UK Visa Requirements

UK Student Visa and immigration requirements

All international students who want to study in the UK are required to get a student visa (Tier 4). This type of visa is only available to full-time university students pursuing a degree in the UK, and not short-term or language courses.

Students of following nationals do not need a visa for study in UK:

  • The European Union
  • Norway
  • Switzerland
  • Iceland

If you are from any other country, you are likely to need a visa.

Anyone who is planning to study in UK is required to have a visa in order to stay in the country for an extended period of time. Immigration requirements for UK  are determined by your nationality and the country that you have citizenship in.

 

Arriving in the UK

When you arrive at passport control here in the UK, you should expect Border Force officers to ask you simple questions about your studies or your stay in the UK

You can apply for a Tier 4 (General) student visa to study in the UK if you’re 16 or over and you:

  • have been offered a place on a course
  • can speak, read, write and understand English
  • have enough money to support yourself and pay for your course – the amount will vary depending on your circumstances
  • are from a country that’s not in the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland
  • meet the other eligibility requirements

Student visa requires you to carry a lot more documents than you would for a tourist visa, by comparison. You need the mandatory documents along with supporting documents of financial and academic records. Make sure you refer the documentation below before going to the consulate for the study visa interview

 

 

 

UK Visa Overview

Visa Overview
Type Of Visas
What you can and cannot do

Tier 4 (General) student visa

This is the standard UK student visa that is required for courses lasting for longer than 6 months. You can apply for the visa from inside or outside the UK provided you have been offered a place on a course, can understand English to a level appropriate for the course and are able to support yourself financially for the duration of the course.

The UK student visa length depends on duration of your course and you can apply to extend it if you wish to stay in the UK to work or pursue further studies.

Tier 4 (Child) student visa

This is a UK student visa for children aged 4-17 who want to study at an independent school in the UK. The application needs to be made from outside the UK and is conditional on a placement in a school, consent of parent or guardian and proof that living and course costs can be covered.

The visa is valid for the length of the course, up to a maximum of 6 years, and can be extended.

Short-term study visa

This is a UK student visa for any short study course lasting 6 months or less (or up to 11 months for English language courses if you are over 18). It is also valid for short training courses and undertaking research as part of a degree if you are studying overseas. The length of this UK student visa cannot exceed the length of your course and cannot be extended and is conditional on being offered a place on a course at a licensed place of study and proof that you can support yourself for the duration of the course without working.

If you are an EU/EFTA national, you can currently come to the UK and study without a UK student visa. A Ulearn academic counsellor can help you finalise a good university and guide you will all the formalities required for the admission and any queries you may have. Contact Ulearn to know more .

All non-EU/EFTA nationals will need a UK student visa to study a course that lasts for longer than 6 months. Nationals from countries that are able to enter the UK for a 6 month period without a UK visa are able to study a short course lasting less than 6 months without needing a visa. You can check your UK student visa requirements here. See our guide to UK visas and residence permits for more information on who needs a visa to enter the UK.

To obtain a UK student visa, you will first need to be accepted onto a course. You can find a list of UK universities, colleges and courses on the UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service) website .

You will also need to apply for a Biometric residence permit if you are staying in the UK for longer than 6 months.You can apply up to three months in advance of your course start date. It normally takes up to 15 days, but could be longer at peak times, so make sure you apply early enough.

You can

  • study
  • work as a student union sabbatical officer
  • apply from inside or outside the UK
  • apply to extend your stay
  • work in most jobs – depending on what level your course is and what kind of sponsor you have

You cannot

  • get public funds
  • work in certain jobs, for example professional sportsperson or sports coach
  • study at an academy or a local authority-funded school (also known as a maintained school)

You may be able to bring in family members (dependents).

Before Arriving in UK

Before Arriving
Preparing For Visa
Financial Requirements
Apply Visa - Outside of UK
Apply Visa - Inside of UK
Visa Interview
Dependent Visa
Short Term Visa

Click on the different tabs to see things you should know before you arrive in UK .

