Student Visa Responsibilities


As a student sponsored by the University of Manchester for a Student (formerly Tier 4) visa, there are certain responsibilities that you need to understand and comply with in order to protect your status. This includes co-operating with the University in fulfilling our shared Student route duties to UK Visas & Immigration. Any breaches to your responsibilities can have serious implications on your studies and eligibility to stay in the UK.

Please read each of your responsibilities below:

For all taught students: 

You are required to regularly register your attendance on campus and at taught sessions.  

Important information for Master's students: 

Postgraduate taught students are normally required to attend their programme during semester 1 and 2 and also over the June-September period until their dissertation submission date.

Holiday entitlement is limited to the standard Christmas and Easter closures. Exceptionally, by discretion, you may apply to take a further 2 weeks' holiday in the summer period.

International students are required to seek approval for this vacation in advance from their school/department and are advised to take this leave as early as possible in the summer period (June). This is particularly important if you intend to travel outside the UK, as your visa eligibility to return to the UK to complete your studies may be affected. 

Important information for Postgraduate Research students: 

Unless your programme is a split-site PhD, you are expected to be based in the UK throughout your studies, aside from any required periods of overseas research or fieldwork as well as any vacation periods.

You must continue to actively and consistently progress your thesis during the Submission Pending period and engage with your academic supervisor about your progress on a monthly basis at the very least. If you choose to work in the UK whilst you are writing up, you can still work no more than 20 hours a week, paid or unpaid.

The UKVI concession that permitted remote study ended on 30 June 2022. If you wish to leave the UK in order to complete your writing up from your home country the University will not be able to maintain sponsorship for your Student visa. If your school/department grant you permission to complete your writing up period from your home country, you must inform us by email once you have left the UK. We will then report to UKVI that we have ceased sponsorship of your Student visa and they will take curtailment action against your visa, resulting in its early cancellation. This means that you will not be permitted to return to the UK on your Student visa and will instead need to apply for a new visa to return to the UK. 

The Standard Visitor visa is suitable for students who intend to return to Manchester to only sit their viva or attend their graduation following the completion of their studies. The Standard Visitor route cannot be used to complete post-viva corrections in the UK and it also does not lead to eligibility for the Graduate visa upon the successful completion of your degree.

Those wishing to return to the UK to attend an in-person viva and complete their corrections in the UK after carrying out their submission pending overseas will need to apply for a new Student visa.  

Your Student visa allows limited working rights. It will be stated on your visa if you can work and the amount of hours you are allowed to work per week. A week is defined as a 7-day period starting on a Monday and ending on the following Sunday:

  • If your course of study is at degree level or above you are allowed to work up to 20 hours per week during term time, and full time during vacations.
  • If your course of study is below degree level you will be able to work 10 hours per week during term time and full-time during holidays

You can work full-time during vacation periods and after you have completed your course of study. This depends on the level of course you are studying:

  • Undergraduate course: You can work full-time during vacation periods outlined here
  • Postgraduate Taught course (Masters): You can work full-time during Christmas and Easter vacation periods but not during the summer as you should be working full-time on your dissertation.
  • Postgraduate Research course (PhD): You cannot work full-time during standard University vacation periods, but you are permitted a maximum of 8 weeks’ vacation period each academic year as agreed with your supervisor.

Your weekly limit includes any paid work, unpaid work, voluntary work and internships. You must not work beyond your allowed working hours or carry out any prohibited work. Breach of working rights can result in cancellation of your visa, fines and/or a ban on entry to the UK.

For further information on your work conditions under the Student route please visit our webpage.

If you apply for a new visa or a new passport at any point during your studies, you must email a copy of your passport and visa to the Student Immigration Team so that this can be updated on your student record. If your current visa is due to expire while you will have a new application ongoing then you must provide us with evidence of your new application in the form of your application Document Checklist or UKVI payment confirmation email.

If you do not submit a copy of your new visa, passport or evidence that you have an ongoing visa application, we must assume you do not have permission to stay in the UK and this may affect your registration status.

Please see this webpage on completing Right to Study.

If you change your contact details at any time during your studies you are required to provide us with updated details through MyManchester.

You must also inform UKVI directly of any changes to your address or personal details.

  • If you have a Biometric Residence Permit then you can update your addess details using UKVI's online form and other details using their Change of Circumstances form. 

If you change your personal details (such as your name), or receive a new passport, you must inform the Student Immigration Team as well as UKVI. 

This webpage on changes to your personal details explains more about what you should do.

We are required to report any significant changes in your studies to UKVI, such as a change in programme, study location, addition of a work placement, or course duration. Changes to your course may affect your visa and could require you to leave the UK to apply for a new Student visa. You must contact the Student Immigration Team for advice before submitting a formal request for a change to your School, Department, or Faculty.

We are also required to report you to UKVI if you withdraw from, or interrupt your programme of studies for more than 60 days. In this case your student status will cease (including your right to work), your visa will be curtailed (shortened) and you will be expected to leave the UK. 

Please read this section of changes during your studies for detailed guidance about different changes and how these may affect your visa.

Some postgraduate level programmes (including integrated masters) require students to obtain clearance from the Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS). The requirement for ATAS clearance is set out in your offer letter and CAS statement and you must have been granted clearance before you can start your studies if your course requires it.

Your ATAS certificate will remain valid for the length of your course, provided that your subject area does not change. If you wish to switch to a different course which requires ATAS clearance then you must obtain an ATAS certificate before you change programmes.

If your area of research or programme is likely to change to one still affected by the requirement to have ATAS clearance, then you must not register on the new programme or start the new area of research until new ATAS clearance which covers the new content has been obtained.

If your programme end date is postponed by more than three months, you will need to apply for a new ATAS certificate within 28 days. 

Please see this section on ATAS for further information and guidance.

If you change your immigration status by moving into another visa category you must contact us immediately and provide a copy of your new visa so we can update your records, including your new visa expiry date.

See this section for more information about changes to your immigration category.