Essential information for Tier 4 students

In order to make sure that your time at Westminster is as rewarding as possible you will need to be aware of the conditions attached to your Tier 4 visa and make sure you comply with these conditions throughout your time in the UK.

Contact details

We need to be able to contact you while you are studying on your course at the University of Westminster. We will need to have your address in the UK, your UK telephone or mobile number and an email address that you check regularly. It is your responsibility to update this information if any of these details change. You can update your contact details at any time via SRSWeb.

You must report any change of address to the Home Office – you can do so by filling in this online form.


Your Tier 4 visa allows you to attend the University of Westminster as a full-time student. As a Tier 4 (general) student your leave to remain in the UK is dependent on your continued engagement with your course of study. The University is required to monitor your attendance during term time and report back on students who are not attending on a regular basis. If you miss your classes without prior agreement from the University then you will be reported to the Home Office.

Authorised Absence

Sometimes temporary absence from your course is unavoidable. If you miss a lecture due to illness please contact [email protected] to let us know. If you will be absent for more than a week you will need to provide a doctor's letter to confirm your illness.

If you are absent for any other reason during term time then you must apply for an Authorised Absence. To apply for an Authorised Absence you must contact [email protected] stating the following:

  • The date at which you will cease attending University
  • The date you will return to study
  • The reason that you need to be away from your course (with supporting documentary evidence if appropriate)

If you will be absent for a prolonged period, or if you do not know when you will be able to return to your studies, you may need to formally suspend from your course. Please contact Student Advice if you are in this position.

If you do not apply for Authorised Absence, or your application is rejected, you will be expected to continue your regular attendance on your course. If you miss study without obtaining an official Authorised Absence, your absence from the course will be reported to the Home Office, which will then curtail (shorten) your Tier 4 visa.

You do not need an Authorised Absence to leave the UK during the official vacation periods. Please see the Academic Calendar for the dates of our official vacation periods.


We will check your visa and passport at least 3 times per 12-month period while you are enrolled at the University of Westminster. We will contact you before each Checkpoint. You will need to go to your Faculty Registry with your passport and visa. If you do not attend your Checkpoint you may put your enrolment at risk.

Working in the UK

Your Tier 4 visa will either allow you to work 10 or 20 hours per week during term time. Please see the UKCISA website for the full list of rules and conditions. During vacation periods there are no restrictions on how many hours you work. Please check the Academic Calendar to make sure of the periods when there is a restriction on the number of hours you can work. Your Tier 4 visa has been issued for the purpose of full-time study and you should not take work that conflicts with your required attendance at University.

If you are a Master's student the dissertation period until your official course end date (as stated on your CAS) is not considered part of the vacation period. You will therefore not be able to work full-time during this period.

Course transfers

You will be unable to change your course without applying for immigration permission first. Normally, you will not be able to apply for a new visa from inside the UK and it is likely that you will have to return home to apply for a visa to study a new course.

However, there are limited circumstances where you may be able to change courses without applying for a visa first. If you are thinking about transferring onto a new course at Westminster, please contact Student Advice.

We also suggest that you check paragraph 305 of the Tier 4 Policy Guidance.


In some circumstances you may need to extend your stay in the UK, for example, if you are required to retake a module. You will need to apply for a new Tier 4 visa to cover the extra period of time needed to complete your course. If you need to extend your stay in the UK please make sure you contact the University in plenty of time before. We’d recommend contacting us at least a month before the expiry of your current visa. To do this you will need a new CAS number from the University. Please note that if you try to re-apply with your original CAS number your visa application will be refused. To apply for a new CAS, you need to complete the CAS request form and return it to your Faculty Registry office.

Download the CAS request form:

We will only be able to issue a new CAS if you continue to meet all the conditions for Tier 4.

Applying for an extension from within the UK

In order to apply for a new visa within the UK to continue on your current course you must be re-taking modules or assessments. Your new visa will cover the time for you to retake your modules. If you are able to complete your re-takes within the time you have time left on your current visa, then you can continue to study on this visa.

If you need to extend your stay in the UK to finish your course, but you will be taking new modules that you haven’t previously attempted then you cannot apply in the UK and will have to go home to make your new visa application. If you know you need to retake any of your modules, or if you have already re-taken modules earlier in your course and will not be able to finish before your current visa expires, then we strongly suggest that you make an appointment with our Student Advisers to discuss when, and where, to apply for your new Tier 4 visa.

Work placements

There have been recent changes to the immigration rules which affect students currently on a placement year and students considering going on a placement year. If you are currently on a work placement or are thinking of going on a work placement please contact Student Advice as soon as possible.

Changing visa categories

If you are intending to apply for a different type of visa while you are studying with us, we strongly recommend that you contact Student Advice to discuss how this could affect your studies and your stay in the UK. Once you obtain your new visa you must contact us so we can amend our records. We will contact the Home Office to inform them that you no longer require a Tier 4 visa sponsored by the University.

Suspending, withdrawal or exclusion from your course

If you decide to suspend or withdraw from your course, the University must inform the Home Office that you will no longer be studying with us. The Home Office will be informed within 10 working days of your official suspension or withdrawal. We will let you know once this has been done.

If you are suspending and intend to return to complete your studies at a later date, you will need to get a new CAS reference number from the University and apply for a new Tier 4 visa in order to return to the UK. When you are returning from a suspension you can request a new CAS by contacting your Faculty Registry Office.

Curtailment/leaving the UK before the end of your course

If you have withdrawn, suspended or been excluded from your course, then the Home Office will be advised of this. The Home Office will contact you with an official notification of the curtailment of your visa via email or by post. Once you have left the UK you should send a scanned copy of your boarding pass to [email protected]. If you are leaving Westminster to enrol at another institution in the UK you should forward us a copy of your acceptance letter from that institution.