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Durham University


Completing your programme earlier than expected

If you have been studying on a PhD programme and you have more than 4 months remaining on your current Tier 4 visa when you complete your programme (when your pass list is issued), your visa will be curtailed and any time remaining on it will be reduced to 4 months.

Curtailment of your Tier 4 (General) visa

From the date you successfully complete your programme* you will no longer be a registered student and the University will notify UK Visas & Immigration (UKVI) of this, as required.

Your visa will then be curtailed and any time you have remaining on it will be reduced to 4 months.

UKVI will contact you to confirm the exact date by which you should leave the UK, although it may take some time for them to do this.

Please note: Any dependants with you in the UK will also have their visa curtailed accordingly.

Leaving the UK

If you leave the UK at any time during those 4 months your BRP or visa will no longer be valid for returning to the UK.

You must leave the UK within 4 months (or before the date specified by UKVI if they contact you). If you do not, you will be considered an 'overstayer' and this may have implications for any UK visa application you might make in the future.

You should cut your BRP in half and send it to UKVI at the following address before you leave the UK:

Returns Unit
PO Box 163
BS20 1AB

Working in the UK following successful completion of your programme

The conditions of your current visa will allow you to work in the UK on the reminder of your Tier 4 visa (up to 4 months) or until you leave the UK, whichever is earlier.

Completing your study with a lower qualification

If you have completed your study earlier than expected and have been given a qualification which is lower than was originally expected, your visa will be curtailed to 60 days and you should make arrangements to leave the UK during that period.

Your visa will not allow you to work in the UK during this period.

Further advice

Contact the Student Immigration Service to discuss your situation if you are not sure how completing your programme early will affect you.

The University of Durham makes every effort to ensure that the information published on this page is accurate. However, the University cannot guarantee the information may not be altered owing to circumstances beyond the University’s reasonable control. Such circumstances include (but are not limited to) change in Government policy, or change of law. Any changes will be incorporated into the University’s website as early as possible.