When you have your visa

 

Information about what to do when you have your visa for the UK

 

Once your Tier 4 (General) visa has been granted, you are responsible for checking and understanding the conditions of your visa. The sections below advise on what you need to check when your Tier 4 visa is granted, your ability to work in the UK and how changes to your studies can affect your Tier 4 visa.  

If you are ever unsure about the conditions of your visa or whether a change to your studies will affect your right to be in the UK, contact ISVAT for advice.

 

Your passport, visa and BRP

What is a BRP?

Your BRP is your visa and you should make sure you keep it safe. For more information on BRPs read our Information Sheet (pdf).

Checking errors on your BRP or visa

Mistakes are often made when vignettes or BRPs are issued, so it's very important you check this as soon as you receive your decision letter or BRP.

Possible errors may be:

  • it expires too soon. The end date of your Tier 4 student visa depends on the length of your course:
    • programme of study is 12 months or longer: you will be granted until the end of your programme plus four months.
    • programme of study is more than 6 months, but less than 12 months: you will be granted until the end of your programme plus two months.
  • LSE's sponsor license number is missing or incorrect (1RRV3MMEX)
  • the number of working hours are incorrect - for full details on the working rules go to our information on working during your studies
  • your personal details (for example incorrect spellings).

Contact us as soon as you notice an error on your visa. There is a limited period of time in which you can obtain a correction.  It is unlikely that any corrections can be made at the end of your studies, so check this whilst you are still a registered student.

Correcting errors made outside the UK

There are two processes available depending on whether your visa is on a sticker on your passport or whether you have collected a BRP after arrival.  

1. Errors on Biometric Residence Permits issued for applications made overseas

Follow the steps below to get a permit amended:

  • Check your permit carefully when you receive it;
  • If you find a mistake, you must complete the online form within 10 working days to inform them of the error.  Any later than this and it is not guaranteed the correction will be made. You may have to pay for a new card.
  • Provide as many of the following details as possible: full name, date of birth, nationality, passport number, BRP reference number, case reference number and the exact nature of the error on the BRP.
  • Take a copy of both sides of the incorrect BRP for your records.

UKVI will email you advising you what you need to do next.  If the correction is agreed and you are required to return the BRP, you should send it "Special Delivery" from the Post Office so that you have a tracking number to check if it has been delivered.

2. Errors on vignettes (stickers) issued for the length of your programme  (pre-April 2015 or programmes of less than six months)

There is a system in the UK to amend this:

  • You contact us about the potential error on your visa 
  • We will prepare a letter confirming the error which you must sign to give us permission to request the correction on your behalf
  • We send your passport and supporting documents to the Home Office explaining the error
  • The Home Office check the records of your application. If they agree an error was made, they will issue a corrected visa. 
  • Your passport is returned to us (some have been sent directly to the student) and we will update Registry with details of your new visa

Your passport is sent at the start of the process whilst a decision is being made.  It is currently taking more than 25 working days to obtain a correction.  Do not plan to travel if you need an urgent request submitted, because we have no way of tracking the progress of a request.

If you must travel urgently, it may be possible to send the details of your travel to the Referred Casework Unit.  We are unable to guarantee that this will speed up the process of obtaining the correction.

Further details can be found on the Home Office website.

It is also possible to submit a correction of your visa yourself.  If you complete the correction yourself, you must bring your correct BRP to the Student Services Centre to be scanned.

Correcting Errors made in the UK

If you extended your Tier 4 visa in the UK, you should check your Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) as soon as you receive it to check for any errors. If there are any typographical errors on your BRP, you must complete the online form about the error within 10 working days of receipt.

If there are any other errors, you will have to apply for your BRP to be amended through the Administrative Review process.  This includes:

  • Incorrect end date of your visa (too short or too long)
  • Incorrect Sponsor Licence Number
  • Incorrect Working Permission (not enough hours)

You must apply for the Administrative Review within 14 calendar days of receiving your incorrect Biometric Residence Permit. The Administrative Review process will cost £80and you will need to complete an online form to request the review.

We have been advised that the process will take approximately 28 days to complete and if the review is successful you will be refunded your £80 application cost.

If you submit your request to get your BRP amended after 14 calendar days, we are unable to confirm that your request will be accepted and you may not be refunded the £80 fee to request the review.

Registering with the Police

Do I need to register with the Police?

Some nationalities must register with the police when they arrive in the UK with a visa for more than six months, and/or if they extend their visa for more than six months. 

You only have to register if your  Biometric Residence Permit or decision letter says you must. You can check the list of nationalities who need to register on the Home Office website

If you have been away from the UK for more than 12 months you need to re-register.

