Protecting your Visa & Visa Compliance

If you are studying in the UK on a Tier 4 visa, it is very important that you protect your visa by ensuring that you understand and follow the rules and conditions set by the Home Office. Each Tier 4 student is responsible for complying with the conditions of their visa.  Failure to comply with the conditions of your visa is a criminal offence.

The University will support students through the provision of information and guidance but will have no choice but withdraw sponsorship of the Tier 4 visa if there has been a breach in the visa conditions. If you have breached the conditions of your visa, the Home Office can remove you from the UK, refuse future immigration applications, or you may be barred from returning to the UK for a certain period of time.

You can read further information about the conditions attached to your visa and the responsibilities you have on the Home Office website or the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) website .

The University of Lincoln holds Tier 4 visa Sponsor Licence, which means that we can sponsor international students to obtain a Tier 4 visa to study with us.  The Tier 4 Sponsor Licence is granted by the Home Office and in order to maintain it we have to ensure that we fully comply with the Home Office sponsorship guidance.  In addition to complying with the conditions of your Tier 4 visa, you also have a responsibility to co-operate with the University in fulfilling its Tier 4 Sponsor licence duties. 

The Tier 4 Compliance Team within Student Administration is responsible for ensuring that a range of areas relating to the University’s Tier 4 Sponsor Licence and conditions are met. 

The Tier 4 Compliance team are here to help with any problems or queries you have regarding the responsibilities of your visa and how to remain compliant. If you have any queries, please email the Tier 4 Compliance Team at tier4visa@lincoln.ac.uk.

Top tips to comply with your visa

1. Make sure that you arrive in the UK and enrol on time.  You course start date is noted in your CAS statement sent by the International Admissions team which you needed to make a Tier 4 visa application.  If you are delayed and know that you will miss the start of your course this may impact your Tier 4 visa, please contact tier4visa@lincoln.ac.uk so that the Tier 4 Compliance team can help you.

2. Check your University email account regularly.  The University will contact you via email with information or important matters so make sure you check your email on a regular basis.

3. Update your contact details using Blackboard – this includes your email address, telephone number or term time address.  If you had to register with the Police at the start of term you will also need to update the Police if you move term time address.

4. Know the conditions of your visa such as your working rights.  This should be on your visa but if you are not sure, ask the International Advice team at Internationaladvice@lincoln.ac.uk before working.  Alternatively, you can speak to a member of the International advice team by attending the drop-in session every weekday from 12pm to 2pm at the Student Support Centre.

5. Bring any new immigration documents to the Student Support Centre. If you receive any correspondence from the Home Office relating to your visa, or you have a new passport, please let the University have a copy of this as we will need to update your record.

6. Attend all your classes on your own timetable and sign the register at each session.  If you have to be absent for a session, don’t forget to inform your School in advance if you can and give them evidence of why you cannot attend.

7. You should use the same signature when you sign your name on the attendance register.

8. Apply for Authorised Absence if you need to be absent during term time.  You should apply and wait for a decision before you stop attending and especially if you need to buy flight tickets to travel.

9. Complete the Tier 4 Census Check form. You will be sent an email mid-way through your academic year inviting you to check the contact details the University hold for you.  This is an opportunity for the University to check that all contact details, passport and visa information held is still current and up to date. You will be sent an email to your university email account about this.

10. Attend all meeting requests.  If you are invited to a meeting by the School, or the Tier 4 Compliance team, or any other University department it is very important that you attend the meeting.  If you cannot attend the meeting then you need to inform the person you are meeting so that this can be rearranged.

11. Request a CAS to extend your leave early if your current visa does not cover the end of your course. You can apply for a CAS 4 months before your current visa expires by completing the CAS request form for Current/Continuing Students.  The International Advice team hold regular visa workshops every Tuesday (excluding when the University is closed) to help support you in completing your visa application.  For more information, visit the Advice Service Website You should attend a workshops as soon as possible to make sure you have time to get all your documents ready.

12. Inform the Tier 4 Compliance team, in advance, if you are undertaking a work placement or attending a conference in the UK or overseas by completing the Change of Circumstances form.

13. Check out the Tier 4 Compliance blackboard page for compliance information and updates. Once you have enrolled with the University, you will have access to the University’s Blackboard site which includes the Tier 4 Compliance Community site.  This will contain important information on Tier 4 Compliance.

For more information on how to keep compliant with the conditions of your visa please watch the following videos:

Tier 4 Visa Pre-Arrival & Enrolment Information    

Tier 4 Visa General Compliance Information    

Tier 4 Visa – Postgraduate Study