at our Open Days
Changing your course
Post-registration course changes are based on the following principles:
- Your current course and new course must be related or the two courses combined must support your genuine career aspirations
- The new course must be at degree level or above
- The new course must not be at a lower level than the course for which you currently hold a Student visa
- You must be able to complete your new course within your current grant of leave.
Depending on the change, you will have to meet most of the above conditions.
You should seek advice from Kent Union Advice Centre if you have any queries and the Student Immigration Compliance Team will review your request and inform you of next steps. Please read below for further information.
Visa considerations when applying for a 'Year in' course
Please be aware that if you are a sponsored student, you will need to leave the UK and apply for a new visa before undertaking a 'Year in' programme as they do not meet UKVI academic progression requirements (with the exception of a recognised Year Abroad/Year in Industry programme). Should you have any enquiries about your circumstances, please do not hesitate to contact the Student Immigration Compliance Team.
If your new course is at the same degree level but a shorter duration (ie dropping a Year Abroad)
You do not need to make a new visa application to switch courses where the new course is:
- at the same level; and
- of a shorter duration. For example, you originally held a Student visa for a four year degree programme, but you decided not to undertake a year in industry/year abroad so you will complete your degree in three years instead of four
You should speak to your Division who will complete a Change of Circumstances request on your behalf. The Student Immigration Compliance Team (SICT) will consider your request and contact you if we need more information. If your request is approved, SICT will make a report to UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) advising them of your new course title and completion date. When you successfully complete your course, we will make another report to UKVI to inform them that you have successfully completed your course earlier than stated on the original CAS. This will trigger the curtailment of the visa as an 'early completion' (ie your visa will be shortened to four months after your new completion date).
You will receive a curtailment notice from the Home Office which will outline the new end date of your visa. If you become aware that you have not been granted the additional four months in the curtailment notice, and you would like to have it corrected, you should contact the Kent Union Advice Centre.
You should be aware that the four month 'wrap up' period granted to you is intended to allow you to remain in the UK whilst you make the necessary arrangements to leave the country, or prepare to make an application to the Home Office to switch immigration categories/switch to a different sponsor.
Curtailment takes immediate effect if you are outside the UK at the time of our report to UKVI.
If your new course is at the same degree level and of the same length
You do not need to make a new visa application to switch courses where the new course is all of the below:
- at the same degree level
- related (or the two courses combined support your genuine career aspirations)
- of the same length as the original course
- due to complete within your current grant of leave
You should speak to your Division who will complete a Change of Circumstances request on your behalf. The Student Immigration Compliance Team (SICT) will consider your request, and if your request is approved, SICT will report the change of course to UKVI. Since the completion date will not change, no further action is required.
If you wish to change to a completely different course, for example, a BEng to a BA in Fine Art, and you cannot demonstrate how these two courses are related or how this supports your genuine career aspirations, then you should seek immigration advice from the Kent Union Advice Centre as soon as possible. If the courses are not related, you will have to make a new Student visa application from outside of the UK.
If your new course is at the same or higher degree level and longer (ie adding Year in Industry)
In all cases, if you require further leave to complete a course, you will need to make a new Student visa application. If you are applying to extend your current Student visa leave, you will need to demonstrate that you meet academic progression requirements.
The academic progression rule is in place to ensure that students are progressing academically if they wish to study a further course in the UK, and are not merely seeking to extend their stay in the UK. The rule only applies to students who have previously been granted leave as a Student visa holder and are applying for leave to remain.
If your course change request does not meet academic progression, and none of the academic progression exemptions apply to you, you will need to submit your Student visa application from outside of the UK.
You should seek immigration advice from the Kent Union Advice Centre if you are unsure.
If your new course is at a lower level (ie switching from an integrated masters course to a BSc)
Moving to a lower level course may happen, for example, when you have chosen to or are required to downgrade courses.
If you are switching to a course at a lower level, you will need to make a new Student visa application from outside the UK before you can study the new course.