progression

Changes to your programme of studies

In August and November 2015 and April 2016, the Home Office published new policy on academic progression, which may affect your Tier 4 visa if you are moving to a new programme. The new rules are outlined below.

Academic failure/withdrawal from your programme

The new policy means that if you do not complete the programme for which your Tier 4 visa was granted, you will have to return to your home country to apply for a new Tier 4 visa to begin a new programme of study.

Example

Student fails stage 1 of their undergraduate programme in June. Student wishes to begin a new undergraduate programme from September. Student must return home to apply for a Tier 4 visa for the new programme.

Important: This application cannot be made in the UK.

Transferring to a different programme

If you decide to transfer to a different programme part way through your studies because you feel it would be more suitable, you will only be able to do so if:

*a. the new course is related to the previous course for which you were given Tier 4 leave (meaning that it is either connected to the previous course, part of the same subject group or involves deeper specialisation); or

*b. your previous and new course combined, support your genuine career aspirations.

This means that you are unlikely to be able to transfer to a new programme which is very different from the one for which you were granted Tier 4 leave.

If you do meet the above requirements and you need more time in the UK to complete your new programme, you will have apply for your new Tier 4 visa in your home country when further leave to remain becomes necessary.

If you are considering transferring to a different programme as your new course would offer a work placement, please read our guidance for students wishing to extend for placements (PDF 0.1MB) for further information.

You should always seek advice on any visa implications of programme transfers, especially if you have a Tier 4 visa.

Completing one programme, then starting a new one.

If you have successfully completed one programme on a Tier 4 visa and you wish to move on to a new programme at the same level on another Tier 4 visa, you should consider:

  • whether you will exceed any time limits for study on Tier 4, and, if it is at the same academic level;
  • whether it meets academic progression requirements (below). *

*a. the new course is related to the previous course for which you were given Tier 4 leave (meaning that it is either connected to the previous course, part of the same subject group or involves deeper specialisation); or

*b. your previous and new course combined, support your career genuine aspirations.

A CAS will not be issued to a student who wishes to begin a programme at a lower academic level than the one previously completed under Tier 4.

You can make your Tier 4 application in the UK, but you cannot make the application more than 3 months in advance of the start date of your new programme. If you are moving from another Tier 4 sponsor, you should complete your programme there first before making your Tier 4 application to study at Newcastle.

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