Tier 4 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 Tier 4 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 Tier 4 visa for study at UCL. If you have a Tier 4 visa from another university you will not be able to enrol or study at UCL unless you have made an in-time Tier 4 visa application to extend your visa and switch to studying at UCL.

A Tier 4 Student and Sponsor Responsibilities Guide has been created and hard copies of the booklet can be collected from the Student Centre. Please review this document in order to ensure that you comply with the conditions of your Tier 4 visa.

To maintain your Tier 4 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:


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

Immigration documents:

  • Passport
  • 30 day Travel Vignette
  • Visa/BRP
  • 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you will have sufficient time to complete your studies, we will not allow you to enrol and your sponsorship will be withdrawn.


UKVI rules state that a Tier 4 sponsor must report to the Home Office a Tier 4 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 course 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. Applications for Authorised Absence must be made via the UCL Authorised Absence Form

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 Tier 4 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 Tier 4 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 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 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)

Withdrawal, interruption and repeats of study

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

UCL is also required to report you if you need to take resits/repeats of study that do not require attendance.

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 visa allows you limited working rights in the UK. Please see our guidance for further information about this.

As a Tier 4 student, 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.

Tier 4 visa advice

If you have further queries regarding your Tier 4 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 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-Tier 4 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.