Implications of changes to your studies
There are strict rules governing you when you are in the UK on a Tier 4 Student visa. Changing your study in some way may have implications on your visa and you need to be aware of the them before you make a decision that may have a big impact on you.
Please use the following information as a guide, but come and see an adviser for advice relating to your personal situation.
Transferring to a new course at Loughborough
It may be possible to change courses at Loughborough University. However, there may be academic considerations, and the department will need to take into account any Tier 4 requirements, such as academic progression and the time limits on specific levels of study, which may prevent this from being possible. If you applied for your Tier 4 immigration permission on or after 6 April 2013, then you may not be able to undertake study at a lower level.
- The first step to take when you are considering changing course is to talk to your personal tutor in the department you are currently in, or another member of academic staff, and discuss your reason with them.
- If you still want to change course, you will then need to contact the new department you want to move to, and ask if they will be willing to take you.
- We would also advise you to make an appointment to speak to one of our advisers for more information on the implications on your visa.
You then need to take the following into consideration:
- Academic Registry will have to notify the Home Office of the change
- You may need ATAS approval for the new course- find out if this is the case from the new department
- If your new course is shorter than the course for which your current Tier 4 immigration permission was granted, you will need to inform the Home Office by emailing email@example.com.
- If your new course is longer than the course for which your current Tier 4 immigration permission was granted, you will need to apply for further Tier 4 immigration permission. You can make this application at any time before your current immigration permission expires, but the Home Office advises that you make it as soon as possible.
Leave of Absence (LOA)
This is when you take time out of your course. It allows you to return at the start of the next academic year or the second semester in the next academic year if you have successfully completed semester one. It must be agreed by your Department (personal tutor or another academic) and approved by Academic Registry. Complete the relevant form: RG1011A.
Things to consider before taking a LOA:
- Could your problem be resolved by talking to your personal tutor or an adviser in confidence?
- Would you benefit from talking to a University Counsellor in confidence?
- When you are studying on a Tier 4 visa, Academic Registry will have to report this LOA to the Home Office who may curtail your leave to remain in the UK.
- You will have to return to your home country during this period.
- There is a cap on the amount of time you can study in the UK, this relates to the level of qualification you are studying. See the UKCISA website for full details.
Please make an appointment to see an adviser before deciding on taking a leave of absence.
You need to consider what to do about your accommodation when taking a LOA:
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You can transfer to a new institution but you must make a full Tier 4 immigration application before you start the new course.
- If your new course is with a Highly Trusted Sponsor, you can start the new course before you receive a decision from the Home Office .
- If your new college or university is not a Highly Trusted Sponsor, you cannot start the new course until the Home Office has given you new immigration permission to study at the new institution.
In any event, it is worth discussing this decision with your personal tutor or another academic in your department.
As when taking a Leave of Absence, you will also need to consider your accommodation, and the cap on length of study.