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Student visa responsibilities

To maintain your visa rights in the UK you must continue at all times to meet the terms and conditions of your visa.

If we become aware that you are not complying with the conditions of your visa, we are under an obligation to report this to UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI). 

A Student visa can only be used for study at the University and for the particular programme for which the visa was issued. Therefore you can only use your Student visa for study at UCL. If you have a Student visa from another university you will not be able to enrol or study at UCL unless you have made an in-time Student visa application to extend your visa and switch to studying at UCL.

A Student visa and Sponsor Responsibilities Guide has been created. Please review this document in order to ensure that you comply with the conditions of your Student visa.

To maintain your Student visa you must meet and maintain the conditions listed below.

Please contact the Student Immigration Compliance Team if you have particular questions or queries. To contact the team, please open an enquiry via AskUCL 


On this page you can find information about your responsibilities relating to:


Documents

UCL are required to see originals of and keep copies of your documents. This includes the following:

Immigration documents:

  • Passport
  • 30 day Travel Vignette
  • Visa/BRP
  • Online immigration status
  • ATAS certificate (if applicable)

Documents used to obtain offer:

  • English language proof (if applicable)
  • Qualifications

You must be able to provide these documents for UCL at or before enrolment. If you are not able to do so you will not be able to start your studies.

If you are unable to enrol within the set enrolment period we must report this to UKVI. It is therefore important that you keep us updated if you cannot enrol before your start date for whatever reason. If you request a later enrolment date, we will consider whether you will still have sufficient time on your visa to complete your studies. If we do not think that you will have sufficient time to complete your studies, we will not allow you to enrol and your sponsorship will be withdrawn.

View and prove your immigration status

If you have been told you can view your immigration status online you can use the UK Visas and Immigration visa verification service to:

  • get a ‘share code’ to prove your status to others, for example employers, or educational institutions such as UCL
  • update your personal details, for example your passport number or email address
  • check what rights you have in the UK, for example the right to work, rent or claim benefits

Once you have your 'share code', you can provide this to UCL so that we may verify your immigration status.  As a visa Sponsor, UCL must also check the date on which you entered the UK to ensure you entered within the validity of your visa.  As such UCL may require you to also submit a copy of your boarding pass or flight details to confirm this. 

You will also be required to send a copy of your confirmation email from UKVI which confirms you have been granted the visa, as this provides information about the conditions of your visa. 

Who can use this service

You can use this service if you:

  • have settled or pre-settled status
  • applied for a visa and used the ‘UK Immigration: ID Check’ app to scan your identity document on your phone

You cannot use this service if you have a vignette in your passport or a biometric residence permit to prove your immigration status.  There are different services for you to prove your right to work to an employer and to prove your right to rent to a landlord.


Attendance

UKVI rules state that a Student visa sponsor must report to the Home Office a Student visa student who it withdraws as a result of failing to attend their programme without being granted authorised absence, and a decision is taken to withdraw sponsorship. As such your visa status is dependent on your continued full-time study on your programme. This means you must maintain attendance on your programme (whether in person or online) at all times and meet any minimum attendance requirements. Any absences which will impact of attendance at teaching events and assessments should be properly authorised in advance of the absence. 

Engagement monitoring is undertaken by academic departments at regular points during a student’s registration at UCL. This is to ensure that students are engaging with their studies; to identify problems as early as possible to ensure that action can be taken to advise and/or assist; and to meet the requirements set by UKVI for students with Student visas. 

If you do not meet your attendance requirements and/or do not provide UCL with adequate reasons why you have missed attendance we may be required to report this to UKVI and withdraw our sponsorship of you. This will result in the curtailment (shortening) of your visa and you will be expected to leave the UK. 

 


 

Changing programmes

UCL is required to report any significant changes in your studies to UKVI. If any of the following are applicable, your Student visa may be affected and therefore you should seek guidance from the Student Immigration Compliance Team:

  • Change in programme at UCL
  • Change in study location
  • The length of programme becomes shorter or longer
  • You will complete a work placement


Early course completion 

If you are a Tier 4/Student visa holder and complete your programme earlier than expected, this means that you have been awarded your degree before the course end date stated on your CAS.

