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Protect your visa

Introduction

Tier 4 of the Points Based Immigration System places responsibilities on all students and their universities across the UK.

Throughout your studies both you and the university need to comply with Home Office rules relating to international students. 

Complying with the rules below will protect your right to study and the University’s right to sponsor international students.

The University’s Responsibilities as your Tier 4 Sponsor

Under Tier 4, the university acts as your academic sponsor. This means we are saying to the UK Government that we believe you are a responsible student and are capable of completing a degree at the University of Bedfordshire. We must: 

  • Report any student who fails to enrol on their course within the enrolment period
  • Keep a copy of your passport and visa
  • Maintain your contact details
  • Monitor your attendance and engagement and report missed contact points
  • Report any changes in your circumstances e.g change of course, change of immigration category, a gap in your studies of longer than 60 days
  • Report any suspicions you are breaking the conditions of your stay
When is the University obliged to report me to the UKVI? 

There are a range of circumstances under which the University of Bedfordshire, as your Tier 4 sponsor, is obliged to report actions taken by you to the UKVI. These include: 

  • Your work placement changes
  • Your start date is deferred and you have not yet entered the UK, but you will be able to complete the course in the time period for which the visa is issued
  • Your course of study shortens
  • You change your course
  • Information suggests that you are in breach of the conditions of your visa
  • You miss ten consecutive expected contacts. 

In some circumstances we are obliged to withdraw your visa sponsorship. These circumstances include: 

  • You fail to enrol onto your course within the registration period
  • You withdraw from your studies
  • You fail to engage sufficiently with your studies
  • Your study location changes

My Tier 4 Responsibilities

These are the responsibilities you have as a Tier 4 student:

  • Enrol within the enrolment period and show your passport, visa and biometric residence permit (BRP) when required
  • Provide the International Office with any new passport, visa or BRP obtained after registration (see 'Contact Us' below)
  • Ensure your contact details are correct at all times. These are your address, which should be near the campus where you are studying, your university and personal email addresses and mobile phone number. Update these at the Student Information Desk (SID) or via E-vision. (See 'Change of address, email or phone number' below)
  • Attend all your classes and meet all other engagement points (see 'Engaging with your studies' below)
  • Respond promptly to emails or letters you receive from the International Office or other university departments relating to your visa or studies
  • Seek authorisation for any term-time absence/travel, you will need to provide compelling evidence as it will only be agreed in exceptional circumstances and you must agree to return on an agreed date (see 'Engaging with your studies' below)
  • Advise the university of any changes to your personal circumstances, including immigration status
  • Leave the UK if you have a gap in your studies of longer than 60 days (not including holidays) (See 'Deferring your studies' within the section 'Engaging with your studies' below)
  • Live near the university campus you are studying at. We will interview you if you live more than an hour away so that you can explain how you will achieve 100% attendance.
  • If you get a new visa, check that all the details including the visa length are correct (for length of visa see point 4.9 in A Guide to Obtaining your Tier 4 (General Visa Overseas) - PDF 1.9 MB .

You must comply with all the conditions of your visa at all times:

Change of address, email or phone number

If your contact details (address, email, phone number) change while you are studying at Bedfordshire on a Tier 4 visa you must:

Inform the University by updating your contact details on E-Vision.


If you have a pending visa application, inform Visa Advice (visaadvice@beds.ac.uk) as well who will help with notifying UKVI.

Contact Us

Drop in to the International Office Room F100 in the Luton Campus: you do not need an appointment. 

The International Office is open Monday to Thursday 9:30am – 4:30pm and Fridays 9:30am – 4pm

Phone:  01582 489055   or   01582489014

Email us:

Visa Advice -  visaadvice@beds.ac.uk

Visa Monitoring - for providing documents and updates on your legal status or visa applications   - visamonitoring@beds.ac.uk

Attendance & Absence - tracking@beds.ac.uk

Suspension of studies - intstudent.experience@beds.ac.uk

Engaging with your Studies

Attendance

You must attend all your classes, ie lectures, tutorials, seminars, workshops and practical sessions and register your attendance by swiping your student ID card.  Attendance is monitored; you must ensure you swipe in person and with your own ID card.  If you do not attend, this will be noted as unauthorised absence.

Submissions

You must attend all exams and submit all work on time and in the right way.  If you do not, this is a non-submission and it may mean you cannot apply for a visa extension.

If you know that you cannot submit on time talk to your faculty and seek advice from Mitigating Circumstances at mitigation@beds.ac.uk before the submission date.

Absence

If you cannot attend due to illness

You must email your faculty at tracking@beds.ac.uk and your tutor stating the reason for your absence, if you have sought medical advice and when you will be able to return.  Look out for a reply from student experience who will advise you. You will need evidence such as a doctor’s note.  A certificate from a practitioner of traditional medicine is not always acceptable. Ensure that you register with a GP at the beginning of your course.

If you expect to be absent for more than a week and /or think you will miss an assignment, you must talk to your faculty and seek advice from Mitigating Circumstances at mitigation@beds.ac.uk 

If you cannot attend for another reason

All term-time absences/travel must be authorised in advance and will only be granted in exceptional circumstances.  Contact the International Office or email intstudent.experience@beds.ac.uk for advice.

Prolonged absence may result in you needing to defer your studies. If this happens you may need to return to your home country and obtain a new visa to allow you to return.

You should contact your faculty and the International Office to check if this affects you and for further advice.

