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Student Services

Studying in the UK on a visa

Page last updated: 01/03/2022

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?

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

You can find information about reporting a change of circumstances to the police on the Hampshire Constabulary website.

Can I travel?

You can find information about travel to England from another country during coronavirus (COVID-19) on the UK Government website.

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 British or Irish Citizen. 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.

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 following the instructions to transfer your visa if you’re outside the UK on: https://www.gov.uk/transfer-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

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 Tuberculosis (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 Visa Application Centres in your country, find your local visa application centre on: https://www.gov.uk/find-a-visa-application-centre


Check the latest rules for travel to England from another country during coronavirus (COVID-19) on: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/travel-to-england-from-another-country-during-coronavirus-covid-19

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

You can apply to extend your Student visa in the UK if you meet all the requirements, including academic progression. 

You can find general information on our webpage about making your Student visa application inside the UK.

 Please contact the VISAS team for further advice.

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

You can find general information on our webpage about making your Student visa application outside the UK.
 
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 Visa Application Centres in your country, find your local visa application centre on: https://www.gov.uk/find-a-visa-application-centre


Check the latest rules for travel to England from another country during coronavirus (COVID-19) on: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/travel-to-england-from-another-country-during-coronavirus-covid-19

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 apply for a Student visa before you travel.

You can find our general information about applying for a Student visa on: https://www.southampton.ac.uk/studentservices/visa-and-immigration/applying-for-your-visa/index.page

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 you may be able to request short-term protection against the consequences of staying in the UK after your visa has expired, known as ‘exceptional assurance’.

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

 

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