Saturday, 22 January 2011

Fourth year visa problems

My fellow fourth year Canadian colleague is having visa problems. Knowing this PhD is funded for three years, he trustingly and naively requested a visa for three years, and it is now up for renewal, but of course, like most PhDs, the research is not completed in three years, which is why you are registered as a full-time student for four years. Regular readers may remember my Chinese colleague had visa problems here.

So CC spent the hundreds of pounds needed to apply for a renewal. Unfortunately he had misleading or contradictory advice so his application was turned down because he hadn't included bank statements, and was told there is no appeal! How can that be? CC went to the university research school for advice and he is now reapplying, but it's taking him days of effort when he should be writing his thesis, and it's making him very grumpy. I can hear him at the next work bay, '*!' 'whiskey' *%$!'.

Unfortunately, another final year student has similar problems. She should have completed around 2007, but in her fourth year had problems with her flat, and with a baby on the way went back to China. Last October she came back to complete her thesis, and went home for Christmas. Now she can't get back because of visa problems.

It can't be doing the university any good, and it's certainly costing the research school in time, and perhaps money. It looks like a university needs legal experts to lead its non-EU students through the visa application process.

It's a shame because the university has so many students from abroad. I share coffee time with a New Zealander, a Canadian, a Pakistani, as well as EU residents from Germany, Holland and Ireland, and that experience of different cultures is refreshing, an experience I benefit from too.

1 comment:

Mysonabsalom said...

Well, at the current rate, the will be no visa problems in the future because there will be no visas. They are getting rid of Tier 1 this year, so it's only a matter of time, I think.