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Essential coronavirus info
We can’t wait to welcome our new and returning students from 19 October 2020. Your safety is our first priority.

Enrolment information for visa holders

Whether you’re a new or returning student, if you need a visa to study with us, when the time is right, we’ll ask you to provide visa information at some point during your enrolment. What to provide and when depends on the type of visa you need, and the stage of your visa application at the time you start to enrol. Read our guidance to find out more.

Important: Student visas

Any international students making a visa application will now apply for a Student visa. This is the new name for a visa route previously known as a Tier 4 visa.

Those making a Student visa application will be subject to the same eligibility criteria as those who applied when the route was known as a Tier 4 visa. Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) numbers issued for Tier 4 visas remain valid for Student visa applications. You do not need to request a different CAS number.

Any Tier 4 visa applications started before 9am (British Summer Time) on Monday 5 October will continue to be issued as a Tier 4 visa. All Tier 4 visas already issued will remain valid until their expiry date.

EU, EEA and Swiss students arriving in the UK after 1 January 2021 also need to apply for a Student visa.

EU, EEA and Swiss students resident in the UK on or before 31 December 2020 do not need to apply for a Student visa. Instead they, and their family are eligible to apply for pre-settled or settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme.

We’ll soon be updating our Immigration and visas pages with the latest guidance from the UK government’s Home Office. Keep checking back. You can also contact our Student Advice Service for guidance.

In the meantime, visit gov.uk for information about the new points-based immigration system.

Delays with your visa application from outside the UK?

If due to the Coronavirus pandemic your visa application hasn’t yet started, or is still in-progress when it’s time for you to start the online registration step of your enrolment, don’t worry - you can still enrol. Read on to find out what you need to provide during the online registration step of enrolment.

If you are unable to join us on-campus for the start of term on Monday 19 October, you can ask to study online by submitting an extenuating circumstances application. We will continue to support your online studies until you are able to join us in-person. To find out how to make an extenuating circumstances application, including when to apply and the eligibility criteria, read our Attending your course page.

Visa application not yet started

If you haven’t yet started your visa application, during the online registration step of enrolment you can skip through some parts of the ‘Visa and immigration details’ section. To do this:

  1. From within ‘my Online Registration’, go to the ‘Visa and immigration details’ section and select the ‘Start’ button.
  2. Provide your passport number, expiry date and a photo of the information page of your passport confirming your details. Use the ‘Continue’ button.
  3. Leave the visa upload, visa number and visa expiry date empty. Use the ‘Continue’ button.
  4. Leave the entry vignette upload empty. Use the ‘Continue’ button.
  5. You’ll then be taken back to ‘my Online Registration’ where you can continue on to the next section.

Later on, when you have started your visa application, log back in to your UAL Portal as soon as you can and upload proof your application is in-progress.

Remember, due to the Coronavirus pandemic visa applications made from outside the UK may take longer than usual. Visit gov.uk to check processing times where you are.

We strongly recommend making your visa application as soon as you can if you expect to arrive in the UK within three months or less. You can start to make a visa application after you have received your Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) number from us. Your CAS number is valid for six months from the issue date. If you will be making your visa application after your CAS number has expired, contact our Student Advice Service for guidance.

Before you start your visa application, visit our Immigration and visas pages where you will find lots of useful information and step-by-step guides.

When making your visa application state the start date of your course as Monday 19 October 2020. Do this even if you will be joining us on-campus at a later date. Putting any other start date on your visa application may cause delays or can even lead to a visa refusal.

When you receive your visa, you will be given 90 days to enter the UK with an entry vignette. If you plan on arriving in the UK after the date given on your original entry vignette - once that vignette has expired - you will need to apply for a replacement before you travel to the UK. The cost of a replacement vignette is £169. Contact our Student Advice Service for guidance.

Visa application in-progress

If your visa application is in-progress, during the online registration step of your enrolment, within the ‘Visa and immigration details’ section you must provide:

1. Your passport details

You will be asked to upload a photo of the information page of your passport confirming your details, and enter your passport number and expiry date.

2. Evidence you have made a visa application to UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI)

If you have been able to start your visa application online, you must provide confirmation of your visa application payment to UKVI. You can upload a copy of your payment confirmation email, or a photo of the payment confirmation screen on the UKVI website.

