Students Staff

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Tier 4 students

  • Exam Board Decisions for UG and Masters students

    Once the exams have finished and the Exam Board has met, you will receive your outcome for this year. If you haven’t passed the year the Exam Board may offer you one or more options. If this is the case, it is very important that you carefully consider the impact the options given would have on your Tier 4 immigration status, especially if you are given more than one option. Some options, particularly repeating part(s) of your course, are not always an option Tier 4 students can choose due to the Tier 4 restrictions on repeat study and maximum length of time that can be spent studying in the UK with a Tier 4 visa. If you only have to resit exams or repeat modules during part of the year, you won’t be able to stay in the UK for the whole year and will have to apply for a new visa overseas to complete your course. If your outcome is to change your course, you may have to leave the UK and obtain a new Tier 4 visa before you can switch onto the new course and must seek advice from us immediately.

    Have a read of our Exam Board decisions web page to find out more, we have produced a ‘quick guide’ (.pdf) document that lists most options that the Exam Board may offer and tells you what impact each option would have for your Tier 4 immigration status. Once you have received your outcome, it is your responsibility to ensure that you consider the immigration implications fully and seek advice from us if you need or want to, please contact us before you make the decision.

    Once you’ve made your choice the International Services team will also undertake relevant checks, make the necessary reports to the Home Office (in line with our Tier 4 sponsor duties) and email you accordingly. Emails will be sent to your essex.ac.uk email address as well as the private email address the University holds for you. It is vital that you respond to any emails we send as indicated so make sure you keep a check on your essex.ac.uk inbox over the next few weeks and check that the personal email address on your myEssex portal is correct. Contact us if you need to.

  • Continuing the same course in 2019/20

    If you are registering to continue the same course with us next year, please be aware that from early September you should be able to register online provided you aren’t in debt, your right to study documents are still valid and we have a recently updated UK address for you. We recommend you update your UK address via your myEssex portal before you attempt to register online, if you are in University accommodation do this after July. If you aren’t able to complete your registration online you will be directed to contact your Student Services Hub in the first instance and they’ll advise you what you need to do or refer you appropriately. Please be aware that you may be required to complete your registration in person at the start of the Autumn term.

    If we need up to date information or documents from you proving your right to study, our International Services team will be in touch over the summer to let you know what you’ll need to do to complete your right to study checks in person at your campus. You will not be able to attend until you complete your re-registration and must register by the deadline given by the University.

  • Updating your UK address

    As a Tier 4 sponsored student you are required to ensure that your contact details we have for you are up to date, we must have a UK address, personal email and mobile telephone number. Our International Services team will be checking your contact details and will be in touch if your details are incomplete or haven’t been updated for a while. Therefore, if you haven’t checked your contact details in your myEssex lately, we recommend you do so and update them. If your details remain the same but you haven’t updated them in the last 6 months, please re-save the details so we can see the date you last checked.

    Please be aware that if you have been living in University accommodation your UK term-time address will be cleared from our systems when your contract finishes. We recommend you make a note to check your myEssex contact details in July and update them as necessary.

    Don’t forget to also:


  • Take care of your BRP

    Please note: A replacement could take 12 weeks to obtain

    Please take care of your Biometric Residence Permit (BRP). We are currently experiencing a high volume of enquiries regarding replacing lost or stolen BRPs. We recommend that you DO NOT keep your BRP in your wallet or purse to use as a general form of ID. Keep it in a safe place with your passport and only carry it with you when you travel outside the UK or if you need to prove your immigration status for other purposes, such as employment.

    Please be aware that postal applications for replacement BRPs that have been lost or stolen in the UK are taking longer than the usual 8 week service standard to process due to the increase in applications.

    If you need to replace your BRP, please read the UKCISA advice regarding reporting the loss and replacing it. You should not leave the UK until you have received your replacement BRP as you will need it to re-enter the UK when you return. If you need a quick replacement due to your travel plans you may have no alternative but to pay for the in-person service, we do not have any influence over the Home Office processing times.

    If you need advice about applying for a replacement BRP in the UK, please contact SU Advice.

    If you are required to replace your BRP, you will need to bring a copy of the replacement to your Student Services Hub for scanning as soon as you receive this. You must also update your Police Registration Certificate with the details of your new BRP, if you were required to register with the Police.

    Working in the UK

    All Tier 4 students are subject to working restrictions whilst studying in the UK, this is a condition of your Tier 4 leave. This condition is complex and it is important you understand exactly what you are allowed to do and when, before you start working. Read our website for more information.

    The condition that allows you the right to work is dependent on you studying a full time course in the UK. Therefore, if for any reason you stop studying (other than successfully completing the course your CAS was issued for) you should not work at all and if you have been working must stop work immediately.

