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Shared responsibilities under the UK Visa and Immigration points-based system (Tier 4)

All temporary migrants coming to the UK to study for periods of more than 6 months, or to work, are issued with a visa under the points-based system for Managed Migration. Points are awarded for a Confirmation of Acceptance for Study (students) or a Confirmation of Sponsorship (workers).

The scheme is designed to be restrictive and to ensure that migrants only engage with activities and the sponsor for which they were issued their visa.

The University of St Andrews will provide you with a Confirmation of Acceptance for Study (CAS) and your visa will be issued containing the University of St Andrews sponsor licence number (V63Q719H2); this will allow you to study only at this University. Under this scheme both the University of St Andrews (the sponsor) and you, the student (the migrant) have specific responsibilities.

Our shared responsibilities

The Sponsor (the University of St Andrews)

As a Tier 4 Sponsor, the University of St Andrews is expected to ensure that we and our students are compliant with the points-based system policy guidance and the immigration rules. If we fail to comply we are at risk of losing our Tier 4 Sponsor Licence and will not be able to register International Students, and those that are currently studying with us will need to find another university or return to their home country. We take our duties under this legislation very seriously.

Our responsibilities are to;

  •  Retain copies of all documents pertinent to your immigration status in the UK, such as passports, visa/biometric ID cards, police registration certificates and ATAS certificates
  •  Ensure that entry into new courses represents academic progression
  •  Keep up-to-date contact details for you
  • Make sure that we only admit you to study with us if you hold the correct visa to study at the University of St Andrews
  • Report to the UKVI should you fail to enrol when expected
  • Monitor your attendance and report any unauthorised absences to the UKVI
  • Report any changes in your student status such as
    • leave of absence (suspending your studies)
    • termination of studies
    • withdrawal from studies
    • changes in course length
    • changes of course title
    • periods of study abroad or placements away from the University
    • late submission of course work/dissertation
    • re-submisson of course work/dissertation
    • unauthorised absences
    • deferring your course
    • transferring to another course or university
    • report to the UKVI if we become aware of any breaches of the immigration rules made by you

    If you suspend your studies for personal or academic reasons (e.g. illness, pregnancy, maternity or paternity leave, financial reasons) then UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) will normally expect you to leave the UK within 60 days unless you are not medically able to do so. In the case of pregnancy, you may not be able to return home if you are in the late stages of pregnancy.  Suspension of studies at St Andrews is normally recorded by Registry as a Leave of Absence (LoA).
    If you hold a Tier 4 visa issued using a CAS number, the University is obliged to report your LoA to UKVI who may cancel your visa.

The migrant (you, the student)

If you require a Tier 4 visa to be in the UK as a student it vital that you are aware of and adhere to the immigration rules; if you fail to comply with the rules you risk your student status and an adverse immigration record; you also risk the University’s Sponsor Licence and the status of all the International students studying here.

Your responsibilities are;

  •  Respond to all requests to present in person your passport, visa and other documents for scanning
  •  Keep the University updated with any changes to your documents for example
    • you have a new passport
    • you have extended your visa (not through the University)
    • you change your immigration status
  •  Register for your course of study within the matriculation period at the beginning of each academic year
  •  Attend lectures and tutorials and complete all compulsory elements of your course on time
  •  Self-certificate for any absences and keep your School or Department up to date on any issues that impact on your studies
  •  Follow University procedures if you are planning to take a Leave of Absence or are intending to withdraw from your studies
  •  Leave the UK within 60 days if you take a Leave of Absence or withdraw from study
  •  Comply with the restrictions of your working hours (20 hours during term-time)
  •  Keep up to date with the immigration rules and make sure that you are aware when your passport and visa are due to expire
  •  Make sure that all your documentation and financial circumstances meet the immigration rules at the time of application
  •  Maintain up-to-date term time contact details (via e-Vision)and inform the University immediately of any change in these details



International Student Advisers

Student Services
The Advice & Support Centre

79 North Street
St Andrews
KY16 9AL
Scotland, United Kingdom

Tel: 01334 46 2020

Related links

    • Visa Confirmation events
    • UKVI Guidance for Staff