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PGR Student Route Visa Requirements

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For students studying on a Student Route visa, and in addition to monitoring student engagement, the University is legally obliged to monitor your attendance. The requirements of this are detailed below. You can find more information on this requirement and background information on Student Route Visas here.


Students are required to sign in once a fortnight by presenting their MDX student card to one of the UniHelp team at the main reception area in the Quadrangle, or at the UniHelp desk in the Sheppard Library.  Students can register attendance at the reception Monday to Friday 8am-7pm; or at the Sheppard Library Monday – Friday 8am-7pm. Please note that the desk closes at 6pm during the following times (these times also apply to opening times at UniHelp in the Sheppard Library)

  • Bank Holidays
  • First day after the Christmas holiday
  • During June, July & August

When the main reception is closed for an event students should register attendance in the Sheppard Library, by taking a ticket and recording attendance at the help desks.

Should students be experiencing any difficulties that are preventing them from coming in to register or engage with their studies please contact the Research Degrees Administration team by emailing researchdegrees@mdx.ac.uk

Students should also consider talking to our Visa Support and International Advice specialist team. Information can be found on UniHub.

Fees - please note that students studying on a Student Route visa may be in breach of UKVI conditions if fees are not paid by the University deadline. Non-payment of fees could result in deregistration from your programme of study and in these instances the University is obliged to inform the Home Office.

Writing-Up - Student Route Research Degree students in the 'writing-up' phase of their programme are required to continue signing in fortnightly.

Post -viva - Student Route Research Degree students need to continue to sign in fortnightly until they have been awarded their degree.

Changing Circumstances - You may at times experience circumstances that impact engagement with your studies or that result in suspension, interruption or withdrawal from your programme; therefore impacting on your visa sponsorship status. All such circumstances should be discussed with your Director of Study and the Research Degrees Administration Team researchdegrees@mdx.ac.uk.

Annual Leave: Any requests for periods of authorised absence must be discussed with and approved by your Director of Study, and a leave request form must be submitted here.

Field Work UK/Overseas or Change in Study Location: It is essential for the university to have a record of those students sponsored under Student Route who are conducting fieldwork (in the UK or overseas) or who change their study location. Evidence will be required in the event of a Home Office audit so it is essential that records are kept and are accessible. There is a strict deadline to report such instances to the Home Office, which is within 10 working days. Unfortunately, the delay in reporting will mean that the University is not compliant, which can increase the risk to the University’s Student Route Sponsor Licence.

  • Research Degrees Administration Team must have information of the dates (start and end) and location of fieldwork for UKVI reporting purposes.
  • The department/school should continue to record student’s academic engagement and progress. This may take place by: e.g. telephone, video conferencing, Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), skype, email.
  • Research Degrees Administration Team should provide Student Visa Compliance Team, as and when required, with an update on academic engagement and progress

For any reason that it is not possible to maintain contact at an appropriate level during a period of fieldwork or change in study location, the Research Degrees Administration Team will notify the Student Visa Compliance Team of a withdrawal of sponsorship under the Student Route General Student Visa route for the duration, and a new CAS will be issued when the student is ready to return to the UK.

Please complete the form here to have your fieldwork/change in study location request reviewed by the Visa Compliance Team.

For further information about this, please contact researchdegrees@mdx.ac.uk or intadvice@mdx.ac.uk.

Follow up and consequences of not-registering fortnightly

  1. Informal Stage - Students who have failed to register for a two week period will be emailed by the Research Degrees Administration team and reminded to sign in.  This communication is an informal attempt to remind students to sign in and to explore whether there are any circumstances prohibiting you from registering
  2. Formal Stage 1 - Students who have failed to register for a four week period will be emailed by the Research Degrees Administration team and at the same time enquiries with the relevant supervisory teams will be made to establish the level of engagement with your studies.  Students will be given 14 days to respond.
  3. Formal Stage 2 – Students who have failed to respond to communications, have not signed in and have not engaged with their supervisory teams, will be sent a final warning letter giving 14 days to respond.  Failure to respond may result in the Visa Compliance team being informed who could report students to the UKVI for non-attendance and Student Route visa sponsorship may be withdrawn.  Students will be at risk of being withdrawn from the university.

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