It is a condition of your Tier 4 visa to register with the Police if your country is listed in the immigration rules and your visa is endorsed with the requirement.

After you register, you must keep your registration certificate updated if you get a new visa or if you change address.

When to register

  • Within 7 days of your arrival in the UK

  • If you have a new visa you must go to OVRO and get your certificate updated within 7 days of receiving your new visa

  • If you change address you must update your certificate within 7 days

  • If you move into the Metropolitan Police area from another Police force

How to register with the Police in London

Police Registration in London is administered by the Overseas Visitors Records Office (OVRO) near Elephant and Castle/Borough tube stations.

Attend OVRO in person 

At some times you will be able to register straight away when you attend OVRO. However, during peak periods, you will be provided with a ticket with a date and time for you to return. You must attend at this date and time or you will need to obtain another appointment. 

For full details on registering please read Metropolitan Police - Overseas Visitors Records Office    

The staff at OVRO work closely with LSE.  You should remember that they are representatives of the UK Police.  Please be patient when you are completing the registration process as you are also representing the School.

What documents do I take to register in person?

  • Your passport

  • Registration fee of £34 - it is easiest to pay in cash using the correct amount

  • Your completed proforma (see below) - this must be typed and no corrections must be made to it by hand or correction fluid

  • One UK standard sized passport photo - this must be glued to your proforma within the photo section.  Do not staple your photograph because it will be placed into a scanning machine.

  • Biometric Residence Permit if you have one.

  • Previous Police Registration Certificate if you have one.

Completing the proforma

You must complete the OCR proforma before you go to OVRO. The OCR proforma must be typed and you must glue your photograph to the form because it will be placed in a scanning machine.

OVRO will not be able to accept any proformas with the following errors:

  • forms that have been completed by hand

  • corrections made with correction fluid 

  • hand-written corrections

  • photographs which are stapled to the form

It is your responsibility to make sure you have completed the form correctly. Please read the guidance notes on completing the form carefully.

I have a temporary vignette and decision letter - what happens next?

OVRO have confirmed that if you have a temporary vignette and the decision letter confirming your grant of leave, you will be able to register with these documents.

Autumn Interim Process

During the autumn, LSE facilitates an interim registration process on behalf of OVRO. This process is owned by OVRO and is only administered by LSE to assist during the peak period.

IMPORTANT: Please do not request to take part in the interim process and obtain an appointment directly from the Police.  You must choose one option only.  Appointments for direct registration are currently in November, so the interim process may be the best solution for you.

We will post more information about how to register with the police using the interim process as soon as it is confirmed to us by OVRO. 

I have registered with another Police Force - do I need a new certificate?

No - you can submit your current Police Registration Certificate to be updated by OVRO.

The requirement to register with the Police should be on your decision letter.  If you can't find your nationality on the list you do not need to register with the Police. 

What happens if I change address after I register?

If you change your address, you must inform the Police within seven days.  You can do this at any local Police station.  You can find your nearest Police station on the Metropolitan Police website.

If you live in LSE halls and you change rooms, you don't need to get this updated.

What happens if I do not register with the police?

It is a criminal offence not to register with the police if it is a requirement of your student visa. You could be arrested, prosecuted and fined up to £5,000 or even imprisoned.  It could also lead to you being refused a visa in the future.

When you register at LSE, you agree to abide by the conditions of your student visa and this includes police registration.  It is your responsibility to ensure that you register in time and to keep your record up to date.  This is very important if you need to extend your Tier 4 visa.

Working During your Studies

Tier 4 students - can you work?

The Home Office permits Tier 4 students to work during their studies but state in the Tier 4 Policy Guidance: " The main purpose of the Tier 4 visa route is for you to come to the UK to study. Where you are permitted to work, the intention is that this should be to supplement your income whilst studying (which in most cases we expect this to be taking a part-time role for an established business/organisation)..or as part of a work placement provided it is an integral and assessed part of your course."

Under the UK immigration rules, you are legally permitted to work with the following restrictions:

  • a maximum of 20 hours paid or unpaid work per week during term time for degree students

  • a maximum of 10 hours paid or unpaid work per week during term time for Language Centre students

  • full time work is permitted during vacations 

  • you cannot take a permanent contract (open ended) until you have submitted an application for a work permit e.g. Tier 2 

  • no self-employment (including  freelance or consultancy work or setting up your own business, even if you are not the controlling shareholder)

  • no work as a professional sports person (including sports coach) or entertainer.

Check your BRP  to make sure that you have been given the correct working conditions. If you think the Home Office has made a mistake (for example your BRP says work prohibited), you may be able to get this amended. 

For details on how to get this amended read the Your Passport, Visa and BRP section above. You will be unable to work 20 hours per week until your immigration permission has been amended.

