Visas and Immigration for study in the UK

Travel related

I have obtained my Student visa, when is the earliest I can arrive to the UK?

If your student visa is granted for a course that is 6 months or longer, the earliest you are able to arrive in the UK is 1-month before start date of course on your CAS. Check the start date of your visa before you travel.

Please note you must be sure that your visa has been granted before you enter the UK or else the validity period will not be activated if you arrive before this.

Can I travel during term-time?

We understand students may need to travel abroad at short notice for many reasons such as a family wedding or illness within the family. Travelling during term-time can be permitted but you must complete the authorised absence letter and get your programme leader or research supervisory team to approve it.

The authorised absence letter is required if you are absent for 3-days or longer. Longer absences should be discussed with your Faculty Retention Success Officer. If you believe your absence might affect your academic performance, you should read our guidance on Extenuating Circumstances in case you need to make a claim.

Failure to notify your Faculty Retention Success Officer of your absences, can lead to withdrawal from studies resulting in the cancellation of your Student visa.

See our full guidance on travelling during your studies.

Can I travel outside the UK with a pending visa application?

Travelling outside the UK with a pending visa application is not recommended as the immigration rules say your application may be treated as a withdrawal if you leave the UK.

If you have a pending application but must leave the UK, please contact the International Student Advice Service for advice.

I have completed my studies early, can I travel outside of the UK?

It is reasonable after working hard to complete your studies, you may want to go on vacation to celebrate or visit family and friends back home. However, in the circumstance you have completed your studies early, this is reported to UKVI to notify them you visa duration is no longer indicative of the amount of study you have remaining.

This means you will have a pending visa cancellation notice. In this scenario, travelling is not recommended as leaving the UK whilst having a pending cancellation may mean that you are not permitted to re-enter the UK.

If you are thinking of travelling in this scenario, please contact the International Student Advice Service for advice.

I am travelling into Europe for a short vacation, what type of visa do I need?

If you wish to travel inside Europe for a holiday outside of term-time, you are likely to require a Schengen visa.

My family wants to visit me in the UK, how can I help them?

It is normal for family members to be missing you since you travelled to the UK or to want to celebrate your graduation ceremony with you. If your family wish to visit, they would require a Standard Visitor visa.

A letter of invitation is required, and we have a template you can use.

This letter of invitation would have to be written by yourself as you would be inviting your family.

We have a webpage dedicated to inviting visitors to the UK, so please check this out.

My Student visa has expired, how can I attend my graduation ceremony?

Do not worry if your student visa has expired or will expire before the date of your graduation ceremony, you may still be able to attend by applying for a Standard Visitor visa to return to the UK.

Your application may be helped by supplying your invitation to the awards ceremony and your official results letter.

Further details can be found on our webpage.