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The University of Southampton
Student Services

Absence request forms

Note: The term 'Student visa' refers to both the Tier 4 (general) visa and also the new Student visa, which has replaced the Tier 4 (general) visa on 5th October 2020. 

Students holding a Student visa must apply for authorised absence or annual leave if they will not be attending their studies during term-time.

Your request will be reviewed by the VISAS Team to ensure that your absence meets the requirements of your visa to protect your Student visa status.  If the length and/or timing of your absence is going to affect your ability to complete your programme of study within your current visa your absence cannot be approved.

To apply for an authorised absence or annual leave, please follow these instructions:

  1. Print the form which best describes your reason for absence. All absence request forms are in the Useful Downloads section, below. If you are not sure which form to use, please contact your Faculty Student Office or ask the VISAS Team at our drop-in service.
  2. Complete sections 1 and 2. Please write the full dates you will be outside of the UK or absent from your studies.
  3. Discuss the absence with your tutor/supervisor. If they agree to your absence, they will need to sign section 3.
  4. Send the signed form to your Faculty Office.
  5. You will receive an email from the VISAS Team if we need any further information or evidence for your absence.
  6. You will receive an email from your Faculty to confirm if your absence has been approved or refused.

If your absence is for annual leave or an event or activity that was planned in advance, we expect you to submit your absence request form at least two weeks before you plan to leave. Please do not assume that your absence request will be approved. Wait for your Faculty to respond to your absence request before you leave the UK. 

An approved absence should be in place before you travel. However, if an emergency situation arises, we recognise that you may need to leave the UK immediately without being able to seek prior approval for your absence (eg critical illness/death of close family relative).

If you have to leave the UK before applying for an authorised absence then please contact your Faculty office as soon as you are able to seek an authorised absence from your study. If the length and/or timing of your absence affects your ability to complete your programme of study within your current visa your absence will not be approved.

Please note that you may be questioned by Border Control as to why you are travelling during term-time.

You can find more information about attendance and absence on our FAQ: attendance and absence webpage.

Useful Downloads

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Frequently asked questions

Frequently asked questions

If you are uncertain about anything or you have a query, then our comprehensive frequently asked questions (FAQs) page may have the answer.

Visa drop-in and appointments

Visa drop-in and appointments

You can talk to one of our visa advisors by coming to a visa drop-in session, or you can book an appointment for an in depth discussion.

Enquiry form

Enquiry form

You can contact us through our online enquiry form. We strongly encourage people to contact us though the online enquiry form rather than emailing us. 

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