Changes affecting your T4 visa

Changes to your course of study

If you are studying at NTU with a Tier 4 visa, changes to your course or individual circumstances could have an impact on your status at the University and on your visa. Please read the information below for generic guidance on how changes to your circumstances can affect your Tier 4 visa. If you are not sure if your situation is going to have an impact on your current visa, please contact the International Student Support Service for advice.


Repeating part of your course / completing referral work
Suspending / deferring your studies / taking a leave of absence
Withdrawing from your course
Completing your studies early
Changing courses at NTU
Switching from a full-time course to a sandwich course
Questions?

 

Repeating


If you have not passed part or all of an academic year of study, your Exam Board letter will confirm whether you will have the opportunity to repeat / resit the elements that were not passed. If you have been offered that opportunity, it will either be with attendance or without attendance – this will depend on the number of credits points you will be repeating and whether or not you are repeating a sufficient number of credit points to be considered to be in full-time attendance.


Repeating with attendance:


If you are repeating with attendance, you will be able to stay in the UK, or return to the UK, for the period of study that you are repeating.


You may be repeating studies in one of the following ways:


• Repeating the full year with attendance
• Repeating semester 1 (first half-year) with attendance and semester 2 (second half-year) without attendance
• Repeating semester 1 (first half-year) without attendance and semester 2 (second half-year) with attendance

If you are repeating the full year with attendance, you can continue to use your current visa to repeat the year if your visa is long enough – you will eventually need to apply for a visa extension to cover the additional year of study. If you need to extend your visa in order to complete the year, please visit our website or contact the International Student Support Service for advice the process and the requirements for this application.


If you are repeating semester 1 (first half-year) with attendance and semester 2 (second half-year) without attendance, you can stay in the UK for the first part of the year but will have to leave once this has ended. If you successfully complete your repeat modules and you need to return to the UK the following year to resume your studies following a period of repeating without attendance, you will have to apply for a new visa before travelling back to the UK as your visa will have been curtailed. For more information about making a visa application overseas, please check our website. Please note you will be required to get a new CAS number and you will have to ensure you are able to meet the requirements for your tier 4 visa application, including showing enough funds to meet the maintenance requirement.


If you are required to repeat semester 1 without attendance, and semester 2 with attendance, you will have to return home during semester 1 as your visa will be curtailed. Before you return to the UK for semester 2, you will have to make a new visa application from overseas. For more information about making a visa application overseas, please check our website. Please note you will be required to get a new CAS number and you will have to ensure you are able to meet the requirements for your tier 4 visa application, including showing enough funds to meet the maintenance requirement.

Repeating without attendance


If you are repeating the full year without attendance, you will have to leave the UK during this time. As part of its Tier 4 responsibilities, the University is required to notify UKVI of students who are completing part of their studies overseas, i.e. not required to be in the UK.

This notification will result in your visa being curtailed (cancelled) so you will have to leave the UK and apply for a new visa if you need to return to the UK to complete the rest of your course. For more information about making a visa application overseas, please check our website. Please note you will be required to get a new CAS number and you will have to ensure you are able to meet the requirements for your tier 4 visa application, including showing enough funds to meet the maintenance requirement.

Suspending / Deferring your studies / Taking a Leave of Absence


Students sometimes need to take a break from their studies for health or family reasons for example. If you agree a suspension of studies with your school (also known as deferring or taking a leave of absence) the University will be required to notify UKVI of this as part of its Tier 4 responsibilities. This will result in your visa being curtailed (cancelled) so you will have to leave the UK and apply for a new visa from overseas to return to the UK to complete the rest of your course.

For more information about making a visa application overseas, please check our website. Please note you will be required to get a new CAS number and you will have to ensure you are able to meet the requirements for your tier 4 visa application, including showing enough funds to meet the maintenance requirement.

If you are thinking of suspending your studies, please contact your subject administrator who will be able to advise you on the process for deferring/suspending studies.

 

Withdrawing from your course


If you withdraw from the University before completing your course (or you are withdrawn from your course by the University), the University will be required to notify UKVI of this as part of its Tier 4 responsibilities. This will result in your visa being curtailed (cancelled) to 60 days, and you will usually have to leave the UK unless you are eligible to apply for a different visa due to your individual circumstances.

If you are thinking of withdrawing from your studies, please contact your subject administrator who will be able to advise you on the withdrawal process.

 

Completing your studies early


If your course finishes earlier than expected, i.e. before the end date shown on your CAS, the University will be required to report this to UKVI as part of its Tier 4 responsibilities. This will result in your visa being curtailed (the expiry date of your visa will be brought forward and your visa will expire earlier) to 4 months after your completion date (if you completed your course successfully and your course was more than 12 months long) or 2 months after your completion date (if you completed your course successfully and your course was less than 12 months long). You must ensure you make arrangements to either leave the UK or make another visa application (for example if you are going to pursue another course), before this new expiry date.

