How and when do I apply for new immigration permission to undertake my re-sits?
Do I have to apply for new immigration permission before returning to the UK?
Because your immigration permission should have been curtailed (see our guidance on Tier 4 Reporting and Curtailment), you should apply for new immigration permission before returning to the UK.
If you attempt to travel on your existing Tier 4 (General) Student immigration permission, you may be denied entry to the UK.
What sort of immigration permission should I apply for?
If you are returning to the UK to take re-sits you will normally apply for Short-Term Student immigration permission. If you are due to take re-sits then continue on your course full-time from the next Semester you may also have the option to apply for Tier 4 immigration permission for the remainder of your course. This may be the case for you, for example, if you are undertaking re-sits in the second year of your undergraduate degree and will progress onto your third year if you successfully pass the re-sits.
Please note that you will not normally be allowed to sit your exams with Standard Visitor permission.
I also need to attend my graduation ceremony – a warning about frequent and successive visits
Short-term student immigration permission is granted for six months at a time. There is no rule that states a visitor can only remain in the UK for 6 out of any 12 months, but a Home Office decision maker will examine the pattern and frequency of visits to see that it does not amount to residence.
If the date of your first exam and the date of your graduation ceremony are within six months, you may only need to apply for immigration permission and travel to and from the UK once.
If there will be a large gap between your exams and your graduation ceremony (this may be the case if you are studying a Master’s degree), you may need to apply for immigration permission and travel to and from the UK twice: once for your exams and once for your graduation ceremony.
If you need to return to the UK twice, first as a Short-term student, and then as a Standard Visitor, you should leave the UK as soon as you have completed your re-sit exams, and if possible don’t make your Standard Visitor application as soon as you return to your home country, so that there is a gap between your visits to the UK.
When you make your Standard Visitor immigration application, this will make it easier to show the Home Office decision maker that your visits will not amount to residence.
I will be resuming my studies after I have passed my re-sit exams. What should I do?
If, after successfully completing your exams with Short-Term Student immigration permission, you will be continuing your studies, you will have to return home again to make a further Tier 4 (General) Student immigration application (please see the next section for more information).
Law, regulations and policies can change quickly. The information on our website is given in good faith and has been carefully checked but QMUL cannot accept responsibility for any errors or omissions. QMUL is not responsible for the content or reliability of the linked websites which are provided for further information.