What if I want to travel outside of the UK after my official programme end date?
If your programme has finished, and you have no future studies in the UK, we advise you to avoid travelling in and out of the UK if possible and to not attempt to re-enter the UK on your Tier 4 visa during the extra time after the end of your programme. While the visa itself has not expired, it is important to understand that a Tier 4 visa only allows you to enter the UK for the purpose of starting or continuing your studies sponsored by University of Birmingham.
Every time you enter the UK, a Border Force Official (BFO) is required to check that you have the correct visa for your purpose.
So if your programme has now formally ended, a BFO may correctly refuse to allow you to re-enter the UK on a Tier 4 visa.
It is possible that a BFO may accept that you are indeed returning for reasons connected to your studies, for example if you have not yet received your exam results or you are returning to attend your graduation ceremony. However, this is at your own risk. If you are returning to the UK before your graduation, we advise you to carry a graduation letter as evidence of this.
If you do decide to travel and to re-enter the UK, you may be refused entry. If you are a 'non-visa national' you may be granted entry as a General Visitor. (Visa nationals must apply for a General Visitor visa outside the UK before travelling back to the UK so cannot obtain this at the airport).
A General Visitor cannot switch to any other status in the UK. If you are planning an immigration application in the UK, for example a Tier 4 extension or switch to Tier 2, being admitted as a General Visitor would mean you could not make that application in the UK.