Changes to your circumstances

Some changes to your study plans may result in your Tier 4 visa being curtailed (shortened).

The information below advises you what will happen to your visa if you need to take a significant break from your studies, you complete your studies early or you are unable to continue with your studies. 


What is a visa curtailment?

As a Tier 4 sponsor, the university have to inform the Home Office of certain changes relating to your studies.

A visa curtailment is when the Home Office seeks to curtail or cancel your existing Tier 4 visa because your circumstances as a Tier 4 student have changed.

Depending on the reason your visa is curtailed, the curtailment action may render your visa invalid with immediate effect; within 60 days; or within the same wrap up period of leave after the new programme end date as you were originally given for your original programme end date. No curtailment action will be taken if your visa is expiring in 60 days or less.

Informing the Home Office of changes to your circumstances

When the university informs the Home Office of these changes, we will also email you to notify you. Once the Home Office receives the information from the university, they will contact you, either by email or letter to your last known UK address, to confirm that curtailment action has been taken and advise you of the new visa expiry date.

Please note that you may not always receive the Home Office correspondence if the contact details which the Home Office holds for you is inaccurate or out of date. You must note that that although your physical visa (vignette inside your passport or BRP card) will remain unchanged, you must abide by the new visa expiry date contained within the curtailment email or letter. The University will not receive any notification as to the status of your curtailment.

If you do not receive a letter or email from the Home Office, but you have been notified by email by the university that curtailment action may be taken, it will be safest to assume that your visa be curtailed to the specified period stated in the email from the date you receive the notification from the university.


Important: You must ensure you update your address and contact details including emails on S3P.

If you change your email address or UK postal address, after the university has notified the Home Office, you must inform the Home Office of the relevant changes by completing a Migrant Change of Circumstances form.

There are various reasons which could lead to a curtailment of your Tier 4 visa, and these are outlined below. In all scenarios, the process stated above will normally apply once the Home Office has been informed of the changes in your circumstances.

Once your student visa is curtailed, you must apply for a new visa if you wish to remain in the UK beyond the curtailed period.

Travelling to the UK on a curtailed visa

Once your visa is curtailed, it will no longer be valid for the purposes of entering the UK. If you do so, you will not be allowed entry into the UK. If you are not allowed entry, you are normally advised to return to your originating destination at the earliest opportunity.

Working in the UK on a curtailed visa

Once your visa is curtailed, you may also lose your work rights. If your visa is curtailed to 60 days, you will lose your work rights once the Home Office curtails your visa. If your visa is curtailed because you have successfully completed your programme early, you will retain the right to work during the curtailment period.  

Circumstances which could lead to a visa curtailment

Please refer to the following webpage for scenarios which may lead to your current Tier 4 visa being subject to curtailment action.

Please note that all Tier 4 sponsorship is governed by the Tier 4 Sponsorship Policy.

Return to the Visa Team homepage