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Authorised Absence - Student Visa

What is Authorised Absence?

The University recognises that in some circumstances it would be preferable for a student to be able to take a short period of time away in order to deal with a personal issue, or undertake minor medical treatment, without their visa being curtailed.

Undergraduate Students

Authorised absence is only available to undergraduate students during the final three weeks of summer term for the purpose of undertaking an internship.

This process is managed by our colleagues in the Immigration and ComplianceLink opens in a new window office.

Postgraduate Students

Where the time needed is quantifiable and equates to up to a total of 42 calendar days in a single 12 month period (taken from the course start date), it is possible for the University to record this period of time as an ‘authorised absenceLink opens in a new window’, rather than a temporary withdrawal, provided this is supported by your academic department. Please note that there should be no engagement in any academic activities during a period of authorised absence. Should there be any then a change of study location would be the appropriate process.

Unlike the temporary withdrawalLink opens in a new window, a period of authorised absence will not be added to your registration period, so careful consideration should be given to whether a period of authorised absence is appropriate. Your department will only support your request for a period of authorised absence if they are satisfied that you will not be missing critical elements of your course and that upon your return you will be able to resume your studies without having to repeat any previous period of study. Periods of authorised absence are not reported to the UKVI and your visa remains valid.

Periods of Authorised Absence above 42 calendar days in a single 12-month period are only approved in very exceptional circumstances. You should liaise with your academic department in the first instance for all authorised absence requests.

In what circumstances can I request a period of authorised absence?

Acceptable reasons for taking a period of authorised absence would be to receive minor medical treatment, take maternity/paternity leave or for personal/financial difficulties. A postgraduate research student may also request a period of authorised absence as a holiday.

Any break in study of up to 42 calendar days, which does not meet the definition of an 'authorised absence' will be recorded as a temporary withdrawal by Student Records and treated as such (i.e. reported to the Home Office).

How can I request a period of authorised absence?

Please log in to Student Records OnlineLink opens in a new window, click on the the Student Records Requests tab and select the Authorised Absence application option.

What do I need to do when returning from authorised absence?

You should complete and submit the authorised absence return to study form.Link opens in a new window

This must be done within one working day after the end date of your period of authorised absence, or one working day after the date of the 'due back' email.

If you fail to return to your studies on the agreed date of return, the University reserves the right to initiate a period of temporary withdrawal on your behalf. If you fail to resume your studies, the University would be required to stop sponsoring your visa and report this to the Home Office UKVI. This would lead to the curtailment of your visa and you would be expected to leave the UK.