Applicants looking to apply for Leave to Remain under the Tier 4 Student category will now have to provide an 'integrity number' when booking an appointment at the Public Enquiry Office.
This new process means that before an applicant can book an appointment they must have completed an application form online and paid for it. This is a change from the previous method in which applicants could book an appointment before filling in a hard copy application form.
This can pose many problems for student applicants. One such problem is that the students CAS (Certificate of Acceptance of Studies) will now have to be issued well in advance of the application for leave to remain. This is because the applicant will need to reference this when filling in the form online.
The application will also now need to be paid for in advance of booking an appointment, rather than the usual payment at the time of application. One positive for students is that they should now be prepared well in advance of their appointment and any appointment should in theory be quicker with the payment stage no longer necessary when attending the Public Enquiry Office.
However, such is the nature of student applications and people obtaining their place at a school so close to the start date could mean that many do not get an appointment in time for the start of term as booking at short notice is often difficult.
The 12-digit integrity number that will need to be quoted when booking an appointment can be found on the application cover sheet that you must print once an application has been completed and paid for online.