Visa sponsorship and compliance

Visa sponsorship and compliance

Student route visa conditions and responsibilities

By enrolling/re-enrolling at SOAS, students sponsored for visa purposes (Student route visa/Tier 4) confirm that they will adhere to the following visa conditions and responsibilities for the duration of their studies at SOAS.

  • Provide SOAS with copies of your current passport and immigration documents (or evidence of a pending application for immigration permission if you applied inside the UK) during enrolment/re-enrolment
  • Inform SOAS if you change your immigration status or obtain a new passport/BRP or other document confirming your UK immigration status or if there are any significant changes to your personal circumstances (e.g. name change). Upload new immigration documents to the Online Student Services portal.
  • Enrol for your course on time when appropriate, including re-enrolment if continuing your studies into the next academic period
  • Attend all classes and any other academic engagements, notifying your academic department/academic advisor if you are going to be absent
  • Make satisfactory academic progress on your course, meeting all scheduled deadlines 
  • Seek permission if you require authorised absence from your course/the UK for a short period due to personal reasons
  • Only work the number of hours permitted by your Student visa (this includes any paid, unpaid, voluntary work, or unassessed internships). Further Education (Foundation study) students are currently permitted to work 10 hours per week during term time. Postgraduate and Undergraduate students are currently permitted to work 20 hours per week during term time. Please note that Postgraduate taught students must adhere to the 20-hours-per-week rule during their summer term (June to September). Postgraduate research students are considered to be in term time from September to September each year unless they are on annual leave or during official SOAS school closures and UK bank holidays.  
  • Ensure that your contact details with SOAS and UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) are up to date. You can update your contact details (address, phone number, personal email address) during term time by visiting the Online Student Services portal You can access the online UKVI form to update your details with UKVI. Students should be based in London or within a reasonable traveling distance of the SOAS campus during term time. 

For further information please visit our Visas and Immigration page. Please also refer to some useful guidance from UKCISA on Protecting your Student status.

Police Registration (no longer required): Please note that the requirement for nationals from certain countries to register with the UK Police was abolished on 5 August 2022 by the UK Government. For more information, please visit the UKCISA website. 

As your sponsor SOAS is required to check that:

  • we hold a current UK term-time address for all Student visa holders
  • we hold a current telephone number for all Student visa holders
  • students enrolled with pending visa applications keep us updated with the progress of that application
  • students attend as appropriate and are engaged with their studies – failure to do so may result in your withdrawal from the programme and subsequent withdrawal of our sponsorship
  • in limited circumstances students may be able to apply for an additional CAS to extend their studies. Please liaise with the Student Visa Compliance team to discuss the circumstances before the expiry of a current visa
  • if any required data is missing from your record, or your visa is running out, you may receive emails from us to inform you of what you need to do.

You may be contacted using your SOAS email address during the year to check the details we currently hold about you are correct. If this is necessary you will be emailed and given time to update your UK contact details. If your details change during the year, you can update us at any time using SOAS Online Services.

Students who fail to adhere to visa regulations put their Student visa status at risk which can result in their visa sponsorship being withdrawn

Changes in personal circumstances

Students sponsored for a Student visa are responsible for ensuring that SOAS and the Home Office are informed of the following changes to your details:

  • Change of personal details (name, gender, nationality, etc.)
  • Criminal convictions
  • Change to your contact details
  • Change to your Representative’s details
  • Change to your Dependent’s details 

If you have a biometric residence permit (BRP) and change your address, you can do this using the Change of Circumstances Form. However, any other changes will mean you have to apply for a new BRP. Full details on reporting a change are available from the Home Office website.

If applied for a visa and used the UK Immigration: ID Check app you will be able to log back into your UKVI account to update your personal details, and view and prove your immigration status.  

Immigration document checks

Please note: If we sponsor you for your Student Visa (previously Tier 4 visa), we will ask you to verify your immigration status at various points during your studies with us. Please make sure you respond if we get in touch, otherwise, your visa sponsorship may be withdrawn.

Graduate Route visas: If you are currently on a Graduate route visa, you are not permitted to study with a Student Sponsor on a course which would meet the requirements of the student route. While your Student Route application is pending, your Graduate Route immigration status still stands and SOAS is not permitted to enrol you until your Student route visa is approved, and you have provided us with evidence of this.