Client care information

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Nature of Service: The University of Edinburgh International Student Advisory Service offers free, confidential, impartial immigration advice, information and services to registered students for the duration of their studies.

Professional Standards: In order to ensure we work to the highest professional standards, our advisers engage in regular professional training and development. It is the committed policy of the International Office to ensure that our advisers complete and exceed the minimum standard number of CPD hours required as standard by the OISC for professional, regulated advisers.

Regulation of Advice: the provision of immigration advice, information and services by any person is regulated by the Office of Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC). All advisers must work within the procedures of the OISC. We also work within the Code of Ethics established by our professional organisation, the United Kingdom Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA).

  • We define advice as: applying the immigration rules, legal precedents and regulations to an individual’s circumstances.

  • We define information as: providing general facts that are not specific to individual circumstance – for example, directing you to a website or explaining general information about immigration rules.

  • We define services as: providing advice (as detailed above) and assisting you in the preparation of your application to the Home Office.

Who Can Advise: Do not seek immigration advice from other staff or students: they are not designated, trained immigration advisers as defined by the OISC.

  • Our Reception Staff: can provide general information and refer to appropriate information sheets or websites and can arrange an appointment with an adviser.

  • Our Generalist Advisers: are trained and experienced to provide general information and advice on standard Entry Clearance or Leave to Remain applications for Tier 4 (General) visas. Where there are significant complicating factors in your case, you will be referred for specialist advice.

  • Our Specialist Advisers: are trained and experienced to discuss individual circumstances and resolve queries based on how an individual situation relates to the Immigration Rules, immigration case law and legal precedents.

Referrals and Limitations of Service: Our specialism relates to routes connected to studying and academic activity and associated routes as defined by our Terms of Service. This means that due to regulation, we necessarily do not advise on all immigration categories. Where there are significant complicating factors in your case or where your case is beyond the limit of the advice, information or services that we are permitted to provide, we will give you information to help you source external, professional advice.

Records of Advice: The OISC may inspect the service and examine client files at any time. It is for this reason that we take a note of the advice we give as well as providing clients with a written summary of our advice.

Limitations of Responsibility: The Home Office and associated agencies are responsible for the process and procedure of the visa application system in the UK. The University has no authority over these agencies in relation to immigration applications, decisions, process or regulations.

Data Protection: All personal and contact information held in connection to any individual case will be held on a secure computer system maintained in accordance with the provisions of the Data Protection Act 1998.

Referrals: The Immigration Service may decide it is in your best interest to contact an organisation such as the Home Office or the UK Council for International Student Affairs for further advice or guidance about your case.

Complaints: Details of the complaints procedure for students can be found on the Academic Services website or by searching: “student complaints procedure”. Please direct your initial complaint in writing (by letter or email), to: Euan Fergusson, Head of International Student Advisory Service. It will be fully investigated in line with the process and timescale set out in the University Complaints Procedure.

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