Skip to main navigationSkip to main content
The University of Southampton
Student Services

Studying in the UK on a visa

Page last updated: 16/09/2021

The VISAS Team continue to advise students remotely and you can contact the team by visiting our contact us webpage.

The Home Office has produced further guidance for UK Visa Applicants and those in the UK  https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-advice-for-uk-visa-applicants-and-temporary-uk-residents.

Visa frequently asked questions

Find out more about online study, suspending your studies, and more.

If I am studying online, what does this mean for my visa.

You should follow the information about the education delivery on University COVID information for the 21/22 academic year or if you are a Postgraduate Research student the guidance for Supervisors, Research Students and Schools

If you have a Tier 4 or a Student visa you must continue to engage with your studies by:

  • Attending all scheduled study activities such as: lectures, exams, meetings with your tutor or supervisor
  • Submitting all assessed work
  • Using the University electronic systems which are monitored for attendance.

The online systems that can be used when you study online are

  • Blackboard
  • e-Assignment
  • PGR Tracker (postgraduate research students only)
  • Remote study link during data collection/fieldwork/placement

How do I apply for an authorised absence?

If you are unable to study as you are unwell/have a family emergency please complete a compassionate leave authorised absence form by following the information on the following page
 
If you are a Postgraduate Research Student, in addition to University closure days and Bank Holidays, postgraduate research students are permitted to take 26 working days of annual leave each academic year (01 August – 31 July). You can find Student visa annual leave request forms on PGR Tracker or on the University's absence request form webpage.

I want to suspend my studies

If you wish to defer, suspend or change your course your Tier 4/Student visa may be affected. We encourage you to read our advice about suspending from your programme. If you have questions about your specific circumstances you can chat with an advisor during our Visa drop-in live chat

I want to defer my studies. What does this mean in terms of my CAS and my visa?

Please ensure you submit the Late Arrival Request form in order to establish whether you will need to consider deferral.

 

What happens in terms of your visa, depends on which stage of the application process you are at. You can find out more on the government webpage.

·         You have received your CAS but have not yet used it for a visa application.

Your current CAS will be withdrawn, and it will no longer be valid to make a student visa application.    

·         You have applied for your visa. You have not yet uploaded biometrics/attended an appointment to provide your biometrics.

Do not proceed any further with your application. You can cancel your visa application, following the advice on the government webpage including applying for a refund of your visa application fees. Please also email casteam@soton.ac.uk so appropriate action can be taken for your CAS.

·         You have submitted your biometrics and/or received a decision on your application.

 You will usually not be refunded for the fees associated with your visa application.  

Please also email casteam@soton.ac.uk so appropriate action can be taken for your CAS.

If your visa has been granted, as you are deferring, the university must remove sponsorship of your visa and this will no longer be valid.

 

If you defer, you will need to request a new CAS and apply for a new visa to commence your studies. We would recommend that you start preparing about 6 months before your new course start date.  

I need to update my Police Registration Certificate, what should I do

If police registration is a condition of your current visa and you have left the UK for more than 2 months, email: nationalities@hampshire.pnn.police.uk with the following information:

  • Police Registration Certificate number
  • Current passport number
  • BRP card number
  • The date you left the UK and your travel details

For further details please see our main Police Registration page.

Can I travel?

For advice about travel please see our page on Travel & Returning to Southampton/Winchester

If you are travelling from a country on the red list - please check the governmental guidance including regarding residency rights.

From 1 January onwards people with residence rights include: holders of Indefinite Leave to Remain; holders of existing leave to enter or remain (i.e those with biometric Residence permits) or an entry clearance/visa that grants such leave e.g. students, workers, etc (excluding visit visas); holders of EU Settlement Scheme (“EUSS”) leave; those who have rights of entry under the Withdrawal Agreements (including returning residents with a right of residence under the EEA Regulations and EEA frontier workers); family members of EEA nationals with rights under the Withdrawal Agreement.

Starting your course

Find out more about Visas and Immigration in relation to starting your course.

