Your Student visa after completing your studies

Updated on 27 July 2023

This guide covers some questions that you may have once you have completed your studies with us.

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When must you leave the UK?

The Home Office expects you to leave the UK on or before your visa expiry date, unless you have applied to extend your stay or to switch into another immigration category.

The length of your Student visa depends on the length of your course.  This is stated in the Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) which was issued to you by our Admissions team. 

Course length Additional months granted at end of course
12 months or longer 4 months after course end date
6 - 12 months 2 months after course end date
Pre-sessional course 1 month after course end date
Courses less than 6 months, for example medical elective 7 days after course end date

Your course end date will be stated on your CAS and will not necessarily include your graduation ceremony.

Cancelling your Student visa

In certain circumstances, your Student visa may be cancelled meaning its end date will no longer reflect what is stated on your immigration permission as originally issued.

If you complete your course early 

If you finish your course with more than four months remaining on your visa it is likely that the University will contact you to inform you of a change to your visa expiry date.

The Home Office requires the University to inform them if a student completes their course earlier than expected. The Home Office normally limits your permission to the standard post-study period of leave, advice will be given on an individual basis.

Departing the UK before course completion

Some students may have the option to depart the UK before their course is complete and submit outstanding coursework online, if the departure is more than two weeks before final course submission date students will be required to forfeit the remaining time on their visa. This requires school approval and will not have any impact on your final award and will mean that you are no longer limited by Student visa restrictions. 

Early cancellation of your Student visa will mean you are not eligible for the Graduate Route visa. 

Visa expiry and ‘overstaying’

Overstaying by even one day is a criminal offence

You must leave the UK by the expiry date of your visa unless you have submitted a visa application to extend your permission in the UK. There is no ‘grace period’ following the expiry date of your visa. 

Even if you are able to enter the UK as a visitor without a visa you cannot switch from a student to visitor status from within the UK but need to leave the UK and enter as a visitor. Entry to the UK is at the discretion of Border Force officials.

The University will not allow you to continue your studies as an ‘overstayer’. You would also need to declare this on any future visa application to the UK and many other countries.

If your visa has expired and you have applied for a new visa you must provide us evidence on the day of or before your visa expiry date. Failure to do so may result in us placing you on a break in studies until we have evidence of your permission to study in the UK. 

Working after your course ends

The options for working in the UK after study depend on your immigration status

Visas for graduation

If your graduation takes place after your existing Student visa expires, you will need to apply to return to the UK under the Standard Visitor (tourist) immigration route.  You must apply for this visa from outside the UK. 

Non-visa nationals do not need to apply for this visa in advance but must leave the UK in order to re-enter as a visitor.

Continuing to a further degree at Dundee

If you are continuing to a further course at Dundee, you must apply for a new Student visa within six weeks of your new course start date or before your leave expires, whichever is earlier.

If you are in the UK on a Student visa, you can only apply to extend your visa from inside the UK if:

  • you have obtained the qualification for which your current immigration permission was granted. If you have not obtained the qualification, you will need to apply for your new visa from outside the UK
  • your new course start date is less than 28 days after your current visa expiry date. For instance, if your visa for your Master’s course ends on 30 August, and you are starting a PhD which begins on 1 October, this gap exceeds 28 days and you will need to submit your new Student visa application outside the UK, in your country of nationality or residence

Immigration Compliance

+44 (0)1382 386750