Many international students take the opportunity to travel to other countries during their time studying in the UK, to visit family back in their home country or to visit another European country to visit friends, take part in a class trip or simply for tourism.
There are important considerations to make when planning a trip, in relation to permission you may need to enter another country and how to ensure you can return to the UK without any problems.
Visiting other European countries
Before travelling to any country outside the UK you must check that your passport is valid and that it will not expire while you are there.
You should also check if you need a visa for the country you wish to visa. Students of some nationalities do not need a visa to enter some European countries. Refer to the embassy website of the country you want to visit.
If you find that you do require a visa, you may be able to apply for a Schengen visa:
Returning to the UK
Students returning to the UK before the end date of their course (as shown on your CAS) and whose Tier 4 (General) visa is still valid can leave and return to the UK. However, when you arrive back at the UK border, you may be asked to prove that you are still fulfilling the purpose of your visa (i.e. studying on the course for which your visa was granted). You should therefore carry the following documents:
- Student status letter, which confirms that you are enrolled on your course. Camberwell, Chelsea and Wimbledon students can get one from the Contact Desk at their college, CSM students from the CSM Student Centre, LCF students from the Student Administration office at John Prince’s Street, and LCC students from LCC’s Information Centre.
- Bank statements to show that you have money to support yourself during your studies.
- Tier 4 (General) visa
- Police registration certificate (if a condition of your visa is that you must register with the police).
Students must not attempt to return to the UK after their course end date (as shown on their CAS), even if their Tier 4 (General) visa is still valid. This is because they have fulfilled the purpose of their visa and may be prevented from entering the UK at the border. Students who have a CAS to start another course who wish to return to the UK to extend their visa should seek advice from the Student Advice Service.
The Student Advice Service is available to provide advice on student immigration issues in relation to UK visas, and can help you to understand information about Schengen visas.