International Students

A student says she needs to extend her leave to remain (ie her student visa). What should she do?

Information about extending Leave to Remain is available from the Student Services Information Desk in the Union Building (SSiD).

Individual circumstances can vary and staff at SSiD will direct students to sources of further support as necessary. It is vitally important for staff in academic departments to make a distinction between giving INFORMATION about where to seek support on such matters and giving ADVICE on a student's case.

Only specified staff in Student Services and the Union of Students are authorised to give immigration advice in accordance with government regulations. In particular, academic departments should not issue any letters relating to student status which are requested by students in the context of an apparently immigration-related problem. Any necessary documents may be requested via SSiD (or the relevant Admissions Office, if pre arrival).

A student who is in the UK on a student visa has asked if he can take a 6 month leave of absence because he is having personal and financial problems. Are there any visa implications?

Yes. Any student in the UK on a student visa who is not attending university is in breach of the conditions of that visa. The Home Office have always expected that students who take long-term leave of absence return to their home country during this time.

The Home Office currently tightening up on their approach to such matters – while there may be some circumstances where leave of absence is acceptable (eg. severe illness/injury), financial or personal reasons are unlikely to be taken into account.

International students seeking leave of absence are now required to seek immigration advice from Student Services before their application can be confirmed.

 An international student in my department wants to do an industrial placement. Although the programme does not involve a required placement year, we have no objections to her taking a year out for this purpose. Are there any visa implications?

Yes. Unless registered on a programme formally involving a placement year, the student will be on leave of absence during the placement, and thus in breach of the conditions of their student visa. There may be some circumstances where leave of absence is acceptable to the Home Office (eg. severe illness/injury) but work experience is unlikely to be seen as an acceptable reason.

International students seeking leave of absence are now required to seek immigration advice from Student Services before their application can be confirmed.

One of my international students has a part time job. His academic work has deteriorated lately and I'm worried that he's working long hours. Is there a rule about the number of hours an international student can work?

This depends on the basis on which a particular student has been admitted to the UK (indicated by endorsements in their passport).

International students with a RESTRICTION stamp in their passport (this is most of our international students) can work up to a maximum of 20 hours per week in semesters and full time in vacations (i.e. during the standard university vacations).

Students with a PROHIBITION stamp cannot work at all. If the student is unsure, please suggest that they take their passport along to SSiD for advice.