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Risks and Restrictions

Your immigration permission should always reflect the main reason for you being in the UK and should be appropriate for your course of study.

This page includes information for students holding various visas which permit study


Tier 1 - Graduate/Graduate Entrepreneur/Investor or Start-Up visa


Your visa although issued primarily for the purpose of work does not prohibit study.

However, leaving and re-entering the UK during your course carries a risk should an Immigration Officer at the port of entry question your purpose for being in the UK.

If the Home Office judges that you no longer meet the requirements of the visa issued to you for work then action may be taken to cancel your leave.

If your visa does not cover the duration of your course you will need to extend your leave or switch into Tier 4 before it expires.

It is not possible to switch from Tier 1 categories into Tier 4 from inside the UK so you would need to ensure that time spent overseas obtaining Tier 4 leave did not affect your studies.

You will not qualify as an ‘established student’ and will need to evidence a higher level of maintenance as per the Tier 4 policy guidance.


Tier 2


Your visa although issued primarily for the purpose of work does not prohibit study.

However you need to be sure that you can fulfil your obligations to both your Tier 2 sponsor (employer) and the University.

If the Home Office judges that you no longer meet the requirements of the visa issued to you for work then action may be taken to cancel your leave.

If you cease to be employed by your sponsor you will need to switch to a Tier 4 visa in order to continue your studies.

You may do this from inside the UK if you are registered on a full-time course of study and meet all other Tier 4 application requirements.


Tier 5 - Government Authorised Exchange (GAE) / Youth Mobility


Your visa does not prohibit study.

However you need to be sure that you can fulfil your obligations to both your Tier 5 GAE sponsor and the University.

Holders of Youth Mobility visas should not have entered the UK with the main intention to study; future applications for Tier 4 leave may be refused if the Home Office judge that the main purpose for visiting the UK on a Tier 5 Youth Mobility visa was in fact to study full-time.

If your visa does not cover the duration of your course you will need to switch into Tier 4 before it expires.

It is not possible to do this from inside the UK so you would need to ensure that time spent overseas obtaining Tier 4 leave did not affect your studies.

You will not qualify as an ‘established student’ and will need to evidence a higher level of maintenance as per the Tier 4 policy guidance.


Points Based System Dependant / EEA Family permit


Your visa permits study but is linked to your spouse/partner/parent.

If your circumstances change you may no longer have the right to remain in the UK.

Examples of changes in circumstance could include:

  • The person to whom your visa is tied leaves the UK, has their visa curtailed or switches visa category, or your relationship with them breaks down.

To continue your studies you may need to apply for Tier 4 leave in your own right.

It is not possible to do this from inside the UK so you would need to ensure that time spent overseas obtaining Tier 4 leave did not affect your studies.

You will not qualify as an ‘established student’ and will need to evidence financial maintenance for nine months in your Tier 4 application.


Short-term Student


Your visa permits a short-period of study in the UK.

It may be used for re-sitting examinations, visits or exchanges and participation in a distance learning course where no period of study in the UK exceeds six months.

It is not an appropriate visa for full-time study on a course longer than six months duration (or 11 months for English language courses where stated).

It is not possible to have Dependant family members, switch into Tier 4 or extend this visa type.

Paid work is not permitted and incidental volunteering must satisfy the Immigration Rules definition of the same.

If you are a non-visa national and were granted leave to enter as a Short-term Student on arrival, this is represented by a stamp in your passport with an annotation 'STS' and an expiry date.

Please read more information about courses that can be studied using this visa route.


Tier 4 visa sponsored by an educational institution in the UK which is not the University of Warwick


This may be because you will be studying at Warwick on a course which is being delivered in partnership with another UK institution.

In all other cases, if you are permitted to enrol, you will have submitted a Tier 4 visa application with a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) issued by Warwick and you have provided the University with formal confirmation of the submitted Tier 4 application.

Please be aware that any changes to your course, or your circumstances, during the time that your application is still awaiting approval will need to be communicated to the Home Office via the University's Immigration Service.

If at some point during your studies you decide to study a different course at Warwick, or make changes to your course, you may need to apply for a new Tier 4 visa and in some cases this will need to be done from overseas.

You should refer to https://warwick.ac.uk/study/international/immigration/tier4/ wesbite for more information.


Tier 4 visa sponsored by the University of Warwick


You should be aware that, in some circumstances, such as if you fail to progress, withdraw from your course or change institution, the University will be unable to continue sponsoring you and your Tier 4 visa will be curtailed.

Tier 4 leave is linked to both the institution (Warwick) and the course originally stated on your CAS.

If your current Warwick Tier 4 visa was granted for you to study on a previous course, you will need to apply for a new Warwick Tier 4 visa within 6 weeks of the date of enrolment, or before your leave expires (whichever is the earliest).

If you enrolled on this basis, you should have already met with an International Student Adviser and we will monitor and ensure that you submit your visa application before the deadline.

Following the same principle, if at some point during your studies you decide to study a different course at Warwick, or make changes to your course, you may need to apply for a new Tier 4 visa and in some cases this will need to be done from overseas.

You should refer to the http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/study/international/immigration 

If your Tier 4 visa application is currently pending approval by the Home Office you need to be aware that any changes to your course, or your circumstances, will need to be communicated to the Home Office via the University Immigration Service.

Should an in-progress visa application be unsuccessful and you do not hold a visa which permits you to study at Warwick you will be required to withdraw under University regulation 36.4.2.

You should notify the Immigration Service immediately if you become aware that your visa is refused so that they can assist you further.

While you are sponsored by the University of Warwick for your Tier 4 leave, you must adhere to your http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/study/international/immigration/tier4/responsibilities.

