For those of you who are planning on going to the UK for clinical rotations, the UKBA has recently made some changes regarding visas for spouses that are important to know. Thank you to AUC Spouses Jamie Grove and Melissa Hollingsworth for providing the following post regarding these changes:
Attention All Spouses
All spouses considering pursuing clinical rotations in the UK should be aware of recent UKBA changes. In the last year, the rules for dependent/spouse visas have changed.
AUC clinicals no longer qualify spouses for visas, because it is not a level 7 program and the program is less than 12 months (http://www.ukba.homeoffice.
The rest of us have had to come in as a tourist for less than 6 months, and attempt to leave and return again in order to stay the full core rotations. Unfortunately, this is not always as simple as just leaving and returning. By trying to leave and come back again, it is obvious you are trying to live in the UK longer than 6 months. (Page 15 – http://www.ukba.homeoffice.
Recently, one spouse was detained and nearly deported after returning from a long trip back to the states. This spouse now has a warning in her passport and on her file and is not able to travel anymore without being deported. Some other spouses have been allowed back in without a warning, however most have decided not to leave the UK anymore due to the risk of being deported. Two main reasons for choosing the UK for clinicals are the practical experience for the students, and the ability to travel around Europe, which is too risky now for spouses as there is no guarantee of being allowed back into the UK. The school is currently unable to help us with this situation, as it is a UKBA issue. There have even been reports of British Nationals being questioned at the border, so it seems that in general the UKBA is just getting tougher about entry.