Right to Study Checks for all New International and EU students, and Continuing Student/Tier 4 Students – Spring/Summer 2022

If you will be starting a programme of study in January 2022, please follow the instructions below to complete your registration:

I hold a Student/Tier 4 visa (or I have applied for one)

You are invited to complete your Right to Study Check by completing the online form.

Please note you must complete your Right to Study Check and fully register by your latest course start date – even if you are not in the UK.  If you are not able to arrive in the UK for the start of your course, you should register and begin your studies online/by distance learning.

*Please note that you must prepare to arrive to study on-campus by 30th June 2022 at the latest. This is a final deadline and cannot be extended.

Tier 4/Student visa holders should note that, when you arrive in the UK, you will be required to attend face-to-face learning/teaching, in order to retain your visa sponsorship. You must therefore choose a living address in Aberdeen or local area within a reasonable commuting distance.  You may not be permitted to register if your permanent living address is not within the Aberdeen local area. Your School will inform you of the teaching that you must attend on campus.

I hold a Standard Visitor visa/ I requested entry as a Visitor on arrival to the UK

You must complete your Right to Study Check by completing the online form

If you are a non-visa national and you plan to enter the UK to study for a maximum of 6 months without first applying for a visa, you may receive a stamp in your passport from an Immigration Officer on arrival into the UK airport, and you should provide an image of this stamp when you complete the online form.  Certain nationalities can use the eGates and will not be given any stamp.  In this situation you should provide proof of flight details/boarding pass when completing the form.

I hold EU Settled/Pre-Settled Status (or I am applying for this)

You must complete your Right to Study Check by completing the online form

I hold a non-Tier 4/Student visa (e.g., Dependant, Skilled Work/Tier 2, Indefinite Leave to Remain, Asylum etc)

You must complete your Right to Study Check by completing the online form.

Information on Visas

EU/EEA/Swiss Students

Proving your right to live, work and study in the UK if you are an EU/EEA/Swiss National
If you an EU/EEA/Swiss national and have:

  • applied to or received settled or pre-settled status, or
  • applied for your UK visa via the ID Check app, or
  • visited a visa application centre or service and support centre as part of your UK visa application,

you may be unsure of how you can prove your right to live, work or study in the UK. UKVI have created a useful guide on how you can prove these rights by using the online view and prove service.

Guidance on Covid-19 related absences from the UK under the EU Settlement Scheme
If you have been granted pre-settled status, you can find the latest guidance on permitted absences here.

Guidance on Applying for a Student Visa for EU/EEA/Swiss Nationals
If you are an EU/EEA/Swiss national and are applying for your student visa from outside of the UK, please see this guide.

Student Visa (Formerly known as Tier 4)

In conjunction with UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) rules, the University has set out several responsibilities which Tier 4 or Student visa holders must follow throughout your time studying at the University of Aberdeen. The ‘Your Tier 4/Student visa responsibilities’ tab below outline each of these responsibilities in a little more detail. If you have any queries with regards to your visa responsibilities, please do not hesitate to get in touch with the Student Immigration Compliance Team at immigration@abdn.ac.uk.

As your visa’s sponsor, the University also has responsibilities set by UKVI that we must comply with in order to retain our sponsor license. Without this license we wouldn’t be able to continue to welcome students from all over the world to study at our Aberdeen campus, and therefore it is of paramount importance that we work together to ensure that we comply with all the requirements.

We will update this page with news, information, events and policy changes that could impact you and your visa so do check back regularly to ensure you are up to date with what you need to know.

Responsibilities of Being a Student Visa Holder (Formerly known as Tier 4)

Responsibilities of being a Student/Tier 4 Visa Holder

Your Student/Tier 4 visa permits you to live and study in the UK. To retain your visa throughout the duration of your studies, there are several responsibilities that you must follow in order to protect your visa status. Ultimately, your Student/Tier 4 visa is your responsibility, so please make sure you understand the requirements and get in touch if you have any concerns or queries.

