The University has an obligation under its UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) sponsor licence to monitor and keep records of academic attendance of international students.
Undergraduate students, postgraduate taught and postgraduate research students
If you are pursuing a full-time degree it is not normally expected that you will be granted an authorised absence during term-time. However, you may request a temporary leave of absence if you have exceptional circumstances. Your Faculty will need to consider the grounds on which the request is made, the length of time requested and the impact of the absence on your academic studies. If you are experiencing personal, financial or medical difficulties it is expected that you will normally be advised to suspend your studies instead.
If you are holding a Tier 4 (General) student visa, this means that it was granted for the primary purpose of study in the UK. For postgraduate research students, supervision is expected to be carried out throughout the academic year including July and August although a research student can take up to 8 weeks annual leave. The timings of these holidays should be agreed in advance with your research supervisor and Faculty.
It is generally expected that any authorised absence will NOT impact on your course completion date and should not lead to the requirement for an extension to your Tier 4 (General) student visa to complete your course.
You will need to request an Authorised Absence form from the Faculty and follow the instructions on the form including adding medical documentation and flight details if required. If authorised, the form will be returned to you by the Faculty and a record added to your student record.
If your absence is authorised and you are to travel outside the UK, the University can provide you with a letter which you should carry in your hand luggage when you leave and return to the UK. This can be shown to the Immigration Officer should they ask for proof that you are a student and have permission to travel outside the UK. Letters are available from the HUB student support centre in the Richmond Building.
For further information please contact the Visa Support Team