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Early Completion


Section 1: Purpose and Contents of this page:

Section 2: What is early completion?

Early Completion applies to Warwick sponsored Student Visa holders.

It means that you will be finishing your course more than two weeks before the expected course end date stated on your most recent used CAS (Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies).

Section 3: When might early completion apply?

Early completion usually applies to the following scenarios:

  • Undergraduate students who have changed course to a shorter programme, for example, from a four year programme to a three year variant
  • Undergraduate students who are exiting a longer programme early due to an exam board decision, for example graduating with a BEng after three years rather than an MEng as originally expected
  • Postgraduate Research students who are exiting with a lower qualification, for example, being awarded an MPhil instead of a PhD
  • Postgraduate Research students who have switched to an MPhil after thesis submission, where the outcome is a downgrade but no corrections are needed (pass straightaway)
  • Postgraduate Research students who complete their studies and are awarded their PhD earlier than originally expected

Section 4: How can an Undergraduate student request early completion?

If you are an Undergraduate student on an Integrated Masters you can choose early completion if you wish to exit with a lower award a year earlier than expected. You will need to make your academic department aware that you wish to take an 'end of the year course transfer' and request that the exam board at the end of year 3 award you a BSc/BA degree. There is usually a deadline for you to request this, for example, by the end of week 5 in term 3. Therefore if early completion is something you are considering you should contact your department in good time.

Section 5: Will early completion affect my ability to attend the next Graduation Ceremony?

No. Provided you have met the deadline for registering with the Graduation Team you should be able to attend the next scheduled Graduation Ceremony.
Please note, if you leave the UK after completing your course early you will not be able to use your Student (or Tier 4) Visa to return to the UK and attend your Graduation Ceremony. In this situation you will need to apply for a Standard Visit Visa in order to re-enter the UK.

This is because the University will notify the Home Office of your early completion which will trigger curtailment action against your Student Visa.

Section 6: Will early completion affect my eligibility to apply for the Graduate Route Visa?

If early completion applies to you and you want to apply to the Graduate Route, then you must ensure that; you are in UK when your degree is conferred, that you apply to the Graduate Work route as soon as you are eligible and that you remain in the UK until your post-study work visa is granted.
This is because your early completion will have be reported to the Home Office who will take action to curtail your Student Visa. If you are outside the UK you will not be able to re-enter the UK using your Student Visa, and being in the UK with a valid Student Visa is a key application requirement of the Graduate Route.
If you are ending the third year of a four year integrated Masters and believe there is a possibility that your academic performance could result in the exam board awarding a Bachelors qualification, meaning you would exit the course a year early, you should ensure that you are present in the UK at the time this decision is made. This is to avoid being unable to re-enter the UK on your Student Visa in the event your study is terminated and your visa curtailed.

Section 7: How does early completion affect my UK immigration status?

There will be no change to your UK immigration permission and rights while you are still studying.

However, as soon as your award is conferred, the University will report your early completion to Home Office UKVI and this will trigger curtailment of your Student (Tier 4) Visa.

This is because you no longer require a Student Visa once your course of study has ended.

You will be notified by email once the University has reported your early completion; read this email carefully as it provides information about what to do next.

We advise that you exit the UK or switch to another immigration category (if permitted) within four months of the date of our email notification to you.

This is because we cannot predict when the UKVI curtailment team will take action.

The four month 'wrap up' period granted to most students after early completion is intended for you to make arrangements to either leave the UK or apply for further permission to stay in the UK, either in another immigration category or will another sponsor.

When you leave the UK, please provide us with proof or your departure.

Once you have left the UK you should not attempt to re-enter using the same Student Visa even if you have not received official notice of visa curtailment.

This is because the Home Office will deem a curtailment notice as having been served as soon as the email/letter has been sent by them, regardless of whether the recipient receives said notice.

The University does not know whether curtailment action has been taken or not.

You cannot appeal a curtailment and should therefore assume that curtailment action will take place four months after the UKVI are notified of your early completion.

In the event you receive a curtailment notice from the Home Office:

It will state your revised visa end date.

If you are inside the UK, this is the date by which you must either leave or apply for further permission to stay (if eligible).

If you are interested in applying to the Graduate Route you must remain in the UK after your award is conferred, submit the application before the revised visa end date in your curtailment notice and remain in the UK until the Graduate Route visa is granted.

If you are in the UK when you receive curtailment notification and then leave the Common Travel Area you will not be permitted re-entry as your visa is deemed as lapsed and you will not be granted entry to the UK.

If you are overseas when you receive notification of curtailment you must not attempt to re-enter the UK using the same Student (Tier 4) visa, even if the revised end date is in the future; you will be denied entry at the UK border.

You will not be able to apply to the Graduate Route.

If you wish to return to the UK after your early completion has been reported to the Home Office, for example to attend your Graduation Ceremony, you must obtain another UK visa suitable for the purpose of your visit, such as a Standard Visit visa.

Please remember to keep your contact details updated with both the University and the Home Office so that you will be able to receive any updates regarding your immigration status.

Section 9: If you have further queries and useful links:

If, after reading the guidance above, and you are still unsure of what you should do next, please contact Student Immigration to discuss your situation via the following methods:

    Please click on the following links for more information

    University of Warwick:

    UK Government:

    Other contacts:

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