on and I can tell you what I did.

8. Nope, don't bother mentioning it. You're going as a student, and that's all that is needed!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
It's nice to hear from someone who's been in such a similar situation! Reading your answers have definitely helped put me at ease.

My response to 1, were your visits involving study abroad as well? If so how did you list them in your reason for visiting?

2) Thank you! This is probably the best route for me as well since my names on no paperwork to live anywhere.

3) It's all been either general travel, or study through an american school with other americans. I was only there for 4 weeks of study on 2 different occasions and it was with American professors and the grades were given by an american school. No visas were required.

4) So I need to find my old passport? Adding that to the to-do list!

5) That's what I'm figuring as well.

6) Fantastic!

7) Like references from professors, letters saying they recommended me and why.

8) Okay! Was hoping this would be the best option.

Thank you so much for your help! :D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
26 Posts
I wasn't on a study abroad specifically, no, but travelled between the US and UK regularly for study/holiday over the course of 6 years. So had lots of in's and out's of the country, breaking up trips etc. So I'm fairly confident if you listed your trips as separate ones (i.e. following the stamps in your passport), you should be fine.

Were no visas required for your study abroad because it was less than 6 months? My inclination would be to write "studying abroad" or some variation on that for your reason of travel, just be honest :)

Are you referring to a question on the application like "Have you been assessed by the sponsor by other means, for example references or a portfolio of artwork?" If so, you should answer "no" if you just applied with a normal application letter and a few letters from professors. It ought to say specifically on your CAS statement if you have been assessed by these "other means", as well.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
It really does sound like we were in very similar situations! I'll do what you did with the trips then. Because the gaps will be filled when I tell of my other trips in the section below it! :)

Also, no visa was needed and there was no problem other than the occasional funny look and extra questions. Just a letter from the school I was with saying how long I was there for and that I was with an American program, as well as a student ID.

Also, I believe it was just an average application so I would put no in this category.

Thank you again so much! I'm curious, how long did your visa take to process? I've heard everything from 2-6 weeks and the 6 end of that spectrum makes me nervous...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
26 Posts
My visa took 1.5 weeks. I know I paid for super speedy postage and priority service, and lived quite near NYC where it was processed, so that probably expedited the whole thing.

Since I applied there have been a few changes to the application process, off the top of my head, the IHS charge and BRP card thing-ys, so not sure how the processing times have been affected.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Is the postage separate from the priority service charge? Because I want to do everything I can to make the process as streamlined and quick as feasibly possible. I live in Kentucky so it may be longer (Though I'm going to be right in New York City for like 5 days shortly after I can apply! Talk about weird timing...)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
26 Posts
The process for paying for priority has changed since my student visa, unfortunately! At that time I paid for postage myself, just at Fedex.

However I did just get a fiancee visa, and bought priority through the VFS User Pay Services website. You had to select postage on top of the priority service, so I assume it's the same process for Tier 4 visas (albeit a different priority package).

Be sure to be careful on that VFS website, as well, because there are SO many different priority packages they offer for different visas. It seems there are two different ones just for the Tier 4 visa as well, so make sure to read all the fine print to see what they include!
 
1 - 8 of 8 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top