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Immigration & 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, stay, travel and work in the UK or across the European Union (EU).

The EEA consists of the EU countries, plus Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein.


If you need assistance, you can get in touch with:


A visa is a legal permission to enter and stay in the UK. You need to submit an application to get one.

It's important to apply for the right type of visa for your needs. You can check which type you may need using the UK Government’s visa checking tool.

Close up shot of a woman's hand cutting a strip of fabric with scissors
A student working at London College of Fashion

Short-term Study Visa

For students coming to the UK for a year or less to repeat a year or study on a short course

Photo of a woman sitting at a sewing machine

Tier 4 (General) Visa

For students coming to the UK for a longer period of time to study on foundation or degree courses

Student in full graduation robes walking towards the Royal Festival Hall
UAL Graduation 2018 at Royal Festival Hall

Options after graduation

Find out more about attending Graduation and staying in the UK after completing your course

Travelling abroad

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.

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 visit. 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:

Factsheet: Schengen Visa (PDF 391KB)

Returning to the UK

If you're still studying on your course with a valid visa, you can leave and return to the UK. Make sure you have the following documents at the border:

  • Student status letter - ask for one at your College Student Centre
  • Bank statements to show that you have money to support yourself during your studies
  • Passport
  • Tier 4 (General) visa
  • Police registration certificate (if applicable).

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.

Find out more