Student Visa Advice

Information about how the Student Visa Advice team supports international students and when to refer students to them with queries relating to student visas and UK immigration.

Giving immigration advice to individuals is regulated by the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC) so only staff specifically trained for this are permitted to give immigration advice.  Giving general information and signposting to websites is not classed as immigration advice and can be done by all staff.

When to refer a student

If a student may need immigration advice related to their situation, unless urgent, direct them to the relevant website in the first instance where they can find initial information and advice and then contact the Student Visa Advice team with any specific questions. 

Student Visa Advice team can provide specific advice if students:

  • have an immigration question before or after coming to Leeds
  • need to extend their visa to stay in the UK
  • have to take re-sit examinations and need immigration advice
  • are considering changing to part-time study and need immigration advice
  • are considering withdrawal or suspension and need immigration advice
  • are bringing a partner or family to the UK
  • need advice about their right to work or volunteer in the UK

How to refer a student

  • explain the Student Visa Advice service and how to contact the team (see contact email below)
  • explain why you are referring the student and why it is important they receive specialist advice
  • encourage the student to contact us, including their Student ID number, and to have all necessary documents with them when they are seeking immigration advice. A student’s passport and visa may be needed for immigration related questions. 

Contact Student Visa Advice team (for students and staff)


The Student Visa advisers are the only people in the University allowed by law to give immigration advice to students. This includes:

  • applying for visas overseas
  • visa extensions in the UK
  • immigration restrictions related to resits, suspension, withdrawal and part-time study
  • immigration issues for dependants and visitors.

Miscellaneous Research Students

If you are inviting a student to the UK for a period of miscellaneous research, you can find the relevant visa information on our visas for research and study visits page. Staff can contact the Student Visa Advice team  with questions needed to ensure that the University remains compliant with our legal responsibilities.


Student Immigration Compliance

As the holder of a licence to sponsor international students for a Student Route visa, the University of Leeds has to comply with a range of requirements, For example we are required to report student to the UK Visas & Immigration section of the Home Office in the following circumstances:

  • failure to register
  • poor attendance
  • withdrawal from course
  • suspensions for longer than 60 days
  • extensions to end dates
  • early completion of course
  • changes of courses or programmes.

You can read more about our responsibilities in the Home Office Student Policy Guidance.

Attendance Monitoring

The attendance of all students must be monitored by the parent school and recorded on the University’s attendance monitoring systems. Read the University’s Attendance monitoring policy and guidance for schools for more information.

Time Limits

Most international students are now subject to a cap on the amount of time they can spend on their studies. For students studying below degree level, the limit is usually two years. For more information, visit our Tier 4 time limits page.

Contact Student Immigration Compliance (for staff)