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International Students


If you wish to change your student status you must follow University procedures to seek approval for the change. The University will consider your application and inform you of the outcome. In requesting any change, you need to consider how this might affect your immigration status and Tier 4 sponsorship.

Taking a break in study

If you take a break from your studies, the University is required to report this change to the Home Office, other than in exceptional circumstances. The Home Office will curtail your leave to 60 days, requiring you to leave within that 60 day period or seek alternative permission to remain in the UK.

The University would need to sponsor you for a new Tier 4 visa when you are ready to resume studying full-time. For this, you need a new CAS to make a fresh Tier 4 visa application; please contact the International Student Team for information on how to obtain a CAS to return to study. If your course requires ATAS clearance, you will also need to make a new ATAS application before you can apply for your visa.

Deferred start date

If you wish to start your course later than the course start date in your CAS you must contact your College and Supervisor to discuss first any possibility of commencing later than these dates. Your CAS may include a latest course start date. Due to the intensity of study at Cambridge, it is important that you arrive on time for your course.

  • undergraduates cannot start later than the dates given in the CAS. Your College will advise whether you can defer entry;
  • students of Master level courses cannot start later than the dates given in the CAS. You would normally be required to reapply for entry in the following academic year if deferral is necessary. The Graduate Admissions Office will advise on requirements;
  • PhD students may be able to defer entry, at the discretion of College and Department or Faculty, but only within the same academic year; Graduate Admissions can advise.

You must contact your College if you are delayed; are considering deferring entry; or will not be arriving at all. Your College will inform the International Student Team who must report this change to the Home Office. The International Student Team will inform you of the consequences, which may include withdrawal of your CAS, or sponsorship if you have already obtained your visa.

Intermission (graduates)

Graduate students can apply to intermit their studies. The Student Registry explains intermission and the procedure you are required to follow. In exceptional circumstances, the University may continue to sponsor you for your Tier 4 visa where you are required to remain in the UK and where we can continue to fulfil our responsibilities. This exception is usually time limited.

Removal from the Register of Graduate Students

If a graduate student is removed from the Register, the University must cease visa Tier 4 sponsorship. The International Student Team will inform you when this change is reported to the Home Office. The Home Office would normally allow you 60 days to remain in the UK; allowing you time to plan your travel and tidy up your affairs or to seek alternative permission to remain in the UK.

Disregarding terms (undergraduates)

Undergraduate students wising to apply for terms to be disregarded should speak with their Director of Studies.  If your application to have terms disregarded approved, this will normally affect your visa.  This is because, if you leave Cambridge to return to repeat all or part of the academic year then we cannot continue sponsoring you for a visa.

Leave to Work Away

Graduate students can apply fro 'Leave to Work Away'. The Student Registry explains this and the procedure you are required to follow. Since you remain a registered student and are continuing with your studies, normally the University will continue to sponsor you for your visa. However, we must continue to fulfil our Tier 4 responsibilities during this time, and we may limit sponsorship if we feel we cannot continue to meet those responsibilities and if the period extends beyond a reasonable amount.