Preparing for a visa application from outside of the UK

If you are an existing student in UK and need a  Tier 4 visa extension

The application process

  • You should submit your visa application up to three months before your course begins
  • You will need to go to the local Visa Application Centre to submit your documents.
  • At the Visa Application Centre you will have your photograph and fingerprints taken and a Visa processing officer will ask you about your course details and other similar questions.
  • During the application process, you will pay the application fee.
  • You will also need to pay the Immigration Health surcharge for the NHS healthcare whilst you are in the UK.

Some important links:

1. Fee Details 

2. Tier 4 Visa Guidance

3. Application Form Online

Take a tuberculosis test

If you’re coming to the UK for more than 6 months and are resident in one of the ccountries which require a TB test, you may need to take a tuberculosis (TB) test. Contact Ulearn and they will help you in finding the nearest TB center near you and if you really need a TB test. It is necessary to pass this test.

 

When you apply for a Tier 4 visa, you’ll need to prove to UKVI that you have enough money for your tuition fees and living expenses.

Financial requirements for your Tier 4 visa application

As part of your Tier 4 visa application, you must show that you have enough money to meet the financial requirements. The amount of money you need to have is calculated from your tuition fees and living expenses (sometimes called ‘maintenance’).

You must show that you have had the required money for at least 28 consecutive days before you apply for your visa.

For guidance on the documents you will need to provide with your Tier 4 application as evidence of your finances, see our information on demonstrating your finances.

Tuition fees

You must show that you have enough money to pay for any outstanding tuition fees for the whole academic year ahead.

Money that has already been paid to the university can be deducted from the balance. Your CAS will state your tuition fees for the current academic year, and how must you have paid towards this.

If you are unsure of how much your programme costs, please check the cost of your fees.

Living expenses (maintenance)

In addition to the tuition fees, you need to show that you have enough money for your living expenses. The exact amount of money you need depends on the campus where you will study.

  • If you are studying at our campuses in Greenwich or Avery Hill, you must show that you have at least £1265per month
  • Students at our Medway campus must have at least £1015 per month

Please note that it does not matter where you live – this requirement is based on your campus.

Calculating your living expenses

The amount of money you need to have for your living expenses depends on the length of your programme. It is calculated in months.

  • Your CAS will show a start date and and end date. Use this to calculate the length of your programme in months
  • Multiply the number of months by either £1265 or £1015 (depending on your campus)
  • The maximum amount that you will need to show for your living expenses is capped at 9 months (which is £11385 or £9135 depending on your campus)

Examples

New Students
  • Student at Greenwich or Avery Hill campus making a visa application for a one-year MA programme: 9 x £1265 = £11385
  • Student at Medway campus making a visa application for a three-year BEng programme: 9 x £1015 = £9135
Continuing Students
  • Student at Greenwich campus making a visa extension application for an additional 6 months of study: 6 x £1265 = £7590
  • Student at Medway campus student making a visa extension application for an additional 3 months of study: £3045

Applications with dependants

If you are applying with dependants (such as a spouse, partner, or children), you will need to show additional money for each dependant. Please see our guidance on applying with dependants.

Bank statements and other financial evidence

For guidance on the documents you will need to provide with your Tier 4 application, see our information on demonstrating your finances.

Demonstrate your finances

ou’ll need to submit your financial evidence in the right format to make sure your visa application is successful.

Submitting financial documents to UKVI

When submitting your Tier 4 visa application, you will be asked to submit evidence that you meet the financial requirements. To ensure that you have the correct funds and documents in place, the university will ask to see this evidence before issuing you with a CAS.

For guidance on calculating how much money you need to show, see our information on the financial requirements for your Tier 4 visa application.

We have listed below the different types of document you can use to as evidence of funds for your Tier 4 visa application. For comprehensive information, we recommend that you also read the UKVI Tier 4 Policy Guidance.

Bank Statements

If you provide a bank statement with your Tier 4 application, the bank account must belong to you, or your parent(s)/legal guardian(s). If you use a joint account in multiple names, you or your parent(s)/legal guardian(s) must be named on the account.

The funds in your bank account must be available for 28 consecutive days and must not fall below the required amount during these 28 days. The statement cannot be older than 31 days when you submit your visa application.

