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Early Completion


This will apply mostly to PhD students who successfully complete their course and have their degree conferred by Senate before the course end date stated on their Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS).

It may also apply to:

  • undergraduate students originally assigned a CAS for an integrated Masters who choose to exit with a Bachelor's qualification rather than an undergraduate Master's degree
  • undergraduate students originally assigned a CAS for a course with a Study Abroad year or work placement year who decide not to undertake the placement/year abroad

Will early completion be reported to the Home Office?

Yes, as soon as the degree has been conferred, a report is made to the Home Office which will trigger the curtailment of the visa.

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

No, it should not affect your ability to attend the next Graduation Ceremony as long as you meet the deadline for registering with the Graduation Team.

However, if you intend to travel in and out of the UK before attending your Graduation Ceremony using your current Tier 4 visa, you may be unable to do so.

For more information, please visit our Graduation page.

Will early completion affect my immigration status in the UK?

Yes, you will be notified by e-mail once the report has been made to the UKVI and your visa will most likely be curtailed (the end date shortened). Our e-mail will provide you with information about what to do next. We would advise that you leave the UK, or switch to another immigration category (if permitted), within four months of the date you receive this email notification because we cannot predict when the UKVI curtailment team will take action.

When you leave the UK, you must provide us with your proof of departure.

The 4 or 6 month 'wrap up' period granted to you is intended to allow you to remain in the UK whilst you make the necessary arrangements to leave the country, or prepare to make an application to the Home Office to switch immigration category/sponsor.

Once you receive the 'curtailment notice' - this is the email/letter from the UKVI informing you of your new visa expiry date - if you leave the Common Travel Area, or are already overseas when you receive the curtailment notice, even if you are given a new 'visa expiry date', your visa is deemed as lapsed and you should not seek to return to the UK using this Tier 4 visa.

You should ensure that you have an alternative visa which is suitable for the purpose of your return visit to the UK.

This includes where you need to return to the UK to attend your Graduation Ceremony. Please refer to our Graduation Portal for more information.

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

You should also be aware that the Home Office will deem a curtailment notice as being served as soon as the email/letter has been sent by them, regardless of whether the recipient receives said notice. You cannot appeal a curtailment and should always assume that curtailment action will take place after the Home Office have been notified of your break in study.