Failure to comply with your responsibilities, breaching the conditions of your immigration permission or failure to act in accordance with UK law, may result in the University using its discretion to withdraw Tier 4 sponsorship from you under University Regulation 36.4.3.


Warwick Tier 4 Temporary Travel Visa


If you enrolled on this visa you must present your Biometric Residence Permit (BRP card) to the University, unless it is delivered directly to the University.

You must do this before your temporary travel visa expires, or, by the date given to you by a staff member of the University at an in-person immigration event, whichever is later.

Failure to do this may result in you being withdrawn from your studies under University Regulation 36.4.2.

Please note, if you are required to collect your BRP from a designated Post Office, failure to do so within 10 days of your arrival in the UK may result in a fine or cancellation of leave by the Home Office.

If you have opted to have your BRP sent to the University, you will receive an email from the International Student Office when it is received which will include instructions of when and how to collect your card.

You are enrolling on/continuing with your studies on a Tier 4 visa sponsored by the University of Warwick.

You should be aware that, in some circumstances, such as if you fail to progress, withdraw from your course, or change institution, the University will be unable to continue sponsoring you and your Tier 4 visa will be curtailed.


Temporary Travel Visa (other than Warwick)


If you enrolled on this visa you must present your Biometric Residence Permit (BRP card) to the University.

You must do this before your travel visa expires or by the date given to you by a staff member of the University at an in-person immigration event, whichever is later.

Failure to do this may result in you being withdrawn from the University under University Regulation 36.4.2.

If you are required to collect your BRP from a designated Post Office, failure to do so within 10 days of your arrival in the UK may result in a fine or cancellation of leave by the Home Office.


Indefinite Leave to Remain or Permanent Residence in the UK


This category does not impose any study or work restrictions and you have no limit on the time you are able to stay in the UK, as long as you meet the general residency requirements of the Home Office.

The University requires all non UK/EEA nationals to present the original versions of these documents, and any other documents required, at the in-person immigration events on campus.

Failure to present original documentation may result in your withdrawal from the University under Regulation 36.4.2.


Refugee Visa which has Limited Leave to Remain in the UK


Study is usually not prohibited on this type of visa.

Should your circumstances change you may no longer have the right to remain in the UK and this may impact your ability to continue your studies.

You are advised to seek advice from Student Immigration & Compliance should your circumstances change.

If your current leave does not cover the whole duration of the course, you will be required to bring new evidence of your immigration permission to the International Student Office Reception so that your records can be updated.


Refugee Visa which has Unlimited Leave to Remain in the UK


This category does not impose any study or work restrictions in the UK and you have no limit on the time you are able to stay in the UK.

You should have uploaded documentation related to your immigration status during the online course registration process.

Please note that the University requires all non UK/EEA nationals to present the original versions of these documents, and any other documents required, at the in-person immigration events on campus.

Failure to present original documentation may result in your withdrawal from the University under Regulation 36.4.2.


Seeking asylum in the UK


This category does not usually prohibit study in the UK, unless you have a ‘no study’ condition on your Bail 201 letter.

If you do not have the Bail 201 letter, the University will need to contact the UKVI to ascertain that you have the right to study.

Should your circumstances change, you may need to apply for a Tier 4 visa in your own right. It is not possible to do this from inside the UK so you would need to ensure that time spent overseas obtaining a Tier 4 visa did not affect your studies.

If you are seeking asylum in the UK, it may take quite a long time for the Home Office to make a decision.

The Compliance team will contact you for updates during your registration period, and will invite you to give us consent to check progress with the Home Office directly.

If you have already given us consent to obtain this information directly from the Home Office, please reply to our email confirming the same.


General Visitor / Business Visitor or a Family visitor Visa


You are able to study for up to 30 days with a General, Standard, Business, or Family Visitor visa to the UK.

The study must be an extra activity that you do during your visit to the UK, and can’t be the main purpose of your visit.

You should apply for a Short Term Study Visa if the main purpose of your visit is study.

It is not possible to have Dependant family members, switch into Tier 4 or extend this visa type.

Work, including on a work placement or work experience, is not permitted and you are unable to claim public funds


You are enrolling/continuing your studies on an 'Exemption' type visa


Study is usually not prohibited on this type of visa.

Should your circumstances change you may no longer have the right to remain in the UK and this may impact your ability to continue your studies.

You are advised to seek advice from the Immigration Service should your circumstances change.

If your current leave does not cover the whole duration of the course, you will be required to bring new evidence of your immigration permission to the International Student Office Reception so that your records can be updated.


You are enrolling/continuing your studies on a Tier 4 Doctorate Extension Scheme Visa.


This visa allows you to study, and you need to ensure that you remain compliant with the conditions of that visa, and respond to any points of contact from the University that sponsors your visa.

Should your circumstances change you may no longer have the right to remain in the UK and this may impact your ability to continue your studies.


If the visa that you hold does not cover the duration of your course of study


You will usually be allowed to enrol if your visa does not cover the duration of your course but should be aware of the following:

  • You must always have valid UK leave to remain fully registered at Warwick - if your visa lapses and you cannot show you have made a new application for leave which permits study you will be temporarily withdrawn under University Regulation 36.4.2
  • If you are required to apply for Tier 4 leave from overseas and the application is refused or your return to the UK is delayed causing you to take an unauthorised absence from your course you may be temporarily withdrawn or required to restart at a later date
  • If you apply for Tier 4 leave from inside the UK and your application is refused your continued registration will depend on whether you still hold a valid visa which permits study and/or can submit a new visa application before a date specified by the University, or whether an administrative review overturns the refusal and your application for Tier 4 leave is approved.