Your bank statement must show:

  • Your name or the name(s) of your parent(s)/legal guardian(s)
  • The account number
  • The financial institution’s name and logo
  • The amount of money available
  • The date
  • The currency

If you use an online statement, or a statement that is not printed on the bank’s official headed paper, you will need to have a supporting letter from the bank. Alternatively, you can ask your bank to stamp each page with their official stamp.

Using your parent(s)/legal guardian(s)’ bank statement

If you use a bank statement that belongs to your parent(s)/legal guardian(s), you must prove that you are related to them with one of the following documents:

  • Your birth certificate
  • Your certificate of adoption
  • A court document naming your legal guardian(s).

You must also provide a letter from your parent(s)/legal guardian(s) that confirms you have permission to use their money for your studies. This letter must confirm:

  • the relationship between you and your parent(s) or legal guardian(s)
  • that they have given consent for you to use their money to study in the UK

Please make sure that the names on the above documents match those on the bank statement.

Overseas bank statements

You can use an overseas bank account, but you will need to use the OANDA website to convert the balance into pounds (GBP). This is the same tool that UKVI use when checking your visa application.

There is an ‘approved list’ of banks in some countries. This applies if you have an account in Bangladesh, Cameroon, Ghana, India, Iran, Pakistan, the Philippines and Sri Lanka. You can find the approved list in Appendix P of the Immigration Rules.

Bank Letters

Instead of a bank statement, your bank can produce a letter to confirm you have the required amount of funds available. This letter must confirm that the funds have been held for a consecutive 28-day period and the letter must not be dated more than 31 days before you make your Tier 4 visa application. The bank letter must show:

  • Your name or the name(s) of your parent(s)/legal guardian(s)
  • The account number
  • The date of the letter
  • The financial institution’s name and logo
  • The balance of funds in your account
  • The currency

Loan Letters

If you have an educational loan to cover the cost of your studies, you can use this to meet the financial evidence requirements.

To be acceptable as evidence of funds, the loan must be in your name and provided by your government (state, regional, or national), or be through a government-sponsored student loan company or educational loans scheme.

You cannot use any other form of loan for your Tier 4 visa application.

To use your loan in a visa application, you must provide a letter from the loan provider which includes:

  • Your name
  • The date of the letter
  • The name and logo of the institution providing the loan
  • Confirmation that the money is available to you as a loan
  • Confirmation that the loan is provided by a government, or through a government-sponsored student loan company educational loans scheme

Official Financial Sponsorship

If you have an official financial sponsor who is paying some or all of your tuition fees, and/or providing you with money to meet your living costs during your studies, you can use this as evidence of funds.

You will need to provide a letter from your financial sponsor which shows:

  • Your name
  • The name and contact details of your official financial sponsor
  • The date of the letter
  • The length of your financial sponsorship
  • The amount of money the sponsor is giving you or a statement confirming that they will cover all of your fees and living costs

An official financial sponsor must be one of the following:

  • a government*
  • the British Council or an international organisation
  • an international company
  • a university or a UK independent school

*If you receive full sponsorship from your government and are making a visa extension from within the UK, the letter must state that you have their permission to extend your visa in the UK.

If anyone else is providing you with money for your studies, they cannot be considered an official financial sponsor and the money will need to be in your own bank account.

Please note that if the money from your sponsor only covers part of your tuition fees or living costs, you need to ensure you have the remaining money in an eligible bank account.

Applying with dependants

If you are considering bringing your family members to join you in the UK whilst you study, you should first read about the visa application they will need to make.

Apply for your Tier 4 Visa outside the UK

Making a Tier 4 visa application from outside of the UK can be complicated. We’ve put together all of the information you’ll need to make the process as easy as possible for you.

You should have the following documents before applying:

  • A completed student visa application form
  • A letter of acceptance on the course – Your approved education provider will give you an acceptance letter (CAS) and a visa letter which are official and unconditional offers of a place on a course of study.
  • The visa letter must be issued no more than six months before you apply. The applications where the visa letters are older than six months will be refused.
  • Having a visa letter does not guarantee the application will be successful. The applicant must meet all the requirements of the category and any other requirements of the immigration rules.
  • Proof of funds – The money you need to show covers your course fees for your first year of study and living costs for up to a maximum of nine months. The amount you will need depends on whether you are applying as a child or adult and also whether you will be studying in or out of London. You must show that you have held the money for at least 28 days. The end of that 28 day period must not be more than one month before the date of your application.

