The provision of immigration advice is regulated in the UK by the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC). The International Student Team's visa advisers are the only designated members of staff at the University authorised to provide immigration advice and services to students. The Visa Advice Service wepages outline the range of Tier 4 and related areas the Service can advise on.
The International Student Team provides advice in good faith based on the information we have about your situation. We endeavour to ensure that the advice is accurate at the time it was given. However, this advice is subject to change. We cannot accept responsibility for any errors or omissions, for consequences arising from the use of the advice, nor for decisions made by government agencies.
Written records of all immigration advice provided by the the Visa Advice Service must be kept. If you attend an appointment, the adviser will make written notes on your enquiry and the advice they give you. This record will be sent to you via email after your appointment and also stored electronically on our secure system.
Once you have received the record, we will assume that you agree that the content is an accurate reflection of the appointment unless you contact the team within three working days of receipt to advise otherwise.
Data Protection and Confidentiality
The International Student Team operates in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998, the act aims to ensure that personal information and data is used in a way that is fair to individuals and protects their rights.
You have the right to confidentiality when you use the Visa Advice Service. This means that any information received from or about you will not be disclosed to others outside the University. The only exceptions to this are:
i. Where you have given your consent to disclose information or data;
ii. If you or others are in immediate physical danger; and
iii. If the provision of such information is required by the law
The Visa Advice Service may decide it is in your best interest that we contact an organisation such as the Home Office (UKVI) or UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) for further advice, or opinions, about your case. Whenever possible we will advise you if we intend to do this. However, this may not always be practical and we would expect that by contacting our service, you are allowing our advisers to resolve your queries in the best possible manner.
Please be aware that in order to maintain confidentiality our advisers are only able to discuss immigration issues with the student concerned. We cannot, for instance, discuss a student’s situation with a parent, legal guardian or friend, unless the student has given us permission to do so in writing.
Freedom of Information Act 2000 (“FOIA”)
The University of Cambridge is defined as a public body under the FOIA and is therefore subject to comply with the FOIA.
The Regulation of Immigration Advice and the UKCISA Code of Ethics
The OISC is responsible for ensuring that all immigration advisers fulfil the requirements of good practice. The University visa advisers abide by the OISC Code of Standards and Rules.
The University is also a member of the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) and operates in accordance with the UKCISA Code of Ethics for Advisers.
Only the designated International Student Team is qualified and authorised to give immigration advice at the University. Where the level of immigration advice required is beyond our mandate, we will inform you and ask you to contact appropriately qualified immigration professionals, legal professionals or UKCISA.
Conflict of Interest
An advisor must not act where there is a real or potential conflict of interest between them and the client. An advisor must explain fully and clearly to the client any circumstances in which they might have any personal interest or advantage in acting for them and it may be necessary in these cases to refer your case elsewhere.
The International Student Advisers will not discriminate on the basis of race, gender, age, nationality, faith, sexual orientation, physical ability, or any other relevant consideration. We aim to provide an equal service to all students without prejudice or bias.
An advisor must not advise a client if it requires them to act beyond their authorisation. If we find ourselves in this position, we will inform you immediately in writing and explain the reasons why we are unable to assist you and refer your matter to appropriately qualified immigration professionals.
If it is in your best interest, our advisers will withdraw from a case. If it is necessary to withdraw, we will inform you in writing and if possible, we will refer you to seek advice from appropriately qualified professionals.
Advice provided in relation to Tier 4 compliance follows the same principles of service. The delivery of immigration compliance is led by Maria Wylie.
Feedback, comments and complaints
We welcome feedback and would appreciate suggestions on how we might improve the service we provide. We are happy to receive comments by email, or in person.
If you have a complaint regarding our service, please let us know and we will do our best to resolve the matter as soon as possible.
If you are still not satisfied, the next step would be to put your complaint in writing to Head of the International Student Team who will provide an initial response within seven days of receipt.
You can also make a complaint at any time to the OISC through their website.