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January 27

Curtailment of a Student Visa

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OTB Legal

What is Curtailment?

The Home Office has power to cancel your visa. This is called curtailment of leave to remain.

Curtailment means that the expiry date of your Student Visa is cut short and brought forward by the Home Office, who will give a new visa end date (unless you have less time left on your visa than the length of the curtailment).

Usually, this is done when the Home Office considers that you have breached a condition of your leave, one of the general grounds for refusal  apply, or there has been a change in your circumstances meaning you are no longer eligible for the visa you hold.

Curtailment in relation to Student Visas:

In relation to the Student Route, curtailment is most commonly as a result of the University making an official report to the Home Office against your Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) number. For example, you have failed to commence studies with your sponsor, or have been excluded from the course.  If you are no longer sponsored by the University, they will report this withdrawal on their Sponsor Management System, which will trigger curtailment.

The Home Office may also use its own discretion to curtail a Student Visa where it considers that:

  • you made 'false representations' or did not 'disclose material facts' in order to obtain leave to enter/remain in the UK.
  • you have not complied with the conditions of your leave (e.g. you have worked more than the number of hours permitted).
  • you no longer meet the requirements of the Immigration Rules under which you were granted leave.
  • you have not maintained and accommodated yourself and any dependants without claiming public funds.
  • it is not desirable to let you remain in the UK because of your character, conduct or associations (usually connected with a criminal offence or a connection with terrorist groups)
  • you are a danger to national security.
You will be given a notice in writing of any curtailment decision via email but you may also receive a letter if they hold information about your UK address.  It is important that you have kept the Home Office and your university up to date on any change of address.  Your leave will generally be curtailed to 60 days from when the decision was deemed to be served on you and the expiry date of your leave will be stated on the curtailment letter.

What to do if I receive notice of Curtailment?

Once curtailment action has been taken, it is not usually possible to reverse the curtailment as there is no right of appeal or administrative review against. However, if you believe that the curtailment was made in error, you can submit an error correction request to the Home Office ask for a reconsideration.

The error correct request must include:

  • Your name, date of birth, and nationality; and
  • Your Home Office reference number; and
  • An explanation of why the decision was incorrect.

This must be sent within 14 calendar days. Even if you do not have grounds to remain in the UK, you may be able to ask for more time if there are exceptional or compassionate circumstances, such as a serious medical condition.

An error correction request does not extend your permission. While a review of the cancellation decision is being undertaken and the review is of a cancellation where the 60-day period of permission has ended, or where cancellation was immediate, you will hold no permission, unless, or until the cancellation decision is changed. You will therefore be classed as an overstayer.

If there is another basis on which you can remain in the UK, you should make an application for further leave to remain in the country on that basis before your leave ends. If your leave is curtailed with immediate effect, it is best to leave the country and make an Entry Clearance application from abroad to avoid overstaying.

I want to challenge my curtailment decision, what next?

Unfortunately, we cannot assist you to appeal the university decision.

If you believe that your university has acted unlawfully in removing you from your course and you want help challenging their decision then you should seek help from a lawyer who specialised in education law. One such lawyer is Salima Mawji at IBB Law. You could also speak to your student union representative or find another solicitor on the Law Society find a solicitor’ website. The Home Office are unlikely to allow you to remain in the UK while you challenge the university decision. They would typically expect you to return home and apply to re-enter the UK with a new CAS if your appeal is successful.”

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