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Changes to Your Circumstances During Your Studies

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Sometimes your circumstances may change when you are studying at the LSE.  If you are a Tier 4 student, it is important that you understand how this change may affect your visa.

Change of Personal Details

Change of Address

If you change your address after obtaining a Tier 4 visa, you need to take the following steps:

  • Update your address on LSE for You.
  • If you applied for your Tier 4 visa in the UK, you must inform UK Visas and Immigration. 
  • If you are required to register with the Police, you must add your new address to your Police Registration Certificate within 7 days of moving.  You can do this at your local Police station.

New Tier 4 Visa/Change of Visa/Collected your BRP

If you have applied for a Tier 4 visa in the UK to start your studies at LSE, have extended your visa or collected your BRP after being temporarily registered you should:

  • Take your new Tier 4 visa/BRP to the Student Services Centre so that we can update your record if you are an undergraduate or postgraduate (taught) student;
  • Take your new Tier 4 visa (including DES visas) to the PhD Academy if you are a PhD student;
  • Provide the Overseas Visitors Records Office with the details of your new visa within 7 days if you are required to register with the Police.

If you have changed visa category  whilst you still have studies to complete e.g. you become a PBS dependant, please contact ISVAT for advice.

Changes to your Programme of Study

Interruption of Studies

If you are facing difficulties with your studies, there are a number of services in the School that may be able to help.  You should seek advice before choosing to interrupt your studies so that you understand the process and the implications for your studies and visa.

If after seeking advice you choose to interrupt your studies, you will be unable to remain in the UK during your period of interruption. The LSE are required to report to the Home Office that we are no longer sponsoring your Tier 4 visa, within 10 working days of your interruption being processed.  This will start the curtailment (cancellation) of your Tier 4 visa.

You will receive an email from the Registry confirming a report has been submitted to the Home Office. Once the report has been submitted:

  • you no longer have the right to work in the UK - inform your employer of the change in your circumstances
  • you no longer have the right to access the NHS
  • anyone who is dependant on your Tier 4 visa will also lose the conditions of their visa and will need to return home with you.
  • your reason for being in the UK (studies) no longer exists - you should not plan to stay in the UK for more than 60 days after the date you receive the email.
  • you cannot travel out of the UK and then attempt to return on your Tier 4 visa. Once you leave the UK, you should consider your Tier 4 as cancelled.

The Home Office will contact you either by letter or by email advising you of the new expiry date of your visa.  This is usually 60 days from the date of the letter or email. This information can sometimes be delayed, so we advise it is best to plan to leave the UK as soon as possible.

Following a rule change in August 2015, the period of time waiting for your Tier 4 visa to be curtailed will be included in the calculation towards the cap on degree level studies.

Deferring Assessments

If you have deferred any of your assessments, the Registry may be required to report you to the UKVI depending on whether you are able to progress/complete your studies within your expected end date.  The report will withdraw sponsorship of your Tier 4 visa and  this starts the curtailment process.

You will receive an email from the Registry confirming a report has been submitted to the Home Office. Once the report has been submitted:

  • you no longer have the right to work in the UK - inform your employer of the change in your circumstances
  • you no longer have the right to access the NHS
  • anyone who is dependant on your Tier 4 visa will also lose the conditions of their visa and will need to return home with you.
  • your reason for being in the UK (studies) no longer exists - you should not plan to stay in the UK for more than 60 days after the date you receive the email.
  • you cannot travel out of the UK and then attempt to return on your Tier 4 visa.  Once you leave the UK, you should consider your Tier 4 as cancelled.

The Home Office will contact you either by letter or by email advising you of the new expiry date of your visa.  This is usually 60 days from the date of the letter or email. This information can sometimes be delayed, so we advise it is best to plan to leave the UK as soon as possible.

Following a rule change in August 2015, the period of time waiting for your Tier 4 visa to be curtailed will be included in the calculation towards the cap on degree level studies.

Becoming an unregistered student due to non-progression

If you have failed any of your assessments and are not able to prgress, the Registry may be required to report you to the UKVI.  The report will withdraw sponsorship of your Tier 4 visa and  this starts the curtailment process.

You will receive an email from the Registry confirming a report has been submitted to the Home Office. Once the report has been submitted:

  • you no longer have the right to work in the UK - inform your employer of the change in your circumstances
  • you no longer have the right to access the NHS
  • anyone who is dependant on your Tier 4 visa will also lose the conditions of their visa and will need to return home with you.
  • your reason for being in the UK (studies) no longer exists - you should not plan to stay in the UK for more than 60 days after the date you receive the email.
  • you cannot travel out of the UK and then attempt to return on your Tier 4 visa.  Once you leave the UK, you should consider your Tier 4 as cancelled.

