International students barred from country after King’s visa cock up

Roar News / Johnny Tam

By Geena Molinaro and Bradley Albrow

SEVERAL international students have been forced to arrive at King’s weeks after the start of their courses, after the College failed to provide them with basic visa information. 

Current students Karishma Yangandul and Hiba Shamsi missed Freshers’ week, and many of their first lectures because King’s did not send them a confirmation of studies number, known as a CAS number.

Without it, they were left unable to enter the country to begin their courses on time, and subsequently had to cancel and rebook flights at their own cost.

According to Hiba, “no one helped me on the phone or by email”. They said sorry for the delay but gave no explanation, and on missing Freshers’ said that: “I was so excited to attend them and I didn’t get to go to a single one”.

When approached for comment, a representative for King’s stated: “The Student Advice Service [can] assist students in many ways to resolve issues with obtaining a visa”, and that they also provide “a specialist international student adviser who can check supporting documents or advise on reasons for refused applications”.

But Karishma claims that she repeatedly called, emailed, and left messages for the King’s Admission Office throughout the summer, and that “I just wasn’t getting any response until I called the English Department and the King’s US Office and asked them to get through to [the] Admissions Office on my behalf”.

The College’s own figures estimate that 2.5% of international students will have visa issues, and this is largely down to problems with their CAS number.

For those in a similar situation to Karishma and Hiba, the Student Advice Service runs three, separate, half day orientation sessions during the late enrolment weeks, specifically for international students who have arrived late in the UK.