Student Visa responsibilities

Students with a Student or Tier 4 visa have certain conditions and responsibilities attached to their stay in the UK.


Student responsibilities

Registering with the police

Police registration has been abolished. Our web page has more information:

Police registration

Attendance and engagement 

As a Student or Tier 4 visa holder you are required to be in regular attendance on your course and inform your department of any absences. 

The University has a responsibility to monitor student attendance, and in cases of continued poor or non-attendance it is obligated to consider the withdrawal of your visa sponsorship. This would result in withdrawal from the University.

You should inform your department of any absences from your studies. This may be by completing a self-certification form, extenuating circumstances form, or submitting a leave of absence request. 

It is important that you understand your responsibilities regarding attendance on your course. Visit the website below for more guidance about the University's Student Visa attendance policy.

More information on attendance

Conditions of study

Your Student or Tier 4 visa is only valid for the specific institution and course it was issued for.

You should only study the main course for which your visa was granted. If you request a change of programme you should not start studying the new course without first receiving immigration advice from us and having the programme change formally approved. You may need a new visa and/or ATAS certificate before you can start studying a new course.

Similarly, you are not permitted to study at a different institution unless it is part of your course and is at a partner institution. There are some exceptions to this, for instance those students on an official intercalation. If you are planning to study at a different institution you should contact them to ask about your visa before you start studying.

Supplementary study - You are permitted to take supplementary study alongside your main course. This should be study that is alongside your main course, such as evening classes or a short course during vacation period.

More information on study conditions

Working during your studies

It is important that you check your specific working conditions before you start any work in the UK. This is because there are restrictions on the hours and type of work you can do. 

The number of hours you can work will depend on your level of study and whether you are working during term time or vacation. 

For more information on your right to work in the UK, visit the following webpage:

More information on working

Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS)

If you are studying at postgraduate level (including an integrated masters course) you may require ATAS security clearance to study your subject. This depends on the course you are studying. Your offer letter and CAS will have confirmed if you require ATAS clearance. If so you must have applied for and been granted an ATAS certificate before you start studying.

Where you may decide to change to a course that requires ATAS clearance or you extend your course by more than three months you must apply for a new ATAS certificate. You will be informed of any ATAS requirement as part of any 'change of status' request you submit.

The following link has more information on ATAS clearance, including how to apply and what changes may require new ATAS:

Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) 

Recourse to public funds

All Student or Tier 4 visa holders have the condition whereby you have no recourse to public funds. This means you are not able to claim most government benefits such as welfare benefits, tax credits and housing assistance.

For more information on what types of public funds this condition includes, visit the UKVI website:

More information on recourse to public funds

Change of personal information and details

You must provide the University with your current personal information and address as well as any new passport or visa information. The University must hold up-to-date information for you, according to UKVI rules.

You must also update UKVI with changes to your details. It is important that they hold up-to-date information for you so that they can contact you about your visa if needed.

GOV.UK information on how to update UKVI

You may be able to update your information online, or may need to complete a paper Change of Circumstances form, as explained on the web page.

  • If you have a BRP or physical visa: you must complete the change of address online form if you have changed address or contact details since you applied for your most recent visa.
  • If you have a digital eVisa or UKVI account: you must update your UKVI account details with any new contact details or identity documents.

University responsibilities

The University also has a number of duties and responsibilities which are set by UKVI. The University must fulfil these duties in order to keep its Student Visa sponsor licence, which allows it to continue sponsoring students to apply for Student visas to study in the UK.

The University must ensure its international students have immigration permission which includes the ability to study in the UK, and keep copies of this evidence throughout their studies. 

The University must also inform UKVI when a Student or Tier 4 visa holder makes certain changes. This includes where you might change course, complete early, take a leave of absence, or withdraw from studies among other things.

Read the University's full Student Visa sponsor duties:

Student Visas and the University 

Breaching your Student or Tier 4 visa conditions

The University is obligated to inform UKVI where there is anything to suggest a student has breached their visa conditions. For instance if a student informs us that they have worked more hours than they are permitted, or have claimed public funds.

If you are worried that you may have breached one of your visa conditions, we would advise you to seek support from the Students' Union Advice Centre. The Students' Union is independent from the University and does not have the same sponsor duties.

Students' Union Advice Centre