 

Changing courses at NTU


Students who have a Tier 4 visa are not always able to continue to use their current visa if they decide to change courses, even if they will be studying their new course at NTU. This depends on when their visa was granted, as well as the time they will need to complete their new course.


As a guideline, students whose Tier 4 visa was granted on or after 06 April 2016 can use their visa to study a different course only if the two courses are related and if they have enough time on their current visa to complete the new course, i.e. the new and old courses are the same length.


Students who will need more time to complete their new course will have to make a visa application before they start the new course. This visa application will have to be made overseas – it will not be possible for you to apply in the UK due to the progression requirement. Equally, students who switch to a new course which is not related to their original course will have to return overseas to apply for a new visa. The visa application will have to be made at the point when the student decides to switch courses – you will need to ensure that if you are switching courses, you do this at a time when you will be able to return overseas to make your visa application, for example during a University vacation. For more information about making a visa application overseas, please check our website. Please note you will be required to get a new CAS number and you will have to ensure you are able to meet the requirements for your tier 4 visa application, including showing enough funds to meet the maintenance requirement.


We advise students whose visa was granted before 06 April 2016 and who are planning to change courses to contact us to discuss their situation as it may differ from the advice given above.


If you are thinking of changing courses, please contact your Subject Administrator who will be able to advise you on the process you need to follow.

Switching from a full-time to a sandwich course

Students who wish to switch from a full-time course to a sandwich course (within the same course subject) will need to apply for a new visa before they can enrol on the sandwich course.


Those students will be eligible to make their visa application in the UK. Please note you will be required to get a new CAS number and you will have to ensure you are able to meet the requirements for your tier 4 visa application, including showing enough funds to meet the maintenance requirement.


If you switch to a shorter version of your current course (from sandwich to full-time), you will not have to get a new visa. The University will report this change of course to UKVI – this will not have any immediate effect on your visa. Once you have completed the course, the University will make another report to UKVI for early completion of your studies and at this point, your visa will usually be curtailed (see “completing your course early”).


We advise students whose visa was granted before 06 April 2016 and who are planning to change courses to contact us to discuss their situation as it may differ from the advice given above.

 

Frequently asked questions:


How will I know if the University has reported a change of circumstances to UKVI about me?


When the University reports a change of circumstances (withdrawal, suspension, change of course etc.), you will receive an e-mail from the Academic Registry to inform you that this action has been taken.


Do I need to contact UKVI regarding a change to my course?


No, you do not need to contact UKVI if there are changes to your course – this is the University’s responsibility.


I have withdrawn or am taking time off from my course – how quickly do I have to leave the UK?


If you withdraw or time take off from your course, the University will send a report to UKVI to notify them of this. You will receive an e-mail from the Academic Registry to inform you that the report has been made to UKVI. As your visa will usually be curtailed to 60 days by UKVI in this situation, we advise that you leave the UK within 60 days of receiving the e-mail from the Academic Registry confirming they have sent a report to UKVI.


How will I know if my visa has been curtailed?


UKVI will normally try to contact students by post or e-mail to inform them that they have curtailed their visa and to confirm what date the visa has been curtailed to. However, please be aware that if you have changed your contact details since your last application and have not informed UKVI of your new contact details, you may not receive this notification. You can ensure UKVI have your up to date contact details by completing the MCC application form and sending it to them by post. The International Student Support Service can also contact UKVI on your behalf to get confirmation of whether or not your visa has been curtailed – please send us an e-mail confirming you would like us to check the status of your visa, and giving UKVI your consent to share this information with the University.


I deferred my studies – when can I apply for my visa to come back to the UK?


If you have taken a break from your course, you will first need to request a new CAS number and we advise you to do this about three months before you are due to resume your studies at NTU. Please also keep in touch with your School so they’re aware that you will be returning.


To request a CAS to continue your studies, please complete our CAS request form online. Once your CAS has been issued, you will be able to make your visa application. We advise you to check the information on our website and to contact us if you have any questions about your visa application.


I am repeating parts of my course without attendance but I need to come back to the UK to resit my exams – what visa can I apply for?


If you are repeating parts of your course without attendance but are required to return to the UK to resit your exams, you will have to leave the UK when you are notified of this decision as the University will be reporting this to UKVI and your visa will be curtailed.


Provided your school allows you to retake your exams in the UK, you will be able to use the short term student visa route to return to the UK for your exams. Please contact your subject administrator first to check if your school will allow you to sit your exams in the UK, or if they expect you to make arrangements to take your exams from overseas. If your school allows you to sit your exams in the UK, please check our website for more information on how and where to apply for a short term student visa, and what documents you need to prepare.