Student Visa Responsibilities

On 5 October 2020 UKVI introduced the Student visa route which replaced Tier 4. The information below applies equally to Student visa holders as well as those with Tier 4 permission granted prior to 5 October 2020, any reference to ‘Student’ is to be construed accordingly.

The Student visa route places numerous responsibilities on students and the University, please ensure you are aware and comply with these throughout your studies.

Both students and the University must comply with  UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) requirements under the Points Based System. 

If you hold immigration permission as a Student, failure to comply or changes to your studies can result in you being reported to UKVI which could lead to your immigration permission being cancelled. Failure to comply with visa requirements could also prevent studies or lead to the University taking disciplinary action. 

To retain current students and register international students in the future, the University also has to comply with the terms of its sponsor licence which require it to support immigration control. 

The following is a summary of important responsibilities set out within policy guidance on students and to sponsors.

Responsibilities of Student visa holders:

Your Responsibilities

As a student your responsibilities include:

  • Providing the University with a copy of your passport and visa or Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) and informing the University of any changes. New students will be required to show their passport and immigration permission to register (students who are waiting for a decision on an ‘in time’ visa extension application can register with proof of having applied). Whenever you subsequently obtain a new or replacement passport, or a new or replacement visa, BRP or digital status you must show this to Student Records and Operations, the Doctoral College Office or London Student Services as appropriate. 
  • Keeping the University informed of your UK contact details (i.e. address and telephone numbers). You will be asked for up-to-date contact details whenever you re-register. You must let the University know of any subsequent changes as and when they occur by logging into the Student Self-Service portal. 
  • Ensuring you register for your programme on time each academic year. If you anticipate you will be late for registration, e.g. due to flight or visa delay, you must contact the University to confirm whether you will be accepted late before travelling to the UK.
  • Studying the programme for which you have been given immigration permission. It is important that you attend lectures, seminars, tutorials, assessments etc and submit coursework as required. You must engage with the University’s processes to record your attendance accurately (Digital Registers or attending PhD Supervision meetings) and inform your department of any temporary absence for example due to illness.
  • Informing the University if you intend to defer or suspend your studies (i.e. take leave of absence) or withdraw from your programme.
  • If you hold Student permission and you defer or suspend your studies you should leave the UK. You may return to the UK when your studies are resumed (a new CAS can be issued so that you can obtain a new visa for this purpose).
  • If you hold Student permission you must inform UKVI of relevant changes during your stay, this includes; changes to your contact details, passport, personal details, dependants’ details or any criminal convictions.
  • Complying with the conditions of your visa, e.g. observe the restrictions on your right to work.
  • Keeping your immigration permission up to date and applying for a visa extension before your existing visa runs out. If you have overstayed your permission it is important to seek advice and regularise your status as soon as possible.
  • Promptly responding to e-mail correspondence from the University, for example about your visa, registration or attendance to ensure that you are not unnecessarily reported to UKVI.
  • If ATAS clearance (Academic Technology Approval Scheme) is required for your studies, you must ensure that you renew this to cover any relevant changes in accordance with the Student policy guidance, e.g. changes to course/research content or postponing the end date of studies by three months or more beyond the end date previously given on your CAS. 
  • If you extend or switch your visa within the Student route or replace your BRP in the UK UKVI will require you to cut up any previous BRP and request its return or send evidence that you have done this. You may be subject to a financial penalty of up to £1,000 if you fail to do this. If you are required to return a BRP it is advisable to use Special Delivery in the UK or secure mail outside of the UK and keep your proof of postage safe.

The University's Responsibilities

The University has the following responsibilities:

    • To only issue a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) where:
      • it is satisfied that the student both intends and is able to follow the intended programme, and
      • it believes the student will meet the requirements of the immigration rules and comply with visa conditions.
    • To issue any CAS in accordance with UKVI guidance.
    • To take and keep copies of students’ passports, immigration status documents, visas or Biometric Residence Permits or digital status.
    • To keep an up-to-date record of students’ contact details.
    • To hold a copy of a student’s Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) clearance certificate where required by the student’s programme of study or research.
    • To keep a record of parent's/guardian's consent of any student under 18.
    • To check that students have registered as required and to report those students who fail to register on time to UKVI.
    • To monitor each student’s attendance and to report any discontinuation of studies or unauthorised absence to UKVI.
    • To report deferrals, suspensions, withdrawals and terminations of study to UKVI. 
    • To notify UKVI of any significant changes in your circumstances, e.g. a change to your immigration status such that you are no longer sponsored under the Student visa route, a change of programme at the University, early completion of your studies.
    • To notify UKVI if a sponsored student has been given incorrect visa conditions or a student is breaching the conditions of his/her immigration permission.
    • To report to UKVI when a sponsored student’s degree award and study/visa history satisfy Graduate route eligibility and to let the student know this has been done.

The Student Advice and Support Service is authorised to provide immigration advice and services by an order made under section 84(4)(d) of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 (The Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 (Part V Exemption: Educational Institutions and Health Sector Bodies) Order 2001 (Statutory Instrument 2001 No. 1403)). Should you have a complaint about the service you can use the Student Advice and Support Service's complaints procedure or you can use the OISC Complaints Scheme.

Last Updated: 2nd November 2023