UK student visa applications are often straightforward and many people choose to prepare their applications independently. However, some students have fairly complex circumstances and it’s worth these students getting professional visa advice and support.
At Student Central we often get approached by students who have dual nationality, extended family, a spouse with pre-settled status, a previous visa rejection (for minor mistakes), or other issues which make the visa application process particularly daunting.
If you are looking for advice on the visa application process, the one thing you should do is ensure that any visa advice you get is provided by an OISC-registered visa advisor. OISC stands for the Office of the Immigrations Services Commissioner, and this is the UK agency that regulates visa advisors.
Anybody giving advice on visas in the UK must be fully trained and registered with the OISC. This means that you can be sure that any advice you receive is current and correct. However, many students get advice from agents overseas (in their home countries) and, whilst sometimes these agents offer free or cheap advice, overseas agents rarely take OISC-approved exams, they are not registered with the OISC and are not always able to provide the best advice if you have complex circumstances. Also, as they are not under the UK’s jurisdiction, they do not have to be regulated and are not liable if the advice they provide is not correct.
Here at Student Central, our visa advisors are all OISC-registered and undergo regular training. They are able to provide advice, not only on the most complex study visa cases but also other visas such as work visas, visas for spouses, as well as permanent residency.
Indeed, we would recommend, even if your visa application is straightforward, that you get advice from regulated visa advisors to ensure that the process goes smoothly. Visa applications can be the most stressful part of the whole study application journey and, if your visa application is rejected, it can have a serious impact on your long-term ability to study, work or settle in another country.