 

Getting your visa

Once your visa application is approved, you will be given a short visa in your passport. This is called a vignette and will allow you to enter the UK. It is usually valid for up to 30 days so you must make sure you enter the UK during this time.

After you have arrived, you will  be able to collect your Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) which is your actual visa and should be valid for the duration of your programme.

On your visa application, you will need to identify where you would like to collect your BRP. In most cases, it is easiest to select the university, so it is ready when you arrive for registration. If you prefer, you can also choose to collect it from a local Post Office. Please refer to our guidance on BRP collection for more information.

Your BRP will include:

  • your name, date and place of birth
  • the data of your fingerprints and a photo of your face
  • your immigration status and any conditions of your stay
  • whether you can access public funds, for example benefits and health services

Dependants

If you wish to apply for a visa for your dependant(s) to come to the UK with you, please see our information about applying with dependants.

 

Apply for your Tier 4 Visa in the UK

Making your Tier 4 visa application inside the UK requires planning and preparation. We’ve put together guidance and information to help make your Tier 4 visa application go smoothly.

Applying for your Tier 4 visa application in the UK

The information on this page guides you on the process of submitting your Tier 4 visa application from within the UK. If you are submitting your Tier 4 application from outside of the UK, the application form and process is different – see our guidance on applying from outside of the UK instead.

The Tier 4 application form

The Tier 4 application form for applications made inside the UK is completed online.

To make the visa application, you need to create an account. Once you have done this, you can access your application at any time and complete it at your convenience.

When you have filled in the online application form there are some fees you will need to pay in order to complete your online visa application:

  • Immigration health surcharge
  • Visa application fee

Immigration Healthcare surcharge

As part of your online Tier 4 visa application, you are required to pay a fee for the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS). See the UKVI information about the healthcare surcharge for more detail.

Application fee and method of application

After you have filled in the visa application form, you must choose one of the services below to submit your application. 

ServiceStandardPriorityPremium
Fee£475£952£1058
MethodBook an appointment at an approved visa application centre via the Sopra Steria systemBook an appointment at an approved visa application centre via the Sopra Steria systemBook an appointment at an approved visa application centre via the Sopra Steria system
Time scaleMay take up to eight weeks for UKVI to make a decision from the date of your appointmentYou will usually receive a decision within ten working daysYou will usually get a decision on the day of your appointment

You should note that all of the services require you to attend an appointment to submit your documents. The application form will explain how to book this appointment and attend it.

Biometric enrolment

After submitting the Tier 4 visa application, all applicants are required to provide their biometric information (fingerprints). This is done at the same time as your appointment.

Dependants

If you are applying with dependants (your spouse, civil partner, partner or children) then you need to confirm this in the application form. When you confirm that you have dependant/s, an additional section of the form will be created for you to complete with their details.

Find out more in our information about applying with dependants.

Advice on your visa extension application

If you would like guidance and advice about submitting your Tier 4 visa extension application, the International Student Advice Service will be happy to assist you. We strongly recommend getting advice before making your application, to maximise your chances of success and reduce the likelihood of any problems.

 

Documents Required

When making your Tier 4 visa application, you will need to submit some specific documents to prove that you meet the criteria

Submitting documents with your Tier 4 visa application

The documents you need to provide with your visa application depend on your circumstances. Some documents are mandatory and others need to be provided depending on your circumstances and what your CAS says. The following list should help you to work out what documents you will need to provide. It’s important to provide all of the documents needed, as not doing so can cause a visa refusal.

Tier 4 document list

A current passport or other valid travel documentation.

Qualifications stated on your CAS. All qualifications listed in your CAS.  You should note that if no qualifications are listed in your CAS, you are not required to provide any. 

English language evidence. UKVI ask for proof of your knowledge of the English language. Universities can choose how they assess a student’s knowledge of English. Your CAS will confirm how your English language ability has been assessed by the university. If it has been assessed by you providing a certificate or qualification, then this will be listed in your CAS and you must provide the certificate listed. If no English language qualifications are listed in your CAS, then you will not need to provide any with your application.