  • Working hours

    Your Tier 4 visa will show the amount of hours you can work per working week during term-time. We would expect our Tier 4 degree students to have been given the 20 hour restriction. If your visa says something other than 20 hours you must not exceed what it says and contact us for advice.

    The working week

    A working week is a 7 day period from Monday to Sunday.

    Maximum hours

    • You must not exceed the hours stated on your visa in any individual week unless it is an official University vacation for you.
    • you must not work more than a combined total of the hours stated on your visa in any individual week unless it is an official University vacation for you.

    Term time

    Your term time depends on your course, you must check exactly what the University considers to be your ‘term-time’ and when you are officially on ‘vacation’. Do not rely on the University’s key dates web pages as only the standard UG terms are shown, many of our courses have non-standard term dates. At your request, our team can produce an email for you to provide to your employer that shows your official term dates.

    Summer vacation

    • Essex Undergraduate students have a summer vacation, which for 2018/19 academic year starts on Saturday 29 June 2019 and finishes on Wednesday 2 October 2019
    • One year Masters students don’t have a summer vacation
    • Two year Masters students with work placement do not have a summer vacation in their 1st year or any vacations in their 2nd year
    • PhD students don’t have university vacations so should only ever work the term-time hours stated on their BRP

    Finishing this summer

    If you finish the course that your CAS was issued for and are awarded that qualification you can work full time after the course end date on your CAS, until your Tier 4 visa expires. However, you are still restricted by your Tier 4 visa conditions regarding the type of work you are allowed to do.

  • Types of work you are allowed to do

    Here are the types of work the immigration rules specify you can’t do as a Tier 4 migrant, including after you have finished your course.

    Types of work that aren’t allowed

    You must not engage in any of the following, paid or unpaid (including as an integral and assessed work placement unless the Tier 4 Policy Guidance allows an exception):

    • be self-employed or engage in business activity
    • be employed as a professional sportsperson including as a sports coach
    • be employed as an entertainer
    • take a permanent full-time job
    • work as a doctor or dentist in training, unless you are on the foundation programme

    We recommend you read the Tier 4 Policy Guidance for definitions and the UKCISA guidance, including their blog ‘A working definition’, for more information.

    Getting a letter for my employer

    Confirmation of term dates/vacations: At your request, our International Services team will email you the relevant information related to your specific course and you can supply this to your employer. Your employer doesn’t need a letter, the email from us is sufficient evidence.

    Work placement letter: If you are undertaking an integral and assessed work placement this must have been arranged via the University and your work placement provider/employer will need a bespoke letter from the University. Contact your Faculty Placements Manager in the first instance to request the letter.

  • What to do if you're worried you may have done something wrong

    If you are worried that you may have worked more hours than you should have or done a type of work that isn’t allowed, please seek independent advice immediately from an immigration lawyer, UKCISA or SU Advice.

    Breaching (breaking) the conditions (hours and type of work) of your visa is a criminal offence and can lead to prosecution, a fine and your visa may be curtailed (cut short) by the Home Office. Future immigration applications may also be affected. Our Tier 4 sponsor status could also be put at risk.

    As your Tier 4 sponsor one of our duties is to report suspected breaches of your immigration conditions to the Home Office. We will usually investigate first and let you know if a report has to be made.

European students

Keep informed and read the latest guidance from UKCISA regarding Brexit including their short videos.

  • EU Settlement Scheme

    EU Settlement Scheme - open to students

    The EU settlement scheme is now open for most students to apply.

    If eligible you will be granted pre-settled or settled status, depending how long you can prove you’ve been in the UK for.

    Find out more about the scheme on the UKCISA website and contact their advice line if you have any questions.

The UK’s future, post-Brexit, immigration system

The Government has published its white paper stating the intentions for the UK’s future immigration system once the UK has left the EU. It’s important to note that these are only proposals at this stage. The Government have indicated that there will be a 12 month consultation period.

The proposal includes:

One system for all international students who want to come to the UK to study; there will be no lowering of standards that currently apply to the study routes.

EEA students will be treated as non-visa nationals. If they wish to come to study for short periods they will come under the short-term student route. For longer periods of study EEA nationals would have to apply for the appropriate student visa, currently Tier 4 of the Points Based Immigration System. There will be special provision for EEA nationals on Erasmus or similar programmes.

The period that full time UG or PG degree students will be able to remain in the UK after their course has finished will be 6 months (currently 4 months for the majority of degree students, provided course is at least 12 months long). PhD students will be given an extra 12 months.

More information is available on the UKCISA website.