Information for Staff

Frequently Asked Questions

Who can give students immigration advice?

International Student Support Advisors are the only members of staff at Queen’s University Belfast authorised to provide immigration advice relating to UK study visas.

Students may approach you with questions about their study visa and whilst the questions may appear straightforward, they rarely are and may have implications. We, therefore, urge all staff to refer students with immigration queries to the International Student Support Team.

International Student Support also runs a drop-in service for students at our offices during the following times:

Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday between 2-3:30pm

Wednesday 1 – 2:30pm


I am a member of staff who needs a visa, can you advise me?

The International Student Support Advisors are only authorised to offer advice in regards to UK study visas; as such they are unable to advise staff on visa requirements unless they would like advice as to whether they can study at the University on their current visa.

If you require visa advice for employment at Queen’s University Belfast we recommend that you speak with our Personnel Department.



Issuing a CAS to an international student

A Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (or CAS) is needed in order to apply for a Tier 4 student visa. The CAS is a secure electronic document which tells the Home Office information about the student, their course, their fees and the qualifications required to get onto your course. International Admissions will assign the CAS to new students after they have accepted an unconditional offer for their course. CAS statements are issued to continuing students by International Student Support.

If a current student requests to extend their visa International Student Support will the contact the School/Supervisor for confirmation that their presence in the UK is necessary in order to complete their studies. For Postgraduate students we request this confirmation from the supervisor as they are familiar with the work the student is undertaking and, therefore, in the best position to approve the request. If the request is approved the student will be given a new CAS statement and assistance with applying for the new visa. 



What should I do if an international student expresses a desire to suspend or withdraw their studies?

It is important that the student is referred to International Student Support to discuss the implications for their UK study visa. An Advisor will meet with the student to explain in detail what will happen and confirm they understand the process, the student will be informed that they must complete the appropriate form(s) available from their Advisor of Studies/School Office.

Once notification is received that the student has withdrawn from their studies, International Student Support is required to make a report to UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) informing them of the withdrawal. 

The student will receive an email from an Advisor confirming what will happen next, including information about updating their contact details to receive the letter from the UKVI stating the date of curtailment.

If the student intends on returning to resume their studies at Queen’s University they will be contacted by International Student Support approximately 3 months before the date they intend to return and provided with guidance on requesting a CAS and applying for a new Tier 4 visa. International Student Support will liaise with the School to confirm that the student is permitted to return to their studies.

Please note, this process is different from Authorised Absences. 



What should I do if a student completes early?

Please notify International Student Support immediately. Confirmation of early completion will be sought from Student Registry Services at which point a report will be made to the UKVI. The student will be contacted and provided with full information about how this affects their visa and status in the UK.



Can you provide visa advice for other countries?

International Student Support Advisors are only able to offer advice on UK study visa requirements and application procedures. They are unable to offer advice and assistance on the visa application and procedures of other countries.

We do, however, provide students with the following information:


What happens when I refer a student or situation to you?

An Advisor will contact the student directly requesting a face-to-face appointment to discuss the issues which may have arisen. Any advice or information offered to the student will be noted on a Record of Contact form and a copy given to the student for future reference.

With the student’s permission we will keep you informed of any developments.


Which Advisor should I contact about a student issue?

The responsibilities of the International Student Support Advisors is faculty based, details can be found below:



Niamh Quigley - Maternity cover for Elaine Bell until Nov 2016

Faculty of Medicine, Health and Life Sciences and INTO

Helen McBrinn Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Sinead Murtagh Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences

Advisors should be contacted as follows: