Below, Student Life International have created a page outlining your responsibilities as a Student visa holder and the things you need to be aware of.
If you have a Biometric Residence Permit (BRP), this is your physical visa document. You should have collected this shortly after arriving in the UK, either from UEA or from your designated Post Office - whatever you selected during your visa application.
If you have a BRP card, we strongly advise you keep your BRP safe in your accommodation and should not carry it around with you in your wallet or bag. Replacing your BRP card if it is lost or stolen is time-consuming and expensive. You should also not try to leave and re-enter the UK without your BRP, or whilst waiting for a replacement. You should only need to carry your BRP when travelling in and out of the UK, or when needing to demonstrate your immigration status.
You can take a photograph of your BRP on your phone, rather than carrying your BRP card in your bag or in a purse or wallet. There are also alternative Proof of ID documents you can apply for, like the CitizenCard, if you want something to use as proof of age in shops, bars, or clubs.
If you do lose or have your BRP card or passport stolen, it is important that you contact Student Life International as soon as possible. You can find further information on our ‘Lost Documents’ page.
It is very important that you notify UKVI and UEA of any changes to your personal details. This includes changes to your contact addresses – both in the UK and in your home country – and your telephone number & email. You should also tell UKVI and UEA if you receive a new passport and keep UEA up to date with any changes to your immigration status.
Reporting changes to UEA
If you get a new passport or visa you must email Student Visa Compliance with screenshots of your new document.
You can update your contact information on e:Vision. If you need help with this, contact the Student Information Zone.
To change your name, gender identity or nationality, please contact Student Life International and your School.
Reporting changes to the Home Office
If your personal details have changed since your visa was issued, you will need to update the Home Office by completing a Change of Circumstances form or you can update your UKVI account if you have digital status. Please use this form for any of the following changes:
- You have a new passport
- You have new criminal convictions
- Your dependants' details have changed
- You have changed your personal contact information
If you have a BRP, you will need to apply for a replacement BRP straight away if any of the following need to be changed:
- Your name (for example, if you have got married)
- Your gender identity
- Your nationality
- You have changed your appearance
- Your date of birth
If you have digital status, you can make the above changes by updating your UKVI account and including the relevant documents.
You could be fined up to £1,000 or have your immigration permission shortened if you fail to apply within 3 months.
As your Student Visa Sponsor, UEA is required to withdraw sponsorship of your visa in particular circumstances, including if:
- You fail to register at the beginning of your course
- You are required to withdraw from your course (possibly due to academic failure, unsatisfactory attendance or disciplinary reasons)
- You have to defer studies (even with authorised absence) for more than 60 days
- You decide to withdraw from your course
- You complete your course earlier that the end date on your CAS
- You interrupt your studies
- You move to a different immigration category
If UEA withdraw sponsorship, you will be contacted by Student Visa Compliance (SVC) to let you know that we have done this and to provide you with further advice. You will be advised to make plans to leave the UK as soon as practically possible. This is to protect your immigration status for the future.
In withdrawing visa sponsorship, UEA will inform UKVI that you are no longer a current UEA student. UKVI will then take curtailment action. This means that your visa will be curtailed (shortened) and you will be required by UKVI to leave the UK. UKVI will contact you to tell you the new end date of your visa.
We would advise that you leave the UK as soon as possible after sponsorship of your visa has been withdrawn. Staying in the UK after the end date of your visa is called 'Overstaying' and is illegal. Periods of overstay can impact your ability to gain immigration permission in the UK in the future.
If you wish to return to UEA, you will need to return home and apply for a new visa from your home country before you can return to the UK and continue studying.
As a Student visa holder, you must comply with UK Immigration Law and your Visa Conditions. UEA is the Sponsor of your Student visa and we are required to report any breaches of these conditions to UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI). You are strongly advised to follow the guidance below to ensure you do not breach any relevant regulations whilst studying on a Student visa.
Please ensure you do the following:
- Attend all teaching events (lectures, seminars, labs etc.)
- Report/request any absences on e:Vision
- Attend any University Visa Checks
- Update your personal details with UEA (via e:Vision) and UKVI
- Comply with the relevant Student Work Conditions, if working whilst in the UK
- Report and replace lost or stolen BRP Cards to Student Life International
- Leave the UK (or apply to extend/vary your immigration permission) before your current visa expires
- Do not attempt to apply for ‘public funds’, including welfare and local authority housing benefits.
- Let let us know about any criminal investigation you are part of, especially if you are arrested.
Failure to comply with any of the above conditions could result in withdrawal of visa sponsorship, curtailment (cancellation) of your visa, and/or criminal prosecution.
As a UEA student, you also need to ensure that you adhere to UEA’s General Regulations for Students (UEA login required).
It’s important to be aware that some changes to your course can have an impact on your Student visa. This includes interruptions to studies, course changes, extensions and changing your study location. You can find out more on our page here (UEA log-in required).
If you are studying at UEA on immigration bail, it is important that you let the university know by emailing us. Once we are aware that you are on immigration bail, we will arrange a meeting with you a minimum of once every three months to see how you are getting on with your course, to conduct a general welfare check, to discuss options for support and to see if you have had any updates about your case.
As your immigration sponsors, the University also needs to make sure that you are still able to study and can comply with any conditions to your bail. A Student Life International Adviser will meet with you regularly to support you and check with any conditions you have been given. Please make sure you bring your latest letter from UKVI with you to your meetings.
Sometimes criminals can specifically target international students. Below, you can find some information about how to recognise what might be fraud or a scam and what to do if you think this is happening to you.
A scam is often when someone contacts you pretending to be someone that they’re not. This can include an organisation that you trust like your bank, HMRC, the police, embassy staff or postal workers. These may be automated, or from a real person. They may ask you for your personal information like banking details or tell you to transfer money. They might also try to pressure you for these details by suggesting that you’re in trouble or have done something wrong.
The most important thing to remember is to never give out personal information unless you are completely certain that it’s safe to do so. Real organisations will never ask you for passwords or your PIN numbers - so if you’re asked to provide these over the phone, you should end the call. You can always contact the organisation separately to check if the contact was genuine.
If you think an email, phone call or social media message is a scam, you can also report the matter to Action Fraud if you wish.
If you gave the person contacting you any personal details, such as your bank details or address, there are immediate steps you can take to protect yourself – find out what to do on the National Cyber Security Centre website.
If you think you might have been a victim of fraud or a scam and would like some support, please contact the Student Life Team in Student Services by completing the online referral form or by emailing email@example.com.