If you are unsure what to provide, take a look at our example of what the payment confirmation page on the UKVI website (PDF, 106KB) looks like and read our guidance for how to make a visa application online (PDF, 4.6MB).

If for any reason you are unable to make an online visa application to UKVI, contact our Student Advice Service urgently to discuss your options.

3. Confirmation you have made, or have attempted to make, an appointment to provide your biometrics

Part of your visa application involves attending an appointment to provide your biometrics (fingerprints and facial photograph). You must only book an appointment to provide your biometrics through one of UKVI’s official partners who will put you in touch with an approved UK Visa Application Centre (VAC). Visit:

  • TLS contact if you’re in Europe, Africa and parts of the Middle East
  • VFS global if you’re anywhere else in the world (outside of the UK)

If there are biometric appointments available at your chosen UK Visa Application Centre (VAC), you must provide confirmation of your biometrics appointment date and time. You can upload a copy of your appointment confirmation email, or a photo of the appointment confirmation page on the website of a UKVI official partner.

If you’re unsure what to provide, take a look at our example of what the biometrics appointment confirmation page on a UKVI official partner website (PDF, 110KB) looks like.

If biometric appointments are currently unavailable where you are, you must provide a photo of the page on the website of a UKVI official partner which shows that no biometric appointments are currently available. Please regularly check the availability of biometric appointments so you can complete your visa application as soon as possible.

When your visa application has been approved, log back in to your UAL Portal as soon as you can and upload photos of your visa documents, including your entry vignette.

When you receive your visa, you will be given 90 days to enter the UK with an entry vignette. If you plan on arriving in the UK after the date given on your original entry vignette - once that vignette has expired - you will need to apply for a replacement before you travel to the UK. The cost of a replacement vignette is £169. Contact our Student Advice Service for guidance.

A note about paying tuition fees when your visa application is in-progress: We will ask you to pay your tuition fees during the online registration step of enrolment. On the date you pay for your visa application, you are required by UKVI to have a specific amount of money available to you for your living costs and to pay your tuition fees for the first year of the course. Once you have provided the required financial evidence during your visa application, you can release the funds for your tuition fees to us. You do not need to wait until your visa is fully approved.

Need some visa advice?

If after reading our guidance you have any questions about your visa application, our Student Advice Service is there to help.

Student and Tier 4 visa holders

If you have a Student visa (or a Tier 4 visa if you made your visa application before 9am British Summer Time on Monday 5 October 2020), during the online registration step of your enrolment you must provide:

  1. Your passport number, expiry date and a photo of the information page of your passport confirming your details.
  2. Your visa number, expiry date and a photo of your visa confirmation.
  3. Your entry vignette number, expiry date and a photo of your vignette showing you have either 30 or 90 days to enter the UK.

If you are unsure where you would find any of the visa and immigration information we will ask you for during enrolment, contact our Student Advice Service for guidance.

If you're not a Student or Tier 4 visa holder

If your visa is not a Student visa (or a Tier 4 visa if you made your visa application before 9am British Summer Time on Monday 5 October 2020), you will be asked to provide additional documentation to prove you have the correct immigration status.

Here is some general guidance about the types of documentation you may be asked for. If any of the documents are not originally in English they must be officially translated.

If you are unsure where you would find any of the visa and immigration information we will ask you for during enrolment, contact our Student Advice Service for guidance.

Short-term Study visa

If you apply for your short-term study visa before you travel to the UK, you will get a vignette (a sticker in your passport). If you enter the UK using an eGate (instead of seeing a UK Border Force Officer), during enrolment you must upload to your UAL Portal a copy of your boarding pass or flight ticket within 30 days of you entering the UK. In addition, you must keep your original boarding pass or flight ticket as we will need to see the original document(s) during your Right to Study appointment.

If you are from one of the countries allowed to get a Short-term Student visa stamp once you arrive in the UK, you must see a UK Border Force Officer and show them the Short-term Study visa letter issued to you by the University. During enrolment you must provide a copy of the Short-term Student visa stamp made in your passport when you entered the UK.

