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Visa advice for current students

Advice for Tier 4 applicants 

Please see our step-by-step guide on how to apply and Tier 4 visa application process for applicants. 

Another helpful source is UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) which contains all the information you need to be able to complete a Tier 4 application, whether you’re making your application inside or outside of the UK. 

Advice for Tier 4 current students 

Police Registration 

Some international students will need to register with the police in the UK. Please see Staffordshire Police website to see if this applies to you. 

You must create an online account and book an appointment to complete your police registration. There’s guidance on completing a first-time registration. If your details have changed, you can update an existing police registration

The Staffordshire Police website provides help and guidance

You may need to contact the Overseas Visitors Registration Office (OVRO) 

Placement compliance check 

You can read more about placements on our website and complete the online form for a placement compliance check

Changing your course  

If you’d like to change to an alternative course, you must speak with International Student Support (ISS). This is because of visa and immigration rules, which dictate whether you can change course, and which courses you can change to. Please make an appointment with ISS using the booking system or by visiting the Student Hub. 

Travelling to Europe 

If you’re not an EEA national and want to travel to Europe, you may be required to apply for a Schengen Visa. Please read the UKCISA guidance about travelling in Europe. 

Requesting leave from the University 

If you want to take leave from the University for any reason, it’s important that you obtain permission from the University beforehand so that we can provide accurate reporting to UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI). One of the conditions of your visa is that you’re engaged in full-time study whilst you are in the UK, and so any periods of absence from the University must be authorised. 

Important information: 

  • Unless there are exceptional circumstances, international authorised leave must not be longer than 10 working days. 

  • When you return to the UK, you must report to the Student Hub so that a scanned copy of your passport and new entry clearance stamp can be taken. This must be done within seven working days of your return.  

  • Tutors will NOT authorise any leave if they feel that you’ve not been attending or engaging with your studies to a satisfactory level.  

  • Tutors will not authorise your leave if they feel it will significantly impact on your academic progress. A tutor’s academic judgement cannot be contested and is final.  

  • You MUST complete an international authorised leave form before leaving the country for any reason. Failure to seek approval before leaving the UK is a breach of the University Tier 4 regulations and could result in your withdrawal from your course.   

  • If you’re withdrawn from your course, this will subsequently be reported to the UKVI and the University sponsorship of their Tier 4 visa would cease.  

Attendance monitoring 

Tier 4 students are subject to regular attendance and course engagement monitoring checks throughout each academic year. The reasons for this are to ensure we can: 

  • comply with our Tier 4 sponsorship responsibilities  

  • signpost any students who may not be attending regularly to our support services  

  • report accurately to the UK Visa and Immigration service 

You’ll be notified through your student email when you are required to sign-in, so please make sure you check your email regularly. Failure to sign-in may result in withdrawal from your award meaning your Tier 4 sponsorship would cease. 

Lost, stolen or damaged Biometric Residence Permit  

If you’ve lost or damaged your Biometric Residence Permit, or you suspect it has been stolen, you must report this. You can find information regarding this on UKCISA and gov.uk. If you’d like further help with this, you can make an appointment with ISS using the booking system or by visiting the Student Hub. 

Lost or stolen passport  

If you have lost your passport or you believe it may have been stolen, please visit the gov.uk website to find out your next steps. If you would like further help with this, you can make an appointment with ISS using the booking system or by visiting the Student Hub. 

Doctoral Extension Scheme 

If you’ve almost finished a UK PhD (or other doctorate qualification) you can apply for a Doctoral Extension Scheme. This gives you an extra 12 months of Tier 4 immigration permission after your studies in order to apply for jobs and work in the UK without restriction.  

If you’d like to apply for the Doctoral Extension Scheme, please read our guidance

Inviting friends and family 

If you want to invite your family or friends to visit you whilst you’re studying, then read our guidance. This explains what visa they should apply for, common reasons why applicants might be refused, and what documents you should give them to help with their visa application. 

Visiting the UK for graduation 

If you and/or your family need a visa to attend your graduation ceremony, we have guidance to help you understand what kind of visa you will need, what documents are required, and common reasons why applicants might be refused. Remember, if your visa expires before your graduation then you’ll need to return home and apply for a new Standard Visitor visa to return to the UK for your ceremony. This is all explained in our guidance on standard visitor visas for graduation (PDF document)

Short-term study visa (STSV)  

A short-term study visa is for students who are required to study in the UK for less than six months. Please read the guidance from UKCISA about short term study visas. 

You can request a letter from the University to support your short-term study visa application.