Suspending your studies
If you are suspending your studies
When you decide to formally suspend your studies you must complete a suspension form, usually available from your School office. Before the School processes your suspension request you must seek and receive visa advice from a Student Visa Adviser. Please email us with the details of your proposed suspension, such as suspension dates and any change in anticipated course end date, on email@example.com so that we can advise you on the immigration implications.
COVID-19 Suspension Update
Under normal circumstances a suspension that is longer than 60 days would result in withdrawal of visa sponsorship. Owing to the temporary COVID-19 immigration concessions the University may not be required to withdraw visa sponsorship if a suspension is a result of the pandemic disruption. This would depend on the length of the suspension as well as on the further immigration updates that should be released by UKVI in the summer 2020. Please contact Student Visa Advisers to discuss you case individually.
If you suspend your studies, you do not have permission to undertake any work in the UK
Suspensions of more than 60 days
As a Tier 4 sponsor, the University has a duty to report certain changes relating to your studies to UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI). If you suspend your studies for more than 60 days the University will report this to UKVI. You will then receive notification from UKVI that your visa will be curtailed (cancelled) after 60 days. This means you would need to leave the UK within 60 days of suspending your studies. This change to your status as a student would mean you no longer have the right to work in the UK. You would have to cease all employment (paid or unpaid) with immediate effect. If you were to undertake any work, you would be in breach of UK immigration law, which could have serious legal implications. Your employer could also be prosecuted.
You will also need to apply for a new visa before travelling back to the UK. Your curtailed (cancelled) visa will no longer be valid to enter the UK.
Suspensions of less than 60 days
If you suspend your studies for a period of less than 60 days you will not usually need to leave the UK, provided you will be able to complete your course within your existing visa time. If your suspension means that a supplementary year would be required, it is likely that your Tier 4 sponsorship will be withdrawn and you will need to either leave the UK or obtain a new visa (subject to eligibility). Please note that you will not be able to work in the UK during these 60 days as you will not be following your course of study.
Suspensions that are processed as ‘emergency suspensions’ under the University’s Fitness to Study Policy and Procedure (section 6) can affect your immigration status as a Tier 4 student, please see general information regarding suspensions on this webpage. We would also encourage you to seek advice from the Student Visa Advisers for specific advice relating to your situation and with any questions you may have at this time so that we can support and guide you. Those on emergency suspension may be contacted directly by Student Visa Services to ensure that they are aware of the affect of a suspension on their Tier 4 visa. Given that those on emergency suspensions can include students who are unable to seek visa advice, for example those who are severely unwell or detained under the Mental Health Act, advice may be given to colleagues within the University including the Secretary's Office to support students at this time.
Suspensions due to parental leave
In the case of students sponsored by the University under UKVI Tier 4 visa, suspension as a result of parental leave may require the University to withdraw sponsorship and for the student to return to their home country for the duration of the leave. In such cases, students will thereafter need to apply to the University for a new CAS number to apply for a new visa to resume their studies. All requests for parental leave must be made in good time to permit time for approval of the request and to ensure travel home can be made following the report of the suspension to the UKVI. In all cases, advice should be sought from an International Student Visa Adviser as early as possible (especially in the case of a pregnancy) to ensure compliance with the Tier 4 visa can be maintained.
Returning to study after suspension of more than 60 days
Getting your Confirmation of Acceptance of Studies (CAS)
When you have agreed a date to return to study, with your faculty/school, you must email the International Student Visa Advisers to request a Confirmation of Acceptance of Studies (CAS) eligibility form. A form will be emailed to you which you must complete and email back to us. We will check whether you are eligible for a visa to continue your studies by checking:
- You do not exceed the UKVI restrictions on how long you can study in the UK. Any time on suspension will count towards your maximum study time unless your visa has been curtailed (cancelled). We recommend you keep travel documentation in case you need to provide evidence you have been outside the UK while on suspension.
- You can meet the financial requirements for a successful visa application. You will need to show you have £1015 per month of study (to a maximum of 9 months, totalling £9135) plus tuition fees. You must be able to show you have held this money in your bank account for a 28 consecutive days.
- If you need an Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) certificate for your subject.
When we can confirm you are eligible to apply for a visa (following your suspension) we will pass your CAS eligibility form to your faculty to be considered for academic approval. When approved, you will receive your CAS.
We will not be able to issue a CAS until your return to study has received academic approval by your faculty and if appropriate by Faculty Progress Board. If your continued study needs to be approved by Faculty Progress Board you will not receive your new CAS until after the board has met, in early August. Your faculty office will be able to tell you if your continued study needs to be approved by Faculty Progress Board.
Applying for your visa
You should begin preparing your documents for your visa application in advance of receiving your CAS, in particular the financial evidence. Email your documents to us, in advance of applying, and we will check they are correct.
When you have your CAS you can then apply for your new Tier 4 student visa.