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Topic: Housing/Roommates/Visa Question  (Read 727 times)

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Housing/Roommates/Visa Question
« on: December 30, 2014, 06:30:43 PM »
Hi everyone!  This forum has given me some really helpful information, but I have a (sort of) specific question to ask.

I have been accepted to a university for September 2015.  From what I've gathered on visas, the earliest my visa can be for is 1 month before the start of my term.  I'll be looking to live with roommates, although I don't really know anyone over there (I know people who DO know people there, though).  My question has a couple parts:

1. Is one month enough time to find a flat/flatmates?
2. Should I try to find flatmates before then, and, if so, is there any service or website to help with that?
3. Is it possible for me to enter the country a few days before my visa is valid (basically, as a tourist)?  I only ask because for some reason the flights right before my visa would be valid are significantly cheaper.

Any help you guys can give would be so helpful!
Eileen


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Re: Housing/Roommates/Visa Question
« Reply #1 on: December 30, 2014, 08:39:33 PM »
I have friends who entered the yo prior to a tier 4 being valid as tourists and then went to Paris and re entered once it was. However, the money you'll have to spend to get out of the common travel area (the UK and Republic of Ireland) to be able to activate your visa might be the same as the difference in ticket prices. So it may not be worth your while anyhow to enter early.

As for housemates, check with your university about suggestions for student housing. They likely have some sort of contact suggestions or a student letting department that can help you out. I know mine does. I didn't use them cause I was moving in with my British fiance but I know they are helpful. I have no idea if one month would be enough but i'd lean towards no.
April 11, 2012-Began talking online
June 2012-Officially dating
August 2012-Met in person
Aug 2012-Nov 2012-Tier 4 (General)
Aug 2014-present- Tier 4
Oct 2015-Wedding!!! and spouse visa sometime after that and before the Tier 4 expires


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Re: Housing/Roommates/Visa Question
« Reply #2 on: January 07, 2015, 10:08:51 AM »
I have worked as a student immigration adviser for 25 years, and interestingly it is only ever students from the US who ask about options for coming to the UK before their student visa starts.

The one month lead-in period is specifically designed to allow some flexibility for travel, and to allow some time for finding housing.

While it is technically possible to come to the UK as a General Visitor before the Tier 4 visa kicks in, as advised above it is logistically, financially and legally awkward. The Border Force Officer would need to be satisfied that you are a genuine visitor, coming to the UK for a short visit and leaving again within 6 months, with no intention to study during your visit.  You would then need to leave the UK, and re-enter under your Tier 4 visa in order to start your studies.  You would need to be very clear and mindful of the fact that you were presenting yourself in two totally different immigration categories, each one with its own rules, conditions and requirements.


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Re: Housing/Roommates/Visa Question
« Reply #3 on: January 16, 2015, 08:13:22 PM »
Thank you both for replying!  Your information was really helpful.

Eileen


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