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Changes in your personal circumstances

Specific information for Tier 4 or Student Visa students

If you are an international student studying in the UK on a student visa, you need to think very carefully before making changes to your registration status, as this will have implications on your immigration status. You should arrange to talk to the Advice & Guidance Team before taking any action. When considering withdrawing from your course, you may also wish to consult with other support services in the university before making your decision.

If you are in the UK with a Tier 4 student visa, then King’s College London is your sponsor in the UK. Under the terms of our licence with UK Visas & Immigration we are obliged to inform UK Visas & Immigration if you are absent from the course, change your course of study, suspend or withdraw from your studies. For further information on the requirements you and the College need to meet, see UKCISA.  

Interrupting, deferring, suspending or withdrawing from your studies

In general, if you defer or leave your course, you should leave the UK. This is because you have a visa to be in the UK as a student, so if you are no longer studying, then your purpose for being in the UK will have changed. You should be aware that, if you defer for a long period, King’s will inform  UK Visas & Immigration and they will curtail your leave. You will need to leave the UK and apply for new Entry Clearance when you are ready to come back and resume your studies. You should always seek advice from the Visa & International Student Advice Team before deferring your studies.

If your interruption means that you will not have enough leave to finish your course and will need to extend your visa, contact an adviser for assistance.

Sometimes your tutor may suggest a “backdated” interruption. This is where the university amends its records so that your last date of attendance is stated as being in the past. This is sometimes suggested where you have been unwell and not attending classes and may help to reduce your fee liability. You need to be very careful agreeing to a backdated interruption, since in most circumstances you would be required to return home if you had stopped your studies in the UK, so if your records show you interrupted several months ago but have not returned home you could find yourself in breach of immigration rules.

If you withdraw from your studies, this will be reported to UK Visas & Immigration and your visa will eventually be curtailed by UK Visas & Immigration and you will be expected to return home. You will have to apply for new entry clearance if you decide to return to the UK to study again. You should seek advice before doing this, as the immigration rules only allow you to study for a limited number of years. See the information below on transferring your studies if you plan to withdraw from King's and have a place at a new institution.

Transferring to another institution

The rules around moving to a new institution are complicated, and depend on what sort of visa you have.  Students on a Tier 4 visa are not permitted to Transfer internally or externally without first speaking to Visa Compliance or the Visa & International Student Advice Team.

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