Taking a leave of absence (LOA)

What to do before and after taking a leave of absence and how this will affect your student visa.


COVID-19 update

The information on this webpage is affected by new temporary guidance that has been released by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) in light of the situation with COVID-19. There is a summary of how this affects usual procedures here (student login required).

How to apply

  1. Use the LOA self-help tool for information on the immigration implications of taking an LOA and whether it will be reported to UKVI.
  2. We'll send you a copy of your responses via email.
  3. If you're a Postgraduate Research Student you should attach a copy of your responses to your LOA request form, including the signed declaration at the end of the self-help tool.
  4. If you're applying for an LOA on medical grounds, you must provide a medical note that covers the entire period of your requested LOA with your application.
  5. You must submit the relevant application form to your academic department for approval.

PGR leave of absence application (PDF, 148kb)

UG and PGT leave of absence application (PDF, 268kb)

Student visa conditions

Your leave of absence will be reported to UKVI and your visa will be curtailed if:

  • you are absent from study for more than 60 days and/or
  • your intended LOA would mean that your new course end date is not covered by your current visa expiry date

If your visa is curtailed you must leave the UK for the duration of your LOA. You must request a new CAS and apply for a new visa before returning to your studies.

Taking a medical leave of absence

  • If you need to take an LOA for 60 days or less the university will continue to sponsor you.
  • If you need to take an LOA for more than 60 days you must leave the UK and apply for a new visa.
  • If you're unable to leave the UK and you need to take an LOA for more than 60 days your visa may be curtailed - please seek specialist immigration advice.

Returning from an LOA

Apply for visa

If your leave of absence was reported to UKVI, you must apply for a new CAS from International Student Support three months before you return and apply for a new visa.

Provide medical evidence

If you're returning from a medical LOA that wasn't due to maternity, you must provide evidence from the University Health Service that you're well enough to return.

Tuition fees

Any debts to the University must be cleared before you can re-register.

If you're sponsored by an external organisation, please email a copy of your new financial guarantee to the Fees and Funding team.

Visa curtailment info

Read the document below from UKVI for information on when and why your visa might be cancelled.

Download UKVI visa curtailment info (PDF, 656kb)

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