Student Visa Responsibilities

  • You must complete Registration before the latest start date given on your CAS.  The University is required to end sponsorship of your visa if you fail to do so.
  • Continuing students must also complete Registration.  If you have outstanding debt this may prevent Registration.  If you cannot complete Registration, the University is required to end sponsorship of your visa.  
  • You must complete a Right to Study/Visa Check to complete registration.  This means providing a copy of your immigration documentation (current passport, visa, Biometric Residence Permit [BRP], ATAS certificate if you have one) as and when requested by a member of staff. If you update any of these documents, you must provide copies to the Student Immigration Compliance Team.
  • You must live within the local Aberdeen area as you are required to attend your studies in-person for the duration of your programme.  The University is required to end sponsorship of your visa if you fail to do so.
    Keep your contact details up-to-date via the Student Hub. This includes your term-time address and mobile phone number if you have one.
  • You must seek permission from your School(s) to spend longer than a week away from campus during your studies.  If you are requesting permission to study off-campus this will only be permitted on robust academic grounds.  Requests made on personal grounds will not be approved but you may choose to leave the UK to complete your studies; if so, the University is required to end sponsorship of your visa.  Speak with your School Office to arrange any time away and update them with any situations that could result in you missing a class or sign-in session.  You must request permission before travelling, requests received late will be automatically rejected and you will either be required to return to campus immediately or the University will end sponsorship of your visa.

    To qualify for the Graduate route, you must complete all study (within the “relevant period”) in the UK.
  • You must fully engage with your studies by attending all required classes, meeting with your supervisor and/or signing in as requested by your School.  Respond promptly to monitoring alert emails (C6/C7).  If you fail to consistently and actively engage, the University is required to end sponsorship of your visa.
  • You are only permitted to take brief periods of absence. If you require a long period of absence, you will be required to suspend study (see below).
  • You must return home if you stop studying (suspension or withdrawal) or if you complete your programme earlier than noted on your CAS, as the University is required to end sponsorship of your visa.
  • You must check your University email account at least once per week. This is the main contact method that staff from across the University will use to get in touch with you, including the Student Immigration Compliance Team.
  • You must attend a visa check when requested. We will email to your University email account and more details will be available on this webpage.
  • You must seek advice from an International Student Adviser 3 months before the expiry date of your visa if you will be seeking an extension to your student visa. Immigration Rules change continually, and you don’t want to be caught out by any changes to the Rules since your last visa application.
  • You must seek advice if you wish to make any changes to your studies.  Course changes are subject to UKVI restrictions.  If you are forced to repeat a year, drop down a level of study or need more time in the UK to complete your programme as it is likely you will need to obtain a new visa before you return to complete your degree.
  • You must only work within the restrictions allowed by your visa
  • You must register with the Police, if required.
Student Visa Applications (Formerly Tier 4)

There are some situations that may need you to extend your existing Student visa as you need more time in the UK to complete your programme. You may also change programme in such a way that you are required to get a new visa before you can continue on your new degree, for example if you are upgrading to the MEng.

How you approach getting a new visa will depend on your level of study, and more information can be found below for Postgraduate Research Students and those on a Taught Programme.

Our general guide gives you more details on how the Student Visa application process works. If you are an EU/EEA/Swiss national and are applying for your student visa from outside of the UK, please see this guide.

Postgraduate Research Students

If you require extra time in the UK to complete your research and write your thesis you must ensure that you have your studies extended academically before trying to get a visa extension. You should have your academic extension approved and confirmed at least 3 months before your visa is due to expire. You can get more information on extending your studies by speaking with your Supervisor or School office.

Please note that if your topic of research requires ATAS clearance and you are extending your submission date by 3 or more months or if you are changing your research topic, you will need to apply for and receive your ATAS certificate before your study extension can be processed by the Registry Team. More details on ATAS can be found on theGov.UK website.

Once you have your study extension approved and this has been confirmed by Registry you can look at extending your Student visa. Please get in touch with the International Student Advisers approximately 3 months prior to your visa expiry date by contacting

Taught Students

If you make a change to your studies, or a change is made due to academic issues, you may need to get a new Student visa before you can study on your new path of study. This could happen if:

Where a situation like this arises you should contact the Student Immigration Compliance Team  to assess if a new visa is required as soon as possible. If your study change does require new visa sponsorship, you may need to return to your home country to submit a new visa application before you can return to the UK to continue your studies. This means you may be restricted as to when such changes to your studies can be made.