Short-term Student Visas

Work is not permitted on a Short-term Student visa. 

When is 'vacation time'?

All students can work full time during the Christmas and Easter breaks as these are outside term time.

If you are a 12 month or second year Masters student, you do not benefit from a summer vacation.  You are still academically engaged with writing your dissertation at this point.

Can I request a vacation?

If you are a 12 month or two year Masters student, your academic department is able to authorise a four week vacation during your dissertation period. During these four weeks, you will be able to work full time.  Before starting your full time work, you will need to request a letter from the Registry confirming your vacation.  You cannot work full time without this letter and it cannot be issued retrospectively.

The Registry will only be able to issue a letter confirming this vacation period if the email is sent by a member of staff in your academic department.  Please note that disruption to studies resulting from a vacation period cannot be used in an appeal against a decision of the Board of Examiners.

If your department agrees to authorise a vacation period prior to the end of your course then please ask them to email registry.visa.queries@lse.ac.uk with your full name; LSE ID number; and the dates of your holiday period that they are willing to authorise (no more than four weeks long).

Any full time work completed during the dissertation period without permission is a breach of your Tier 4 visa conditions. As a Tier 4 sponsor, LSE is legally required as part of our sponsor licence agreement to report any students we are aware have breached the conditions of their visa. 

What are the term dates for research degree students?

For all registered research students, vacations are the Christmas and Easter breaks in each year of registration.  However, you are considered to be continuing your studies during the summer vacation. 

PhD students do not benefit from a Summer vacation and are not able to request a vacation during term time.  You may be able to request a vacation during the summer, but you must speak to the PhD Academy about this.

Working for LSE

When working for the School, you must ensure that you do not exceed your permitted number of working hours during term-time.  For degree programme students this is 20 hours per week paid or unpaid work. If you are unsure of the conditions of you visa, please check with us before commencing any work at the School.

If you will be working for LSE, Human Resources must complete a right to work check to prevent illegal working for all students working for the School before they are able to start/continue with their contract.  You will not be able to begin your role until this is completed, so you should not undertake any work until this point in time.

If you are a student employed by the School and you need to extend your Tier 4 visa, it is very important that you plan to do this well in advance of the expiry date of your visa. Whilst the conditions of your visa continue once you have an in-time application in progress (submitted before the expiry date of your visa), Human Resources will still need to conduct further checks with the Home Office to verify the status of your application, which will take up to five days to be confirmed.

Human Resources will require a Case ID number to be able to make this check, so applying as soon as you are aware you need to extend your visa e.g. due to an extension of your thesis submission date, will help both you and the School.

It is very important that you do not submit an application without ensuring you meet the immigration rules just continue your role at the School.   A refusal would affect not only your ability to continue working, but more importantly your ability to remain registered on your programme which is main purpose for you being in the UK on a Tier 4 visa.  

Can I volunteer?

There is a legal distinction between volunteering and paid or unpaid work.  to avoid any problems, you should consider volunteering in the same way as part-time work and not volunteer any more than 20 hours in any seven day period. If you also have a part-time job you must be careful to work no more than 20 hours between volunteering and paid work. For more information visit the LSE Volunteer Centre

Can I do a work placement as part of my programme?

The Tier 4 rules only allow you to undertake a full-time work placement if it is an "integral and assessed" part of the programme and does not exceed 33% of the structure.  However, this does not mean that you can arrange you own internship and ask your department to assess it for you.  

Work placements need to be an approved component of your programme and included in the School's regulations.  Only three 12 month Masters degrees at LSE have an approved work placement as part of the programme. 

Can I work for more than one employer?

You can have multiple contracts, but during term-time you must not work any more than 20 hours paid or unpaid work each week.  This means 20 hours in total rather than 20 hours per employer.

The Home Office have now defined a 7 day rolling period as Monday to Sunday.

Both you and your employer have a responsibility to ensure that you do not work more than 20 hours per week.  If you think your contracts may put you at risk of working beyond your permitted hours, you should inform your employers immediately.  This is not an issue that should be dealt with retrospectively as there will be a record of you having worked beyond your permitted hours.

PhD students with multiple contracts

PhD students are advised to monitor the number of hours work they undertake, especially if they have a number of jobs.  For example, if you are working as a Sub-Warden in a halls of residence you should ensure that any other work that you are undertaking does not take you over the 20 hours total per week permitted under the Tier 4 rules.

The official programme end date for PhD students can change depending on whether you needed to extend your visa e.g. for corrections.  Check whether you can work full time with our team before taking a position.

Can I work whilst I have a Tier 4 extension application in progress?

