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Advice and Counselling Service

Visa problems and errors

Sometimes things can go wrong with a Student immigration application. The best way to prevent problems is to submit a high-quality application.  

The Queen Mary Advice and Counselling Service provides resources to help you prepare your application including.:  

  • Comprehensive written guidance 
  • A guide to completing the online Student application form 
  • Webinars 

To access all of these resources, please read our guidance. 

The rest of this page explains what to do if there are problems or errors with your application.

Start and end date errors

The Home Office will usually grant additional time before and after your studies. How much additional time you receive will depend on the length of your studies, using the dates on the CAS. To see how long you should be granted, please check the table on our web page 'Is your immigration permission correct?'  

Work and other conditions

Your passport sticker or Biometric Residence Permit shows your conditions about working and public funds. It is rare for these conditions to be wrong, but if they are, errors can be corrected. 

Work - Please check our detailed guidance about the work you are permitted to undertake.

Public funds – If you have Student or Visitor immigration permission, you will correctly have the condition preventing you from claiming Public Funds, which means a specific list of welfare benefits. 

Digital Immigration Status

You should be able to view and prove your Immigration Status online (whether you have been issued with a BRP or not).

If there is an error on your status or if you are unable to access your digital immigration status, you will need to contact UKVI.

Go to the UKVI website

  • Step 1. Choose whether you applied for your most recent visa inside or outside the UK
  • Step 2. Choose the option viewing and proving your immigration status
    • Step 2a. If you chose "Inside the UK" in step 1, you will be asked "What is your question about?" 
      • If the issue is that you are having problems accessing your digital status, choose that option
      • If the issue is an error on your digital status, choose "something else"
  • Step 3. You will then be given the phone number 0300 790 6268 with a number option to choose (option 2 or 3)

Note: Calls to the UK Visas and Immigration contact centre are charged and there are limited opening times.

In your conversation with UKVI, make sure that you explain clearly what the issue is.

If the issue is an error, explain why you think it is an error. Please refer to the There is an error with my Student Immigration Permission pages of our website.

Your CAS had an incorrect date

UKVI will not normally correct a date if the error was on the CAS. Instead, you will need to apply for a new CAS and make a new immigration application for the correct length of immigration permission. 

Sticker (vignette) in your passport has an error with a date or conditions

90 day passport sticker  

Contact the visa application centre and ask them to correct the error before you travel. 

If you have already travelled to the UK using this passport sticker, and you will be collecting your Biometric Residence Permit, there may be no need to correct an error on your passport sticker.  

Passport sticker covering the full length of your course 

If your passport sticker covers your full programme, and there is an error, you should contact your Visa Application Centre and request a correction before you travel to the UK.  

If you notice the error after you have arrived in the UK, you must report it by emailing the Home Office. You must attach a scanned copy of the sticker in your passport. The Home Office aims to respond within five working days to confirm whether an error has been made. If there has been an error, you will be emailed instructions on where to send your passport for this to be corrected. Contact us if your immigration permission is close to expiring when you notice the error or you are having difficulties in getting the error corrected.

Biometric Residence Permit has an error with date or conditions

After you receive your BRP, you must report any errors through the UK Government website within 10 working days of receiving the permit.

If you notice the error more than 10 working days after receiving your BRP card, you should still report this error. We have seen that students have still been able to correct the error even if more than 10 days have passed.  

If you applied for your Student Visa outside the UK:

If you applied for your Student Visa outside the UK, you should report the error through the UK Government website Report a Problem with your BRP

The online form will ask you if you applied in the UK or outside the UK for your student visa.

If the error is regarding the end date of your BRP,  you should choose the option "Length of Stay" and in the free text box explain concisely why you think there is an error and what the correction should be. Please contact us for advice on this.

If you applied for your Student Visa in the UK:

The Gov.UK website states that you should apply for Administrative Review if you applied in the UK and the error is on the length of your visa.

It is very important to note that the deadline for requesting Administrative Review for errors on your BRP where you made your visa application in the UK, is within 14 days of receiving your decision notification.