Once you have your change approved by the Student Immigration Compliance Team, and this has been confirmed by the Registry team, we can look at extending or altering your Student visa.

Graduate Route FAQs
What is the Graduate Route?
  • The Graduate Route is a new Post-Study work visa for those that have successfully achieved a degree or other relevant qualification (such as PGDE and DPLP) from the University.
  • Unlike the Student or Skilled Worker routes, the Graduate Route is not a sponsored visa, and therefore you do not require endorsement or permission from the University to apply.
  • Most successful graduates can stay in the UK for two years under the Graduate Route. PhD graduates can remain in the UK for 3 years.
  • The Graduate Route is not extendable; however, you may be able to switch to the Skilled Worker route should you find a suitable job.
  • DES visa holders cannot switch into the Graduate Route
When does the Graduate Route Open?
  • The Graduate Route opened for applications at 0900 on 1st July 2021.
What are the Requirements?
  • Firstly, you must have successfully completed a degree at undergraduate level or above at the time you come to apply. The University will be required to notify the Home Office when a student has successfully completed their programme of study. Please note that successful completion of your degree is not when your classes have finished and you have submitted your final piece of work, or when you graduate, but when the University releases your final results following the assessment boards.  
  • You must also have a valid Tier 4 or Student visa at the time of application. If your Tier 4 or Student visa will expire before 1st July 2021, you will not be eligible to apply for the Graduate Route.
  • You can only apply for the Graduate Route from inside the UK.
  • The cost of the Graduate Route visa application is £700, plus the Immigration Health Surcharge at £624 per year.
  • You must also have your most recent Confirmation of Acceptance of Studies (CAS).
  • If your tuition fees and living costs have been paid by a government and/or an international scholarship agency within the 12-month period before you apply, you must provide a letter showing your Official Financial Sponsor's consent to your application under the Graduate route.
I have dependants, are they eligible to apply with me?
  • If you have family that are dependants of your Tier 4 or Student visa already, they can apply in the UK to extend their permission as your dependant under the Graduate Route.
  • Unfortunately, new dependants (i.e. those that wish to join you inside the UK as your dependant) are not eligible to apply. 

Study in the UK/Relevant Period

You must be inside the UK to apply for the Graduate Route and complete a “relevant period” of study within the UK.  If, however, you returned home or remained at home due to the Coronavirus pandemic, please take note of the following concessions and ensure to ensure you have travelled to the UK by the relevant date (correct as of 5th May 2022 – guidance is subject to change):

  • If you are studying a programme of 12 months or less, you must have a Tier 4/Student visa for the duration of your course and all study must take place within the UK (unless a concession below applies)
  • If you are studying a programme of longer than 12 months you must hold a Tier 4/Student visa for at least 12 months and all study must take place within the UK (unless a concession below applies)
  • If you have a Tier 4/Student visa which covers only the final year of a longer programme of study which you will complete from inside the UK, you will be eligible to apply for the Graduate Route providing you complete this year of study within the UK.
  • If you are on a programme of 12 months or less which commenced in September 2021, or January 2022, you must enter the UK on your Tier 4/Student visa on or before 30th June 2022 and complete/continue your programme in the UK.
  • If you are an undergraduate or post-graduate research student and your duration of study in the UK exceeds 12 months, you will not be prevented from being eligible for the Graduate route as a result of any distance learning that took place either in the UK or overseas between the period of 24 January 2020 and 27 September 2021, or any distance learning that took place overseas between 27 September 2021 and 30 June 2022.
  • You must ensure that you are inside the UK before your student visa expires to apply for the Graduate Route. If your student visa expires before 30 June 2022, you must ensure that you have entered the UK before your visa expiry date, rather than 30 June 2022.
I will not receive my results until after my visa expires, can I apply to extend my visa?
Students are only eligible for a visa extension in certain circumstances.  The University cannot issue a CAS to students who will complete their studies before their Tier4/Student visa expires (A CAS cannot be issued to wait for results or attend graduation).  Students who have further studies to complete after their visa expiry date, will have their CAS request considered by the Student Immigration Compliance Team in line with Home Office requirements, including academic progression.  Students will not be granted a CAS if their attendance is not required, including students doing resits only or Associate Students.
How will the University report my successful completion?

