As an international student, there are requirements and obligations related to the Immigration Rules, your studies and the University that you must meet.
This section explains your responsibilities as an international student at Bath Spa University, as well as what the University's responsibilities are to the Home Office.
Please read the details carefully and contact the Immigration Advice team if you need clarification or are unsure about anything concerning your responsibilities.
In unfortunate situations where students are found to not be meeting their responsibilities or breaking their visa conditions, it can result in sponsorship being withdrawn. If this happens to you, you will likely need to leave the UK and it will affect your future visa applications.
Entering the UK during the COVID-19 pandemic
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, you may need to take COVID-19 tests on particular days before you travel and provide the negative result on arrival. You may also need to allow for a period of quarantine after arrival in the UK depending on where you are coming from. Please read the information on the UK Government’s requirements on entering the UK and check it regularly for changes so that you are prepared.
Please also refer to our Arriving page for information on getting to Bath, collecting your BRP card and enrolling at the University.
Protecting your immigration status while you’re here
Working in the UK
Work rights are a condition of your immigration permission so it is very important that you are clear about what you may and may not do. The Home Office casework guidance is useful for in-depth guidance on working conditions. It is important to note that if you breach these restrictions, it means that you are working illegally and your Student sponsorship will be withdrawn.
Your Student visa vignette or Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) will indicate how long you are permitted to work each week during term time. For international students at Bath Spa University on a Student visa this will either be 10 hours or 20 hours a week during term time. Outside of term time you may work longer hours per week.
Normally, if you are studying with a valid Student visa at undergraduate or postgraduate degree for six months or longer, you are permitted to work:
- no more than 20 hours per week
- full-time during official vacation periods
Additional restrictions mean that you:
- can only be employed on a temporary basis, they cannot be employed on a permanent contract
- cannot be self-employed or set up a business
- cannot be employed as a professional sportsperson or as an entertainer
Your employer will also be required to submit a Right to Work check to confirm it is legal to employ you. Expect them to ask to see your passport and BRP. Do not let them keep these documents under any circumstances; it is illegal for them to do so. They should simply take photocopies of these for their records.
You are also permitted to take up any work placements that form an assessed part of your course, providing the work placement does not amount to more than 50% of the course. Please note any work placement is considered a change in circumstances that we must report to UKVI so you must contact us prior to a placement starting.
Work placements can be paid or unpaid and can be full time, even in term time. The work endorsement in your passport or on your biometric residence permit will not state this, but the Home Office guidance for employers explains it.
If you are permitted to take employment, you can do that (up to 10 or 20 hours a week in term time) in addition to working on your placement.
Balancing work with studies
Please note that the primary purpose of a Student visa is to study. Although you are permitted to work 20 hours per week during term time, it is advised that before committing to any employment, you consider the time required for timetabled study as well as independent study, course work, revision for examinations and additional reading. We recommend that you do not commit to working any more than 15 hours per week during term time.
Working after completing your studies
The four-month period of leave after the course end date on your CAS is issued by UK Visas and Immigration to allow students time to wrap up any affairs prior to leaving the UK, or to arrange an alternative immigration category (such as the Graduate visa or Skilled Worker visa) and is considered to be a period of vacation. Therefore, you will be able work full-time for the remaining leave after completion of your studies.
Travel and holidays
During your time here, you may wish to travel to other countries. When you travel, you must always have a valid visa and a passport for the destination(s) you wish to visit. If you are still awaiting a decision by the Home Office on a UK visa application, you shouldn't book any travel until you have received your visa.
Most countries require visitors to have a passport with a minimum validity of 6 months left, before they will admit someone as a visitor. Therefore, ensure your passport has at least this amount of validity remaining. If you hold a Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) you must make sure that you take this on your travels as this is your visa to re-enter the UK. Like your passport, make sure it is valid. Take care of your passport and visa whilst on holiday.
Travel to Europe and the Schengen visa
If you would like to travel around Europe, a Schengen visa will grant you entry to most countries. The Schengen Area is the area including 26 European countries that have abolished passport and any other type of border control at their mutual borders, so travel here is extremely simple once you have the Schengen visa.