Translations. If any document is not in English, the original must be accompanied by a full translation. The translation must contain:

  • Validation from the translator that it is an exact translation of the original document
  • Signature of the translator or an authorised official of the translation company
  • Translation company’s contact details
  • The date of the translation

Proof of finances. You need to provide evidence that you have a specific amount of money available to you for tuition fees and living costs in the UK. See our information on the financial requirements for guidance on how to check what this amount is. 

The types of document you can provide to prove your finances are:

  • Personal bank statements or building society statements 
  • Bank letters
  • Official loan letters
  • Official financial sponsorship letters

See our information and guidance on finance documents on the demonstrating your finances page.  Please note that it is important to provide finance documents which meet the requirements, to avoid a visa refusal.

Letter of consent from government sponsor. If you have received any official financial sponsorship from a government in the past year, you must provide a letter from this sponsor which confirms the sponsor’s consent for you to make the Tier 4 application. 

Proof of your relationship with your parent or guardian. If the funds you show are held under a parent’s name, you must prove your relationship to your parent(s). Birth certificates or adoption certificates are accepted.  

Letter from parent/ guardian. If the funds are held under a parent’s name, you also need a letter from your parent(s) or legal guardian(s) providing consent for you to use the money.  The letter does not need to follow a strict format, but it must be signed and dated.

Proof of parental or other legal guardian consent if you’re under 18.  If you are under the age of 18 when you start your studies, you will need to provide a letter from your parent(s) or legal guardian(s) and also your birth certificate or adoption certificate.  Contact us for more information and advice if needed.

Your tuberculosis test results if you’re from a country where you have to take the test.  Note that if you have been living in a country for the past six months where the TB test is not required, then you will not need to provide this (If you have been living in the UK for six or more months, then you will not need to take a TB test.)  See the UKVI information on TB tests to check if this applies to you.

ATAS Certificate (Academic Technology Approval Scheme certificate). This is a certificate required by some postgraduate students. (It does not apply to students on undergraduate programmes of study.)  You should note that it takes approximately one month for an ATAS certificate to be issued. Your CAS will confirm if you need an ATAS certificate. See our ATAS information for more guidance.

Confirmation of Acceptance of Studies (CAS)

This is the electronic document that you will receive from the university via email, which is essential to making your Tier 4 application. You should note that as the CAS is electronic, you only need to provide the CAS reference number in your visa application form and there is no requirement to provide a paper copy.

Information about getting your CAS for a new programme of study

Information about getting your CAS for extending your visa (continuing on the same programme of study with an extension.)

Low risk countries / differentiation arrangements

If you are a ‘low risk’ applicant, you do not need to provide qualifications or finance evidence with your visa application. However, you must have these documents available, because UKVI reserves the right to ask a low risk national to send them the documentary evidence during the processing of the visa application. If you are asked to provide the documents and cannot do so within a specified time, it is likely that your visa application will be refused.

Whether you are a ‘low risk national’ or not depends on your nationality.  You can find a list of low risk nationals in appendix H of the immigration rules.

Current Students

If you are an existing student, registered on a degree programme in the UK, you can use a Short-Term Study visa to return to the UK in order to:

  • retake an exam
  • repeat a course or module
  • undertake a viva

If you need to stay in the UK longer than six months, you will need to apply for a Tier 4 visa.

 

As part of your visa application, you may be interviewed by UKVI. You’ll need to prepare for this interview to make sure your visa application has the best chance of success.

 

Preparing for your visa interview

As part of your Tier 4 visa application, you may be asked to attend an interview with a UKVI caseworker. Interviews are conducted via video link to the UK and usually take place at your local Visa Application Centre.

UKVI will use your interview to check that you are a genuine student. The interview is nothing to be concerned about – all you have to do is be confident, honest, and tell the truth. However, it helps to be as prepared as possible.

During your interview, you will be asked a series of questions. Your answers should be as reflective as possible, so make sure you have thought about what you want to say in advance.

You should expect to be asked about:

  • The university
  • Your programme
  • Why you want to come to University of Greenwich
  • Why you want to come to the UK
  • How you made your decision, and whether you applied to any other university
  • Where you plan to live
  • How you will finance your studies

The interview will be conducted in English and you are expected to be able to communicate without the need for a translator.