There is a cost of £80, although in most cases this will be refunded if the reviewer agrees there is an error and the Home Office agree to correct your BRP.

We understand that in practice the Home Office are also considering error reports for BRP errors where the visa application was made in the UK without the need for a request for Administrative Review, and we would advise that you submit an error report and correction request immediately (following the same process for BRP errors where the visa application was made outside the UK).

However, if you have not received a positive response by the Administrative Review deadline, we would advise that you submit a request for Administrative Review within the 14 day time limit. 

My studies start soon, but I cannot travel to the UK in time. What should I do?

Your CAS statement includes a latest date you can enrol or resume your studies at Queen Mary. Check the specific date on your CAS for your latest date to enrol. Sometimes students are unable to travel to the UK in time to meet this deadline. For example, you might not get your immigration permission in time if you apply shortly before you need to travel and there is a delay in processing your application. You might also be delayed for illness, personal difficulties or issues in your home country, which are beyond your control. 

If you cannot arrive at Queen Mary in time, you need to contact your academic school before travelling, to see if they will make an exception to allow you to arrive late. By enrolling late, you will miss important induction sessions, module selection meetings, and teaching, and you will need to arrange with your school to catch up. If they will allow you to arrive late, your academic school will need to liaise with Admissions to ensure that a sponsor note is added to your CAS, stating that your deadline has been extended. Without this, you may encounter problems trying to enter the UK. 

While you are waiting to travel to the UK, ask your academic school if you can have access to the induction and academic information that you are missing, so that you can try to not fall too far behind. You can also use the information on our website to prepare for arriving in the UK, for example information about arriving in the UK, accessing healthcare, opening a bank account, managing your money and working. 

Please note missing essential teaching and induction activities due to joining your programme late cannot be used as grounds for an ‘Extenuating Circumstances claim if you encounter academic problems later in your studies.  

If your school will not allow late arrival, you can ask whether your place can be deferred until the next academic year.  

If you are delayed and unable to attend the Welcome Programme, see the late arrivals section on Queen Mary's New Students website.

Warning: If your academic school will not allow you to enrol late, do not travel to the UK. You will not be allowed to enrol, and it is likely you will not be allowed to enter the UK using your Student immigration permission. The University will notify the Home Office that you cannot enrol. 

If the University notifies the Home Office that you will not be allowed to enrol, the following will happen: 

  • If your immigration application has not yet been decided, it will be refused, as your CAS will no longer be valid. You may wish to contact the visa application centre and withdraw your application before it is refused so that you do not have a refusal as part of your UK immigration history. 
  • If your immigration application has been granted, but you have not yet travelled to the UK, your immigration permission is likely to be cancelled. If you try to travel to the UK, you are likely to be refused entry. 
  • If your immigration application has been granted and you are already in the UK, the Home Office should curtail (cut short) your immigration permission. You should leave the UK before the new visa expiry date. 

Applying for a replacement entry clearance sticker

Visa vignettes are currently being issued for 90 days. If you are unable to travel within the 90 day validity, then you can apply to replace your visa vignette. The cost to replace your vignette is £154. Select 'transfer your visa to a new passport online if you’re outside the UK (it costs £154)' and select ‘To transfer or replace your visa (vignette).’ 

You do not need to apply for Student immigration permission again, just to replace the vignette. You do not need to provide proof of your finances with your vignette transfer application. The guidance says: 'If required, you may ask for supporting documentation to establish that their circumstances have not changed.' Whilst it is possible that the Home Office could contact you to confirm that you still have sufficient funds to live in the UK, we are not aware of any students being asked to provide this as part of a vignette replacement application. 

If you are resident in a relevant country, you will need to provide a valid TB test with your replacement vignette application. Your TB test is valid for six months, if this has already expired, you can take another test at an approved clinic. You do not need to provide the other supporting documents.  

You do not have to apply to replace your 90 day vignette before your current vignette expires. This is because your full permission is on the letter that you received when your passport was returned.  

