Make sure you keep up-to-date by reading the latest news published by
the UK Council for International Student Affairs, the
Home Office and the
British Council regularly.
Tier 4 rule and guidance changes
The Home Office amended the Tier 4 rules and guidance on 6 April 2016.
There have been changes to work and study conditions and most significantly
new requirements have been added about academic progression.
Alongside all the other sponsor requirements, a Tier 4 sponsor has to consider
the Home Office academic progression rules before sponsoring a new or continuing to
sponsor an existing student.
For you to make a valid Tier 4 application in the UK all Tier 4 requirements
must be met and academic progression must be shown on the CAS. If our University can't
show academic progression then we may not be able to continue to sponsor you or issue
a new CAS or we may only be able to issue a CAS that can be used to make a new Tier 4
Switching to a longer course - Tier 4 Essex students
If you're a current Essex student who has switched to a longer course and you need to
apply for further Tier 4 leave to complete the course, you'll have to make your application
from overseas. This is because we won't be able to demonstrate academic progression on your
CAS under the new Home Office rules.
If you have changed to a longer course, for instance added a work placement year, year abroad
or have changed from a 3 year to 4 year degree course, you should make sure you're aware of what
you must do and when. It will depend what date you applied for your current Tier 4 visa. You may
not be able to start the new longer course until you have a new Tier 4 visa.
All immigration applications carry a risk of refusal so it's wise to consider the risks of refusal
when considering switching course and to seek immigration advice.
New: right to rent checks – private housing
From 1 February 2016, if you're 18 or over and entering into a new contract with a private
landlord to rent a room, flat or house, the landlord has to check your immigration status
before granting you a tenancy agreement and every 12 months thereafter.
University halls of residence are exempt from this requirement. We will continue to check you
have valid immigration permission to become and remain a registered student. If you're not fully
registered and attending then you won't be able to remain in University accommodation.
If your entry clearance sticker, BRP or Home Office decision letter says you must register with
the Police then you have to do this within seven days of your arrival or, if you're collecting a
BRP in the UK, within seven days of collecting it. If you don’t register with the Police you will
be in breach of your conditions which can have serious consequences. You must seek advice immediately
if you're in this position. Read the information on our
Police registration page
to find out more.
Travelling outside the UK
If you're planning on travelling during the University’s Easter vacation here are some tips.
Looking after your documents
Take great care of your passport and Biometric Residence Permit (if you have one) and take photocopies
with you. You may not be able to come back to the UK for two weeks or more if your BRP is lost or stolen
as you’ll need to apply for a new passport or travel document and then entry clearance.
Read our guidance and contact us immediately if this happens to you.
Entering the UK
The Home Office has some useful guidance about entering the UK.
Be ready at border control so that you can enter as quickly as possible and make sure you:
- have your passport ready and remove it from any cover
- remove sunglasses and hats
- if you're travelling as a family, go to passport control together. If you don't share the same
surname or you aren't the parent of a child under 18, then you may be asked about your relationship
If you’re 18 or over and a UK or EU national with a biometric passport, you can use the
to enter the UK and hopefully avoid the long queues at passport control.
Taking a holiday during your course
If it’s not a vacation for you and you need to be away from the University for a short time, you must
request authorised absence from your academic department. The University’s Easter and summer vacations
aren't standard vacation periods for all students. Masters students are not on vacation in the summer and
PhD students and most English Language students don't have University standard vacation periods.
In line with our duties as a Tier 4 sponsor, the University must monitor attendance and report certain
circumstances to the Home Office. Tier 4 students whose attendance is unsatisfactory will be investigated by
the International Services Team and could face withdrawal from the University.
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Information correct at time of writing 11 May 2016.