Deferring your studies during your course (excluding confirmed vacation periods)

Interrupting your studies in the middle of your course is only permitted under exceptional circumstances. You must submit your request to the International Office. If your request is approved the university will be obliged to report this to the UKVI and withdraw visa sponsorship from you. You will be required to return to your home country. The UKVI will curtail your leave to remain under your existing visa, and you will not be permitted to remain in the UK or to return to the UK on this visa at a later date. You will then be required to request a new CAS from the university and to apply for a new Tier 4 visa before returning to the UK to resume your studies. 

As we cannot guarantee that a visa will be issued to you, the university would advise against deferring your studies if possible. 

The university will be obliged to discontinue its visa sponsorship of you (in accord with point 6.24 of Document 2 of the UKVI's Tier 4 of the Points Based System Guidance for Sponsors Version 04/16). Therefore, when you wish to return to study, you will need to obtain a new CAS from the University, then apply for a new visa which will enable you to return at a later date. 

Before a new CAS is issued to you, the university will ask for proof that you have returned home in the form of a scanned copy of your entry stamp and boarding pass. The UKVI will also be aware that you must return home as the university will have reported this to them, and they will know whether you have returned home by means of your passport record. 

If you are unsure whether this rule affects you, you must come to the International Office for advice. Remaining in the UK during a 60-day gap in study may negatively affect your immigration history and may result in any subsequent request for a CAS being refused. 

If you wish to defer your studies contact the International Office or email: intstudent.experience@beds.ac.uk for advice.

Continuing studies after your visa expires


Please see the Visas for Study section for more information.

Corrections & problems with visa collection

Contact Visa Advice (visaadvice@beds.ac.uk) in the International Office if you:

Lost & stolen visas & passports

The visa in your passport or your BRP visa card is your evidence of your right to be in the UK. We strongly advise that your BRP & passport are kept in a safe place at all times and are not used as evidence for proof of age, or carried with you on a daily basis, to avoid them being lost or stolen. 

If you lose your passport you must:

1. Talk to the Visa Advice Team in the International Office. 

2. Report the loss to the police. They will no longer provide a crime reference number for lost passports, but you will be able to declare that you have done this. 

3. Obtain a new passport. To do this you will need to begin by contacting your embassy in the UK to find out the conditions you must fulfil in order to obtain the passport. 

4. If your visa is in your passport, obtain a replacement visa. This new visa will be in the form of a Biometric Residence Permit. In order to obtain this you will need to start by applying to the UKVI. Go to: www.gov.uk/biometric-residence-permits/replace form

5. Bring your replacement passport to the International Office so that your records can be updated. 

6. If your current visa was in your passport you will need to apply for a replacement. Speak to the Visa Advice team in the International Office or email them at visaadvice@beds.ac.uk for further information.

If you lose your BRP you must: 

1. Talk to the Visa Advice Team in the International Office. 

2. Report the loss/theft to the police. They will no longer provide a crime reference number for lost BRPs, but you will be able to declare that you have done this. 

3. Report the loss/theft to the Home Office by going to: www.gov.uk/biometric-residence-permits/lost-stolen-damaged

4. Apply for a replacement BRP by going to: www.gov.uk/biometric-residence-permits/replace form    

You will need to apply within three months if it was lost/stolen. The Home Office advise that it takes eight weeks for an application to be processed. This is a straightforward application form but if you have any questions about the application, you can email us or come to see Visa Advice in the International Office. 

5. Bring your new BRP to the International Office so that your records can be updated. 

If your immigration permission was about to expire (within 4 weeks of you losing your passport or ID card), you don't need to apply on the BRP (RC) form, and you can make a new application to extend your stay in the UK.

Police Registration

If you have to register with the police this will normally be confirmed as follows:

  • For those travelling to the UK, the police registration condition will appear on the entry clearance vignette (visa) in your passport. 
  • For those applying from within the UK, the condition will either appear as a remark on your biometric residence permit (BRP), or since 24 April 2016 it may only be stated in the Home Office decision letter. Make sure you read the decision letter carefully , bring it into the International Office so that a copy can be made for your file and keep the original letter in a safe place. 
You must check your entry clearance vignette, BRP or Home Office decision letter to confirm whether you need to register with the police. If you have not been notified of the registration requirement in these documents, you do not need to register with the police.


There may also be situations where the Home Office finds that a person has mistakenly not been made the subject of a requirement to register with the police. Where this has happened the Home Office will write to the person to notify them that they are required to register. In addition, this condition may be imposed by a Border Force Officer if the omission is picked up on the individual’s arrival in the UK.

For further information and a list of countries whose nationals are required to register, visit: www.gov.uk/register-with-the-police

For registration times, see the orientation plan which will be sent to you when you join the university, or ask Jon Stanley for the next registration opportunity by emailing: jon.stanley@beds.ac.uk.

When you register, you will need to:

  • pay a £34 registration fee
  • provide 2 passport sized photographs, and
  • your passport
  • If you have any dependants, they must accompany you to your initial police registration.

You will receive a certificate of registration once this process is complete.

If you already have a certificate of registration you will not need to pay for another. You will just need to take your current certificate to the Police for it to be updated.

Once I have registered with the police is there anything else I need to tell them?

You must notify the police if:
a) you change your address, within 7 days of the change occurring
b) any of the circumstances given on your certificate of registration alter, including your visa or passport, within 8 working days of the change occurring

Bedfordshire University

International» International student support» Visas & immigration guidance» Protect your visa