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Discussion Starter #1
Hello,

I am a student from the UK, I have gained a place on a masters degree at a university in South Africa, starting in January and am due to apply for study visa soon.

However, I am worried my application will be denied due to a 'simple caution' for possession of a controlled substance (which was proven that I did not consume although this is irrelevant) in February of this year. The particulars don't matter but to the high commission I am sure but it was a deeply traumatic start to the year for me, to which I reacted pathetically to. I am a stereotypical geeky student who does not partake in that scene at all, I achieved a first class honours in my degree, and worked four years whilst at university to save up money for this purpose. This has always been my dream...

I am hoping that my 9 months of voluntary work (June 15'-Sept 15', May-Oct 16') in developing countries, conducting scientific research and leading educational outreach programs with local schoolchildren between 8-18 in West Africa, will hopefully give me a fighting chance? I have raised money for charity on a number of occasions also (although I'm unsure this is relevant).

My questions, does anyone have experience of a similar kind with attaining visas? What are anyone's thoughts on my chances of success given my experience? Can character references and a cover letter help my case (or even be submitted with my visa application)? I can obtain four highly beneficial references from officials in organisations, university professors etc. Do i stand a chance??

I have found information detailing that unless I have served prison time (which i certainly have not), I could be okay? and conflicting information from Visa services personnel (although I feel they are biased for trying to secure my funds). As well as on a SA immigration page "you may be deemed rehabilitated if: you submit a sworn affidavit or solemn declaration that you will comply with the relevant acts"

Thanks in advance,
Chris
 

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Have you applied for a UK police clearance?

I wouldn't have thought that you'd get a black mark for a bit of dope for personal use
 

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Discussion Starter #3
It's actually a bit more than Dope unfortunately..

Does anyone know If I can submit character references and a cover letter document with a visa application? Any advice or thought would be appreciated..
 
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