If you applied to extend your Tier 4 visa in the UK before your previous visa expired, the conditions of your Tier 4 visa will continue until you receive a decision on your application.  This is because you are protected by Section 3c leave.  

If your employer requires evidence that you have a Tier 4 visa application in progress, you can provide them with the following documents:

  • your application coversheet confirming you have applied;

  • a letter from the UKVI regarding your application e.g. your biometrics invitation letter;

  • the letter confirming that your Tier 4 has been granted and that your BRP is being delivered.

You should keep your employer up-to-date on your application and provide them with your new BRP as soon as you receive it.

What happens if I break the rules?

If you work when you do not have permission to do so or you take employment that is not covered by the rules, you are committing an immigration offence. If found, you could be:

  • taken to court;

  • fined up to £5,000;

  • be sent to prison for up to six months; 

  • liable to be removed (deported). 

  • banned from returning to the UK from between one to ten years and would have to declare this ban and your illegal working on future immigration applications to the UK and other countries.

You should consider the long term implications working illegally may have on your future before taking the risk.

The Home Office requires Tier 4 sponsors to report breaches of conditions, such as illegal working.  If the LSE becomes aware that you are working illegally, we will be required to report you to the Home Office, which could put our sponsor licence at risk.

How can I show an employer that I can work?

Your visa is your main form of evidence that you have the right to work in the UK.   Employers wanting to recruit students need to confirm that a student has the right to work in the UK. The Home Office will accept the following as acceptable evidence:

  • A printout from the LSE website confirming the term dates of the School.

  • A copy of a letter or email addressed to the student confirming term time dates for the student's course - a Certificate of Registration will confirm this information for your employer.

  • A letter addressed to the employer confirming your term dates - the LSE are unable to confirm to an employer a student's right to work in the UK. However, the certificate of registration includes all the required information for your individual circumstances. 

Your employer can also read the Comprehensive Guidance on Preventing Illegal Working on the Home Office Website. They can also call the employers helpline: 0300 123 4699

ISVAT have also produced a guidance leaflet for employers (pdf) to outline the rules for employing LSE students

European Economic Area (EEA) / Swiss Nationals

Most EEA/Swiss nationals do not need to ask for permission from UK Visas and Immigration to work in the UK.  

If you are a Croatian national studying in the UK, you will need to obtain authorisation to work in the UK.  Further advice can be found on the UKVI web pages.

For advice on working in the UK as an EU national, go to UKCISA

More information

For more information visit the UKCISA website

Changes to your personal details

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.

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 progress, 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 in the section below. 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.

Re-taking Assessments

Students with re-take exams in January (Lent Term Week 0)

If you are expected to return for Lent Term Week 0 exams in 2018, your immigration options will depend on:

  • whether you currently have a Tier 4 visa for a 12 month Masters degree; or

  • whether you were reported to the UKVI and sponsorship was withdrawn; or

  • whether your previous Tier 4 visa has expired.

If you are a 12 month Masters student who has been notified of Lent Term Week 0 re-takes when receiving your results in November 2017, please contact us for advice.

If you were reported to the UKVI and sponsorship of your Tier 4 visa has been withdrawn or your previous Tier 4 visa has expired, you will only be able to return for Lent Term Week 0 exams on a Short-term Student visa.  We will not sponsor you under Tier 4 for this assessment period.

Students with re-take assessments in May/June (the main examination period)

ISVAT will contact you in the Lent Term to give you your options based on the immigration rules at the time.

Depending on your circumstances you can choose to return either on a Tier 4 (General) visa or a Short-term Study visa. You can find out more about the two visas in the table below:

                                      

Tier 4 Student                            

Short Term Student
                         

How much time will I get to study in the UK?

If the course is less than six months the visa will be granted for the length of the programme plus one week.

If the course is longer than six months but less than 12, you will granted for the length of the programme plus two months.

Please note - LSE students returning to re-take exams will obtain a CAS that lists the exam period only.  This means that you are likely to be granted just one additional week after the end of the exam period.

Visa will be granted for a maximum of 6 months (this is the standard period regardless of how long you intend to remain in the UK)

Do I need a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) from LSE? 

 Yes

You need a Short Term Student visa letter.

Do I need to take an English test?



If you are continuing on your programme, LSE will confirm your English language ability.

 

No

Do I need a letter from LSE to show I am already a LSE student who is expected to return for further study?

 No 

Yes

Can I get this kind of immigration permission at the airport?

No. You must apply at the embassy or the visa application centre in your home country or the country where you are living.

Yes, but only if you are a 'non-visa national'.  You can check the list of 'visa nationals' on the UK Visas and Immigration website. If your country is on the list, you cannot apply at the airport and you must apply at the embassy or the visa application centre

UK Visas and Immigration

Can I travel in and out of the UK?

