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The University of Southampton
Student Services

FAQ Placements

This page features frequently asked questions about placements for students on a Tier 4 visa.

It is important that you carefully read the questions on this page before contacting the University's Visa and Immigration Student Advice Service. However, if your question has not been answered then please contact us through the online enquiry form.

Can I be sponsored under Tier 4 to undertake placements during my programme of study?

Yes, provided that it meets the following conditions:

  1. The placement is an integral (i.e. non-optional) part of the course.
  2. The placement is an assessed part of your course, and contributes to the final mark of your programme.
  3. The placement does not take up more than 50% of your course (or more than 33% if you are studying below degree level).

You should maintain contact with your faculty throughout your placement.  You should also submit a weekly report using the remote study link.

The University must notify the UKVI when a student is on placement.

How long can my placement be?

If your course is at degree level or above the placement can be up to 50% of the total length of the course.

What happens if I fail to engage through the remote study link?

You will be contacted by the VISAS Team to ask you to show regular engagement through the remote study link.  If you continue to not engage with the University, sponsorship will be withdrawn from your Tier 4 visa (ie your visa will be cancelled).

What if I want to undertake a work placement that is not a part of my course?

If you are an undergraduate student and the placement is during your summer, Easter or Christmas vacation then you are allowed to work full-time. Your visa will not be affected. After your programme has officially ended (which is normally - but not always - after the end date on your CAS), you will usually have up to 4 months wrap-up time on your visa; during that time you are permitted to work full-time (provided you have successfully completed the programme of study for which your visa was issued).

If you are a postgraduate taught student you are allowed to work full-time during Christmas and Easter vacations.  After your programme has officially ended (which is normally - but not always - after the end date on your CAS), you will usually have up to 4 months wrap-up time on your visa; during that time you are permitted to work full-time (provided you have successfully completed the programme of study for which your visa was issued).

If you are a postgraduate research student, you are allowed to work full-time during bank holidays, University closure days and also during your permitted annual leave.  Please make sure that you have your annual leave approved before undertaking any work that goes over your normal 20-hours per week limit. You can apply for annual leave using the Tier 4 absence request forms on our website by clicking here.

What if I want to take a full year out to undertake a placement in the UK?

If this is not an integral and assessed part of your programme of study then you will need to suspend from your course, and we will need to withdrawn sponsorship from your Tier 4 visa.  This means that your Tier 4 visa will be cancelled, and you will have 60 days to either leave the UK or apply for a new visa.

You will then need to apply for a new visa when you want to return to study.

Please note: under no circumstances can any student sponsored under Tier 4 be self-employed. In addition, students cannot be employed as a doctor in training, an entertainer or as a professional sportsperson (including sports coach).  Students sponsored under Tier 4 are also not permitted to fill a permanent, full-time vacancy.

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 through the online enquiry form rather than to directly email us .

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