Find out what you must do to comply with your visa obligations. You can also see our duties as your Tier 4 sponsor.
There are several things you must do to protect your immigration status.
Some of these are required by UK Visa and Immigration (UKVI) so you can legally study in the UK.
There are also things the University needs you to do.
You need to do all of the above to continue studying with us.
We also have obligations as your visa sponsor, so we may need to contact you.
Different types of visa
Most of our students study with us on a Tier 4 visa, although you may have a different immigration status, such as if you have Indefinite Leave to Remain or you are on a Dependant visa.
Not all of the below will apply to you but we still have an obligation to make sure you have the right to study with us.
Conditions of your Tier 4 visa
- study with us, in line with our attendance and engagement policies – Sussex is your Tier 4 sponsor institution
- register with the police, if you’re from a listed country, and inform the police within seven days of any changes to your details
- stick to your work conditions, if you choose to get a job
- not claim state welfare benefits – this is known as “no recourse to public funds”
- make sure you comply with ATAS rules, if you’re studying a course that requires ATAS clearance.
Your responsibilities as a Sussex student
- show us your passport (including 30-day visa sticker, known as a vignette) and your biometric residence permit (BRP) at registration, so we can take copies for your student record
- attend your classes (including lectures and appointments with your tutors)
- attend and log scheduled meetings with your supervisor, if you’re studying a PhD
- tell us if there are any changes to your passport or BRP, such as extending your visa or changes to your personal details, and show us the new documents
- tell us if you switch visa categories, such as getting a Tier 2 working visa
- pay your fees on time, as agreed with Student Accounts.
Keep your address and phone number up-to-date on Sussex Direct.
Things you must not do
Do not overstay your visa.
Do not get into trouble with the police or commit driving offences, such as driving without insurance or getting speeding fines.
In either case, there could be serious consequences for your immigration status and ability to study at Sussex.
Who to contact
In any of the above situations, let us know.
If you need advice, contact one of our immigration advisers.
If you’re an undergraduate or Masters student with changes to your documents or circumstances, speak to the Student Progress team. Call 01273 877093 or email email@example.com.
If you’re a PhD student, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01273 876550.
Important: If you have breached your immigration conditions, we’re legally required to report this to UKVI.
- inform UKVI if you have not registered with us by our latest registration date, or fail to re-register every year
- contact you if your passport or visa documents are due to expire
- follow the University’s CAS Issuing Policy [DOCX 37KB]
- make sure your contact details are current, including when you’re on a placement or field work or studying abroad
- monitor your attendance and, if necessary, act accordingly to any concerns
- tell UKVI of any changes to your study, including if you withdraw from your course (either temporarily or permanently) or complete your course early
- report any changes to your visa category.
If you want to leave the UK or apply to extend your visa, make sure you do this before your current visa expires.
If you don’t you will become an “overstayer”. This is an illegal status in the UK.
Being an overstayer means you have no immigration permission to stay in the UK and the rights you had under your visa are no longer valid.
You can also become an overstayer if your:
- current visa has expired and you make an invalid application or your application is refused
- visa is curtailed (cancelled) by UKVI and you don’t leave the UK before your curtailment date.
You’re unlikely to be able to make a Tier 4 visa application in the UK if you are an overstayer.
If you do, your application will be refused, unless you meet the exceptional circumstances criteria (laid out in the government’s Tier 4 Policy Guidance under the heading “Students applying from inside the UK”).
Consequences of overstaying
You may lose the right to:
- rent accommodation and face eviction
- hold a bank account
- have a driving licence
- work in the UK
- get free hospital treatment in the UK.
If you are stopped by an immigration official (or arrested by the police) you could be removed from the UK.
Our policy on overstaying
We have a strict policy on overstaying [DOCX 34KB]. You will be immediately withdrawn from your course if you are in the UK as an overstayer.
Who to contact
Tell us if you’re an overstayer or if you’re worried you might be. Contact one of our immigration advisers.
Our policies on attendance and engagement
If you have any questions, contact your school of study.