Here’s a bit of important information for anyone wanting to be a student in the UK who is not an EU citizen: Once you are here, they won’t forget about you.
My tutors and lecturers all email me by my personal email. For this reason, I check my school email very very very very rarely. Two weeks ago, I checked it and saw that I was supposed to come into an office with my passport for a “face-to-face visa check,” which is mandatory each trimester for the duration of my degree. Same thing happened last trimester, and I missed window of opportunity.
Last trimester, I emailed them and apologized for missing it and arranged for another date to come in. Which email I missed and missed the date again…then again. Finally about two weeks before the end of the trimester I appeared in the appropriate office for my check.
This time when I saw that I missed the window and had already received multiple emails saying “It’s okay, come in this week!” and “Yeah, let’s try again this week!” as I kept missing the emails. Since last time it wasn’t a big deal to just come in when I actually remembered, I just thought to myself, “okay, bring your passport to school with you next time!” But since I only have class on Thursday and Friday, and don’t have terribly many other reasons to visit campus…I forgot about the passport problem by the next time I had class.
But this week, I remembered! Today I had to go to campus for an advice meeting about my CV (résumé). And I stuck my passport in my bag. After my short meeting, I check my student email to remind which office number I needed to visit. There I found a new email, which stated that because I had missed all my checks and they had received no word from me, the university would now begin the “disengage process.”
Basically that means I’d be considered an illegal immigrant (by my understanding). The reason for these checks is that they want to make sure that they don’t have “students” entering the country and then disappearing.
A very small part of me thought…hey, what if I just disappeared? What if I just got work as a sheep shearer or something and never left Britain again? What if I just fell off the grid….??
I won’t lie; I was extremely tempted. However, my conclusion was that I don’t have the martial arts skills to fight off the feds coming after me. Also there are lots of people that I care about living in other countries…so it’s just easy if I can come and go as I please.