Taking a break from study (absence or interruption)

Information on what can happen to your Student visa if you take a break/interruption from your studies.

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This page is for international students and the implications around visas and sponsorship.

See the main page about taking an absence, which explains the process and contains the form you need to complete.

If you have a Student visa, an interruption could affect your visa status in the UK.

Goldsmiths will normally notify the Home Office within ten days of your interruption, which could lead to your visa being cut short/curtailed.

The Immigration Advisory Service should typically contact you if your interruption affects your visa. Please ensure you check your Goldsmiths email address and use this account regularly so that you do not miss important emails from our team.

If you are thinking of taking an interruption or cannot continue with your studied for personal reasons (including medical conditions), please contact your department and our team as early as possible so that we can give you the best possible advice.

If your visa expires in more than 60 days

Your visa will normally be cancelled, and your new expiry date could be 60 days after the date UKVI write to you via email.

You should assume that you have 60 days to leave the UK from the date that we write to you confirming that we will be reporting your visa to the Home Office.

If you do not receive an email from the Immigration team about your interruption within 7 days of submitting your form, you need to contact us as soon as possible.

If your visa expires in less than 60 days

UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) should let you keep your visa until it ends. You should make arrangements to leave on or before your visa expiry date if this applies to you.

The Immigration Advisory Service will write to you at the point we notify the Home Office about your interruption to let you know and so that you can make arrangements to leave the UK as soon as possible.

Resuming your studies

When you plan to return to your studies, you will need to re-apply for a new Student visa.

Do not try to use your old visa, as this will have been cancelled.

You will need to request a new Confirmation of Acceptance of Studies (CAS) statement, and we will have to assess your eligibility before we can issue you with a new CAS.

Email immigration (@gold.ac.uk) about three months before you plan to return so that we can help you with the process.

MPhil and PhD students

Although the rules around interruptions are the same for students studying an MPhil or PhD, there are additional options available for breaks in study which do not affect your student visa:

  • Annual Leave – a short break authorised by your supervisor for holidays for example (up to 8 weeks per academic year)
  • Authorised Absence - a short break authorised by your supervisor for illness or bereavement, for example (up to 4 consecutive weeks per academic year)
  • Off-campus research - Temporary relocation to a non-UK location to conduct field research or data collection essential to your MPhil/PhD as authorised and arranged with your supervisor (3-12 month periods)

Please contact your supervisor and/or the Graduate School to discuss any of these options further.