International Student Office

Find out how the International Student Office supports international students and when to refer students to them with queries relating to immigration and visas.

You can also read the information for students about the International Student Office on the SES student website

International Student Office comprises two teams: a team of immigration advisers, and the Global Community team (international welcome support and intercultural opportunities for all students).  

The immigration advisers provide individual advice to students on visas and immigration. Global Community team develop and run activities and projects to support international students and intercultural experiences in Leeds.

Partnership with staff

The International Student Office supports and works with staff across the University, Leeds University Union and in external organisations. They:

  • provide a referral point for staff working with international students and their families
  • collaborate in the development and delivery of intercultural and international-student-friendly services and activities
  • give general information and advice on supporting international students
  • provide training in international student support and cultural awareness
  • help promote the University’s international student services to visitors and sponsors

How the International Student Office can help

If you have any queries relating to immigration, welcome, orientation, or intercultural experience, you can direct international students to the International Student Office.

When to refer a student

Please direct students to us for help and advice if they:

  • 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
  • need guidance on preparing to come to Leeds
  • need assistance with UK systems or services
  • feel homesick or have difficulty adjusting to life in the UK
  • want access to more social opportunities with other UK or international students
  • want to take part in intercultural activities
  • want more involvement in the local community

How to refer a student

  • explain our service and where we are (see contact details below)
  • explain why you are referring the student and why it is important they receive specialist advice
  • encourage the student to contact us and to have all necessary documents with them when they are seeking immigration advice. A student’s passport and visa are needed for immigration related questions. 
  • refer students to relevant sections of leeds.ac.uk and students.leeds.ac.uk:

Immigration

The advisers in the International Student Office 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.

Points-Based System (PBS)

Under Tier 4 of PBS, the University’s relationship has changed from that of education provider to academic sponsor. There are now laws which require us to report students to the Home Office in certain circumstances. These are:

  • 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 Policy Guidance for Tier 4 Sponsors.

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.

Tier 4 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 three years. For those at degree level and above the limit is usually five years or eight years in the case of PhD students. For more information, visit our Tier 4 time limits page.

Miscellaneous research students

A person who is coming to the UK to undertake study must hold either a Short-term study Visa or a Tier 4 (General) student visa. If the person already has some other form of visa they should contact the International Student Office for advice before travelling – it may be that if they commence full time study on that visa, they may be in breach of their current visa regulations and depending on the type of visa they already hold, not able to apply for a student visa from within the UK.

If you are inviting a student to the UK for a period of miscellaneous research, please contact the International Student Office in the first instance to ensure that the University remains compliant with our legal responsibilities.

Contact us

International Student Office
internationalstudents@leeds.ac.uk for visa and immigration advice,  

internationalwelcome@leeds.ac.uk for questions related to preparing to come to and arriving in Leeds, and assistance with other issues related to being a student from outside the UK. 

globalcommunity@leeds.ac.uk for questions about intercultural activities.