We have produced a useful interview guide to help you prepare for your interview. Please take time to read this in advance.

Practice UKVI Interview

To help you prepare for your interview, we may ask you to undertake a practice interviews with one of our team before we issue you with a CAS.

This practice interview is designed to help prepare you for your real interview with UKVI and will follow a similar format. To make this interview as genuine as possible, we will conduct it over Skype, so a Skype address will be needed.

If you are required to undertake a practice UKVI interview, this will take place after you have an unconditional offer and paid any required deposit. We will provide you with a time and date for your interview, and you will need to confirm your availability and Skype address.

You should read our interview guide to help you prepare for your interview. Please ensure you read this in advance of your practice interview.

After the interview, we will review your answers and come back to you with some feedback. If we have concerns about any of your answers, we may ask you to attend another interview.

Please note that we do not require all applicants to have a practice interview.

Applying for dependants to join you in the UK

If you are applying for a Tier 4 visa (or already hold one) and you have dependants, they may be able to apply for PBS dependant visa to join you in the UK. You may want them to apply for their visa(s) at the same time as you, or you may prefer them to apply for their visa at a later date.

For Tier 4 students, dependants are defined by UKVI as:

  • A husband or wife
  • A civil partner
  • An unmarried partner who has been in a relationship with you similar to marriage for at least two years
  • A child (children must be aged under 18 to apply for a dependant visa)

You can usually bring dependants to join you in the following circumstances:

  • If your course is a postgraduate course and it at least 9 months long
  • If you are studying below postgraduate level, but you receive official financial sponsorship from a government for your study. Your course must be at least 6 months long 

 

Making the dependant visa application

If your dependant (or dependants) are applying for a visa outside of the UK, they will need to complete an online application form.  Each dependant needs to complete a separate application form.  At the time of writing the application fee is £348 per dependant.

If your dependant/s are applying for a visa inside the UK, they will need to complete an online application form.  If they are making the application at the same time that you are making your Tier 4 visa application, you should indicate in your answers that you have a dependant/s applying with you.  The application form will then generate extra sections for each dependant which you then fill in with their details.

At the time of writing, the PBS dependant application fee inside the UK is £475 for standard applications, £952for priority applications and £1085 for premium applications.

Funds in the bank

For each dependant, there is a fixed amount of money that must be held in a bank account for a 28 day period.  These funds can be held in a bank account belonging to the dependant, or to you.  See the PBS Dependant Policy Guidance for confirmation of the amounts that apply and contact the International Student Advisers for advice on the application if you need it.

Conditions of the Dependant visa

If you have been issued a visa which is longer than 9 months and for postgraduate level study, your dependants should have the right to work in the UK.  Their visa will confirm this. Check the wording on it carefully and seek advice if unsure. It is very important to be sure of the restrictions to working in the UK to avoid breaching any conditions.

These regulations are reasonably complex, so seek advice where necessary. The International Student Advice Service can advise you on dependant visas if you need it.

Visit visas

If your dependant/s wants to join you for a visit only, or they cannot apply for a dependant visa, they could apply for a visit visa instead. The visit visa is an option for family members other than partners and children and also for friends. See our information on inviting a visitor to the UK for more guidance on this.

Short-term study visa

This is a UK student visa for any short study course lasting 6 months or less (or up to 11 months for English language courses if you are over 18). It is also valid for short training courses and undertaking research as part of a degree if you are studying overseas. The length of this UK student visa cannot exceed the length of your course and cannot be extended and is conditional on being offered a place on a course at a licensed place of study and proof that you can support yourself for the duration of the course without working.

Please note that any form of visit visa cannot be used to study in the UK.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Short Term Study visas

If you are coming to the UK to study on a programme that is less than 6 months long, you can apply for a Short-Term Study visa (STS).

Short-term study visas

Short-Term Study visas can be used for short courses and single-semester exchange programmes. However, they cannot be used for programmes that are longer than 6 months.

You can also use a Short-Term Study visa to come to the UK to undertake a short period of research, if this is part of a degree that you are studying overseas.

Conditions of the Short-Term Study visa

You cannot extend a Short-Term Study visa and you must leave the UK within 30 days of the end of your programme (or sooner if your visa expires before this).

