Student Visa Responsibilities
Students with a Student or Tier 4 visa have certain conditions and responsibilities attached to their stay in the UK. If you have a Student or Tier 4 visa it is very important that you understand and abide by your specific visa conditions.
As the sponsor of your Student or Tier 4 visa the University also has certain duties and responsibilities which are set by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI). Some of the University's sponsor duties may affect your visa, so it is important that you know what these are.
If you have a Student or Tier 4 visa please familiarise yourself with the following requirements.
- COVID-19 Update
- Student Responsibilities
- University Responsibilities
- Breaching your Tier 4 visa conditions
The information on this webpage is affected by new temporary guidance that has been released by UKVI in light of the situation with COVID-19. There is a summary of how this affects usual procedures here.
Registering with the Police
You may need to register with the police and update them following certain changes to your personal or course details. Whether or not your need to register with the police depends on your nationality.
Your visa decision letter, BRP card or visa vignette will state whether you are required to register with the Police after arriving in the UK. You should check all of these documents carefully. You can also check whether you need to register with the police on the UKVI website.
Where you are required to register with the police, visit the webpage below for more information on how and when to register. It is important to remember what changes in circumstance you must report to the police throughout your stay in the UK.
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. Please see the website below for more guidance about the University's Student Visa attendance policy.
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.
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 webpage below.
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.
For more information on ATAS clearance, including how to apply and what changes may require new ATAS see the website below:
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 please visit the UKVI website below:
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.
- Where your contact information or address changes, you must update your student record on MUSE.
- Where your personal information (name, nationality, gender) changes, you must visit the Student Services Information Desk (SSiD).
- Where you receive a new passport or visa information, you must bring this to Level 6 of the Student’s Union.
You may also need to 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 if needed, and so your documentation is correct.
- If you change address you must inform UKVI by either completing the 'change of circumstances' paper form, or an online form if you have an ongoing visa application.
- If you have a BRP and you change your name, nationality, facial appearance, date of birth or gender you must apply for a new BRP card.
- You must complete the 'change of circumstances' paper form and send this to UKVI if you have a BRP card and and your contact, dependant, or other personal details change. This includes criminal convictions and changes to your living situation if you have dependants.
For more information about what changes you need to report to UKVI and how to do this, please click the link below:
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.
Please take the time to read the University's full Student Visa sponsor duties:
Breaching your Student or Tier 4 visa conditions
Please note that 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 Student Union Advice Centre. The Student Union is independent from the University and does not have the same sponsor duties.