Yes. The visa does not 'lapse' when you leave the UK. 

If you have applied at the embassy, and the visa says 'multi' on it, it does not 'lapse' and you can come in and out of the UK several times.

If you apply at the airport you are granted 'single entry'. This means that you have to apply again each time you arrive at the airport (and need to show the correct documentation each time).

Can I extend my time in the UK?

Yes. You can apply to stay in the UK as a student if you are continuing on your programme or you decide to study for longer in the UK.   Please note, there must be no longer than 28 days from the end of your visa and the start date of your new programme.

You can also extend if you are eligible to switch into a work category

No.  You must leave the UK within six months. You are only able to spend a maximum of six months in the UK as a visitor in any 12 month period. 

 Can I work?

Yes, you can work a maximum of 20 hours per week during term-time (or 10 hours if you are studying below degree level). From the official end date of your programme you will be able to work full-time until your visa ends. 

No. You cannot work paid or unpaid. 

Can I switch into Tier 2 / Tier 5 in the UK?

Yes, if you meet the requirements.

No, you cannot switch into another visa category from the Short Term Student visa.

Can I use the National Health Service?

Yes, if your course is longer than six months. If it is less than six months you would need to have medical insurance. 

No, you would need to have medical health insurance

Can I bring dependants?

Yes, but only if your programme is:
12 months or longer and you are studying at postgraduate level or
6 months or longer and you have a full government scholarship

No, your family will need to enter as General visitors/ Visa Standard from 24 April 2015.

Please compare both visa types to check which one suits your needs.   If you are intending to switch into Tier 2 after your assessments have finished or undertake an internship, this is not possible on a Short-term Study visa.

You should plan to apply for your visa as soon as possible to ensure you can return in time for your assessments.  The Registry place a block on all personal timetables for international students who require immigration permission to re-take their assessments.  This block will not be removed until you have shown that you have permission to study in the UK, so it is important to check this information.

If you need to apply for a new Tier 4 (General) Student visa, you will need to request a CAS number from Registry before applying for your visa. You can submit your request through the online request form.  

Alternatively,  if you choose to return as a Short-term Student, you will need to request a letter from Registry.  You can request this letter through the online at Request a short-term student letter

Re-taking assessments on a Standard Visitor (tourist) visa

If you hold a long-term Standard Visitor Visa (more than six months), the UKVI now allow you to undertake a period of study of up to a maximum of 30 days on this visa.  This concession does not include the six-month Standard Visitor visa.  

Students who are required to attend to re-submit their dissertation will not be able to use a long-term visitor visa because the period of study will be more than 30 days.

Students who arrive on a six-month Standard Visitor visa will not be permitted to use this visa for their re-take assessments. Therefore, you should plan to apply for either the Tier 4 visa or the Short-Term student visa to avoid being advised you cannot take your assessment.

Can I stay in the UK?

Undergraduate Students

If you are an undergraduate student and you will not be registered during the academic year 2017/18, you are advised to leave the UK and apply to return from your home country.  Depending on which year you are required to re-take examinations for, the Registry will provide you with a CAS which includes the assessment period and future academic years.  If you are unable to progress into the next year of teaching, LSE will withdraw sponsorship of your Tier 4 visa.

If you have been granted repeat teaching for 2017/8 you will be able to remain in the UK as you will continue to be registered on your full time course at LSE. 

If you would like to request repeat teaching for part or all of your course, you must do so by contacting the Repeat Teaching Panel. For more information go to Repeat Teaching Panel. The Repeat Teaching Panel will not consider requests solely for students to remain in the UK.  Repeat teaching is only granted if it is required academically. If you are granted repeat teaching and your visa will expire before the new end date of your programme, you will need to apply to extend your Tier 4 (General) Student Visa.

 

Postgraduate Students

If you have to retake exams in 2018, you have to leave the UK and return to take exams. If you are also required to re-take your dissertation or you are continuing on your programme (for example if you are on a two year Master's), you can remain in the UK until the end of your programme. Students with further teaching to undertake will be registered in the new academic year.

It is very unusual for students at postgraduate level to obtain repeat teaching. However if you think that your circumstances are exceptional, you can apply to the Repeat Teaching Panel.  You can contact the Panel by e-mail.

If your repeat teaching takes place in the Lent Term, you will be unable to remain in the UK to extend your visa because you have not received any teaching during Michaelmas Term.  The Registry will report your change of circumstances to the Home Office and you will need to return home to apply for your new Tier 4 visa.

The Repeat Teaching Panel will not consider requests solely for students to remain in the UK.  Repeat teaching is only granted if it is required academically.

