Study abroad information for visas

Students at the University have the option to spend part of their study at a number of exchange partners around the world. Though holding a Student visa does not exclude students from participating in an exchange any visa implications will need to be considered before embarking on a period abroad. The University will continue to sponsor students on a Student visa during a period of exchange or study abroad providing they meet all the immigration requirements of the country in which they will study.

In addition to the academic requirements required for the period abroad, you should ensure that you hold a valid passport. All EU countries require students to hold a valid10 year passport in order to study and some require that this passport is valid for between 3 and 6 months after the end of your visit. The Study Abroad Office will check that you have a valid visa before permitting you to embark on a period abroad.

Prior to embarking on the period abroad students must sign a declaration which authorises their host institution to disclose information to the University of Stirling concerning your academic progress, engagement and conduct during the period abroad.

You will not be able to extend your visa if this will result in you having exceeded the maximum time limit (or 'cap') set by the UKBA. This usually means that students must not have spent more than five years with immigration permission on a Student visa.

Before you are permitted to embark on a period abroad the Study Abroad Office will check with the Student Immigration Team as to whether the time spent abroad might take you over the 5-year limit.

Students on Students visas on a period of study abroad are still a registered student at the University of Stirling. As a result, under Home Office (UK Visas and Immigration), the students and the University need to ensure that their responsibilities are met. For students they must attend their classes and keep in regular contact with their host School as well as the University of Stirling. Students are also required to provide the University of Stirling with their semester address during the study abroad period by maintaining their address via the University Portal.

The Student Immigration Team will send an email to you which details your responsibilities during your period abroad and what you are required to do in order to comply.

The Student Immigration Team will notify the Home Office of those students who have changed study location due to their study abroad period. The Team will notify the Home Office of the duration of the period abroad and the institution that the student is attending.

As the University needs to report to the Home Office those students who do not complete enrolment the Student Immigration Team needs to receive confirmation from your host institution that you have enrolled and have commenced your studies. You must provide the Study Abroad Office with a stamped SA2 Registration Confirmation Form from your host institution within two weeks of arrival.

The Study Abroad Office will contact the host institution to advise them that your Tier 4 visa is being sponsored by the University of Stirling. The host institution will provide the Student Immigration Team with details of academic progress so that any concerns can be taken forward by the Student Immigration Team with both you and the host institution.

Where there are issues with visa compliance during your period abroad then the University will consider whether we can continue to sponsor your visa. This may lead, where appropriate, to you having to return to the University to continue studying, or having your visa sponsorship withdrawn.

If you have any questions please email internationaladvisor@stir.ac.uk