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The University of East London (UEL) holds a Tier 4 Sponsor licence. This allows the University to sponsor students to study in the UK on a Tier 4 student visa. The University confirms sponsorship of a student to UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) by assigning a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) which is required to make a valid Tier 4 student visa application.

As a prospective or current Tier 4 student it is important that you understand and comply with the responsibilities of your student visa and co-operate with the University in fulfilling their Tier 4 duties.

In these pages you can find information on your legal responsibilities under Tier 4 and UEL's legal responsibilities under Tier 4.

All UEL students on a Tier 4 visa are asked to read our Tier 4 Compliance Leaflet.

    As a student at UEL you will be expected to:
     
    • Collect your Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) from the relevant Post Office, complete your enrolment and register for modules on arrival at UEL and before our latest date to enrol;
    • Complete any re-enrolment as required within the necessary time period;
    • Pay your tuition fees promptly to avoid being excluded from your course as this is likely to have implications for your visa;
    • Provide your original passport, visa decision letter, visa and any other relevant documents relating to your visa to our International Compliance team at enrolment and as required post enrolment;
    • Register with the police within 7 days of arriving in the UK (if applicable) and update your certificate if you change address, get a new passport or visa, change course or change place of study;
    • Promptly notify and provide the International Compliance team of any updates to your passport and/or visa, including visa refusal and change of visa category;
    • Study full-time on all required modules (unless you are required to do re-sits, re-submissions or re-takes);
    • Attend all scheduled classes, meetings with tutors, dissertation meetings with supervisor and any other arranged sessions, in line with UEL’s Attendance Policy. Failure to do so will result in your withdrawal from your course and would be reported to UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) in line with our sponsor licence compliance responsibilities. If you are de-registered from a module which results in your status changing to part-time, you are likely to be withdrawn from the whole programme and this would be reported to UKVI;
    • Work towards completing your course by the end date stated on your Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS);
    • Do not take a break from studies unless there are exceptional reasons, for example, a serious illness or a forced break imposed by UEL’s academic regulations.  This must be agreed in advance with your School and supported with appropriate evidence.  Please note that you will normally be required to return to your home country during the break period;
    • Notify the International Compliance team if you complete your studies earlier than expected;
    • Keep your contact details up to date on UEL Direct, including changes of address, telephone number and email address;
    • Notify the International Compliance team prior to undertaking any work placement which is integral to your course; the work placement must meet the Tier 4 requirements;
    • Notify the International Compliance team if you are considering changing your course as this is likely to affect your visa;
    • Notify UKVI of any significant changes to your circumstances as required;
    • Provide information/documentation to the International Compliance team promptly, if requested to do so;
    • Seek help early from the ISA team if your circumstances are likely to change which may affect your studies and visa in the UK;
    • In order to be considered for a new CAS for a visa renewal, you must meet UEL’s attendance and progression requirements as well as the Tier 4 requirements. In addition, you must apply to renew your visa before your current visa expires as UEL does not sponsor students who overstay on their visa.  UEL reserves the right to no longer continue sponsorship and issue a new CAS if you do not adhere to University’s or the Tier 4 requirements. It is unlikely that UEL will support a further CAS request if you do not complete within the time period stated on a second CAS.
    • Ensure that you are fully aware of the responsibilities of your visa and  comply with any future Government changes to Tier 4, as any breach could have a serious impact on your studies and your continued stay in the UK;
    • Adhere to any new procedures implemented by UEL in relation to Tier 4 student visa compliance. 
    For tips on how to protect your Tier 4 visa status, please read the UKCISA information.

    Please note that the UEL International Compliance team and the International Students Advice (ISA) team may contact you via email with important information relating to your visa. It is your responsibility to check your UEL email account on a regular basis.

    Your responsibilities

    UEL is your Tier 4 sponsor for your studies in the UK.  As such we have a number of compliance responsibilities to UKVI in order to uphold our Tier 4 licence.  These include:

    • Retaining a copy of your passport, visa and/or Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) and any updates, including visa refusals and change of visa category.
    • Keeping your contact details up to date;
    • Reporting to UKVI if you fail to enrol/re-enrol by our enrolment and re-enrolment deadline.
    • Reporting withdrawal and exclusion to UKVI, for example, if you are withdrawn for not meeting our Attendance Policy requirements, non-payment of tuition fees.    
    • Reporting to UKVI if you are on a break from studies for any reason.  Breaks are normally only allowed for exceptional reasons and must be agreed with your School in advance and supported by verifiable evidence.
    • Reporting to UKVI if your visa is refused.
    • Reporting to UKVI if we are no longer your licensed sponsor.
    • Reporting to UKVI if your circumstances change, for example, if your course of study changes or becomes shorter, work placement or if you change visa category.    
    • Reporting to UKVI if we have reason to believe that you are breaching the conditions of your student visa.