UCL is required to report early course completions to UKVI. Once this report has been sent to UKVI, your visa will be curtailed to a new expiry date. UCL will email you to confirm when your early course completion has been reported to UKVI. This email will also contain information regarding your new visa expiry date.

Please note that if your Tier 4/Student visa has been curtailed as result of completing your studies early, you are still subject to UKVI’s rules around curtailment. This means that if you leave the UK but wish to return, for example to attend your graduation ceremony, you will not be able to do this on your current visa, and will need to obtain alternative leave (such as a visit or short-term study visa)


Withdrawing from your programme

UCL is required to report you to UKVI if you withdraw from your programme. In this case your visa will be curtailed (shortened) and you will be expected to leave the UK. 

Covid-19 and visa curtailments

Due to the COVID-19 situation UKVI have temporarily stopped curtailing visas, however it is advised that you make arrangements to leave the UK, if you have not already done so, within 60 days of withdrawing from your programme at UCL in order to protect your immigration status and future access to the UK.  We understand that it may not be possible to do this due to the travel restrictions in place as a result of COVID-19.  Therefore should you receive a visa curtailment letter with your new visa expiry date and you are not able to travel, please email the Coronavirus Immigration Help Centre: CIH@homeoffice.gov.uk. Your email must be in English.

For information about immigration advice and COVID-19, please visit the UCL Immigration and Visas webpage.
 


Interruptions and repeats of study

UCL is required to report to UKVI if you interrupt your programme of studies or if you need to take resits/repeats of study that do not require attendance.  In this case your visa will be curtailed (shortened) and you will be expected to leave the UK.

If you are interrupting your studies, you will need to re-apply for a new visa before you return to UCL to re-commence your studies. Please begin the process of obtaining your new Student visa at least 3 months before your intended return date to UCL.  You will need to arrange for a CAS request form to be completed and submitted to the compliance team via askUCL which can found on the website

If you are intending to return to UCL during your interruption as you are required to take re-sits, you will need a Standard Visitor Visa.  Please visit the website for more information. 

Covid-19 and visa curtailments

Due to the COVID-19 situation UKVI have temporarily stopped curtailing visas, however it is advised that you make arrangements to leave the UK, if you have not already done so, within 60 days of interrupting your programme of study in order to protect your immigration status and future access to the UK.  We understand that it may not be possible to do this due to the travel restrictions in place as a result of COVID-19.  Therefore should you receive a visa curtailment letter with your new visa expiry date and you are not able to travel, please email the Coronavirus Immigration Help Centre: CIH@homeoffice.gov.uk. Your email must be in English.


Change of immigration status

If you change your immigration status by moving into another visa category you must inform UCL straight away.


Contact details

If you change your contact details at anytime during your studies you are required to provide us with updated details as soon as possible. We are required to keep up to date contact details for you at all times.


Working in the UK

Your Tier 4/Student visa allows you limited working rights in the UK. Please see our guidance for further information about this.

As a Tier 4/Student visa holder, you must not work more than the maximum number of hours allowed by your visa. You must not work beyond your allowed working hours or do any prohibited work. Breaking of working rights can result in cancellation of your visa, fines and/or a ban on entry to the UK and so it is imperative that you ensure that you do not breach your working rights.

Further information on student working is included here: Working in the UK 


Police registration

Some nationals are required to register with the police as part of their visa conditions. For further information about this please see our guidance.


Student visa advice

If you have further queries regarding your visa status you can contact the Student Immigration Advice Team by using the contact form


After you have finished your studies

As part of your Tier 4/Student visa application you will usually receive an additional period of leave after you have finished your studies.  Once you have passed the official end date of your programme (as stated on your CAS) and you are therefore in your post-study period, you may do the following:

  • Enter and leave the UK
  • Work full-time in the UK, if your conditions of leave permit you to work.  Please click here to find out more about working after your studies. 
  • Study in the UK
  • Visit areas in the UK
  • Apply to remain in the UK under an appropriate alternative route (e.g. Tier 1 and Tier 2). Please click here for information about non-Student visas. 

Please note that if you do travel during your post-study period, Border Force officials will need to be satisfied when you are entering the UK that you will either complete the activity you intend to carry out and leave the UK before your visa expires, or that you will submit an in-time visa application to extend your leave in the UK.  You should therefore carry any relevant documentation with you when you travel to show to the Border Force officer if required.