Withdrawals, deferrals and changes in immigration status

Updated on 31 July 2023

If you decide to withdraw, defer or change your studies there could be implications for your Student visa.

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Interruptions during your studies

If you are unable to engage with your studies for a sustained period due to personal or health reasons your School and the Immigration Compliance team will assess the level of disruption to your studies and you may be offered the option of a break in studies or deferral. 

Breaks in Studies

Your Student visa has specific rules governing breaks in study, if these are not met you may still be placed on a break in studies but your Student visa will need to be cancelled and you will need to request a new visa to resume studies. Since the consequences involved are serious, please consult the Immigration Compliance Team at the earliest opportunity if you will be taking a break in your studies. Please note the rules regarding breaks in studies apply regardless of the reason for the break, this includes pregnancy and maternity. 

The criteria for a break permitted on a Student visa are:

  • The break is no longer than a maximum of 60 days. 
  • You will still be able to complete your studies before your current Student visa expires.
  • You will be able to return to full-time study, including on-campus teaching at the end of the break period.


A deferral in studies is when you are placed on a break and will not be returning to studies until the next intake (January or September). This could be either for personal/health reasons or because you have opted to change courses and the course change cannot be completed mid-semester. Deferrals will almost always result in you needing to return home to apply for a new visa as you will not be studying for a lengthy period and will require an extension to your course end date beyond your current visa validity. 

The Immigration Compliance Team will inform you by email once we are aware that you have deferred your studies, the implications for your Student visa will be explained in this email. Students have 60 days to depart the UK from the date that their Student visa is withdrawn. We will also provide contact details for the International Advice Service for assistance with a new visa to return.  

Withdrawal from studies and early completion

The University must notify the Home Office in the following circumstances. The Home Office will then cancel your visa, the Immigration Compliance Team will email you to notify you when the report is made to the Home Office and your probable new visa expiry date. Any correspondence directly from the Home Office supersedes advice given by the Immigration Compliance team

  • withdraw from your studies
  • are withdrawn by the University
  • complete your studies earlier than the course end date on your CAS

If you complete your course earlier than originally stated on your CAS, the University is required to report this to the Home Office. Subsequently, your Student visa may be cancelled to the standard post-study period you are entitled to following the end of your course (see your Student visa after completing your studies). 

If you leave the UK after your visa has been cancelled or are already outside the UK at the time of cancellation, you should not re-enter the UK on your current Student visa.

Change of immigration status

If your visa, passport, address, or immigration status change then there are steps that must be followed to ensure that the University and Home Office are kept informed. The process for each change is outlined below.

  • If you obtain a new passport, visa, or BRP during your studies, you must present these documents to the Immigration Compliance Team for scanning straight away so we can update your student record. You can present your documents for scanning by bringing them to the Global Room during its opening hours:
    • Wednesday - 10:00 - 13:00 and 14:00 - 17:00
    • Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday - 09:00 - 13:00 and 14:00 - 17:00
  • If you switch from a Student visa to another visa category (e.g. Settlement, Skilled Worker Route), or have another status that means you no longer require a Student visa, you must notify us within seven working days of the change and provide a copy of the new visa. The University is required to report this change to the Home Office.
  • If you move you should update the Home Office of a change in address by using the online form at GOV.UK. You should also ensure that you update your semester study address on eVision so the University has the most up-to-date contact details for you. It is expected that during your time as a student with us, you live within a 90-minute commute of campus to ensure you can access the University’s teaching and support services.

How to report changes

There are some instances in which a change of details will mean you need to apply for a new BRP card, they are listed below:

  • change of name, for example, if you have got married
  • change of nationality
  • change of gender
  • change of appearance

If you only have a visa vignette in your passport, you will need to update the Home Office on these changes using the change of circumstances form at GOV.UK.

If any of the below changes occur, you need to report them to the Home Office using the change of circumstances form at GOV.UK. regardless of the visa type, you have:

  • criminal convictions
  • passport number
  • dependent s' details, for example, if the relationship breaks down

For assistance with reporting changes of circumstances to the Home Office please contact the International Advice Service (

Inform the Home Office

For some changes, you must inform the Home Office - for instance, a change of address. Other changes must be reported to the Home Office by the University as your visa sponsor and may affect your Student visa. 

The Immigration Compliance Team is responsible for submitting reports to the Home Office on behalf of the University. The Immigration Compliance Team will notify you by e-mail of any reports to the Home Office that may affect your immigration status.


Immigration Compliance

+44 (0)1382 386750