Kristina Bowers, International Student Advisor, tells us more about Exams and Your Tier 4 Visa…
Exam season is almost over and I’m sure that all our students have been hard at work! With good preparation and sound study, hopefully everyone will get the results that they are hoping for. However, things don’t always go quite to plan. Whether it be due to extenuating circumstances, insufficient study, or simply a bad day, sometimes we do not get the scores that we anticipate. If you do not pass your exams, or you’re worried that things did not go as well as you hoped, it may feel like the end of the world: it certainly isn’t! We are here to support our International cohort with the practical aspects of managing the situation when exams go wrong.
Getting your results
You will receive an email notifying you when your results are released. Make sure that you view them as soon as possible by logging in to your SIMs online account. If things have not gone as expected it’s important to be aware and take action as soon as you can.
Repeats and Resits
You may find yourself needing to re-sit exams or repeat a semester/year of your course. If this is the case, there may be an effect on your Tier 4 visa: we are here to help you understand any impact and best manage it. Just what the effect will be depends on the course you are studying, when you will re-sit, and whether the end date of your course will change, among other factors.
Re-sitting in the Summer Resit Period?
If you are an undergraduate and are scheduled to re-sit your exams during the August re-sit session, this won’t affect your immigration status. Provided you pass your exams at this point and so are able to continue your course in the following academic year and complete it on schedule, you do not need to take any immigration action: your visa will remain valid as expected!
If, as with most Masters students, your dissertation submission date is extended due to August resits, then you may be able to extend your visa and benefit from additional time to wait for results and plan your next steps. For example, if your submission date was originally in September, your visa will be valid to January. If you have summer resits, your submission date will likely be extended to December. In this case you may be able to submit an application to extend your visa in line with these dates, making it valid until April. Contact us if this applies to you.
Do check the expiry date of your visa. This is especially important if you are studying a course of less than one year. If you are required to take resits in the summer period, or at any other time for that matter, but your visa does not cover than period, you will need to take action! You cannot remain in the UK without a valid visa, and certainly will not be permitted to study or sit any examinations.
Re-sitting in the next academic year?
If you are required to re-sit during the next academic year, it is important that you find out if you will be resitting as an INTERNAL or EXTERNAL student. If you are uncertain, you should speak with your department directly to clarify your status.
If you resit EXTERNALLY this means that you are not required to attend classes. You will only need to attend the exams themselves. In this case, you will not meet the requirements for your Tier 4 visa. The University will have to report this to the Home Office and your visa will be curtailed accordingly. In this case you are required to depart the UK within 60 days. You will need to return home and apply for a new visa to come back for your exams. You can find more information regarding the visa categories potentially available to you and the application process on our Intranet pages.
If you will re-sit a full year INTERNALLY you will need to attend classes and lectures. You will still meet the requirements for your Tier 4 visa and it will remain active. However, the resits will mean that your course end date is later than originally expected and so you will need to extend your visa to accommodate this. It is best that you contact us as soon as possible to understand the process and timeframes for this.
Do be aware that if you resit INTERNALLY, but only for one semester this will affect your eligibility for your Tier 4 visa. This is because if you are only repeating one semester, you will not be studying for the other. For example, if you have resits in the Spring Semester only, you will have no classes in The Autumn Semester. As you will not be studying in this time, you will not meet Tier 4 requirements. This means your visa will be curtailed and you will need to return home. You will need to apply for a new visa when it is time to return. You can find guidance on applying for a new Tier 4 visa overseas on our Internet pages.
Disagree with your results?
If you believe that there is an error in your results, or if there are extenuating circumstances that unexpectedly affected your performance, you may be able to appeal the result. Talk to your department in the first instance to resolve any errors and understand the processes.
You can get impartial advice regarding submission of an appeal from the Student Advice Centre. Make yourself aware of whether there is a case to put forward and how you can do so, and pay attention to the timescales of any processes and whether they will affect your proceeding with your course. If you are in the UK waiting for an appeal outcome, or if the result will impact on your study dates, then there may be a resulting impact on your visa. As situations can be so different, do come and talk to us at International Student Support to understand any implications specific to your situation.
Do you have a situation that is not covered here? Our online information pages regarding resits and repeats may help. Contact us with any questions or concerns that you have regarding your exam results and the impact on your immigration status. We have drop in sessions every day from 2-4pm. Or you can contact us by email or phone.
Contacting International Student Support
Exam Advice and Tips – more blog posts to take a look at
- Advice on dealing with anxiety before and during exams
- 20 tips to help with revision and exams
- 8 tips to help you manage exam stress
- Top tips for eating healthy during exams
- Top exam tips to help keep you focused
Kristina Bowers, International Student Advisor.
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