Please note that you cannot remain in the UK if you have an informal agreement to attend classes or meet with your tutor - you must be registered on your programme.

What happens if I stay in the UK while not attending my course?

If you remain in the UK and are an unregistered student, your Tier 4 visa application could be refused.  

If you have a Tier 4 (General) Student visa and you obtained this using a CAS, LSE must report to the Home Office that you will not be continuing on your programme. Registry will email you to inform you that they are reporting your change of circumstances to the Home Office . When this happens, the Home Office will send you a letter or email to cancel your Tier 4 visa.

We advise you to leave the UK as early as you can after you are informed that you will have retake exams. 

If you have a non-student immigration status (for example, dependant or Tier 2 ) you can remain in the UK while not attending your course as long as you continue to meet the requirements of your permission.

Working After your Studies

When can I start working full-time at the end of my studies?

You can start working full-time once your official programme end date has passed.  Your official programme end date is the date that was provided on your CAS number not  the date you submit your dissertation.

PhD students who have extended their Tier 4 visa for either their viva or corrections are bound by the 20 working hours conditions until their new end date has passed.  If you are unsure if you are affected, come to a PhD Academy drop-in session for advice before accepting a full-time contract.

The Home Office considers the extra two or four months at the end of your visa to be vacation, so you can work full time during this period. However, the same conditions apply unless you are switching into a different immigration route e.g. Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) or Tier 2(General).

More information can be found on the UKCISA web site.

We cannot provide letters for employers confirming your ability to work full time at the end of your studies.  However, you may wish to refer them to our leaflet on employing LSE students.

What happens if I do not find employment before my visa expires?

There are some common misunderstandings about what happens when your visa expires:

My visa has expired but I know there is a grace period  to remain in the UK beyond this date. 

Your visa expires at midnight on the expiry date of your BRP/sticker.  Once this date has passed, you are an overstayer.  There is no grace period which allows you to remain in the UK without affecting your immigration history.  

  • You are able to make some applications in the UK as an overstayer (if permitted by the rules) but this is often at the discretion of the employer or university.  

  • LSE does not sponsor students to make Tier 4 applications once their visa has expired.

  • When your visa has expired, your period of overstay continues to build until you have left the UK  or have a successful visa application outcome.  You may have to declare this on future applications.  

  • You also lose all of your conditions of your visa, so are unable to continue working or access the NHS.

I'm a non-visa national, so I'm automatically entitled to be in the UK for 90 days after the expiry date of my visa as a Standard Visitor (tourist).

You can only access the right to be a Standard Visitor in the UK after the expiry of your Tier 4 visa if you travel out of the UK and re-enter on this permission.  You do not automatically become a tourist when your Tier 4 expires, you just become an overstayer.

A Border Force Officer will assess whether you are a "genuine visitor" when you re-enter.  We are aware of cases where LSE students have been denied entry to the UK when re-entering immediately after the expiry of their Tier 4 e.g. they had an established relationship with a British national.  

Check our information on travelling during and after your studies for more information. 

Advice on applying for Tier 2 (General) at the end of your studies

The information on this page is taken from the Tier 2 Policy Guidance. You can also find further information on the UKCISA web pages. 

ISVAT specialises in the student immigration rules. Whilst we can provide information on switching from Tier 4 to Tier 2, we are not trained to provide detailed advice on the Tier 2 immigration rules and completing the application forms. For detailed advice speak to your sponsoring employer or seek external advice at www.oisc.gov.uk or www.ilpa.org.uk

We are unable to advise on Tier 2 Sponsor Licence applications for your employers. Details on how to apply for a sponsor licence can be found on the UKVI web pages. 

Eligibility 

To sponsor you for a Tier 2 (General) visa, your employer must

  • have a Tier 2 sponsor licence. See the Register of Tier 2 sponsors

  • offer you a 'graduate level' job, or a job on the Shortage Occupation list

  • offer a minimum salary of £20,800 per year or £25,000 for some applicants (this can be higher depending on your job title)

  • allocate a Certificate of Sponsorship (COS) to you. It is at the employer's discretion if they wish to allocate you a COS to sponsor you under Tier 2 (General).  Whilst they may be able to offer you a position, if it does not meet the requirements of Tier 2 (General), they may not be able to sponsor you for a visa.  

You can apply to switch to Tier 2 inside the UK if your current and unexpired visa is:

  • Tier 4 (General)

  • pre-Tier 4 Student Visa  

  • Tier 1 (Graduate Enterpreneur) 

Resident Labour Market Test Exemption

If you are switching from Tier 4/Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) to Tier 2 (General) in the UK, you will be exempt from the Resident Labour Market Test.  More information can be found on the UKCISA web pages, if your employer requires confirmation of this.