I need to attend a Right to Study Check / Collect my BRP card

UK Visas and Immigration requires the University to check and record evidence of right to study in the UK if you are not a UK or Republic of Ireland national. You can find further details about preparing for Right to Study Checks in the "Registration and Visas" Section of the Welcome Website   

When you arrive in the UK you will not be penalised for being unable to collect your biometric residence permit (BRP) while coronavirus measures are in place.

If you have chosen to collect your BRP from the University, you will need to attend a right to study check to collect your BRP. Before your appointment please ensure that you have uploaded relevant documents, using the banner link. The VISAS Team will check your uploaded documents before your appointment, and you may need to rebook if you have not uploaded your documents.

I am outside the UK, I received a vignette and cannot travel before it expires

If your 90 day vignette has expired, you will need to apply for a replacement by completing the online form. The cost of replacing an expired 90 day vignette is £154 and you will need to make an appointment to resubmit your biometric information.

You should follow the information about the education delivery on University COVID information for the 21/22 academic year or if you are a Postgraduate Research student the guidance for Supervisors, Research Students and Schools

We strongly advise that you only apply to replace an expired vignette, when you are confident you can travel to the UK. The new vignette will be valid for a period of 90 days. If you cannot travel during this time, you may need to apply again to update your vignette.

If you live in a country where a TB test is required for your application and your TB Test certificate has expired you will need a new test certificate before you apply for a replacement entry vignette. For more information about TB test - https://www.gov.uk/tb-test-visa 

For updates to the status of VACs in your country, contact:  

TLS Contact if you’re in Europe, Africa and parts of the Middle East  
VFS Global for all other countries 
 
There are rules in place for entering the UK because of coronavirus (COVID-19). Please check the latest information before you travel at https://www.gov.uk/uk-border-control 

Applying for a Visa

Frequently asked questions relating to applying for a Visa.

I am in the UK and I need to apply for a new Student visa

If you will be continuing your study and need to apply for a new Student Visa please follow the information on the following webpage to prepare for your application.
 
You can apply to extend your visa to stay in the UK if you meet all the visa requirements, including academic progression and maintenance requirements.  Please contact the VISAS team for further advice.

I applied for a new visa in the UK, but have not enrolled biometrics yet

If you’re applying in the UK as a Student or Child Student (including Tier 4 student), UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) may be able to reuse your fingerprints.

If UKVI can reuse the fingerprints you’ve already given, you will receive an email from UKVCAS confirming next steps

Please send clear scans of your passport/BRP card from your university email address to visa@soton.ac.uk.

I am outside the UK and need to apply for a Student visa

You can find further information about applying for a Student visa outside the UK on our information page
 
Before applying for a visa you should follow the advice about your studies on the University COVID information for the 21/22 academic year or if you are a Postgraduate Research student the guidance for Supervisors, Research Students and Schools 
 
We strongly advise that you only apply for a new visa, or apply to replace an expired vignette, when you are confident you can travel to the UK. The vignette in your passport will be valid for a period of 90 days. If you cannot travel during this time, you may need to apply again to update your vignette. 
 
For updates to the status of VACs in your country, contact:  
TLS Contact if you’re in Europe, Africa and parts of the Middle East  
VFS Global for all other countries 
 
There are rules in place for entering the UK because of coronavirus (COVID-19). Please check the latest information before you travel

I am an EU/EEA/Swiss national and due to travel restrictions I was not able to travel to the UK before 31 December 2020 to be eligible for the EU Settlement Scheme . What do I need to do?

If you commenced your study online, were unable to travel to the UK before 31 December 2020 and were not a resident of the UK before you commenced your studies, you should apply for a visa under the Student route to continue your studies in the UK.

You will need to complete a Continuing Student CAS request form and apply for a Student visa before you travel.

You can find the CAS request form and information about applying for a Student Visa on our advice page for Applying for a Student visa outside the UK.

I am in the UK and my visa is due to expire and I am unable to leave the UK. What should I do

If you intend to leave the UK but have not been able to do so and you have a visa or leave that expires by 30 September 2021 you may request additional time to stay, known as ‘exceptional assurance’

You should follow the guidance on https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-advice-for-uk-visa-applicants-and-temporary-uk-residents and follow the guidance on Exceptional Assurance

 

Not found the information you need?

Explore our full range of frequently asked questions.

Find out more
Privacy Settings