Finishing your studies
Do you hold a valid Warwick sponsored student visa? Has your course end date passed or will it pass shortly?
If you have attended all taught classes, sat all exams, and submitted all work for the year, this page will guide you through your next steps. This includes how to extend your visa should you need to.
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Need more time to complete your studies?
If you have been granted a period of academic extension to complete your course, you may be wondering if you are still eligible to apply for a Graduate visa, or have questions about whether you can extend your current student visa.
Click HERE to view a short presentation from the immigration service which explores your options in detail, helping you make the right decision for your circumstances.
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On the below FAQs please select the '>>' widget next to the section title to unhide the text so it becomes visible to the screen reader.
If you have been granted an academic extension, you can either:
- complete your degree from outside of the UK - you cannot apply for the Graduate Route in this instance, or
- complete your degree from inside of the UK - you will need to submit a student visa extension application; you must do this if you intend to apply for the Graduate Route.
Once your course end date has passed, you will be waiting for your official exam board decision.
This means you are no longer in term time, therefore, you have no requirement to be in the UK.
If you choose to remain in the UK, you are able to work as many hours as you wish on your student visa - see the Working on a student visa section below to learn more.
Did You Know?
If you have achieved your award and your course end date on your CAS has passed, your current student visa will remain valid until its expiry date. This means that you are free to leave and re-enter the UK up until your current visa expiry date. You should always carry with you evidence of why you are returning, such as evidence of your graduation invitation.
You must not do the following:
- fill a full-time permanent vacancy;
- be self-employed or engaged in a business activity;
- be employed as a doctor or dentist in training (unless on a recognised Foundation Programme);
- be employed as a professional sportsperson or entertainer.
You can work as many hours as you wish from the day after your course end date until your official Exam Board decision date.
If your Exam Board outcome is that, your studies are incomplete such as a re-submission/re-sit decision or a fail:
- you should immediately return to working 20 hours per week.
If your Exam Board outcome is a successful award:
- you have no limit on the hours you can work up to your visa expiry date.
A Graduate Route visa is an unsponsored, post-study work visa which grants you permission to stay in the UK for at least 2 years after successfully completing a course in the UK.
You can apply for the Graduate Route if:
- you have spent 12 months studying the course your student visa was issued for within the UK;
- you have successfully completed the course for which your student visa was issued for;
- you have achieved the award for which your student visa was issued and this is a full degree;
- your higher education provider has sent the notification of your award to the UKVI to confirm all of the above; and
- you are able to submit your Graduate Route application before your current student visa expires.
If you have passed your course and had your Masters conferred, the University of Warwick will notify the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI). If you are interested in the Graduate Route visa, you should submit the visa application before your student visa expires.
For eligible students, the University of Warwick will notify the UKVI by mid-December.
You should contact your department to discuss your situation and confirm that they are allowing completion from overseas.
If they allow you to complete your degree overseas, you must:
- submit a form to confirm that you intend to complete your course overseas,
- ensure that you have left the UK by your current visa expiry date - you will need to provide proof of departure from the UK to Student Immigration.
If you have successfully completed your degree and your award is conferred, you will have the following visa options:
- If you are interested in the Graduate Route visa, you should wait until you receive an email from us confirming that we have notified UKVI of your award. Once you receive this email, you can apply for the Graduate route visa. Please ensure you meet the Graduate Route eligibility criteria.
- If you would like to study further and require a new CAS for a student visa, please look at the course options Link opens in a new windowand contact the relevant admissions team, should you require more information or a new CAS for a new course.
- If you are interested in any other visa options to remain in the UK, please take a look at our visa portalLink opens in a new window or check out the UKCISALink opens in a new window webpage.
In 2023, it is anticipated that all students who have passed will receive an email confirmation from Student Records by 8 December.
If you have not received this email, please get in touch with your academic department for an update.
If you have not successfully completed the course or you have been given a lower award such as a Postgraduate Diploma, you should:
- Follow the instructions in the Exam Board outcome and check for any academic options given to you, to complete your studies. For example, you may be given an option to re-sit or resubmit.
- Once you know your academic options, please read on to see what your options are in the following FAQs, if this doesn’t answer your question you can contact usLink opens in a new window to find out your visa options.
Please note, that you will not be eligible for the Graduate Route visa.
One of the eligibility requirements of the Graduate Route visa is that you must achieve the award for which your student visa was granted and that award must be a full degree.