    UEL's responsibilities

    During your studies at the University of East London (UEL), your circumstances may change which may impact on your studies and, consequently, your Tier 4 student visa. It is important that you follow the advice outlined below and contact our International Student Advice (ISA) team who can provide you with further detailed advice and support: isa@uel.ac.uk

    The following information applies to all international students studying on a student visa including a Tier 4 student visa or on an old style student visa (applied for before 31/03/09).

    If there is likely to be a significant break in your studies, you will be expected to leave the UK and apply for a new visa in order to return to the UK for the next available opportunity to resume your course. The break in your studies will be noted on your student record and UEL will be required to notify UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) of this change if you applied for your Tier 4 visa using a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS), in line with our Tier 4 Sponsor licence responsibilities.

    Please note, that as an international student on a student visa, a break from studies is only permitted in the following exceptional circumstances:

    a) A personal situation means you are unable to continue your studies at this time

    Before making any decision to take an exceptional break from studies, you must be aware that there are likely to be financial and immigration implications. For this reason, it is very important that you contact the International Students Advice team (ISA) first so that they can advise you of the implications for your situation: isa@uel.ac.uk.

    If you need to request a break from studies owing to personal reasons, this will need to be agreed and approved in advance by your School. You will need to give your School information about why you are requesting a break and provide verifiable evidence of the reasons, so that they can consider your request and support you appropriately.

    Your School can only fully approve your break and update your UEL's student record once you have provided them with evidence that you have left the UK. This would normally be the re-entry stamp in your passport when you return to your home country and a copy of your flight ticket and boarding pass sent by scanned email attachment to your School and to pbs@uel.ac.uk This is in accordance with the Tier 4 visa conditions because if you are not actively studying, you are required to leave the UK. You will need to apply for a new Tier 4 visa when you are ready to resume your studies at UEL.

    The University is legally obliged to report any student who is in the UK on a Tier 4 visa issued under the CAS system and who takes a break or withdraws from studies to UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI), in line with our responsibilities as a Tier 4 Sponsor. You will need to request a new CAS and apply for a new Tier 4 visa from abroad, in order to return to your studies.

    Normally, the University will require that you leave the UK as soon as possible and certainly within 60 days of the beginning of the semester for which the break is being requested or from the point you have become aware of the personal circumstances that have caused you to request the break.

    In addition, you will be required to obtain a new visa for study at UEL in the future and the International Compliance team will only be able to issue you with a CAS for this purpose if you have adhered to the above procedures and you fulfil our CAS requirements.

    To request a new CAS, you will need to send evidence that you left the UK as required as outlined earlier in this section. The International Compliance team will also ask you to provide evidence of the maintenance (financial) documents required for your Tier 4 application. Once these have been checked as satisfactory, a CAS will be emailed to you.

    Please be aware that you will not be issued with a CAS for future study at UEL if you remain in the UK whilst you are on a break. The University will also not allow you to re-enrol with a Tier 4 visa for another sponsor.

    Please note: The time spent on study at degree level by Tier 4 (General) Students is limited to five years, with some exceptions.

    b) You are not required to study in the current semester due to summer re-sits or because you have been formally suspended from studies

    - Re-sits/Re-take (forced break)

    Students who need more time on their student visa to re-sit exams/ assignments or who need to re-take a module may be limited under the new Tier 4 (students) immigration rules. Before issuing you a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) for your visa extension, the University is obliged to consider whether your attendance and academic progress is satisfactory and assess your continued ability to pass the course. This means that the University may decide that you can no longer be sponsored under a Tier 4 visa. If this is the case, we will discuss the options open to you, with the aim of helping you to complete your studies.

    The Tier 4 rules for students stipulates that if you have failed a module(s) and you are not expected to study for more than 60 days (other than if this includes official vacation times) until the re-sit/re-take exams period, you will be expected to leave the UK and apply for a new visa in order to return to your studies.

    Examples of a significant break in study are:

    • No modules to attempt in Semester B but re-sits in August
    • No modules to take in Semester A but modules to re-take in Semester B

    This is regarded as a ‘forced break’ in studies and if you are placed on such a break for the reasons outlined above, you will be required to leave the UK as soon as possible and certainly within 60 days of becoming aware of this situation. This would normally be the day that your results have been published by the University.You can get access to your module results through UEL Direct.

