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Enrolment information for visa holders

If you’re a new or returning student from outside of the UK and you need a visa or immigration permission to study with us, we’ll ask you to provide extra information during your enrolment. What to provide and when depends on the type of visa or immigration permission 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.

All Tier 4 visas already issued will remain valid until their expiry date.

EU, EEA and Swiss students who arrived 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 11am (UK time) on 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’re continually 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.

Visit gov.uk for information about the new points-based immigration system.

Online immigration status: EU, EEA and Swiss nationals

If you're from the EU, EEA or Switzerland and have a passport with a chip checker, once you've got your visa you'll be given an online immigration status.

We’ll ask you to prove your immigration status to us using a ‘share code’. Get your share code number using the View and prove your immigration status tool on gov.uk. You’ll need to provide your:

  • personal details
  • passport number
  • date of birth
  • mobile number or email address used during your visa application

When you’ve followed every step of the View and prove your immigration status tool you’ll be given your share code number to pass on to us.

If you’re from the EU, EEA or Switzerland but your passport doesn’t have a chip checker, once you’ve got your visa you’ll be given an entry vignette and a Biometric Residence Permit (BRP).

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.

Visa application not yet started

If you haven’t yet started your visa or EU Settlement Scheme 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 or European national identity card number, expiry date and a photo of the information page of your passport or European national identity card 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 or EU Settlement Scheme 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'll find lots of useful information and step-by-step guides.

When making your visa application state the start date of your course as the date at the beginning of the first term. 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 £154 and you will need to make an appointment to resubmit your biometric information. Contact our Student Advice Service for guidance.

We strongly advise the you only apply for a new visa, or apply to replace an expired vignette, when you're confident you can travel to the UK. The new vignette will only be valid for a period of 90 days. If you cannot travel during this time, you may need to apply again and update your vignette.

If you have submitted an application for a replacement vignette, and are still awaiting a decision, but now no longer intend to travel, you should submit a withdrawal request at the Visa Application Centre (VAC) you applied from in order for your passport to be released back to you.

Visa application in-progress

If your visa or EU Settlement Scheme 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 or European national identity card details

You will be asked to upload a photo of the information page of your passport or European national identity card 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.

If you've applied to the EU Settlement Scheme, you'll receive an email from UKVI. Upload a copy of this email to your UAL Portal.

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 £154 and you will need to make an appointment to resubmit your biometric information. Contact our Student Advice Service for guidance.

We strongly advise the you only apply for a new visa, or apply to replace an expired vignette, when you're confident you can travel to the UK. The new vignette will only be valid for a period of 90 days. If you cannot travel during this time, you may need to apply again and update your vignette.

If you have submitted an application for a replacement vignette, and are still awaiting a decision, but now no longer intend to travel, you should submit a withdrawal request at the Visa Application Centre (VAC) you applied from in order for your passport to be released back to you.

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.

Arriving in the UK

If you need a visa to attend on-campus studies with us, before we can complete your enrolment fully we’re asked by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) to prove when you entered the UK. This only applies to students from certain countries and if they have entered the UK using an eGate.

If you're a national of either Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea or the USA, when you arrive in the UK you may choose to enter using an eGate instead of seeing a UK Border Force Officer. This means you won’t get an entry stamp in your passport. That’s not a problem but you must keep your flight ticket and boarding pass as we’ll ask to see these as proof of when you entered the UK. To find out more about entering the UK using an eGate, watch a short video from the UK Home Office (YouTube).

Remember, if you arrive in England from anywhere outside of the UK, Ireland, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man, you must self-isolate for 10 days. Do not leave your declared accommodation until your self-isolation period has finished (unless you need to leave for an urgent reason approved by the UK government). You must have proof of a negative Coronavirus test to travel to England. Read more about the travel and transport measures put in place to protect England from Coronavirus.

When eligible (having completed any applicable period of self-isolation), you must collect your Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) card from a Post Office. The BRP card is your official visa.

As soon as you can after your arrival in the UK, upload photos or electronic copies of all the following documents to the ‘my Online Registration’ section of your UAL Portal:

  • your entry vignette
  • the page in your passport showing an entry stamp made by a UK Border Force Officer
  • your Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) card
  • your flight ticket or boarding pass if you've used an eGate

You don’t need to wait until you have all of the documents available before you upload them. Instead we recommend logging in to your UAL Portal and uploading each document as you have it. For example, when you first arrive you won’t yet have collected your BRP card – so upload everything else and add your BRP card later.

