Regulation A1: Visa and Immigration
(formerly Regulation 6: Visas and Immigration)
1.1 Programme (of Study): This is the course or degree you are studying.
1.2 Procedural Irregularity: Where university procedures have not be followed (correctly).
2. Visa and Immigration Compliance and Sponsorship
2.1 Your immigration status must allow you to study in the UK; if it does not then you may only be able to study if the UK Home Office (UKVI) gives you discretion to do so for example if you have a work visa you can only study part time. You must provide evidence of your immigration status to a member of the Immigration Compliance team or their representative at enrolment and at any other time requested by us. You will be told in advance of these times.
2.2 You must live within a reasonable travelling distance of the University if we sponsor your study visa. Travelling distance is not an acceptable reason for failing to engage with your studies.
2.3 You must comply with all UK Immigration rules for the length of your Visa and while enrolled at Keele University.
2.4 Our designated UKVI ‘Authorising Officer’ is responsible for students sponsored by the University. They must ensure that students and staff comply with United Kingdom Immigration Law, and meet the requirements set out in the UKVI Sponsor Guidance.
2.5 If you need to be sponsored by Keele University to study in the UK, you must provide evidence that you are suitable for and able to fund your studies. If you are starting a new programme you will have to pay a tuition fee deposit, however if you are extending your current programme you might have to pay a proportion of your tuition fee for the next or current academic year (as appropriate); before your sponsorship is confirmed.
2.6 We will sponsor you for your expected period of study, this is set when you are admitted. You can be considered for an extension of Tier 4 sponsorship if:
(a) you change your programme of study and need a longer Visa to complete the new programme. You may have to apply for this from outside the UK;
(b) you need to repeat a whole year of undergraduate study (with full time attendance);
(c) you are a Postgraduate Research (PhD) student who needs longer to complete your studies. (You may be given a maximum of 6 additional calendar months)
No other extensions will be considered.
The request of an extension does not automatically guarantee Tier 4 sponsorship. Requests are subject to the UKVI requirements and are granted at the discretion of the University.
If you need to return to the University to complete your studies outside of your Tier 4 sponsorship period, you may be supported on a Short Term Study Visa (subject to the UKVI requirements).
2.7 To be sponsored under the Start up Visa Route for entrepreneurs or the Tier 4 Doctorate Extension Scheme (DES) you must meet the requirements set by the University and the UK Home Office. Sponsorship is given at the discretion of the University and there is no guarantee of automatic sponsorship under these schemes, if the University is involved in them.
2.8 The University will not sponsor a student who is or has been an overstayer in the UK or may fall under the ‘general grounds’ for refusal (Part 9 of the UK Immigration Rules). It is your responsibility to provide independently verifiable evidence that you are eligible for sponsorship.
2.9 You must respond to communication from the University promptly and within the time frame specified. Communications about your immigration status and visa will be sent to your Keele University email account in the first instance.
3. Appeals concerning denial of sponsorship
3.1 You can appeal the decision to deny your sponsorship if there is evidence of procedural irregularity during the decision making process. See paragraphs 2.6, 2.7, 2.8 above, and regulations C3.2 Bachelors Degree, C4.2.4 Intercalated Bachelors Degrees, C5.2 Medical Bachelors Degrees, C6.2.4 Integrated Masters Degrees, C7.2.4 Taught Postgraduate Degrees, C8.2.4 Graduate Certificate and Graduate Diplomas, C9.2 Professional Doctorates, and C10.2.4 Research Degrees.
3.2 You must submit your appeal to the Immigration Compliance Manager within 5 calendar days of being informed that you will not be sponsored.
3.3 The Immigration Compliance Manager will decide the result of your appeal and inform you of this decision within 15 working days. This communication will be sent to the email address you provided with your appeal.
4. UK Home Office Requirements and Cancellation of Visas
4.1 You will be reported to the UK Home Office, resulting in a cancellation of your visa, if:
(a) your studies are terminated by the University;
(b) you withdraw yourself from the University;
(c) you take a Leave of Absence (Regulation B4) Students returning from a Leave of Absence must get a new visa before returning to the University;
(d) you complete your studies earlier than the expected end date stated on your Confirmation of Acceptance for Study (CAS). This will be reported to the UK Home Office as early completion;
(e) you change your Immigration status and/or programme of study and are consequently no longer eligible for University sponsorship under Tier 4; or
(f) you do not have a valid and in date Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) Certificate; or
(g) you no longer meet the UK Home Office requirements for the visa (immigration permission) you were last granted.
4.2 Students with a Tier 4 Visa will be reported to the UK Home Office if their studies are terminated by the University. This will cancel your visa to study and your right to be in the UK. Your studies will be terminated if:
(a) you fail to provide a valid passport, visa, Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) Certificate or any other documentation when required by the University for inspection at enrolment, or at any other time requested by us. You will be told in advance of these times;
(b) you fail to engage with the University on ten consecutive expected engagements. These include:
i. Compulsory classes and/or supervisory meetings;
ii. Non-compulsory lectures, classes, tutorials, seminars, lab sessions and supervisory meetings;
iii. University examinations;
iv. Assessment submissions;
v. Face-to-face meeting with staff from the Immigration Compliance team, personal tutors, supervisors, Heads of School / Institute or their nominee. You will be told in advance when these meeting will take place;
vi. International Student Checkpoint events and enrolment; and
vii. Meetings convened by the University’s Immigration Compliance team, or their representative.
(This is not a complete list. You must attend all learning, teaching and administrative events for your programme. Travelling distance is not an acceptable reason for failing to engage with your studies, see 2.2 above);
(c) the University finds, or the University is informed by the UK Home Office, that you have breached your immigration conditions. For example, working more than the number of permitted hours per week as set out by your visa;
(d) you have not corrected an error in your Visa (for example, incorrect permission and/or working rights);
(e) you cannot prove you have permission to study in the UK;
(f) the UKVI informs the University that you do not have permission to study; or
(g) the UKVI make a legitimate request that the University withdraws you.
5. Appeals concerning potential cancellation of visas
5.1 You can appeal against the University’s decision to terminate your studies if there is evidence of procedural irregularity in the decision making process.
5.2 You must submit your appeal to the Head of Academic Quality and Student Conduct within 5 calendar days of being told your studies are being terminated.
5.3 The Head of Academic Quality and Student Conduct will decide the result of your appeal and inform you of this decision within 5 working days. This communication will be sent to the email address you provided with your appeal.
6. Grievances against appeal decisions
6.1 Once you have completed the appeals procedure you can submit a grievance to the University Council. You can submit a grievance about the result of your appeal if there is evidence of procedural irregularity in the conduct of the appeal process.
6.2 You must submit the grievance in writing to the Secretary to Council within 14 calendar days of receiving the outcome of your appeal.
6.3 Students must comply with the requirements of the UK Home Office and will not be sponsored during the grievance proceedings.