When to apply for Tier 2 (General)

If you want to switch from Tier 4 or a student visa: 

  • you must have "successfully completed" your undergraduate or postgraduate degree programme.  This means you have been informed that you have been awarded your degree, or

  • you must have completed a minimum of 12 months study towards a PhD programme.  Your Tier 2 sponsor will need to see evidence of this.  

Your employer may ask if it is possible for you to extend your student visa to give you more time in the UK before being sponsored.  Unless you are a PhD student applying under the Doctorate Extension Scheme (see above), you can only extend your student stay if you are continuing to study in the UK.

Points required to apply for Tier 2 (General):

You need 70 points to apply:

  • Certificate of Sponsorship (COS) - 30 points

  • Maintenance funds – 10 points

  • English language – 10 points

  • Salary – 20 points

Documents required from LSE

To switch from Tier 4 to Tier 2 inside the UK, you need to show evidence that you have completed and passed your programme.  When you apply you can show this by including:

  • your original degree certificate, academic transcript or

  • an academic reference confirming you have successfully completed your degree on LSE headed paper from the Registry

Only the Registry are able to confirm that you have been awarded your degree, so you should not request a reference from your department. The academic reference will confirm:

  • your name;

  • title of qualification;

  • date of award;

  • the body awarding the qualification;

  • the reason why you are unable to provide your original certificate of award

  • that the certificate will be issued.

If you want to apply for Tier 2 before you obtain your official degree certificate, you can request a letter by emailing Registry.Visa.Queries@lse.ac.uk. If you request a letter from the Registry before your results have been ratified, they are unable to confirm that you have successfully completed and passed your degree.  Therefore, you do not meet the requirements to switch into Tier 2.

Students with full scholarships

If you were fully funded (tuition fees and living costs) for your studies in the UK by the UK government, your home government, the British Council or any international scholarship agency in the last 12 months you also need to submit a letter from the financial sponsor confirming you can remain in the UK to work.

Application forms

Application forms and the cost of applying can be found on the UKVI web pages.

Applying for Tier 2 from outside the UK

If you want to benefit from the concessions of being a student, you must apply for Tier 2 from inside the UK before you current visa expires.   

If you can only apply from outside the UK,  your employer will have to pass the Resident Labour Market Test and they will have to use a 'restricted' COS to sponsor you. 

Applying for a Tier 4 (Doctorate Extension Scheme)  Visa - LSE Endorsed - at the end of your studies.

Students studying for a PhD at LSE with Tier 4 (General)  visas are eligible to apply for permission to work for 12 months at the end of their studies.  

As the scheme is under Tier 4, you will have to apply for the additional 12 months before you complete your studies at LSE. This will be your award date, so the latest date you can apply will be the day before you are awarded your PhD. 

Please note that not all requests to take part in the scheme may be granted depending on your future employment plans. You can only apply for this visa from within the UK from a valid Tier 4 visa.

When to apply:

  • after you complete your viva with no corrections and before you receive confirmation of your award in writing, or

  • after your corrections have been submitted and before you receive confirmation of your award in writing.

How to apply:

  • inform the PhD Academy at the point you submit your thesis that you are interested in applying for the scheme.  

  • attend one of our PhD Academy drop-in sessions for advice on applying for the Doctorate Extension Scheme. Registry will not issue your CAS until you have spoken to us.

  • request a CAS from LSE confirming that you wish to seek or take work in the 12 months after the end of your studies: in requesting a CAS you are confirming that you agree to the conditions of the visa which includes maintaining contact with the PhD Academy during the 12 months;

  • attend an appointment with ISVAT to check your application - you only have one chance at this visa so if it is refused correctly, you will lose the opportunity to apply again.

  • you will be required to formally keep in touch with the School during this period

  • you will need to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge for you and any dependants who are applying with you - speak to us for advice on how to pay this

  • you will need to provide evidence of funds (£2,530 = 2 months maintenance funds)

Conditions of the scheme:

  • you will be able to take any kind of work including self employment (except work as a doctor or dentist or training or as a professional sports coach or sportsperson) 

  • you will be permitted to work full time from the date you complete your programme at LSE

  • you can do supplementary study

More information can be found on the UKCISA web site.

Applying for a Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) Visa - LSE Endorsed - at the end of your studies.

LSE is able to endorse around 20 students each year. Our scheme is externally recognised as being run successfully and we are proud of the opportunities that we can bring.

For more information on the scheme read the UKCISA web pages. 

You can read the Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) Policy Guidance on the UK Visas and Immigration website:

UK Visas and Immigration

How do I apply for the Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) scheme?

