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Researchers - Student Route Visa Requirements

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  • Engagement monitoring

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

Research students are required to be in touch with their supervisory team and update them on their progress at least once a month via email, call or in-person meeting if circumstances allow. Engagement with your studies is confirmed through monthly internal communication between the Student Visa Compliance Team and your supervisory team.  

If you are experiencing any difficulties that are preventing you from keeping in touch with your supervisory team or if there has been a change in your circumstances, please submit an online query to let us know and we will advise you further.

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 - Research students in the 'writing-up' phase of their programme (i.e. students how have started their studies before September 2022) are also required to keep in touch with their supervisory team monthly as a visa requirement, even if such regular communication is not academically necessary.

Post-viva - Research students' engagement will be monitored for visa purposes until they have been awarded. Please note that in cases where there are slight delays in the awarding process, you might receive communications regarding your engagement. We aim to resolve these cases internally as soon as possible.

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 and therefore impacting on your visa sponsorship status. All such circumstances should be discussed with your Director of Studies 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. Please notify Research Degrees Administration Team as soon as your Director of Studies has agreed, copying them in, and before the commencement of your leave.

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 accurately and are accessible. There is a strict deadline to report such instances to the Home Office, which is within 10 working days of the change of circumstance. 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 or the study location in the case of studying abroad for UKVI reporting purposes.
  • The supervisory team should continue to record student’s academic engagement and progress. This may take place by  email, telephone or video conferencing.
  • Research Degrees Administration Team should provide Student Visa Compliance Team, as and when required, with the dates and the location 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 and RDAT.

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

  • Follow-up on non-engagement

  1. Informal Stage – Students who have failed to keep in touch with their supervisory team for up to a month will be emailed by the Research Degrees Administration Team and required to give an update on their status and their circumstances.  This communication is an informal attempt to remind research students to engage with their studies and to explore whether there are any circumstances prohibiting you from doing so
  2. Formal Stage 1 – Students who have failed to keep in touch for more than a month and subsequently have engaged with the informal stage of communication described previously, will be emailed by the Research Degrees Administration Team. At the same time, enquiries with the relevant supervisory teams will be made to establish the level of engagement.  Students will be given 14 days to respond.
  3. Formal Stage 2 – Students who have failed to respond to communications 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 reporting students to the UKVI for non-attendance and Student Route visa sponsorship may be withdrawn. Students at this stage will be at risk of being withdrawn from the university.
  • Graduate route

Working after your studies

Graduate Route visa (also known as Post Study work) for International students, will allow students to remain in the UK and work for 3 years after they complete their postgraduate research at Middlesex University. You can find out more in the Home Office webpage or watch the International Student Advice Team presentation.

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