Immigration responsibilities

If you are in the UK studying on a Tier 4 visa under sponsorship from Keele University, you must comply with the immigration conditions attached to your visa and there are certain responsibilities that you are required to meet. As your immigration sponsor, Keele University also has a duty of care to you, we also must comply with the immigration rules and there are certain responsibilities that we too are required to meet.

If you need a visa to be in the UK, you must comply with the immigration conditions attached to your visa. Your responsibilities to the University are: 

  • Provide the University with your passport and visa / biometric ID card (BRP) when you register. You will also be required to present these documents at the checkpoints and any other time requested by Keele.
  • Ensure that your visa is valid for study at Keele University, updating Immigration Compliance if there are any changes to your Visa and/or passport.
  • Keep your contact details in the UK and those in your home country up to date via e:Vision (KLE portal).
  • Register for your course on time for each academic year. If this isn’t possible, inform us so that we can assist you where possible.
  • Study whilst you are in the UK, ensure that you attend all of your classes, tutorials or lectures and that you seek prior permission from your School(s) of study / Research Institute / Faculty Research Office for any absences.
  • Follow the University’s procedures if you need to take a leave of absence or withdraw from your course at Keele.
  • Leave the UK if you take a leave of absence, withdraw or are terminated from your course, or if your course is terminated.
  • Comply with the conditions attached to your visa regarding working in the UK and registering with the Police.
  • Seek immigration advice from International Student Support before you consider changing your course of study, adding a work placement / year abroad, repeating a year or university.
  • Check your Keele University email account regularly, undertaking any instruction given to you by the University.

Keele students are required to keep their own copies (paper or electronic) of their Visa, Passport and correspondence from the UK Home Office. In additional students are required to keep their own personal copy (paper or electronic) of any documentation they submit to the UK Home Office, for example; when you apply for a new Visa or an extension to their current Visa. Original versions or copies of these documents will be requested by the University at any point during a student’s time at Keele.

All students are reminded that it is their responsibility to ensure that they adhere to the conditions of their Visa (Leave to enter / remain) in the United Kingdom, and that Keele University is required to report on a student’s status and activity to external agencies including the UK Home Office. Please note that if you are sponsored for a visa by Keele University (for example under Tier 4); we reserve the right to cancel this sponsorship if you do not adhere to the conditions of your visa (Leave to enter / remain) and / or the University. 

Checkpoints

Keele University requires students to attend at least 2 mandatory checkpoint events each academic year for which you will be given notice via email to your University email account. These checkpoints are run centrally for international students and are separate to your attendance on your course of study. At a checkpoint you will be required to present an original copy of your Visa and Passport for inspection, you may also be required to present copies of your Academic and English language qualifications. Failure to attend a checkpoint will be deemed as failure to comply with the University’s Tier 4 responsibilities and students who do not attend, or fail to present the required information (as required) will be terminated from the University which will result in cancellation of a student's Tier 4 Visa.

Terminated students

Students who are terminated by the University (for example Academic failure or non payment of Fees) will have the sponsorship of their Visa by Keele cancelled, the University is required to inform the UK Home Office (UKVI) of this within 10 working days from the date of your termination, this is known as curtailment of your Visa. Students in this situation will be served a curtailment notice from the UKVI stating that they will have set period of time to either leave the UK or find a new Tier 4 sponsor or a new Immigration category that they can apply to move into. This period of time is expected to be either 60 days from the notice of your visa being cancelled or the end of your current leave to be in the UK, whichever is the sooner. The University recommends that you leave the UK or find a new Immigration Sponsor within 28 days; to ensure that you are not refused under general grounds by the UKVI if you subsequently choose to make a new Visa / Immigration application.

There is no 28 day grace period of overstaying. A student is an overstayer if they remain in the UK after their expiry date of their Visa unless they submit a new in time Visa application which would meet the requirements of the Immigration rules.

Students and staff are reminded that anyone that is in breach of the UK Immigration rules (for example those that are an overstayer) will not be allowed to undertake / continue studying at Keele University.

Council Tax exemption

You are only exempt from paying Council Tax for the period you are registered as a student at Keele.  Once your programme end date has passed, you are no longer exempt from paying Council Tax even if your visa is still valid. You should update your council on your change of circumstances at the end of your course. Please note council tax exemption is not permitted for students on Tier 4 DES.

If you are living with students and are now working, the property is no longer exempt and you must update your borough council of the change in circumstances.

Keele University has a duty of care to all its students, and must comply by law to the immigration rules and the requirements of the UK Home Office Visas & Immigration (UKVI). Our responsibilities are:

  • Check and keep copies of your original passport and Visas / biometric ID (BRP) card when you register. Reviewing these documents at contact points (Checkpoints) throughout the year, recording if there are any changes (example - passport renewal).
  • Keep your UK and your home contact details up to date and keep a record of any changes of address.
  • Ensure that we only register students with a visa / Immigration status valid for study at Keele University.
  • Report to the UKVI those students who do not register on time.
  • Monitor student’s attendance reporting unauthorised absences to the UKVI and terminate students who do not attend.
  • Monitor and report to the UKVI any changes of status such as a leave of absence, change in course length, termination or exclusion / expulsion.
  • Notify the UKVI of any significant changes in your circumstances, such as a change of course or completion of your studies where this is earlier than expected.
  • Notify the UKVI if we are aware that you are in breach of immigration conditions.
  • Keep a copy of your ATAS certificate if your programme of studies requires one.
  • Any other duties required by the UK Home Office including supporting immigration control.

Please note that this is not an exhaustive list but provides examples of the nature of the University’s responsibilities and the types of circumstance in which the University will need to capture information on students and reporting it accordingly.

When a student enrols at the start of their course the University ensures that it adheres to its requirements as a UK Home Office Tier 4 Sponsor. Enrolling at the University students need to show us their passport and visa which we are required to copy and keep for our records. We will then give you a pre-printed form for you to complete and sign; you give this to a member of staff who will check the form and then give you your Keele Card.

Under the requirements of the UK Home Office (UKVI), all students must complete in person enrolment with the Immigration Compliance Team before they are allowed to start their course and partake in any learning and teaching events. Students found to be in breach of these requirements will be terminated with immediate effect and required to leave the UK.

Please note: you will only have a Keele Card waiting for you if you have submitted a passport photograph during the pre-enrolment process

During your first couple of days at Keele, you must log in to your Keele email account, using your user name and password, which you use to log in to eVision. Important messages from schools will be sent using your Keele e-mail address throughout your time at Keele, so it is important that you check it daily. All students will be able to view their timetable on e-Vision by the start of the semester.

Students from certain countries are required by law to register with the Police when they first arrive in the UK. Click here to find a list of the nationalities required to register with the Police.  You are only required to do this if the UKVI have confirmed this to you. For example it may be stated in your Visa application decision letter from the UKVI or you may have text on your entry clearance Visa sticker (Vignette) stating, for example, "Police Registration within 7 days of arrival" or if it has been stamped in your passport by passport control.

If you are subject to the police registration condition, this will normally be confirmed as follows:

  • For those students travelling to the UK, the police registration condition will appear on your entry clearance vignette (visa).
  • For those students applying from within the UK, the condition will only be confirmed in your Home Office decision letter, it will not appear as a remark on your biometric residence permit (BRP)

There may also be situations where the Home Office finds that a person has mistakenly not been made the subject of a requirement to register with the police. Where this has happened the Home Office will write to the person to notify them that they are required to register. In addition, this condition may be imposed by a Border Force Officer if the omission is picked up on when you pass through the UK Border.

The UKVI have confirmed that students must check their entry clearance vignette, BRP or Home Office decision letter to confirm whether they need to register with the police. If a student has not been notified of the registration requirement in these documents, they do not need to register with the police.

If you are required to register, you must do this within 7 days of your arrival in the UK.  The only exception is if you have made an appointment with International Student Support to attend one of the Police Registration days organised at the beginning of the academic year. These days are for September starters only

Please note that if the Police Registration condition is stated on the 30 day vignette but maybe missing from the BRP card issued, students do not need to submit an Administrative Review in order to have this corrected. Students can apply to have this corrected using the UK Home Office (UKVI)  ‘Report a Problem’ facility via the following web site www.gov.uk/biometric-residence-permits/report-problem

If you arrive in the UK at any time other than September, will be living in Staffordshire, and need to register, please contact the Overseas Visitor Registration Office at Staffordshire Police Headquarters on 01785 235281.  Also, if you are already registered with Staffordshire Police and have recently extended your visa or have changed address, you will need to contact the Overseas Visitor Registration team at Staffordshire Police who will advise you on what you need to do.  This is because all changes must be reported to the Overseas Visitor Registration Office.

Students who are required to register with the police but do not do this in the time frame required may be terminated by the University and required to leave the UK Immediately.

If you have any questions about Police Registration, please contact International Student Support.