Visas and Immigration for study in the UK

Travelling in and out of the UK

During your studies, it may be necessary for you to travel in and out of the UK. It's important to be aware of any impact your trip may have on your studies or your visa.

If you are planning a trip outside the UK during the official vacation period, you will usually not face any complications. View the university term dates online if you want to check this.

If any of the following things are relevant to your situation, we strongly recommend that you contact the International Student Advice Service:

  • You need to travel outside of the UK during the term time
  • There is only a short amount of time left remaining on your visa 
  • You want to re-enter the UK after your studies have officially ended (the official end date in your CAS has passed)
  • You have been informed by the university that we have notified UKVI that you have stopped studying or have finished your studies early

Impact on your study

We also strongly recommend that you speak with your Programme Leader or tutors if you think that you may need to miss any classes, contact points or assignments. You should always refer to the university attendance and engagement policy and guidance if this is the case. If it is appropriate, your tutors may authorise your absence. However you must arrange this with them and seek their approval. If you do not attend all expected contact points without gaining authorised approval, this may result in your Tier 4 visa being curtailed by UKVI.

In all cases, if you have concerns about your ability to attend your programme of study, make sure to contact your Programme Leader or tutors so that they can help and advise you.

Returning to the UK

When returning to the UK, we recommend that you carry the following documents in your hand luggage, in addition to your passport and visa:

  • Recently dated student status letter confirming your registration at the University of Greenwich
  • Authorised absence form (if you are travelling during term time)
  • Documentation to support new Tier 4 visa application (only if your current leave is close to expiry date)
  • Police Registration Certificate (this is only applicable to you if you are required to register with the police)

The above are recommended documents (apart from the passport and visa which are mandatory). If you don't have them it does not necessarily mean that you will not be able to enter the UK. If you are outside of the UK and are concerned about re-entering, contact the International Student Advice Service for advice and assistance. 

You should remember that each time you re-enter the UK, border officials may ask you questions regarding your reasons for entry to the UK. Please be aware that they have the legal right to keep you waiting at the port of entry whilst they check your reason to enter the UK. They can deny entry if they are not satisfied with your reason to return, or think that there is some other reason why they should not allow you to enter the UK. Fortunately this happens very rarely, so you should not be too concerned. We recommend that you follow the advice above and seek advice if you have doubts. 

Advice from UKVI on entering the UK

UKVI have published a helpful international student arrival guide which tells you what to expect at the border when you enter the UK.

The information on this page is correct at the time of writing. Whilst we try to make sure the information we provide is accurate, immigration policy changes frequently. You should therefore always refer to the official gov.uk website to ensure that you have up-to-date information: https://www.gov.uk/browse/visas-immigration