When you apply to replace your vignette, you can include a print out of your CAS showing your latest date to arrive in the UK. If you need your CAS updating to show an updated latest date to arrive, email: if you have already started your course. If your latest date to enrol has been extended, you can print and include the email notifying you of this.  

I've got an email/letter about missing documents/information. What should I do?

You may be asked to upload further documents as part of the Student immigration application process. Please follow the instructions on the email from the Home Office. 

If you do not have the documents requested, it is important to get advice from the Advice and Counselling Service or another regulated immigration adviser before taking further action as this will normally be your last opportunity to correct any errors or problems.

I've submitted my Student immigration application in the UK, but need to travel.

If you travel before a decision has been made on your Student immigration application, then this will withdraw your pending application.  

If you need to travel urgently, for example for the funeral of a relative, then you can contact Advice and Counselling with evidence of your situation, and we can try to chase up a decision for you. However please note that UKVI do not guarantee that they will be able to process urgent applications more quickly. 

If you cannot wait for UKVI to process your application, you can ask to withdraw it. This means that UKVI will return your application to you unprocessed. If your immigration permission has already expired, you will be considered an overstayer from the date that you made your online request to withdraw your application, not from the date when your immigration permission expired. Information about how to withdraw your immigration application, and refund eligibility is on the UK Government website. 

If you decide to withdraw your application for emergency travel, you will need to apply for entry clearance from your home country before returning to the UK.  

I am waiting to receive my BRP but I need to travel soon, what can I do?

You are advised not to travel outside the UK without your BRP. The BRP is proof of your immigration permission and you are normally required to show this in order to re-enter the UK. 

If you need to travel outside the UK urgently, you may leave the UK without your BRP card, but would normally be required to apply for a replacement visa from your home country before returning, and then a BRP replacement when you arrive back in the UK. Please follow the instructions on our page: My BRP is lost or stolen outside the UK.

If however your 90-day vignette is endorsed as ‘multiple-entry’, you will be permitted to leave and re-enter the UK within the 90-day validity of the vignette, without having to apply for a single entry replacement BRP.

I applied, but I had not held the required funds for 28 days before I applied

We have separate guidance about the funds requirement for a Student immigration application. Please check the guidance to see whether you need to evidence your funds, and if so, how much money you need to show. You must have held the required money in your bank account for a consecutive 28-day period BEFORE you submit your online immigration application. Although you are allowed 45 working days to attend your appointment if you are in the UK, UKVI will not count any money held after the date you submitted your online immigration application. 

If you need to show funds, but did not evidence sufficient funds for 28 days before you applied, please contact an Adviser at the Advice and Counselling Service urgently. 

Overstaying your immigration permission in the UK

If you stay in the UK after your visa expires without making a valid visa application in an appropriate category, you become an ‘overstayer’ and are considered to be in the UK without a legal status. This can have very serious consequences. 

  • You do not have immigration permission that allows you to study, so the university will set your student status to interrupt. 
  • The University will not issue you with a CAS to make a further immigration application in the UK.  
  • If you overstay for more than 30 days, any new immigration application you make to return to the UK will normally be automatically refused for 12 months from the day you leave the UK. If you are unsure when your period of overstay began, please contact an Adviser. 
  • You are in the UK illegally and if the police become aware of your situation, you could be detained, imprisoned and/or fined. 
  • You no longer have the right to undertake any type of work (paid or unpaid) 
  • You would have to pay for non-emergency NHS hospital treatment 
  • You would need to declare your overstay in any future UK immigration application. A period of overstaying could cause problems with future immigration applications for the UK and other countries. 
  • You may be required to report to an Immigration Office every two weeks 
  • You will not have a right to rent, which means that you will not be able to enter into a new tenancy agreement with certain types of landlords 
  • Anyone who is in the UK as your Dependant will be in the same position regarding all of the above.  

​It is important to understand that there is no “grace period” for overstaying. The period of overstay would begin from the day after your visa expires.  

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