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The University of Southampton
Student ServicesVisa and immigration

Visa Conditions

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. 

The information on this webpage is about engagement requirements for students who have a Student visa, including:

1.    When you must engage

2.    How you can show engagement and how the University monitors engagement

3.    What to do if you cannot engage with your studies

4.    Leaving the UK before you complete your studies

If you have a Student visa for a full-time programme of study, you must engage with your studies full-time during term dates. For you to engage, you must attend all required face to face sessions.

Engagement: study activities, assignments and using University systems
Engagement: study activities, assignments and using University systems

1. When you must engage

Term dates are the time during which you are expected to be in the UK studying and engaging with your course activities. Term dates include exam periods and the time during which you are expected to be writing your dissertation or thesis.

Vacation dates are different for each level of study. Please read the information for the relevant level of your course in the sections below.

Undergraduate students

The vacation dates for undergraduate students are the Christmas and Easter vacation dates and University closure dates, as stated on the University key dates webpage plus the summer vacation from the end of the summer term until the beginning of autumn term for the next academic year.

Postgraduate taught students

The vacation dates for postgraduate taught students are the Christmas and Easter vacation dates and University closure dates, as stated on the University key dates webpage. At all other times postgraduate taught students must show attendance full time in the UK up to the end of their programme end date as specified on their CAS, including during the summer.

Postgraduate research students

The vacation dates for postgraduate research students are University closure days, as stated on the University key dates webpage. When you are writing up your thesis or when your status is nominal you must continue to show attendance full-time in the UK.

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). Any annual leave you do not take within the current academic year cannot be used in the next academic year. If you start part-way through an academic year, after 01 August, you will only get a pro-rata (reduced) annual leave entitlement for the first year. For example:

If you start on 01 February (six months into the academic year) you will only get 13 days of annual leave up until the 31 July in the same year. You will then receive 26 days of annual leave from 01 August to take within the next academic year. 
To apply for annual leave, you must complete an absence request form which must be authorised by your Faculty Graduate School in advance of the dates you wish to be absent. You can find Student visa annual leave request forms on PGR Manager or on the University's absence request form webpage.

2. How you can show engagement and how the University monitors engagement

How you can show engagement

You must show engagement by:

  • Attending all scheduled study activities such as: lectures, exams, meeting with your tutor or supervisor, labs and workshops; and
  • Submitting all assessed work; and
  • Using the University electronic systems which are monitored for engagement.

How the University monitors engagement

The University of Southampton uses an electronic engagement monitoring system, which enables you to show engagement easily when you study online or on-campus. The electronic systems used to monitor engagement are:

  • Blackboard
  • Door entry points across the University e.g. Library. Swipe your student ID card.
  • E-Assignment
  • EDUroam wireless system
  • PGR Manager (postgraduate research students only)
  • Remote study link during data collection/fieldwork/placement
  • University desktop computers (except ECS, NOCS and WSA)
  • University network printers. Swipe your student ID card

Please note: no data can be seen apart from a record that you have accessed the system.

If you do not use any of the electronic systems listed here, during term dates, you will receive electronic attendance reminder emails from the Visa and Immigration Student Advice Service (VISAS). If you are not actively studying and your absence from studies is not authorised, the University cannot continue to sponsor your Student visa.

If there is a reason why you cannot engage with your studies during term dates, you can find more information about what to do in the next section: What to do if you cannot engage with your studies.

3. What to do if you cannot engage with your studies

If you need to leave the UK or will not be actively studying during term dates you have a few options:

  • Apply for an authorised absence.
  • Suspend your studies and return to complete them later.
  • Withdraw from your studies.

If you are considering leaving the UK to complete your thesis or dissertation, you can find more information in the next section: Leaving the UK before you complete your studies.

Apply for an authorised absence

You can apply for an authorised absence to take a short time away from your studies or leave the UK for a short time for any of the following reasons:

  • Remote study
  • Compassionate/medical leave

Your absence should be authorised before you take time away from your studies. This will make it easier for you to show you have the approval of your Student Sponsor when you travel through the UK border and will enable the University to continue to sponsor your Student visa during your absence.

Further information and absence request forms can be found on the University’s Student visa authorised absence request form webpage: 

Student visa absence request forms

Remote study

This type of authorised absence is only available for postgraduate students. Remote study may include: data collection, field work, attending a conference or other research which is necessary to your current programme of study. Leaving the UK to write up your dissertation/thesis is not considered remote study. You can find more information about leaving the UK before you complete your studies in the next section: leaving the UK before you complete your studies. 

