Immigration and Visas

Advice and support

two people at computer

Immigration advice services

University advisers are able to provide immigration advice and guidance to our students about the UK’s Student and Standard Visitor Immigration Rules relating to studying at Essex.

An adviser can only provide advice within their level of competency as outlined by the OISC (Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner). We hope you will find all the information you require within these international student pages and our Student Directory. If you can’t find what you are looking for or need further guidance you will be able to follow the links within the pages to relevant team. Advice is offered by specialists within the University’s Admissions and International Services teams and the Student’s Union SU Advice service, the team you contact will depend on the nature of your enquiry and your student status.

If your enquiry is about another category of the UK’s Immigration Rules or it is beyond our level of competency, you will need to seek advice from elsewhere. Some organisations offer advice to students free of charge but others will charge a fee for their services, please check what their charges are likely to be before instructing them to act on your behalf.

External immigration advice services

Free advice services

The UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA)

UKCISA is a charitable organisation specialising in UK student immigration law and publish information, advice and guidance online.

UKCISA also offer free telephone advice to students and institutions, it is an extremely busy advice line so you may need to redial the number several times before you get through. We recommend reading the UKCISA website first as the answer to your enquiry may be found there.

  • Telephone: +4420 7788 9214, usually open 1pm - 4pm, Monday to Friday

Citizens Advice Bureau

The Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) offer free advice on many issues and offices can be found in most towns. However, many CAB offices are unable to offer immigration advice. Please check their websites for details of services in your area. The CAB also offers some online information about immigration and finding an immigration adviser.

Regulated immigration advisers

You should check that any adviser you use is regulated to provide immigration advice in the UK. You can search for a regulated immigration adviser via:

We are unable to recommend an immigration lawyer to you, however, the services below are local to the University of Essex.

It may be possible to negotiate a fixed fee for certain advice/services. Please check how much you're likely to pay when you contact them.

Colchester:

Fisher Jones Greenwood

Immigration Legal Services

Loughton and Southend:

We are not aware of any immigration solicitors in Southend or Loughton.

Advice about seeking asylum in the UK

Advice on seeking Asylum in the UK is highly regulated and can only be given by registered advisers who are competent to do so. University advisers are only competent to provide advice relating to the UK’s Student Immigration Rules.

Visit the Refugee Council website for guidance and find out how to get support.

You can find out more about seeking asylum and finding an immigration adviser on the government website.

UKCISA have some guidance on their website for students from Afghanistan.

Translation services

If you need documents translated into English for your application you must ensure the translation meets the Home Office requirements, as outlined in the Immigration Rules and Guidance. There are many organisations that offer translation services, the following have been recommended to us by students in the past and cover all languages:

Regulation of immigration advice and services

The Office of the Information Services Commissioner (OISC) provides information on the regulation of immigration advice services in the UK and finding a registered immigration specialist. The OISC is responsible for regulating immigration advisers by ensuring they are fit and competent and act in the best interests of their clients.