Tier 4 (General) Visa - student advice

Rules and Regulations, Rights and Responsibilities


Checklist for new students
  1. Take your passport to the International Office; we will need to copy your personal details and entry clearance vignette.
  2. Register with the police if required (further details below); take your Police Registration Certificate to the International Office for copying.
  3. Collect your Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) card from the designated Post Office within 10 days of arriving in the UK – please refer to the International Office for further instructions.
Can you work?

Under regulations introduced in August 2015, students in the UK with a Tier 4 (General) Visa, Student Visitor Visa or Extended Student Visa cannot work.

You must not work if you Visa says ‘No work’ or ‘Work prohibited’ because this would be a breach of your immigration conditions and a criminal offence

Starting a course at College is challenging for any student.

If you are an International student with a Tier 4 (General) Student Visa you have additional challenges in the extra regulations and requirements that you have to meet.

What is Tier 4?

Tier 4 is part of the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) points-based system for immigration. It is for migrants who want to study in the UK.

The Tier 4 (General) category is for adult students who want to come to or remain in the UK for their post-16 education.

Certain categories of student must apply for educational visas under Tier 4 of the UKVI regulations.

Depending on your nationality and circumstances, you may be able to study in the UK without needing to apply under Tier 4 (General) as an adult student. However, your ability to work while you are studying here may be restricted.

Please see the video below for tips; full information about the Tier 4 (General) student visa: www.gov.uk/tier-4-general-visa

From UKCISA, UUK, NUS and the British Council - a set of videos about studying in the UK.

Tier 4 – important changes in 2015

From 3rd August 2015

  • New students attending publicly funded Colleges in the UK are no longer permitted to work in the UK.
  • 16 and 17 year old students entering the adult education system from abroad can only apply for a Tier 4 (General) Visa

From 12th November 2015

  • College students will no longer be able to extend their Tier 4 visas or switch to a Tier 2 or Tier 5 visa whilst in the UK.

Tier 4 Rules & Regulations

Student Rights and Responsibilities

As a Tier 4 (General) student you have certain responsibilities regarding your College attendance and other activities during your stay in the UK. Failure to abide by the rules may put your immigration status at risk and your visa may be curtailed or cancelled. Please follow the links below for further information:

Ignorance is no defence. Remember, if you break the rules because you do not understand them, UKVI will not accept that excuse and it can have serious consequences for you.

If you have any questions please contact the International Team who are there to advise you.

If you are considering changing your course, the International Office can offer you advice and guidance. They can advise you on what you should do and implications it may have for your visa.


Checklist for returning students
  • Are your contact details up-to-date with the Enrolment Office and International Office?
  • Are you contact details up-to-date with UKVI?
  • Change your details with the police (if needed) and take your amended Police Registration Certificate to the International Office to be copied.
  • If you have a new BRP or passport. take it to the International Office to be copied.
Police Registration

The condition to register with the police applies to people of certain nationalities who come to the UK for more than six months.

Immigration Rules Appendix 2: police registration. You can check the list of countries whose nationals need to apply at www.gov.uk/guidance/immigration-rules/immigration-rules-appendix-2-police-registration

The condition will be printed on the visa in you passport, or on your Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) if you have one.

You must register within seven days of arriving in the UK. You can do this by going to the Foreign Nationals Registration Office at the Police Station, Madeira Road, Bournemouth BH1 1QQ. Telephone 01202 220693. Open Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, 9.30am – 12.00 noon.