To be able to approve your absence, your supervisor must confirm:

  •  This period of remote study is essential to the student’s course.
  •  The work the student is doing must necessarily be done outside of the UK, and could not be completed on-site at the University of Southampton.
  •  The amount of the time the student has requested is proportionate to the work they are undertaking.
  •  This student will remain in regular contact with the university (i.e. supervisor or other appropriate member of staff) throughout this period of remote study.

If your supervisor cannot confirm all of the above, they will not be able to approve your absence and you will need to discuss alternative options with them, which may include completing your study activity in the UK or suspending your studies.

Compassionate/medical leave

This type of authorised absence could be for reasons which include a family emergency, a wedding of a close family member or a serious health condition which requires a short absence from studies. Requests for compassionate leave are assessed on a case-by-case basis.

If you are not sure if the reason for your absence will qualify for compassionate leave, you can speak to a visa advisor at our drop-in service or book a visa advice appointment.

In all requests for compassionate leave, your tutor or supervisor must confirm that they:

  • do not consider that this absence will have a detrimental effect on the students’ academic studies

This means that you must still be able to successfully complete your current programme of study before your current Student visa expires and your absence must not directly result in you having to extend your stay to complete your studies. 

You may be asked to provide evidence to support your request for authorised absence.

If your absence is for a medical leave, you must provide a letter from your doctor at the hospital or medical centre on official headed paper which includes all of the following:

  •  the name, address and phone number of the hospital or medical centre
  •  details of your medical condition
  •  the signature of your doctor
  •  the official stamp of the hospital
  •  the date the letter was printed

If your evidence is not in English, you must provide a certified translation which contains all of the following:

  •  confirmation from the translator/translation company that it is an “accurate translation of the original document”
  •  the date of the translation
  •  the translator’s full name
  •  the translator’s signature
  •  the translator or translation company’s credentials (qualification or registration as a translator)
  •  the translator or translation company’s contact details

Suspend or withdraw from your studies

You must contact your Faculty Office to find out the process to apply to suspend or withdraw from your studies. 

When you suspend or withdraw, you will no longer be actively studying so the University cannot continue to sponsor your current Student visa. On the date you are suspended or withdrawn, the University will remove sponsorship of your Student visa and report your change of circumstances to UK Visas and Immigration. We will email you the same day to explain that: 

  • Unless you submit a new immigration application to remain in the UK, you must leave the UK within 60 days.
  • You cannot work or study in the UK during this 60 day period.
  • The end date printed on your visa is no longer relevant. 
  • You can use your current visa to leave the UK to go home but you cannot then use it to re-enter the UK. 

If you suspend your studies, you will need a new visa to return to your studies. When you know the date you are planning to return, you must prepare to apply for a new visa. Visit the relevant tab on our webpage about suspending/deferring/withdrawing for more information.

4. Leaving the UK before you complete your studies

Writing up your dissertation or thesis outside of the UK

If you are considering writing up your dissertation or thesis outside of the UK, you must discuss this with your Faculty Office and supervisor before you leave the UK. If your Faculty and supervisor are able to approve your decision to leave the UK, you must inform the Visa and Immigration Student Advice Service (VISAS) by contacting us - see the link below. When you inform VISAS that you will complete your dissertation or thesis outside of the UK, the University will remove sponsorship of your Student visa on the date you plan to leave the UK. 

When the University removes sponsorship of your Student visa, we will report your change of circumstances to UK Visas and Immigration and we will email you on the same day to explain that:

  •  Unless you submit a new immigration application to remain in the UK, you must leave the UK within 60 days.
  •  You cannot work or study in the UK during this 60 day period.
  •  The end date printed on your visa is no longer relevant.
  •  You can use your current visa to leave the UK to go home but you cannot then use it to re-enter the UK.

Please note that if your sponsorship is withdrawn, this may impact your ability to apply for the graduate route and we recommend you contact us using the link below.

Repeating externally

The University will remove sponsorship of your Student visa when we are informed about your decision to repeat externally. 

If you need to return to the UK to attend examinations when you are repeating externally, you will need to apply for a Visitor visa. Find out more on the exams tab of our short visit webpage.

Following successful completion of your repeat external period of study, you will need to apply for a new Student visa from outside the UK to continue with your programme of study at the University of Southampton. You can find more information on the applying outside the UK tab on the University's making your application about making your application. 

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You can contact us by email and through online chat. We also offer online 1 to 1 appointments

The information contained in this website is believed to be correct at the time of publication.

Please note: The University of Southampton is not responsible for the content of any external websites.

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. The information on this webpage is about working in the UK for students with a 'Student visa' to study at the University of Southampton.

Before you apply for work in the UK, you must ensure you understand the work conditions of your visa. You can find full information about the conditions of your visa or immigration permission on the UKCISA website.

