The information on this page only applies to international students with a Tier 4 (General) Visa.

During your studies at the University of Lincoln, your circumstances may change and this may impact on your studies and on your Tier 4 Visa. It is important that you understand and follow the Home Office rules which come with having a Tier 4 Visa, if you don’t there may be serious consequences.

The information below discusses a number of situations which you may experience during your studies in the UK. If you would like to discuss any of this information further contact our International Advice Team (internationaladvice@lincoln.ac.uk) who can provide you with confidential, independent and non-judgemental support and advice. The advice given by the International Advice Team is confidential but please note if you are in breach of your Tier 4 conditions they are obliged to inform the University’s Compliance team about this. This is a condition of your visa.

Follow the links below to view the appropriate section:

Finishing your course early.
Interrupting your studies
Withdrawing from your course.
Extenuating circumstances.
Changing course.
Changing university.
Resits.

Finishing your course early.

If you complete your course early the University must tell the Home Office about this. At the University of Lincoln it is the Tier 4 Compliance Team who informs the Home Office that you have completed your course early. If you complete your course early and you have more than 60 days remaining on your visa the Home Office will shorten it. This means your visa expiry date will change. The Home Office calls this ‘curtailment’. You should receive a letter (and possibly an email) from the Home Office which explains this. The Home Office should send this letter to the UK address you gave them during your most recent visa application.

When the Home Office shorten your visa it also gets cancelled once you leave the UK. If you do leave the UK you cannot return to the UK on the Tier 4 Visa you have. This is because the Tier 4 Visa you have is for studying and you will have finished your studies. It is important to understand that your current Tier 4 Visa only allows you to enter the UK for the purpose of starting or continuing your studies at the University of Lincoln.

Click here to read more information about completing your course early (this information is provided by the UK Council of International Student Affairs – UKCISA).

If you finish your course early it is very difficult to say exactly when your visa will expire. When the University’s Tier 4 Compliance Team inform the Home Office that you have completed your course early, the Home Office can deal with this information quickly or slowly.

The following information is taken from Home Office guidance and should help you understand when your visa may expire:

  • If you have been studying on a course that is more than 12 months long and you successfully complete this course, your new visa expiry date should be 4 months after the date you submitted your final piece of work.
  • If you have been studying on a course that is less than 12 months long and you successfully complete this course, your new visa expiry date should be 2 months after the date you submitted your final piece of work.
  • If you do not successfully complete your course your new visa expiry date will be 60 days after the date you submitted your final piece of work.

It is very important that you leave the UK before your current visa expires. We would advise you to leave the UK when you complete your studies.

Click here to read more information about when your visa should end (this information is provided by the UK Council of International Student Affairs – UKCISA).

If you are planning on leaving the UK and you now know your visa will be cancelled as soon as you leave but you want to return to the UK you must do so on a new visa. If you are returning to the UK as a tourist the most appropriate visa to apply for is a General Visitor Visa. To view further information from the Home Office about General Visitor Visas follow this link.

Also if you believe your visa expiry date will expire before your graduation ceremony you will have to leave the UK before your visa expires. If you want to attend your graduation ceremony you will need to return to the UK on a General Visitor Visa. The Tier 4 Visa you have is intended for study. As you have submitted your final piece of work you have completed your studies. The Graduation Ceremony is not classed as study therefore it is common for students to return to the UK on a General Visitor Visa for graduation.

We recommend that you discuss this further with the International Advice Team. Their information drop-in happens Monday-Friday 12pm-2pm in the Student Support Centre. You can speak to a specialist immigration adviser in more detail on a Tuesday between 10am-2pm in the Student Support Centre. Their email address is internationaladvice@lincoln.ac.uk.

The International Advice Team provide confidential, independent, non-judgemental support and advice. The advice given by the International Advice Team is confidential but please note if you are in breach of your Tier 4 conditions they are obliged to inform the University’s Compliance team about this. This is a condition of your visa.

 

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Interrupting your studies.

Pausing your studies.

Some students may decide (for personal, academic, medical or financial reasons) to take a temporary break in their studies (at the University of Lincoln this is called an interruption). It is not unusual to take a break from your studies.