If when you entered the UK via a UK Border Force Officer and you find that by mistake you were given a Standard visitor stamp in your passport instead of the required Short-term Student visa stamp, you must contact our Student Advice Service urgently for guidance. You will need to leave and re-enter the UK within 30 days to get the correct stamp and be allowed to study.

Important information for nationals of Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea and USA

When you arrive in the UK, do not use an eGate. You must enter via a UK Border Force Officer. You will not have the entry clearance you need to study in the UK unless a UK Border Force Officer gives you a Short-term Student visa stamp.

If you have already entered the UK using an eGate, you must contact our Student Advice Service urgently for guidance. You will need to leave and re-enter the UK within 30 days to get the required stamp.

In addition, you must not arrive in the UK via Republic of Ireland. If you enter the UK via Republic of Ireland differences in immigration controls mean you will not be able to get a short-term study visa and therefore will not be allowed to study.

Dependent visa

If your visa shows you are dependent upon a person, you must provide:

  • proof of the person that you are a dependent of. This can be a copy of the persons entry vignette (sticker), Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) card, or a letter from the Home Office which shows you as a dependent;
  • proof that the person you are a dependent of is exercising their right of residence in the UK. This can be a recent letter from their employer or education institute, a tenancy agreement or evidence of self-employment.

Sponsored visa

If your visa shows that you are sponsored by someone else, you must provide a letter from your sponsor confirming that:

  • the sponsorship will be maintained whilst you are studying.
  • your sponsor is aware of your study plans and gives permission for you to attend all study-related activity.
  • your intended course does not interfere with the activity for which the visa was originally issued.

Family member of an EEA national

If your visa shows that you are a family member of an EEA national, you must provide:

  • a copy of your EEA national family members' passport.
  • proof that your EEA national family member is exercising their right of residence in the UK. This can be a recent letter from the employer or education institution; a tenancy agreement; evidence of self-employment.
  • proof of a subsistent relationship with your EEA national family member. For example a utility bill, council tax statement or bank statement showing your name and that of your EEA national family member.

Non-dependent visa

If your visa is not dependent upon another person and is not being sponsored, you must provide copies of your passport and visa during the online registration step of your enrolment.

Asylum seeker

If you are an asylum seeker, you must provide a copy of your Home Office letter showing your immigration status and the conditions of your stay during the online registration step of your enrolment.

Information for returning students

Remember we won't be able to enrol you if you can't prove you have the correct immigration status to study with us.

Extending your visa within the UK

If you're extending your visa within the UK, you must provide proof you have submitted an in-time visa application to UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI).

During the online registration step of your enrolment you must provide:

  • An electronic copy of your current/previous visa vignette or Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) - which must have been valid at the time you submitted your new application.
  • Your document checklist from your new visa application to UKVI. You can download an example UKVI document checklist (PDF 123KB) if you're unsure what yours may look like.
  • Your appointment confirmation for your biometric enrolment appointment with the UK Visas and Citizenship Application Services (UKVCAS). You can download an example UKVCAS appointment confirmation (PDF 375KB) if you're unsure what yours may look like. If instead you have been invited by UKVCAS to use the IDV app to upload your documents and take a photo of your face, you can skip the section during enrolment asking for confirmation of your biometric appointment because you are not required to attend one. UKVI will reuse the biometric information you have previously provided.

If you haven't booked your biometric appointment with UKVCAS or you haven't yet attended an appointment that is booked for a future date, you must provide your appointment confirmation when you have it.

As soon as you've received confirmation from UKVI that your new visa application has been successful, you must provide a copy of this confirmation.

If you are unsure where you would find any of the visa and immigration information we will ask you for during enrolment, contact our Student Advice Service for guidance.

Returning after an interruption to study

If you require a visa to study at UAL and you’re now planning to return to your studies after taking some agreed time-out, or to repeat a course unit(s), you must ensure that you have the correct immigration status and visa requirements to recommence your studies. This may mean you need to make an application for a Tier 4 visa (or Student visa if applying after 9am British Summer Time on Monday 5 October 2020), or a short-term study visa.

If you’re unsure what visa you need to secure before your return, contact UAL’s Student Advice Service.