    You will be required to provide evidence that you have left the UK. This would normally be the re-entry stamp in your passport when you return to your home country and a copy of your flight ticket and boarding pass sent by scanned email attachment to the International Compliance team pbs@uel.ac.uk. This is in accordance with your Tier 4 visa conditions because if you are not actively studying, you are required to leave the UK. You will then need to apply for a new Tier 4 visa using a new CAS when you are ready to resume your studies at UEL.

    The University is legally obliged to report to UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) any student who is in the UK on a Tier 4 visa issued under the CAS system and who is taking a break from studies, in line with our responsibilities as a Tier 4 Sponsor. You will need to request a new CAS and apply for a new Tier 4 visa from abroad, in order to return to your studies at UEL.

    In addition, you will be required to obtain a new visa for study at UEL in the future and the International Compliance team will only be able to issue you with a CAS for this purpose if you have adhered to the above procedures and you fulfil our CAS requirements.

    To request a new CAS, you will need to send evidence that you left the UK as required as outlined earlier in this section. The International Compliance team will also ask you to provide evidence of the maintenance (financial) documents required for your Tier 4 application. Once these have been checked as satisfactory, a CAS will be emailed to you.

    Please be aware that you will not be issued with a CAS for future study at UEL if you remain in the UK whilst you are on a break. The University will also not allow you to re-enrol with a Tier 4 visa for another sponsor.

    Please note: The time spent on study at degree level by Tier 4 (General) Students is limited to five years, with some exceptions. Click here for more information.

    - Suspension

    If you have been suspended from studies, for example, due to a breach of regulations, you will be required to leave to UK as soon as possible and certainly within 60 days of receiving notification of this and provide evidence that you have done so. This would normally be the re-entry stamp in your passport when you return to your home country and a copy of your flight ticket and boarding pass sent by scanned email attachment to the International Compliance team pbs@uel.ac.uk. This is in accordance with the Tier 4 visa conditions because if you are not actively studying, you are required to leave the UK. You will then need to apply for a new Tier 4 visa using a new CAS when you are ready to resume your studies at UEL.

    The University is legally obliged to report to UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) any student who is in the UK on a Tier 4 visa issued under the CAS system and who is taking a break from studies, in line with our responsibilities as a Tier 4 Sponsor. You will need to request a new CAS and apply for a new Tier 4 visa from abroad, in order to return to your studies at UEL. The International Compliance team will only be able to issue you with a CAS for this purpose if you have adhered to the above procedures and you fulfil our CAS requirements.

    To request a new CAS, you will need to send evidence that you left the UK as required as outlined earlier in this section. The International Compliance team will also ask you to provide evidence of the maintenance (financial) documents required for your Tier 4 application. Once these have been checked as satisfactory, a CAS will be emailed to you.

    Please be aware that you will not be issued with a CAS for future study at UEL if you remain in the UK whilst you are on a break. The University will also not allow you to re-enrol with a Tier 4 visa for another sponsor.

    Please note: The time spent on study at degree level by Tier 4 (General) Students is limited to five years, with some exceptions. Click here for more information.

    If you considering withdrawing from your course, you should speak to the academic staff in your School in the first instance about your reasons to see if this can be resolved. In addition, you should contact the ISA team so that they can advise you about any implications this could have on your student visa: isa@uel.ac.uk.

    If you do decide to withdraw from your course, you will need to follow the University’s withdrawal procedures. Please see section C.8.3 of the fees policy. In addition to this, you should email pbs@uel.ac.uk outlining the reasons why you have decided to withdraw.

    The University is required to report your withdrawal to UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) in line with our responsibilities as a Tier 4 Sponsor. We are required to provide UKVI with all relevant information so you will need to inform us if are planning to enrol at another institution or if you are planning to leave the UK.

    If you are leaving the UK, we advise you to do so within 60 days of formally withdrawing from your course. We also ask that you provide us with evidence of this. This would normally be the re-entry stamp in your passport when you return to your home country and a copy of your flight ticket and boarding pass sent by scanned email attachment to: pbs@uel.ac.uk.

    If you have been formally excluded from your studies at UEL due to a tuition fee debt, you will not be allowed to attend your course and the University will be required to report this to UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI), in line with our responsibilities as a Tier 4 Sposor, UKVI takes this report to mean that we have stopped sponsoring you under Tier 4. Subsequently, the University will withdraw you from your course.

    You are advised to leave the UK as soon as possible and certainly within 60 days of being excluded in order to remain compliant with your student visa.

    If you wish to resume your studies at UEL in the future, you will have to re-apply for admission as a new applicant when you have paid all of your outstanding tuition fees. Please note that your application will not be considered if you have outstanding tuition fee debt. As part of the international admission process, we consider a student’s previous study and immigration history in the UK. As such, you would be expected to demonstrate that you have remained compliant with your student visa during the time you were not studying with us. You would also be required to obtain a new student visa to return to your studies at UEL.