If you decide to interrupt your studies this means you want to stop your studies for a certain amount of time. When you interrupt your studies you are normally expected to return to your course in the following academic year at the same point when you previously stopped studying.

We experience a wide range of issues which may lead to a student stopping their studies temporarily. Some examples have included, an illness, culture shock, a serious incident in your home country, feeling homesick, death of a close friend or relative, problems with your course, anxiety, stress, problems receiving money from your home country and pregnancy. There is not a definitive list of examples, anything could lead you to need to take a break from your studies. Whatever your reasons it’s a good idea to consider your options and seek advice from the Advice Service.

It’s also incredibly important to think about your visa. You are in the UK on a Tier 4 Visa, this means that you are in the UK to study. If you are considering taking a break in your studies this will seriously affect your visa because you will stop studying.

When you interrupt your studies the University of Lincoln’s Tier 4 Compliance Team must tell the Home Office about this  because you have stopped studying. The Home Office will then shorten (curtail) your Tier 4 visa, this means that the visa expiry date on your visa will change and you will need to return home as soon as possible. The Home Office state that if you have finished your course early (which you have because you have interrupted your studies) and you have not successfully completed your studies, they will limit your visa to 60 days, unless you have less than 60 days visa remaining on your visa.

We would advise you to leave the UK within 60 days from the date you stopped your studies and if you have less than 60 days remaining on your visa you must leave the UK before your visa expires.

You will need to apply for a new Tier 4 visa and request a new CAS statement three months before you are due to return to the UK and resume your studies.

We recommend that you discuss this further with the International Advice Team. Their information drop-in happens Monday-Friday 12pm-2pm in the Student Support Centre. You can speak to a specialist immigration adviser in more detail on a Tuesday between 10am-2pm in the Student Support Centre. Their email address is internationaladvice@lincoln.ac.uk.

The International Advice Team provide confidential, independent, non-judgemental support and advice. The advice given by the International Advice Team is confidential but please note if you are in breach of your Tier 4 conditions they are obliged to inform the University’s Compliance team about this. This is a condition of your visa.

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Withdrawing from your course.

Stopping your studies permanently.

You may decide (for personal, academic, medical or financial reasons) to stop studying at the University of Lincoln and you have no intention of resuming your studies. At the University of Lincoln this is known as withdrawing from your course.

We experience a wide range of issues which may lead to a student ending their studies. Some examples have included, a long term illness, deciding University is not for you, serious culture shock, the course becoming too difficult, a serious incident in your home country, feeling homesick, the death of a close friend or relative, problems with your course, anxiety, wanting to change University, problems with your money and pregnancy. There is not a definitive list of examples, anything could lead you to want to leave University. Whatever your reasons it’s a good idea to consider your options and seek advice from the Advice Service.

Withdrawing from your course does affect your Tier 4 Visa. Your Tier 4 Visa is for studying, if you withdraw from your course you will no longer be studying. When you withdraw from your course the University’s Tier 4 Compliance Team must tell the Home Office because you have stopped studying. The Home Office will then shorten (curtail) your Tier 4 visa to 60 days unless you have less than 60 days visa remaining on your visa.

We would advise you to leave the UK within 60 days from the date you stopped your studies and if you have less than 60 days remaining on your visa you must leave the UK before your visa expires.

We recommend that you discuss this further with the International Advice Team. Their information drop-in happens Monday-Friday 12pm-2pm in the Student Support Centre. You can speak to a specialist immigration adviser in more detail on a Tuesday between 10am-2pm in the Student Support Centre. Their email address is internationaladvice@lincoln.ac.uk.

The International Advice Team provide confidential, independent, non-judgemental support and advice. The advice given by the International Advice Team is confidential but please note if you are in breach of your Tier 4 conditions they are obliged to inform the University’s Compliance team about this. This is a condition of your visa.

 

 

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Extenuating circumstances.

Serious issues which make studying difficult.

During your studies you may experience significant personal difficulties which are outside your control and they impact on your ability to study.  This could be a wide range of issues which may include, among others, anxiety, an illness, an injury, a serious family problem, a death of a close friend or relative. The University of Lincoln calls these difficulties Extenuating Circumstances.