If you have a Standard Visitor or Short-term Study visa (see relevant tabs for more information) or are part-time on a Student visa, you are not permitted to undertake any work or work placements.

 

Work Conditions

If you have a Student visa for full-time study at the University of Southampton, you can work in the UK but there are restrictions.

Restrictions on working hours

If your programme is: 

  • degree level or above - you can work up to 20 hours per week during term time
  • below degree level e.g. Pre-sessional English language course - you can work up to 10 hours per week during term time.

If you receive University vacation periods, you can work full-time during your specified vacation dates.

Check whether you are eligible to receive vacation periods and see the term dates for your programme level in our attendance and absence section

If you have finished your course and your visa does not expire for another 4 months, this is considered a vacation period for work purposes.

Please note that if you are a Postgraduate Research student, the date which you finish your studies is considered the award date, therefore you are still restricted to term-time working hours until you have been awarded. 

A week is defined as a seven-day period from Monday-Sunday and the working hour allowance resets each Monday.

You may not carry over your allowance into later weeks.

Check your BRP card to ensure that your maximum working hours during term-time are correct. If you think there is a mistake on your BRP card and your permitted hours are incorrect, then please contact us.

Students can work within certain restrictions.
Students can work within certain restrictions.

What counts as work?

Any work you undertake including paid work and unpaid (voluntary) work is counted towards the amount of work you are allowed to do each week during term dates.

'Volunteering' is not counted towards the amount of work you are allowed to do each week, as long as it meets the definition of volunteering in the UKVI Student Route Casework Guidance

If you have more than one job, all hours worked count towards your total permitted working allowance per week.

If your employer is outside the UK, your hours of work undertaken in the UK still count towards your working limit. 

What you may not do:

  • engage in business, self-employment or provide services as a professional entertainer or sportsperson;
  • pursue a career by filling a full-time, permanent vacancy.

Please note that certain activities are considered to be 'self-employment' and are not allowed on your Student visa:

  • Working in certain sectors of the 'gig economy' - check with your employer if you will be self-employed or not
  • Setting yourself up as a 'trader' and selling goods and services online
  • Online business and e-commerce 
  • Passive income and affiliate marketing - clicks on social media, subscriptions and sponsorship from businesses
  • Digital nomad - freelance online working
  • Buying and selling stocks, shares and currencies, including mining and trading of cryptocurrencies
  • Direct sales, party planning and pyramid schemes
  • Selling or publishing any creative work you have produced for monetary gain - art, writing, music, etc.

There is further information available on the UKCISA Blog: A working definition

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You can contact us by email and through online chat. We also offer online 1 to 1 appointments.

Working after Studies

Working after studies

If you'd like more guidance on working after studies, please visit our dedicated webpage

The information contained in this website is believed to be correct at the time of publication.

Please note: The University of Southampton is not responsible for the content of any external websites.

Where do I register with the police?

New police registration: at Hampshire Police Nationalities Office in Winchester

Update existing police registration certificate: your local police station

 

Who needs to register with the police?

You must register with the police if this condition is written on your visa or visa application decision letter or email.

Register with the police at the earliest available opportunity.

Each individual who is subject to the police registration condition must register.

Nationals of countries or territories listed in Immigration Rules Appendix 2 can expect to be subject to the police registration condition.

Hampshire Police have more information about who needs to register.

 

How do I register with the police?

If you are registering with the police for the first time or you have lost your police registration certificate, Hampshire police have more information about how to register.

If you are already registered but have moved to another area, report to the local police station in the new location within seven days of arriving. There is no charge, and you will continue to use the same certificate. You must take with you:

  • your police registration certificate
  • your passport
  • evidence of your new school, university or work permit
  • evidence of your address details

 

How do I update my police registration certificate?

If you already have a police registration certificate, you must update it if your details change by following the instructions from  Hampshire police about reporting a change in circumstances.

Details to update include:

  • Change of address or contact details
  • Change in marital status
  • A new visa or immigration status
  • A new passport or travel document
  • You have become exempt from police registration
  • Leaving the UK for more than 2 months
  • Change of University

 

The information contained in this website is believed to be correct at the time of publication.

Please note: The University of Southampton is not responsible for the content of any external websites.

Useful External Links

The information provided on this page was correct at the time of publishing. We strive to regularly update this page but we advise that you visit the UKVI's website for police registration; this is the UK government's official website and the information provided will be regularly updated in accordance with the UK's immigration rules.

Contact Us

Contact Us

You can contact us by email and through online chat. We also offer online 1 to 1 appointments

The information contained in this website is believed to be correct at the time of publication.

Please note: The University of Southampton is not responsible for the content of any external websites.

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