It’s really important you keep your original flight ticket and boarding pass as we’ll ask to see these when we verify your visa and immigration documents in-person during a Right to Study appointment. We’ll also ask you to bring your passport so we can see your entry vignette, and if you have one, your entry stamp from a UK Border Force Officer. We’ll contact you sometime after you’ve started your on-campus studies to let you know where and when your Right to Study appointment will happen – so check your inbox regularly.

Choosing to delay your arrival to the UK?

If you’ve let us know you’ll be starting your studies online-only, you don’t need to apply for your visa right now. Instead when start planning to join us on-campus, we recommend getting in touch with our Student Advice Service. Our advisers can guide you through your visa application and planning your arrival to the UK.

Got questions about arriving in the UK?

Our Student Advisers are on-hand to answer any questions you have about entering the UK, or anything else you’d like to ask about visas and immigration.

Student visa holders

If you have a Student visa, 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.
  4. Your share code (if applicable) to prove your immigration status.

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 visa holder

If your visa is not a Student visa, 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.

Standard Visitor visa

Since 1 December 2020 if you’re coming to study in the UK for up to 6 months, you need to apply for Standard Visitor visa.

Getting a visa before you travel to the UK

If you’re required to apply for your Standard Visitor visa before you travel to the UK, you will get a vignette (a sticker in your passport).

If you enter the UK via the Republic of Ireland (this country is not part of the UK) differences in immigration controls mean you’ll won’t get a stamp on your vignette with your date of entry. Because of this, you must upload a copy of your boarding pass or flight ticket to your UAL Portal.

Getting a visa at the UK border

If you’re from one of the countries allowed to get a Standard  Visitor visa stamp once you arrive in the UK (non-visa nationals), you can either see a UK Border Force Officer and show them the Standard Visitor visa letter issued to you by the University or use an eGate. During enrolment you either provide a copy of the Standard Visitor visa stamp made in your passport when you entered the UK or provide evidence of entry to the UK such as flight ticket or boarding pass (if applicable). If you don’t have a stamp, your travel evidence will be the only way you can prove to us when you entered the UK.

To find out if you’re a non-visa national, the country of your nationality will not be listed on the UK government’s Visa national list.

If you travel to the UK via the Republic of Ireland you’ll only be able to live and study in the UK for up to three months from date of entry. As your course will be longer than three months, you must use an alternative route to travel to the UK.

If you’ve already entered the UK using an eGate, you must contact our Student Advice Service urgently for guidance. You’ll need to leave and re-enter the UK to get the required immigration permission to study with us.

EU, EEA and Swiss students

EU Settlement Status

If you’ve been in the UK and have a pre-settled or settled status, we’ll ask you to prove your immigration status to us using a ‘share code’.

Get your share code number using the View and prove your immigration status tool on gov.uk. You’ll need to provide your:

  • personal details
  • passport or European national identity card number (the document you used to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme)
  • date of birth
  • mobile number or email address used during your Scheme application

When you’ve followed every step of the View and prove your immigration status tool you’ll be given your share code number to pass on to us.

If you’ve applied but haven’t yet received the outcome of your application to the EU Settlement Scheme, you must provide evidence of your Scheme application. You’ll receive an email from UKVI.  Upload a copy of this email to your UAL Portal.

Proof of residency for EU, EEA and Swiss students

If you’ve not yet applied to the EU Settlement Scheme you must demonstrate you’ve been living in the UK. Provide evidence of UK residence in your name, such as a:

  • Bank statement
  • Utility bill
  • Council tax bill
  • Payslips for a UK-based job

Proof of entry to the UK by 11pm (UK time) on 31December 2020

If you’re an EU, EEA or Swiss student who arrived in the UK before 11pm (UK time) on 31 December 2020, you won’t need to get a Student Visa. Instead you’re able to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme.

You’ll need to provide show us your flight ticket or boarding pass as evidence of your entry to the UK before the Brexit transition period ended at 11pm on 31 December 2020. If you have a passport, we recommend you ask one of the UK Border Forcer Officers (UK immigration officers) for a ‘by request’ entry stamp.

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.

In addition, you need to provide one of the following:

  • Share code number to prove your digital immigration status.
  • Evidence of your application to EU Settlement Scheme (if you’re still waiting to hear the outcome).

Because you will not be given a Biometric Residence Permit (BRP), we’ll ask you to prove your immigration status to us using a ‘share code’.

Get your share code number using the View and prove your immigration status tool on gov.uk. You’ll need to provide your:

  • personal details
  • passport or European national identity card number (the document you used to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme)
  • date of birth
  • mobile number or email address used during your Scheme application

When you’ve followed every step of the View and prove your immigration status tool you’ll be given your share code number to pass on to us.

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.

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 Student visa or a Standard Visitor visa.

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