There is not a definitive list of examples of extenuating circumstances anything could lead you to find studying difficult or impossible. Whatever your reasons it’s a good idea to  seek advice from the Advice Service immediately.

If you find your studies are affected by circumstances outside your control you may ask the University to consider these difficulties. To do this you need to apply for extenuating circumstances. The process of applying for extenuating circumstances can be quite complicated and confusing. The Advice Service can help you understand how to apply. We would advise you to attend their drop-in which happens Monday-Friday, 12pm-2pm in the Student Support Centre.

It is incredibly important that you get evidence to support an application for extenuating circumstances, for example if you are seriously affected by an illness you would need to provide evidence from your doctor. Your evidence needs to show how this difficult situation (the extenuating circumstance) has personally affected you.

The Advice Service can discuss this confidentially with you. The Advice Service can help you consider the evidence you need before you submit the extenuating circumstances application form. There can be strict deadlines associated with making these applications so please seek advice immediately.

We recommend that you discuss this further with the International Advice Team. Their information drop-in happens Monday-Friday 12pm-2pm in the Student Support Centre. You can speak to a specialist immigration adviser in more detail on a Tuesday between 10am-2pm in the Student Support Centre. Their email address is internationaladvice@lincoln.ac.uk.

The International Advice Team provide confidential, independent, non-judgemental support and advice. The advice given by the International Advice Team is confidential but please note if you are in breach of your Tier 4 conditions they are obliged to inform the University’s Compliance team about this. This is a condition of your visa.

 

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Changing course.

It may be possible for you to change course. If you want to do this the University has to look at your qualifications to see if it’s possible to accept you on to the new course. The University will also need to look at Tier 4 requirements, such as academic progression (the level of course) and the time limits on specific levels of study, which may prevent you from changing course. 

Follow this link to read further information about changing course, there are specific rules for people who applied on or after 6 April 2013 and also on or after 6 November 2014  (this information is provided by the UK Council of International Student Affairs – UKCISA).

We recommend that you discuss this further with the International Advice Team. Their information drop-in happens Monday-Friday 12pm-2pm in the Student Support Centre. You can speak to a specialist immigration adviser in more detail on a Tuesday between 10am-2pm in the Student Support Centre. Their email address is internationaladvice@lincoln.ac.uk.

The International Advice Team provide confidential, independent, non-judgemental support and advice. The advice given by the International Advice Team is confidential but please note if you are in breach of your Tier 4 conditions they are obliged to inform the University’s Compliance team about this. This is a condition of your visa.

 

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Changing university.

If you want to change University you must apply for a new Tier 4 Visa first, before you start your new course.

If you are currently in the UK with a Tier 4 Visa and your new course is with a Highly Trusted Sponsor, you can start the new course before the Home Office make a decision from the Home Office. However the Home Office says that you do this at your own risk as it is possible that your application might be refused.

We would recommend that you contact the International Advice Team (or equivalent) at your new University. They should be able to provide you with information which explains how to apply for a new Tier 4 Visa.

If you plan to start studying at the University of Lincoln we recommend that you discuss this further with the International Advice Team. Their information drop-in happens Monday-Friday 12pm-2pm in the Student Support Centre. You can speak to a specialist immigration adviser in more detail on a Tuesday between 10am-2pm in the Student Support Centre. Their email address is internationaladvice@lincoln.ac.uk.

The International Advice Team provide confidential, independent, non-judgemental support and advice. The advice given by the International Advice Team is confidential but please note if you are in breach of your Tier 4 conditions they are obliged to inform the University’s Compliance team about this. This is a condition of your visa.

 

Resits.

 Taking an exam again.

During your studies you may be given the opportunity to resit an exam. When you receive your results there may be a letter ‘R’ next to a result if you have been given the chance to resit it. The rules about resits for a student in the UK on a Tier 4 Visa are complicated. If you have been given the chance to resit we would advise you to seek advice immediately to see if this is actually possible. Please bring your results, if possible, to the next Advice Service drop-in which happens Monday-Friday 12pm-2pm in the Student Support Centre. If you are currently outside the UK please email internationaladvice@lincoln.ac.uk

The advice given is confidential but please note if you are in breach of your Tier 4 conditions they are obliged to inform the University’s Compliance team about this. This is a condition of your visa. 

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