09 August 2022 - New Home Office XML Schema

Following on from UCISA’s work on the Graduate Route Visa implementation, the Home Office has released a new version of the XML Schema for bulk data transfers of student immigration data to and from the Home Office’s Sponsor Management System (SMS).

The schema contains a new variation of the CAS Export XSD, which includes a field showing if a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) has been marked as “Graduated” - I.e., the student is eligible to apply for a Graduate Visa.

This modification was recommended so that institutions could upload the details of students eligible for the graduate visa and then re-export those CASs to check that the upload had been successful. Currently, checking that an upload was successful can only be achieved by manually accessing the SMS and looking for the report against individual CASs.

From 22 August 2022, there will be a new option in the SMS, which will allow institutions to select which version of the schema they use. This was implemented to allow systems vendors and institutions flexibility as to when they adopt the new schema.

Institutions will be able to select the current v2.1.1 schema, which contains the new graduate visa information, or the legacy v1.1.1 schema, which does not.

Martin Dunkin, Co-Chair of the UCISA Immigration Administration Community of Practice, writing on behalf of the organising committee said:

"For the following reasons, we recommend members to adopt the new schema as soon as possible:

  • We currently don’t have an indication of how long the Home Office will continue to support the legacy schema.
  • Now that we have the tools to check if we have successfully notified the Home Office of students eligible for the Graduate Visa, the Home Office may become stricter in their decision-making practice.

Currently, the Home Office routinely contacts institutions, where a student has applied, but we have not reported them as eligible for the Graduate Visa. They are not required to do this under the Rules and could just refuse such applications. This would shift some of the liability for such refusals to institutions. It is, therefore, in our interests to check that we have reported eligible students.”