Visas and Immigration for study in the UK

Interrupting or withdrawing from study

If you are considering interrupting or withdrawing from your programme of study, you should give careful consideration to the implications of this and make sure to seek advice.

The difference between interruption and withdrawal

  • Interruption of study means that you will have the option to return at a later date to complete your programme of study (You will not be obliged to return if you later decide that you do not wish to)
  • Withdrawal from study means that you have decided to discontinue your studies and do not have any intention to return to complete your programme of study

You should view the university information on interrupting and withdrawing from study, to understand the process and the implications.

Getting advice

Firstly, you should discuss the reasons for interruption or withdrawal with your Personal Tutor or Programme Leader. If you decide to interrupt your study, they will be able to advise you on when in the academic year you could return to complete your programme.

Curtailment of your Student Visa following interruption or withdrawal of study

If you hold a Student Visa and you interrupt or withdraw from study, the Student Visa will be curtailed by UKVI. The following process takes place:

  • The university is required to notify UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) of your interruption or withdrawal within 10 working days  of the interruption or withdrawal being finalised
  • Your Student Visa is curtailed by UKVI (in most cases). They will contact you in writing, to advise you that you must leave the UK
  • A new visa will be required to return to the UK at a later date, if you wish to continue with your studies

In most cases, UKVI curtail your visa to a duration of 60 days if you have interrupted or withdrawn from study. A curtailment notice is sent to your email address from UKVI (you may also receive a letter in the post).

If you have some questions or concerns about the process around curtailment of your visa, contact the International Student Advice Service.

Leaving the UK after visa curtailment

If you have interrupted or withdrawn from study, you should plan to leave the UK as soon as possible, unless you will be applying to stay in the UK via a different immigration route.

If you wish to apply for UK visas again in future, how long you stay in the UK after stopping your studies, may impact on your success with future visa applications.

If you are concerned about your immigration status or leaving the UK and you want to speak with an immigration adviser, contact the International Student Advice Service.

Important advice regarding travel

Once the curtailment action is taken by UKVI, the student visa becomes ‘lapsing leave’ (even during the notice period). This means that it can no longer be used to travel out and back into the UK with.

Official financial sponsorship

If you are a financially sponsored student you should advise your financial sponsors of the interruption or withdrawal. The interruption of study might affect the support you are eligible for in the future.

Returning to study after Interruption

If you are interrupting your study and wish to return at a later date, the university will contact you during your period of interruption to find out if you wish to return. If you confirm yes, you will then receive information on your making a visa application from outside the UK and how to get a new CAS statement.