Once your successful programme completion is updated on our Student Records System, if you are eligible to apply for the route, the Student Immigration Compliance Team will submit a notification to UKVI online, and shortly following this, an email will be sent to your student email account outlining our notification to UKVI and further information on the Graduate Route. This email will also contain your CAS, which you will require when submitting your Graduate Route visa application.

To be reported you must meet all the following conditions:

  • You must have completed a full visa check (provided a copy of your immigration documentation) with the Student Immigration Compliance Team during your studies
  • Your visa must not have expired
  • You must have spent the “relevant period” studying in the UK (see above)
  • You must not have outstanding debt.
Where can I find more information?
Support with Your Visa - Contact Us

There are lots of support mechanisms available at the University depending on what you need help with. Our Supporting Students pages have more information on the full range of services available and we have included some services specifically for Student visa holders below.

It is important to remember that your visa is yours to protect, however there are staff trained and available to provide you with advice and support in relation to your visa, should you need it.

Please note that the International Student Advisers and the Student Immigration Compliance Team are the only teams in the University that can provide visa advice to students. Please do not seek visa advice from any other members of staff within the University, as this may not be accurate.

Student Immigration Compliance Team

You can contact the Student Immigration Compliance Team for advice on changing your programme or degree; any academic issues you are facing; questions on the visa check process; issues with attendance or absence from University; and registration.

You can reach us by emailing immigration@abdn.ac.uk

International Student Advisers

You can contact an International Student Adviser for advice on working in the UK; issues with your visa – loss, theft or damage; changing your Student visa – needing an extension or new visa; working in the UK; bringing dependants to the UK; and police registration.

You can reach them by emailing student.international@abdn.ac.uk.

Visitor Visa

The Standard Visitor Visa is usually valid for up to 6 months, and can be applied for if, for example, you wish to return to the UK to attend your Graduation Ceremony, but you no longer hold a valid Student visa.

Additionally, if you have family or friends that wish to visit you in the UK whilst you are studying at the University, they may be eligible to apply for the Standard Visitor Visa.

Please note that the Standard Visitor Visa cannot be used to study in the UK.

More information on applying for this type of visa is available in our Standard Visit Visa guide, or if you have any specific queries, please contact the International Student Advisers.

Bringing my Family to the UK

In some circumstances, Postgraduate Student visa holders are permitted to apply to bring their spouse/partner and children to the UK as their dependants.

If you have any specific queries, please contact the International Student Advisers

Police Registration

Nationals of some countries are required to register with the police when coming to the UK for more than 6 months. More information on who has to complete police registration, and how to do this is available on the Police Scotland website.

You can also read our Police Registration Guide.

Working in the UK

The International Student Advisers have created some help sheets that outline the options Student visa holders have to work in the UK. Please remember that it is your responsibility to confirm your eligibility to work in the UK with your employer. It is also your responsibility to ensure that you keep to your permitted working hours, for example 20 hours per week during term-time.

Working while completing your studies

The following guide should be read by students who are still studying on their programme and are still registered as students with us.

Working after your studies are completed

The following guide should be read by students who have successfully completed their programme and have reached the formal end date of studies as outlined on their initial offer of admission. You can clarify if this applies to you by contacting the Student Immigration Compliance Team.

Related information

Lost Travel Documents

Sometimes you may lose or have your Passport or Biometric Residence Permit stolen. When this happens, it is important that you follow the correct steps to ensure your documents can be replaced quickly. How to do this will depend on whether you are in the UK when your documents go missing or are stolen.

More information can be found on the UKCISA website.

You can also contact our International Student Advisers for more advice. Their details are on the "Support with your visa" tab.