Therefore, if you exit with a Postgraduate Award, a Postgraduate Certificate, a Postgraduate Diploma, or if you fail, you cannot meet this requirement and will not meet the requirements of the Graduate Route Visa. Please visit our Graduate Route page for more detailed information about this visa route.
Applying under either the Graduate Route or Skilled Worker Route is a personal decision. Below are the differences between the two routes:
Skilled Worker visa
The Skilled Worker visa:
- is a sponsored visa and only provides the right to work for the job it is issued for.
- counts towards Settlement.
- allows you to bring dependants to the UK.
- grants the right to study, as long as any period of study doesn't interfere with your ability to meet your Skilled Worker visa conditions.
- is valid for the length of the employment contract, which can be any period up to 5 years.
The Graduate Route:
- provides the right to work in any job that does not have its own visa type, such as Doctor or Dentist.
- does not count towards settlement.
- only allows you to add dependants if they were already your dependants on your previous student visa.
- does not grant the right to study.
- is valid for 2 years for undergraduate and postgraduate courses and 3 years where the course was a PhD.
If you want to complete your degree within the UK, you will need to submit a visa extension application.
- If you are given an extension to re-submit, you will be able to submit your visa application in the UK.
- If you are given an extension to re-sit and the re-sit is within 60 days of your visa expiry date, you will be eligible for a CAS to submit a visa extension application in the UK. You must request the CAS before your re-sit takes place whilst you have an academic reason.
- If you are given an extension to re-sit on your course and the re-sit is more than 60 days after your visa expiry date, you will need to leave the UK, submit your visa application outside the UK and return by your Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) latest arrival date.
IMPORTANT: any visa extension application within the UK must be submitted before your current visa expires.
To submit your Student Visa application, you'll need to:
- gather your application evidence;
- request a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) in good time;
When's the best time to request a CAS?
If you plan to submit a student visa application overseas, the best time to request a CAS comes down to your application type:
- Standard - up to 3 weeks to receive your visa decision and 10 working days to receive your vignette.
Priority - up to 1 week to receive your visa decision and 10 working days to receive your vignette.
Super Priority - decision by next working day then 10 working days to receive your vignette.
In case there are any errors on your Visa, you must reach out to your Visa Application Centre (VAC). Please bear in mind that correcting these errors can take up to 3 weeks, hence a good time to request a CAS would be:
- Standard - 8 weeks before your CAS Start Date
- Priority - 6 weeks before your CAS Start Date
- Super Priority - 4 weeks before your CAS Start Date
Requesting a CAS within these timeframes will allow you to receive your visa on time and arrive in the UK before the latest start date on your CAS, unless there are any delays in the decision-making process or delays in the vignette printing by the UKVI/VAC.
If you plan to apply in the UKLink opens in a new window, you must submit your student visa application before your current visa expires, as long as you haven't re-submitted your thesis or sat your last resit.
It takes our student Immigration & Compliance team 5 working days to issue a CAS, but we recommend requesting your CAS at least 10 working days before your intended application date.
- We will not release a CAS if you have not requested this via the required form:
- We will not release a CAS if you have not provided the relevant documents (e.g., ATAS) where required.
- You cannot make a student visa application without a new CAS.
Your CAS details email will contain a Step-by-step application guide for your application type. Please see the 'Applying for a student visa extension' section below for full details.
In 2023, the deadline to request a new CAS is 18th December, requests received after this date may not be processed before the university closes for the winter vacation.
You should only make your application once the University has notified UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) that you have successfully completed your degree. This is in accordance with the Graduate Route visa policy.
The Student Immigration and Compliance team will make this report to UKVI after you have received your final results and your university record has been updated to reflect completion. Please note it can take several weeks after you have received your results for your university record to be updated.
The Student Immigration and Compliance team will confirm to you when the report has been made to UKVI and you will receive this by email to the email address on your student record. Do not submit your Graduate visa application until you have received this email.
When to extend your visa?
If applying within the UK, you must ensure you have submitted a student visa extension application within 3 months of your current visa expiry date.
If you are applying from outside of the UK, you must ensure you have submitted your student visa before your re-submission, or before you have sat your last resit.
Read more about how to extend your visa so you can stay longer and continue your studies in the UK.
If you need more help and advice please contact the Immigration Services Team.
We have revised the information on this page since publication. See the edits we have made and content history.
You are encouraged to discuss your situation with your department to ensure you are familiar with all academic requirements during your course registration.