Absences and your Visa

Under the UK Border Agency regulations if you have a visa to study at Aston University you must be present on the premises for the purpose of your studies during term time unless you apply for, and are granted, an ‘authorised absence’ from your studies.

The information below explains what you must do if you are unable to attend your course during term time.

For most students it is clear when it is term time and when it is vacation. However, if you are a postgraduate taught student, please see the special information below.

Absence due to illness  //  Leaving the UK during term time  //  Postgraduate taught students 

What about holiday periods?  // Further information

Absence due to illness

If you are unable to attend lectures or sessions on your programme, for example because you are ill, you must contact your School Support Office before your lecture or session takes place. You may also be required to sign with your Student Support Office on the first day that you return to classes.

Leaving the UK during term time

You must obtain written permission from your support office for short periods of absence in term time, for example to return home due to bereavement, an illness or a family celebration.  Please book an appointment to discuss your situation with a designated member of staff in your School.

Longer absences in term time require more detailed guidance, so please book an appointment with your School or come to speak to an International Student adviser in the Hub Advice Zone.

Postgraduate taught students

You must continue to engage with your studies at the University during term time, however, due to some recent discussions at the University, we have made some changes to the monitoring requirements allowing us to give you more flexibility during your writing up period, provided:

1.    You continue to study on their course

2.    You apply for the appropriate level of permission to be away from campus

3.   You remain in regular contact with us to maintain your monitoring requirements

We recommend you remain in the UK during your writing up period in order to continue to use the University facilities and attend meetings with your supervisor.  If you feel able to work remotely, and your supervisor agrees this would be feasible, then we can offer you some options provided that you comply with the responsibilities.

You must still apply for an authorised absence if you wish to leave the UK for a short period of time. If your School approves your absence, you will be given a Letter of Authorised Absence which you must carry in your hand luggage when you return to the UK.

PLEASE NOTE: The UK Border Agency may not allow you to re-enter the UK if you do not have written permission from Aston University to be absent from your studies during term time or during the dissertation period.

Be careful about returning to the UK in late September, just before your course officially ends. Immigration staff can ask about the reason for your return. You must be returning for the purpose for which you have a visa. For example, if you have a student visa you must be returning to your studies which is not that easy to prove at the end of September. Therefore it is not a sensible time to take a vacation outside the UK.

What about holiday periods?

You do not need a letter from us to go home during University holidays. 

Further information

The Hub Advice Zone, Upper Foyer Main Building, issu@aston.ac.uk, 0121 204 4567


Last updated 21/01/2015 MR