Schengen Area covers most of the EU countries, except Ireland and the countries that are soon to be part of Romania, Bulgaria, Croatia and Cyprus. Although not members of the EU, countries like Norway, Iceland, Switzerland and Lichtenstein are also part of the Schengen zone.
Travel during term time
You are not permitted to travel during term time. If you do have to leave and re-enter the UK during term time, you will need to have a written permission from Bath Spa University. You will need to carry this with you as Border Force Officers at the UK Border may ask you to explain why you are travelling during term time whilst registered as a full-time student.
If you need to leave the UK as a field trip or as part of your course or research, please contact the Immigration Advice Service ahead of departure so we can ensure you are fully prepared.
Exceptional circumstances (travel during term time)
We understand that there may be personal circumstances as well as festivities and celebrations held in your home country or culture that may fall at times of the year when you are expected to be in full-time study.
You are expected to attend and engage with your studies at all points during your course, however in exceptional circumstances you are welcome to contact us if you'd like to discuss this further or apply for authorisation to travel.
You can't apply for public funds
Your immigration conditions prohibit you from accessing 'public funds', which means certain specific welfare benefits and local authority housing. However, using the National Health Service, sending your child to a state school, being exempt from the Council Tax, and paying 'home' fees for study, do not count as accessing 'public funds'.
If you claim public funds, despite having a 'no recourse to public funds' condition, you:
- will be breaching the conditions of your immigration permission
- may have problems obtaining an immigration extension in the UK
- may be barred from coming back to the UK for at least 12 months (and, in some cases, five or ten years), under many categories and not just as a Student
Study related responsibilities
On arrival you must:
- Collect your Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) within 10 days of arrival into the UK
- Register with the Police (if your nationality requires it)
Please refer to our Arriving page on getting to Bath, collecting your BRP card and enrolling at the University.
During your studies you must:
- Ensure that your visa is valid throughout your studies
- Check your Bath Spa student email account regularly throughout studies. Respond to communications from University staff when required
- Submit all assessments and sit all exams that your course requires
- Attend all the sessions of your course with no unauthorised absences
- Ensure that you comply with visa working restrictions (see the Working in the UK section below). If you breach this restriction and work illegally, we will withdraw your Tier 4 sponsorship
- Re-enrol for your course on time each year
- Leave the UK if your interrupt your studies or withdraw from the University
- If you change your immigration status by moving into another visa category you must inform the University straight away
When you need to notify us
You must notify Bath Spa University if:
- You require a visa extension to complete your studies
- You leave the UK for any reason during your course, or you withdraw, defer or intercalate your study
- Your contact details change
- There have been other changes in your circumstances (e.g. you’ve secured a credit bearing work placement or you’ve had changes in campus location)
You must also have our permission to:
- Change your course in any way
- Leave the UK for study purposes (overseas field trips, placements or research)
- Get authorised absence during your term time
Please refer to our Problems and Solutions page for more details.
When you need to notify the Home Office
You must notify the Home office if any of the following change:
- Name, nationality
- Date of birth
- Details of new passport
- Criminal convictions
- Changes to relationships with family members who have permission to be in the UK as your dependant
- Other relevant changes
As your Student Sponsor, Bath Spa University is expected to ensure that we and our students are compliant with the immigration rules. If we fail to comply we are at risk of losing our ability to recruit and retain international students. Consequently, we take our duties under this legislation very seriously.
The University is required to:
- Hold a copy of your current passport and up to date immigration documents;
- Keep up-to-date UK contact details including address and telephone number;
- Monitor your engagement with your studies;
We must notify the Home Office if:
- You do not arrive as expected
- There is a change in circumstances with your studies;
- You require a visa extension to complete your studies;
- You leave the UK due to withdrawal, deferring or intercalating your studies;
- We believe you are breaching the conditions of your leave.
Contact the Immigration Advice Service
You can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll be happy to help.