You are not allowed to work in the UK if you have a Short-Term Study visa. This includes work placements and unpaid work.

 

 

Distance Learning Students

If you are registered on a distance learning programme in the UK, and need to enter the UK for short periods of time as part of your studies, you can use a Short-Term Study visa. However, you must not intend to spend more than 56 days in the UK in any 6 month period.

Requirements for a Short-Term Study visa

In order to apply for a Short-Term Study visa, you will need:

  • A current passport
  • Evidence that you have enough money for your stay in the UK
  • tuberculosis test (if applicable)
  • Your previous qualifications
  • Evidence of your English language ability
  • An offer letter from the university, with the name, duration, and cost of your programme (existing students will need to supply an official results letter or transcript)

Please note that this is not an exhaustive list. Please refer to the UKVI guidance on Short-Term Study visas for more information on the documents you need.

After Arriving in UK

After arriving in UK
Police Registration
Arrival at airport
Bank Account
BRP card
UK Public Transport

 

Click on the different tabs to know things you should know and do when you have arrive in UK for your studies.

Registering with the Police

Some students are required to register with the police as a condition of their visa. Whether you need to do this depends on your nationality.

Registering with the police

How to find out if police registration applies to you

If you are required to register with the police, the requirement should be clearly stated on your UKVI decision letter or your visa. You can check the UKVI information about who usually needs to register with the police if you are unsure.  Police registration is a highly important task; you can face serious penalties if you do not complete it when it applies to you, so contact the International Student Advice Service if you are unsure.

You must complete or update your police registration within seven days of:

  • Arriving in the UK
  • Receiving a new UK visa

When you complete your police registration, you will be given a police registration certificate (PRC). This PRC should always be updated when changes are made to your passport, address, nationality, name or marital status.

Each local police force has its own process for police registration, so make sure you are clear on which police force you need to contact to arrange your registration.

Police registration if you live in London

If you live in the London area, you must visit the Overseas Visitors Records Office (OVRO) to complete police registration.

Please be aware that the OVRO can be very busy and you will probably have to wait for some time to get your registration certificate. At busy times of the year, you may be asked to return at a later date. If this happens, you will be provided with an ‘admission slip’ to prove that you met the seven day requirement and to make sure that you don’t face any penalties due to not registering within this deadline.

Documents to take with you to your appointment:

  • A completed proforma (online form)
  • Your passport
  • Your Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) or your BRP collection letter if you haven’t got your BRP
  • 1 UK passport-sized photograph (45mm x 35mm), attached to the proforma
  • £34 registration fee, payable by card or cash
  • If you applied for your visa in the UK, a copy of the UKVI letter showing the requirement for police registration
  • Any previous police registration certificates (if you have previously registered with the police)

Filling in the proforma

  • Please visit the following link to download the proforma (a link can be found in section 3 “where to register”) https://www.gov.uk/register-with-the-police
  • Complete the proforma online, making sure you answer the questions accurately and carefully
  • Print the proforma and attach your passport photograph with glue
  • Make sure your signature is fully within the box

Change of circumstances

  • You must inform the OVRO office within 8 days if you change your name, nationality, marital status.
  • If you receive a new passport or visa, you must re-register within 7 days

If your PRC is lost or stolen, you must go to the OVRO office to obtain a replacement.

Police registration if you live in Medway

Online Registration

  • Please visit https://www.kent.police.uk/services/foreign-national-register/ (a link can be found in the first drop down box “online registration and appointment portal”)
  • Create an account to login and complete online registration
  • When you have completed the online registration process you will be required to book an appointment to register with the police in person. If the police are unable to book your appointment within the seven day deadline they will make arrangements so that you do not face any penalty for this. You must make contact with them within the seven day deadline for this to apply

Documents to take with you to your appointment:

  • A copy of your Confirmation of Study (i.e. CAS)
  • Your passport
  • Your Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) or your BRP collection letter if you haven’t got your BRP yet
  • £34 registration fee, payable by card or cash
  • If you applied for your visa in the UK, a copy of the UKVI letter stating the requirement for Police Registration
  • Confirmation of UK address (i.e. copy of university letter or tenancy agreement or utility bill etc.)

