Withdrawal of Immigration Sponsorship

From October 5, 2020, Tier 4 (General) visas has been replaced by the new Student Route visa. Students using a Confirmation of Acceptance (CAS) after this date will be granted a visa under the Student Route category.

The University is responsible for monitoring and reporting changes to sponsored students’ academic status as this may affect their Student visa. In certain circumstances, the University is required to withdraw immigration sponsorship. The reasons for sponsorship withdrawal are unique to the individual. The below information does NOT explain the academic changes which led the University to withdraw you visa sponsorship.

What does withdrawal of sponsorship mean?


If the University has notified you that your sponsorship has been withdrawn, it means that:

  • There has been a change to your academic status;
  • The University will no longer be your immigration sponsor;
  • The University will contact the Home Office to withdraw the sponsorship of your visa;
  • Your visa will be curtailed and you will be expected to leave the UK or apply for a different type of visa in the UK.
  • You have completed your course earlier than the expected course end date on your CAS.


What are the responsibilities of the University of Birmingham?


The Home Office granted you a Student Visa and you are expected to meet the conditions of your stay under this visa category.

(1) As you are no longer able to meet the conditions of your stay, the University is legally responsible for withdrawing your immigration sponsorship and informing the Home Office; and

(2) The University is procedurally responsible for informing you that immigration sponsorship is being withdrawn.


What are the responsibilities of the Home Office?

When immigration sponsorship is withdrawn the Home Office will take the following actions:

(1) If you have more than 60 days remaining on your current visa, they will curtail (shorten) your visa;

(2) The Home Office will contact you by letter or email to confirm the curtailment of your current visa and they will give you a date by which you must leave the UK;

(3) If you have less than 60 days remaining on your current visa they will expect you to leave the UK before the end of the visa;

(4) You should seek alternative visa permissions to remain in the UK should you decide to stay in the UK (see next section).

IMPORTANT UPDATE: Home Office curtailment action

The Home Office is now actively curtailing student visas following a withdrawal of immigration sponsorship report.  It is your responsibility to ensure you continually check your emails (including the junk folder) for emails from the Home Office.  Once you have left the UK you must not attempt to return to the UK on a visa where withdrawal of sponsorship has been reported.  Students who have done this are now being stopped at Border Control and refused entry to the UK.  This is a very serious matter as it has an ongoing impact on your immigration history.  If this happens a return flight home will be arranged and Border control will keep hold of your passport until you are ready to board your flight home.  The refusal will remain on your immigration history for the next 10 years and you will need to declare this every time you make a visa application for the UK or any other country. 

What are your responsibilities?

You are responsible for ensuring that you meet the visa conditions of stay granted to you as a student in the UK.  When the University withdraws immigration sponsorship:

(1) You are responsible for providing the University and the Home Office with your correct postal address.  You can check and update your current postal address in Online Registration at www.my.bham.ac.uk.  You can find more information online on how to notify the Home Office of your change of circumstances;

(2) If you decide to remain in the UK after the University has withdrawn your immigration sponsorship, you are responsible for making an appointment with an independent immigration specialist discuss your visa options;

(3) If you leave the UK then from that point your visa will automatically expire on the date you leave the UK, even if you leave prior to the 60 days curtailment period;

(4) You must not use the same visa to return to the UK;

(5) You are responsible for checking the status of your visa before you return to the UK and to the University.  

What happens if you complete your course earlier than the expected end date on your CAS?

If you successfully complete your course, earlier than the expected course end date as detailed on your CAS, then the University must report the early completion to the Home Office.  This means that immigration sponsorship will be withdrawn and your student visa curtailed to the appropriate wrap up period.  For example, if you were studying a 4 year undergraduate degree programme, which includes an industrial year placement; and you later decide to drop the placement year and complete the final year of your study (resulting in you completing your course earlier), then you will be given the same 4 month wrap up period at the end of your course new course end date.


We would strongly recommend that you contact the International Student Team (IST) 2-3 months before you are due to return to your studies and they will advise you on all your visa options. 

When you email the IST you should always include a scan of your visa and any letters you received from the Home Office.

Appealing a decision

If you appeal against a decision that resulted in the changes to your student status and your appeal is not upheld then the University will continue to withdraw immigration sponsorship.

If it takes more than eight weeks for an appeal outcome to be reached the University will also continue to withdraw immigration sponsorship.

Returning to the UK

 If you return to the UK and your visa has been curtailed, we expect that the Border Officer will not allow you to enter the UK and you will have to return home. This refusal to allow you to enter the UK will form a permanent part of your immigration history and you will have to disclose it on all future visa applications to the UK.

If you arrive and are refused entry, the University and the IST will not be able to intervene. However we will be able to offer you support and guidance to apply for a new entry clearance visa to re-enter the UK. 

Sometimes the withdrawal information has not been updated into the Home Office systems at the airport or it may not be in use – in these cases you could potentially be granted entry to the UK.  If this happens you MUST contact the IST IMMEDIATELY as an advisor will need to assess if you are able to meet the criteria for making an extension to your visa in the UK.  If you are not able to meet the criteria the University will not be able to intervene with the Home Office on your behalf and you may have to return home and make a new entry clearance application.  If you have any queries please contact us


Contact the IST

You can contact the International Student Team:



For other useful information related to Student sponsorship withdrawal visit:

British Embassies, High Commissions and Consulates overseas: https://www.gov.uk/government/world/organisations

UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA): http://www.ukcisa.org.uk/

UKVI – making a student visa application: Student visa : Apply - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)



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