General Information

Visa & Immigration General Information

On 31 March 2009 the Home Office Visa & Immigration department (UKVI, formally the UK Border Agency or UKBA) launched the Points Based System of Immigration Rules for international students. The Points Based System (PBS) affects non EU nationals (also known as visa nationals) wanting to come to the UK to study or work, and for those already in the UK who want to extend their stay in these categories. It is divided into 5 categories or Tiers, with students coming under Tier 4.

The University of Wolverhampton has a licence in order to recruit international students and workers and so will be your Tier 4 Sponsor while you study with us.


If you come to the UK on a Tier 4 (General Student) visa, the University of Wolverhampton will be your educational sponsor and both you and the University will have responsibilities to the Home Office Visa & Immigration department during your studies.  We must work together to make sure you meet the requirements of your visa.

Your responsibilities can be found on our Current Students page

Our responsibilities include -

  • we must keep your application documents and a copy of your current visa and passport on file
  • we must monitor your engagement with your studies and report a series of unauthorised absences which result in you being withdrawn from the course to the Home Office
  • we must report any change in your circumstances to the Home Office e.g. if you take leave of absence, withdraw or transfer to a different course or institution. We are also required to inform the Home Office if you complete your course earlier than expected or any other change in your circumstances.
  • we must report any suspicions we may have that you are breaking the conditions of your stay


The Points Based System includes several terms that may cause you some confusion. Our Immigration Glossary helps explains these terms for you.

News & Further Information

Further information about visas and immigration for studying in the UK can be found on the Home Office webpages

May 2016 - We have recently been made aware of a telephone scam targeting international students. The caller says that they are from the Home Office, and asks the student to verify the telephone number they are calling from via the Home Office website. The phone number does match a Home Office number, so the victim believes that they are speaking to a Home Office official. The caller also has personal details of the student they are calling.

The caller then proceeds to tell the student that they have not paid for an immigration service, and informs the student that they must now either pay a fine, or face either deportation or detention.

If you receive a similar phone call reportedly from the Home Office, please do not pay any money. If you have any concerns that the calls may be valid, please speak to one of our Visa and Immigration Support Officers in the MX Student Office who will be able to clarify this issue for you.

April 2016 - The Home Office has changed how it defines 'academic progression' for students who need to extend their visas to complete an existing course. If you need to extend your visa to complete your current course there are now extremely limited circumstances that will allow you to apply inside the UK. We urge you to see the Visa and Immigration Support Team as early as possible to plan your visa application in case you are required to travel home to apply.

November 2015 - From 12 November 2015 the Home Office will no longer accept Tier 4 applications using the 'established presence' guidelines. This means all students will have to show full living expenses with a visa application. The full living expenses are expected to be £9135 and these funds must be maintained for 28 days before you can apply for your visa (if you apply for your visa after 12 November 2015). If you are concerned about these changes please arrange an appointment with our Visa and Immigration Support Officer. 

August 2015 - The Home Office has changed the way they calculate the 5 year time-limit (cap) for study at degree level and above. If you think this may affect your studies please arrange an appointment with our Visa and Immigration Support Officer. More details about the changes are available on the UKCISA website.

August 2015 - If you apply for your visa outside the UK for a course longer than 6 months you will be issued with a temporary vignette (visa sticker) inside your passport and you should also receive a 'decision letter' that confirms the full details of your visa and provides advice about where to collect your visa (also known as a Biometric Residence Permit or BRP) from when you are in the UK. You must collect your BRP within 10 days of arrival in the UK and you will need it to complete your enrolment. The Home Office website has more advice about BRPs and we have more advice about where to collect your BRP in Wolverhampton here.

April 2015 - The Immigration Healthcare Surcharge (IHS) has been introduced for most Tier 4 and Dependant applications submitted on or after 06 April 2015. More information is available on the IHS pages of the Home Office website. 

April 2015 - The Home Office has updated its list of Secure English Language Test (SELT) providers and test centres.