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Absence procedure for students with a Tier 4/Student Route visa

Information on why and how students should request absence


We are delighted to announce our campuses are fully open and welcoming back our international student community to continue their studies with us.

For the academic year 2021/22 there is still a Home Office concession in place, but this has been updated to reflect that the Home Office expect face-to-face teaching to resume.  

Students must register/re-register and arrive in the UK by the deadline dates specified by your School.   Failure to do so will result in your withdrawal.

Up until the point you arrive in the UK and clear any quarantine restrictions you must be fully engaging with any online classes.  Failure to do so will result in withdrawal of Student Route/Tier 4 sponsorship.

Students with a Student /Tier 4 visa are no longer permitted to study online whilst still in receipt of a Student/Tier 4 visa.  If Covid travel restrictions prevent you from returning to the UK by the deadline date given by your School, you must contact us immediately with evidence of this by emailing  so we can check if you are able to defer and/or your student sponsorship needs to be withdrawn.

If you decide to fully complete the remainder of your studies online (i.e. you do not intend to return to the UK), then we will withdraw Tier 4/Student sponsorship as you will no longer need a visa.  If this is something you are considering, then you will need to again discuss with your School whether completion from overseas is possible and then let the Compliance team know so that sponsorship can be withdrawn.

Need absence but not able to study online whilst absent?  See section below - 'Requesting a short period of absence from studies (not engaging with studies whilst absent)'

Requesting a short period of absence from studies (not engaging with studies whilst absent)

Why do we record absence for students on a Tier 4/Student route visa?

We monitor attendance for all of our students.  However to comply with Home Office regulations, we must also record any periods of short absence for students on a Tier 4/Student route visa.

Reasons for absence may include:

  • Religious/cultural reasons.
  • Personal reasons e.g family emergencies, attending ceremonies overseas or short term ill health.
  • Holidays during term-time or during School reading weeks.

How to request absence of 1 week or more:

  1. Complete the first section of the 'Request for absence - Student Visa Holders' form. Remember take into consideration any additional time needed for quarantine periods when completing your absence request.
  2. Take or email the form to your programme leader (tutor) or supervisor.
  3. The programme leader will complete Section 2 and confirm if the absence has been granted (or not).
  4. The programme leader will email the completed form to SIT Compliance 

Important information

  • A request for absence should be submitted at least 5 working days in advance of the absence.
  • If you have left the UK for an emergency, please complete the absence form as soon as you are able to.
  • Do not use this form if you are returning to your home country to complete studies as an online distance learner.
  • A request for absence should be submitted if you wish to be away from the University during School reading weeks.
  • If your Programme Leader does not authorise the absence, you must attend all studies as usual.
  • Any absence should not impact on your completion date - you are still expected to complete your studies by the original end date of your course.
  • The University reserves the right to withdraw sponsorship of your Tier 4/Student visa if unauthorised absence is taken without informing the University.


RESEARCH STUDENTS - please contact the Research Administrator at your Doctoral College to discuss/request absence.

HIC students - it is advisable to also contact HIC as they may also require you to complete their own absence form.

Contact Us

Student Immigration Team (Compliance)

Student Immigration Team (Advice & Compliance)

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