The Home Office will contact you either by letter or by email advising you of the new expiry date of your visa.  This is usually 60 days from the date of the letter or email. This information can sometimes be delayed, so we advise it is best to plan to leave the UK as soon as possible.

Following a rule change in August 2015, the period of time waiting for your Tier 4 visa to be curtailed will be included in the calculation towards the cap on degree level studies.

Details of how to return for your retake assessments can be found on the following web page:

Re-taking Assessments

ISVAT will also contact you with your options at the start of Michaelmas and Lent Term depending on when you are expected to return for re-takes.

Withdrawing from Studies

Before withdrawing permanently from your studies, you should seek advice from your department to discuss the options available to you. 

If you do decide to withdraw, the LSE will be required to inform the Home Office within 10 working days that we are no longer sponsoring your Tier 4 visa.  This will start the curtailment (cancellation) of your Tier 4 visa.

You will receive an email from the Registry confirming a report has been submitted to the Home Office. Once the report has been submitted:

  • you no longer have the right to work in the UK - inform your employer of the change in your circumstances
  • you no longer have the right to access the NHS
  • anyone who is dependant on your Tier 4 visa will also lose the conditions of their visa and will need to return home with you.
  • your reason for being in the UK (studies) no longer exists - you should not plan to stay in the UK for more than 60 days after the date you receive the email.
  • you cannot travel out of the UK and then attempt to return on your Tier 4 visa. Once you leave the UK, you should consider your Tier 4 as cancelled.

The Home Office will contact you either by letter or by email advising you of the new expiry date of your visa.  This is usually 60 days from the date of the letter or email. This information can sometimes be delayed, so we advise it is best to plan to leave the UK as soon as possible.

Following a rule change in August 2015, the period of time waiting for your Tier 4 visa to be curtailed will be included in the calculation towards the cap on degree level studies.

Programme Transfers

The Home Office does permit you to transfer programmes at LSE once you have registered. However, you may need to obtain new permission from the Home Office depending on the level and length of your new programme. Not all transfers are possible and you may need to return home to apply for your new visa. 

Case One: Transfer to a new programme which is the same length as your current visa

If you transfer to a new programme which you can complete without extending your visa, you will be able to start your new programme. 

The Registry will be required to report to the Home Office that you have a minor change in your circumstances.

Case Two: Transferring to a new programme which is longer than the length of your current visa.

If you plan to transfer from your current programme to a new programme which is longer than your current visa, you must contact the International Student Visa Advice team before the transfer is approved.  Changes to the immigration rules on the 6th April and LSE's regulations mean that this may no longer possible.

Case Three: Transferring to a new programme which is shorter than your current programme

If you transfer to a shorter programme e.g. from a 12 month Masters degree to a 9 month Masters degree, the Registry will be required to report both your transfer and your early completion to the Home Office.

Your Tier 4 visa will be curtailed by the Home Office, meaning your immigration permission will end earlier.  You will be classed as completing early, which means you should still receive the extra time at the end of your visa and will be able to work full-time at the end of your course.

If you are planning to transfer due to non-progression please read the information under the repeat teaching section.

Repeat teaching or transfers due to non-progression

If you have a Tier 4 visa and are considering applying for repeat teaching, we strongly recommend that you seek immigration advice as well as academic advice.  The Tier 4 rules cap degree level study at five and eight years, plus where you can apply for your visa.

Repeat teaching is unlikely to be granted solely on the basis that you wish to remain in the UK on your Tier 4 visa.  It is a privilege and is granted on the basis of your academic needs.

Transferring to a new programme after failing to progress

If you fail to progress from the programme that you were issued a visa for and plan to transfer to a new programme, you may not be able to extend your Tier 4 visa in the UK. 

You should note that whilst the immigration rules may allow you to apply for a new Tier 4 visa from outside the UK, the LSE's own regulations may no longer permit you to transfer to a lower level or re-start on a new programme.  

Contact our team for advice before planning to do this.

Mode of Study

The immigration rules do not permit you to study a part-time programme on a Tier 4 visa.  Contact ISVAT using our online query form before completing a request to change your mode of study.

Academic Appeals

If your visa has expired and you are submitting an academic appeal, you are not required to be in the UK for this process.  The LSE will not continue sponsorship on Tier 4 for an academic appeal. Also, depending on which point in your studies you submit your appeal, you may be reported to the Home Office and your visa may be in the process of being curtailed.

If you no longer have any studies to complete, we advise against remaining in the UK.

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