    If you are having financial difficulties, you should consider requesting an exceptional break from studies, you will need to follow the University's deferral and intermission procedures, see section C.8.1 of the Fees Policy. Although whether this is granted will depend on how much of the current semester you have studied to date. In addition, you should contact the ISA team so that they can advise you about any implications this could have on your student visa: isa@uel.ac.uk.

    Occasionally, some students may complete their course earlier than the end date stated on their CAS. In such cases, the University is required to report the new completion date to UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) by updating your CAS. Depending on the amount of time left on your current visa, UKVI may curtail (cancel) your visa to 60 days and they will notify you of this in writing. We advise you to leave the UK after completing your studies or apply for a new visa if you qualify to do so.
    If your student visa has been refused, you must inform the International Compliance team immediately by emailing pbs@uel.ac.uk, with a scanned copy of the refusal notice from UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) as you are required to keep them updated about your visa situation. In addition, you should seek urgent advice from our ISA team who can advise you about the options available to you, including making an Administrative Review: isa@uel.ac.uk. You must act quickly as there are very short timeframes if you are hoping to make an Administrative Review.

    Please note that it is unlikely the University will be able to issue another CAS to support a new Tier 4 visa application if you are already in the UK. Depending on the reasons for the refusal, we may be able to support a new entry clearance Tier 4 application which would need to be made from overseas. We will discuss your individual circumstances with you and advise you accordingly.

    If your student visa application has been rejected as invalid, this means that your application has not been accepted and the reasons for this will be outlined in the letter that you receive from UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI). You must notify the International Compliance team immediately by emailing pbs@uel.ac.uk with a scanned copy of your rejection letter from UKVI, as you are required to keep them updated about your visa situation. 

    In addition, you should seek advice urgently from our ISA team who can advise you about the options available to you: isa@uel.ac.uk. You must act quickly as there are very short timeframes for making a new Tier 4 application, if this is an option available to you.

    If you decide to change course within UEL, the University will notify UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI).

    If your new course is shorter than the previous course, you will also need to notify UKVI. UKVI may reduce the length of time on your student visa. The email to notify the UKVI is: migrantreporting@ukba.gsi.gov.uk.

    If your new course is longer than your previous course, you are likely to have to make an application for an extension of your student visa. You should do so as soon as possible and certainly before your current visa expires, in order to complete your new course.

    If you are in the UK on a student visa you should not be studying part time. Where possible you must remain full time. The only exception is where you need to re-sit a module and have no option but to go down to part time whilst re-sitting the exam/module.
    You should aim to attend 100% and submit all your assignments and attend all exams on time, in order to give yourself the best chance of succeeding in your course. Failure to attend all scheduled classes, tutorials, meetings with tutors, dissertation meetings with supervisors and any other arranged sessions in line with UEL's Attendance Policy and/or failure to submit work/ attend exams, could result in withdrawal from modules and potentially your course at UEL.

    Withdrawal from studies would be reported to UKVI in line with our responsibilities as a Tier 4 Sponsor and would mean you having to leave the UK as outlined above under the section ‘Withdrawing from your course’, above.

    Your course & study changes

    If your circumstances change while UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) are considering your Tier 4 application or while you are studying in the UK as a Tier 4 student, you should tell UKVI using one of the change of circumstances forms.

    You should use the forms to tell UKVI about:

    For changes in contact details:

    Use the Home Office online update form

    For other changes:

    • New passport details
    • Changes in your personal details (such as name); 
    • Criminal convictions that you have not previously told us about; 
    • Changes in your representative's details; 
    • Changes in your family members' details, if they are in the UK as your dependants; and 
    • Any other information that you think the Home Office should know.

    The form should not be used to report other changes, such as a change in your education provider or course of study. You can find more information in the guidance notes at the back of the form.

    Please follow the link for the Migrant Change of Circumstances form.

    If you have a Biometric Resident Permit (BRP), you should read the information about .changes when you have a BRP on the Home Office website

    Always ensure that you report any changes in your circumstances to UEL as well:

    • changes in contact details can be made through UEL direct; 
    • changes to your visa/ passport (example: new visa) must be reported in person at the HUB with the original evidence of the change (for example: new visa or new passport); 
    • changes to your personal details such as name or title must be changed at the Student Hub in person with the original evidence of the change (for example: new passport with new details or marriage certificate); 
    • new criminal convictions must be reported to the Applicant Checks Officer with responsibility for criminal records checks in the first instance by email at applicantchecks@uel.ac.uk with your name, student number and details of the new criminal conviction.

    Other changes in your circumstances