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Visa responsibilities as a Tier 4 student

As part of your Tier 4 visa you as a student have certain responsibilities you must adhere to regarding your attendance at St Marys University and the other activities that you can do whilst in the UK such as working. Failing to abide by these rules may result in you being in breach of your visa conditions.

St Mary’s University will have no option than to withdraw your sponsorship of your visa if you break these rules. This can lead to the withdrawal from the University and the curtailment (cancellation) of your visa.

Your responsibilities as a Tier 4 student are:

Register for your course on time

You ensure that you register for your course on time at St Mary’s University. Before the deadline you will be given the registration instructions.

The University is obliged to notify the UKVI of any Tier 4 students who do not enrol/ register before the deadline.

You must ensure that you register and enrol at the start of every academic year. This will give you the chance to update any details you may want to, for example,  a change in address etc. If you are unable to register during the scheduled period, or that you may be enrolling on to the course late you must inform studentvisas@stmarys.ac.uk

We will take copies of your documents (passport and visa) during the registration period. If any of your documents expire during your course you are required to ensure that you have it renewed.

If you require a visa extension  to complete your studies at St Mary’s University you must inform us at least three months before your visa expiring. This will allow us to determine whether it is appropriate for us to continue to sponsor you. This will also give you enough time to collate the documents required for submitting a new visa application.

Studying at St Mary’s University

Your Tier 4 visa is only valid for study at St Mary’s University. This means that you can only study at St Mary’s University for your main course.

You can however, study informal, vocational short courses alongside your main course. For example, this may be an evening class in Arts. This is called ‘supplementary study’ by UKVI. This must not interfere with your main course at St Mary’s university.

It is your responsibility to ensure that your details are up to date by using the Student Self Service, or by emailing changes to your details to studentvisas@stmarys.ac.uk. You must ensure that you also notify UKVI of the change too.

Registering your visa with the police

Depending on your nationality you may be required to register with the Police as a condition on your visa. You must ensure that you do this within seven days of arriving in the UK. This condition is clearly printed on your vignette.

You must ensure that once you have registered with the Police, your Police Registration Certificate is updated with your visa, passport details and current addresses at all times.

In order to register with the Police you must do the following:

  • Complete the online registration form
  • Submit this with a passport sized photograph and a fee of £34

You will need to go to the Overseas Visitors Registration Office (OVRO) to register. This is based in Central London:

OVRO
323 Borough High Street
London
SE1 1JL

For more information on OVRO please visit the website: Planning your visit to the OVRO

Ensuring full attendance on your course

Every student must ensure that they attend all lectures and classes and complete all of the requirements for the course. This applies especially to Tier 4 students because the University has a responsibility to report any student who fails to engage with their course of study.

Your attendance is monitored by ensuring sufficient contact points are in place that you are required to meet.

You must ensure that you attend all your lectures, seminars and exams.

If for any reason you cannot attend you must contact your Programme Director immediately.

St Mary’s university has a responsibility to notify UKVI when a Tier 4 student is no longer studying, whether it be a permanent withdrawal or a temporary leave of absence. The University is obliged to withdraw sponsorship of your Tier 4 visa if you fully withdraw from the University, take a  leave of absence of more than two months or if the leave of absence extends your course end date beyond the expiry date of your visa.

In cases where your sponsorship is withdrawn you would be required to make a new visa application when you are able to resume studying.

Working in the UK

As an international student you will also be given some working conditions. This is normally 20 hours a week. The hours you can work will be printed on your visa. You can work provided this does not interfere with the academic requirements of the course. Working a few hours a week will also provide you with the relevant work experience that may benefit you when looking for work after you graduate.

Please also note that Tier4 students are not allowed to work in certain professions, such as an entertainer or Sportsperson. Unpaid, voluntary work would be included in the hourly restrictions as indicated on your visa. If you withdraw from your course or take a leave of absence your will not be permitted to work as you are no longing a student during this time.

Please note:

  • If you are an Undergraduate student you are able to work full time over the summer vacations.
  • If you are a Masters students you can only work full time after you have completed the course and when the University is closed eg Christmas and Easter.
  • Please ensure to check the Academic calendar for term dates 
Changing courses, switching and/or withdrawing from your course at St Mary’s University

If you are switching a course that is longer than what you were issued a visa for, or that you have spent some time on a course and have decided that you would like to switch in to another course, St Marys University will have to check whether you are eligible for another visa and may ask you to provide information about previous visas you have held in the UK and the level of courses you have studied.

The University will need to check whether you are continuing to progress academically, and that you have not reached the maximum period permitted.

If you cannot complete the course within the visa period already given you will need to make a new visa application .As you would not have passed the course that you were issued a CAS for you will need to make this visa application from your home country.

Changing to a shorter course

If you are switching to a course which is shorter than the course that you were given a visa for your visa will be reported to UKVI upon completion of this course. UKVI will then curtail your visa to 4 months on the date of reporting.

Starting a new course

If you have completed a course at St Mary’s University and have decided that you would like to do a new course with us then you can enrol for the new course with us. You will need to make a new visa application. This can be done from inside the UK.

You must however apply for your new visa within 6 weeks of the start of your new course or before your current visa expires, whichever is earlier.

If your new course start date is longer than a month you will need to return home and do the visa application from your home country.

Withdrawing or finishing your course early

If you have decided to withdraw from St Mary’s University, change institutions, or have finished your studies early, we are required to report this to UKVI.

If and when we report your visa the Home Office will curtail (cancel) your visa. They will write to or email you to notify you of this. It is essential that you have updated information on our systems.

If you have more than 60 days on your visa you will be curtailed to 60 days. If you have less than 60 days immigration permission it is likely that that the length of your leave will be left as it is. You are advised to leave the UK before your leave expires, or make an application to remain in the UK under another immigration category.

If you decide to stay in the UK for more than 30 days after your visa expires (with no valid reason) future applications to be UK may be affected and you may be regarded as an ‘Overstayer’.

Renting property

Once you arrive in the UK and will be living on privately rented accommodation (excluding living on campus or any property managed by St Marys University) the landlord has an obligation to check that you have a valid visa to remain in the UK.

You may be asked to provide evidence of your leave to remain in the UK to the Landlord (or Letting Agency) when you renew your tenancy agreement or you move to a new place.

If you encounter any problems please feel free to contact the UKVI Compliance and Visas Advisor on studentvisas@stmarys.ac.uk.

Overstaying your visa

Staying in the UK after your visa has expired for 30 days or more means that you may be regarded as an ‘Overstayer’. This may also result in problems if you intend to return to the UK for any other reason.

You should ensure that you apply to renew your stay in the UK before your current visa expires. This can be as a Tier 4 student or another immigration category.

You will not be permitted to enrol or register onto a course if you have overstayed on your visa. If you have a valid reason for Overstaying you must ensure that you notify the UKVI Compliance and Visas Advisor as soon as possible.