You can only be endorsed by competing in the LSE Entrepreneur of the Year, LSE Social Entrepreneur of the Year competition or Seed Funding competition. For details go to the Generate at LSE website.

In exceptional circumstances, it may be possible to endorse students who were unable to compete in these competitions.  However, you must still have a genuine and credible business plan, which has been approved by LSE Careers.  Requests for endorsement because you have been unable to find an alternative immigration route to apply for, are highly unlikely to be successful.

We regret that we can only endorse non-LSE students who are in business with LSE students.

Once you are selected by the LSE panel and have been informed that you have been awarded your degree, request an endorsement letter from the Registry. This will confirm that you and your business idea have been assessed by LSE.  If you have dependants with you that wish to remain in the UK, you will need to inform the Registry as this information must go on your endorsement letter.

Are there any types of businesses that will not be endorsed?

We have endorsed a variety of businesses from social media applications, to tourism and social enterprises.  The only type of business prohibited under the scheme is property development or property management.

Am I eligible?

To be eligible to apply for the visa in the UK you need to meet the following requirements:

  • You must hold a Tier 4 (General) Student visa/student visa or be working in a postdoctoral role on a Tier 2 (General) visa;

  • You must successfully have been awarded your degree programme at LSE (PG Certificate or Diplomas are not eligible);

  • You must not have been granted immigration permission previously under the Tier 1 (Post-Study Work), IGS, Fresh Talent or SEGS schemes.

  • You must have held £945 in your bank account for a consecutive 90 day period

  • if you have been wholly sponsored (full tuition fees and living costs) by a government or an international scholarship agency in the last 12 months, evidence that you have their unconditional consent to remain in the UK to set up your business.

You can apply for the Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) route from outside the UK.  In this case:

  • Your immigration status during your study is not relevant;

  • You must have held £1890 in your bank account for a consecutive 90 day period 

You will have to complete an application form, which we can assist with.

Applying in the UK: Form  Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur)
Applying outside the UK: Online application form 

It is not possible to apply in person for the Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) visa. 

When can I start working on my buisness?

You cannot start your business until you have submitted an application for Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur.  You can attend events organised by LSE Careers, you can seek funding and make plans for your business, but you cannot actually start your business or use funding while you hold your Tier 4 visa.

Can I employ Tier 4 students to work on my business?

Tier 4 students must not be self-employed, including being listed as company directors. If you have any Tier 4 students working with you on your business, they must be employees of the company.

If you intend to employ staff to assist with your business, you will need to ensure you are making the correct employment checks to ensure you are not breaching the immigration rules.

Can I extend my Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) Visa

It may be possible for you to extend your Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) visa for a second year, depending on the success of your business.  It is important that if you are considering this as an option,  you contact us well in advance of your visa expiring for advice on extending.  This is an extension of your previous visa based on the business you were developing.  It is unlikely that we will be able to extend your visa for a new business plan.

Applying for a Tier 5 (Youth Mobility) visa at the end of your studies

The Tier 5 (Youth Mobility) visa is only available to nationals from the following countries:

  • Australia

  • Canada

  • Hong Kong

  • Japan

  • Monaco

  • New Zealand

  • Republic of Korea

  • Taiwan

  • British Overseas Citizens, British Overseas Territories Citizens, British Nationals Overseas

The Tier 5 Youth Mobility visa allows you to work in the UK for up to two years without a sponsor.  You cannot switch into this visa from Tier 4. You can only apply for this visa outside the UK. At the end of the two years, you will need to apply for any new immigration permission from outside the UK.

Study is permitted on this visa, but your main intention should be to use it for work.

You can find further details on UKCISA and Home Office

Applying Tier 5 (Temporary Worker) visa at the end of your studies

There are five schemes under the Tier 5 (Temporary Worker) route:

  • Creative and Sporting;

  • Charity Workers;

  • Religious Workers;

  • Government Authorised Exchange;

  • International Agreement

These schemes allow you to undertake specific types of work from one to two years, depending on the scheme.  Most schemes only permit entry clearance applications, In certain circumstances, you may be able to switch to the Tier 5 (Government Authorised Exchange) in the UK.

Full details of all the schemes and when you can apply in the UK can be found on the UKCISA web pages.

Applying for a UK Ancestry Visa at the end of your studies.

The Ancestry visa enables the following groups to take employment or set up a business in the UK:

  • You are a Commonwealth Citizen;

  • You are aged over 17; and

  • You can prove you have a grandparent who was born in the UK/the Channel Islands/the Isle of Man/ on a British registered ship or aircraft/ the Republic of Ireland (before 31 March 1922).

The Ancestry visa is valid for five years and you must intend to seek employment.  It can lead to settlement after five years.  Further details can be found on the UKVI web pages.

 

 

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