Latest news

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, and sign up for students' news from UKCISA for regular email updates.

Working in the Christmas vacation

Tier 4 PhD students don't have standard vacations so should continue to work part-time. Most other Tier 4 students will be on vacation for the whole Christmas vacation.

Check your vacation dates for your course/campus if you want to work more hours and seek advice before working extra hours if you’re not sure.

We emailed you recently about working in the UK. Please read our guidance about working while studying and seek advice if necessary.

Travelling home for Christmas

If you're returning home over the Christmas vacation, please make sure you take your valid Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) and Police Registration and the other documents you used to make your Tier 4 application with you. You will need these to re-enter the UK.

PhD students

Don’t forget, if you're going to be away outside the University’s Christmas closure period, you need to ask your supervisor to authorise your absence.

Lost BRP while outside the UK

Take great care of your BRP as if you lose it or it's stolen, you will have to report it to the Home Office and apply for a single entry visa to return to the UK This usually takes at least two weeks. As soon as you are back you will have to apply for a replacement BRP. If you lose your passport at the same time you will need to obtain a new passport before you can apply for a replacement BRP visa.

Police Registration

If you had the condition to register with the Police on either your entry clearance sticker, BRP or on the outcome letter from the Home Office you must do so otherwise you will be breaching a condition of your leave and that can have serious consequences. If you should have registered and haven’t done so yet please contact the Police and arrange to register immediately. Contact our International Advisers if you need to ask us a question.

Waiting for the outcome of your recent Tier 4 application

If you made an application to extend your Tier 4 visa from within the UK, the Home Office aim to process it within eight weeks. However, it can take longer and the Home Office recommend not making travel plans until you have received back your passport and BRP.

  • You have had the outcome and it was refused

    If you have had the outcome and it was refused, seek advice from our International Student Advisers immediately by emailing with a copy of all pages of the outcome letter. If you email the outcome to us when the University is closed, you will receive an out of office. We will contact you when we return after Christmas, however, please read the information under 'I made my Tier 4 application in the UK'.

  • You're still awaiting the outcome

    If you're still awaiting the outcome, it's has been more than eight weeks since you applied and you have plans to travel over the Christmas vacation, complete the online enquiry form before Friday 16 December.

    We will check the status of your application and advise you accordingly. However, please be aware that if your application hasn’t yet been processed it's unlikely to be completed in time for you to travel home for Christmas.

  • You already have your new BRP

    Make sure you have brought it into your Student Services Hub. As your Tier 4 sponsor, we must see it and take a copy for our records.

You, your studies and Tier 4 – your responsibilities

We hope that you understand your responsibilities to us, your Tier 4 sponsor and to the Home Office, but further details can be found:

If you would like a copy of the leaflet, please come and collect one from your Student Services Hub. Contact us if you have any questions about what we or the Home Office expect from you.

Visa check for returning Tier 4 students

If you registered to continue your course this year you should have been into your Student Services Hub to have your documents and details checked. If you didn’t come in please do so before the end of this term. If you started your course in October 2016, your documents will have been checked at registration.

Returning for the Spring Term and attendance

Make sure you return for the start of the Spring Term. For most students this will be 16 January 2017 but could be earlier depending on your campus and course. If you're unable to return for the start of the Spring Term you must seek authorised absence from your department. If you can’t return in time you may be required to intermit.

Don’t forget to attend everything and swipe in if you're based at Colchester or Southend Campus. If you're sick you must complete the notified absence from teaching form available in your myEssex portal. If you're a PhD student, contact your supervisor. Failure to attend could lead to you being withdrawn from your course.

If you're returning from intermission for the Spring Term you will need a new Tier 4 visa to re-register as your old one will have been cancelled by the Home Office. If you haven’t already done so you should request a CAS immediately by emailing so that you can apply for a new Tier 4 visa and return in time.

Christmas vacation

The University will be closed from 12.30pm on Friday 23 December and will re-open on Tuesday 3 January. There are activities for students who stay on the Colchester or Southend campus over Christmas:

Colchester Campus

Southend Campus