Change of circumstances

  • For all changes of circumstances, you must log in to the online registration and appointment portal:  https://secure.ecis.police.uk/foreign/Login/
  • You must inform the police if you change your name, nationality or marital status
  • If you receive a new passport or visa, you must re-register
  • If your police registration certificate is lost or stolen, you must contact the police for a new one by booking an appointment online

Police registration if you live in a different area

If you live in an area outside of the Medway and London areas, you must check the local requirements online or at a local police station.

Contact the International Student Advice Service if you have any doubts about what you need to do.

Information for international students about arriving at the UK border

Arriving at the airport

When you arrive at an airport in the UK, you will need to pass through immigration control. There will usually be two queues: one for nationals from the EU/EEA, and one for everyone else. The queues can be long, so make sure you are in the right one, otherwise you may need to start again!

When you get to the front, a Border Force Officer will look at your passport and check your UK visa if you have one. If you are from the EU/EEA, you may be able to use the e-passport gates if you have a modern passport with a chip in it.

If you are not from the EU/EEA, you will need to fill in a landing card. This should be given to you on the plane. If you do not get one, ask your airline staff before you land. There are usually copies available when you land as well.

UKVI have published a helpful international student arrival guide which tells you what to expect at the border.

Documents you’ll need

We advise that you carry the following documents in your hand luggage as the the Border Force Officer may want to see them. We recommend that you carry them in paper form, rather than electronically.

  • Your Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS)
  • Your offer letter from the university
  • Recent bank statements
  • Details of your accommodation (such as a tenancy agreement or confirmation of a place in halls)
  • If you are under 18 years old, a letter from your parent(s) or legal guardian(s) giving you permission to study in the UK

The Border Force Officer may ask you some questions, and once they are happy, will stamp your passport.

Please note that you will not have your luggage with you at this point, so all your documentation must be in your hand luggage.

Non-visa nationals

If you are a non-visa national and want to get a Short-Term Study visa stamped in your passport at the border, you should read our information about Short-Term Study visas before you travel.

It is very important that you tell the Border Force Officer that you are entering the UK to study and show them your offer letter. The stamp in your passport should clearly show the words ‘Short Term Student‘ or similar. If you do not do this, you may not be allowed to study in the UK.

Collecting your bag

After you have had your passport checked, you can collect your baggage. You will need to check the screens to identify the correct carousel. Please make sure you pick up the right bag! If you have a lot of baggage, there should be free trolleys available to help you transport it.

If your baggage does not arrive, please speak to a member of airport staff. You may need to fill in a lost baggage form. In most cases, if your bag is missing it will be delivered to you in a few days.

Going through customs control

When you have your luggage, you must pass through customs.

There will be 3 routes through customs control:

  • The green channel if you have nothing to declare and you have travelled from outside of the EU
  • The blue channel if your journey started within the EU and you have nothing to declare
  • The red channel if you have goods to declare

You should only use the red channel if you have goods to declare:

If you have goods to declare, you will need to fill in a form and give it to the customs officer. Please ask for assistance at the airport.

 

 

Open a UK bank account

To open a bank account, you will usually need:

  • A student status letter is generally issued by the university which has details about your course and its  duration. You must be fully registered before you can get this letter
  • A document to prove your identity. You can use your passport, driving licence or identity card
  • A document to prove your address. You can use documents such as a tenancy agreement or bill to show your address

BRP card collection information

When you make a Tier 4 visa application from outside the UK, you will usually be granted a short visa in your passport (this is called a vignette). Your vignette will be 30 days in length and will allow you to enter the UK.

Your full visa will be in the form of a Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) which you can collect when you arrive in the UK.

You will need to choose where you want to collect your BRP from when you make your visa application. We recommend you choose the university, so that it is ready for you to collect at registration. Alternatively, you may have it delivered to a local Post Office.

The address of your BRP collection point will be shown on your decision letter.

You must collect your BRP within 10 days of arriving in the UK. If you do not collect your BRP, you can be fined £1,000, so it is very important that you collect it as soon as you can.

Understand UK public transport (and apply for an Oyster Card for travel in London)

If you intend to use public transport in the London area, an ‘Oyster card‘ is necessary for most modes of transport and in general will save you money. For more information, visit the Transport for London website.

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