Thanks for your question.
Why is it at the Home Office? Have you applied for a further visa?
Just to be clear. You have sent your application form for a Tier 1 visa to the UKBA together with your supporting documents, correct?
Has receipt of the application been acknowledged by the UKBA?
Did you send them by registered post?
Please state the date on which they were sent.
The UKBA will write to you acknowledging receipt of your application and confirming that they will be in touch for further information or with a decision in your matter.
The UKBA will do this normally within two weeks of receipt, but it is not uncommon for them to overrun. I should have thought you will receive it by the 31st January but you should give them a telephone call to see if you can get a oral confirmation that it is in hand and that they will write to you with an acknowledgment shortly. Make sure you let them know that it was couriered and you have a documentary receipt from UPA so there is not question that it was received in time before your visa expires. Note the time of the telephone conversation, what was said and the name of the person you spoke to.
The position with respect to the expiry of your visa is that if your visa is dated to expire whilst your application is being considered then you will be granted further leave to remain until a decision is reached in your case. Provided the application is being considered by the UKBA you have a right to remain in the UK regardless of the fact that you student visa expires on 31st January. If they reject your application then you will no longer have leave to remain and will have to leave the country once your documents are returned to you unless you appeal their decision to an immigration tribunal.
The rejection letter will give you details on how you can appeal. If you appeal then your will again have further leave to remain until such time as a decision has been reached at the tribunal after you have had your hearing. Practically this can take 2-3 months. Once the appeal has been heard then you will either be granted you tier one visa or you will be given 28 days to return home. Technically you will have leave to remain until this has expired.
You should keep all your correspondence in a file to prove your application and legality of you stay during the course of the application.
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