Immigration and visas
If you're an International student coming from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland, you will need to follow specific regulations to enter, study and work in the UK.
A visa gives legal permission to enter or to stay in the UK. You need to submit a successful application to get this permission.
It's important to apply for the right type of study visa for your needs. You can check which type you may need using the UK Government’s visa checking tool.
For students coming to the UK to study for short periods of time on an English language course, a short course, or to retake a unit
For students coming to the UK to study on courses like degrees, diplomas and presessional courses
If you're from outside the EEA and plan to travel outside the UK during your course, there are important considerations to make when planning your trip.
You must check if you need a visa for the country you wish to visit as your UK visa will not be valid for travel to other countries. Refer to the embassy website of the country you wish to visit for more information.
If you are travelling to European countries, you may be able to apply for a Schengen visa.
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.
Lost and stolen visas
If your Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) is lost or stolen while abroad, you will not be allowed to re-enter the UK. You will have to apply for a 'single entry replacement BRP visa' before returning.
If you do not have a BRP and your visa is in the form of a sticker in your passport (a vignette) which is lost or stolen, you will not be allowed to re-enter the UK. You will need to apply for a new passport and then apply for a 'vignette transfer' before returning.
Returning to the UK
If you're still studying on your course with a valid study visa, you can leave and return to the UK. Make sure you have the following documents at the border:
- Student status letter - download one from your online portal, or visit the Language Centre or the college short course office
- Biometric Residence Permit (BRP), if applicable
- Police registration certificate, if applicable
You should not return to the UK after the end date of your course, even if your visa is still valid. Your entry at the border will be refused as you have fulfilled the purpose of your study visa. Contact the Student Advice Service for more information.