Visas and Immigration for study in the UK

Arrival tips

If you have recently arrived in the UK, there are a number of things that we recommend that you do within the first two weeks of your arrival.

Arrival tips for new international students

Complete the online International Student Welcome Programme

Completing the online International Welcome Programme is highly recommended for all new international students. The programme is designed to help you settle into the university and to life in the UK.

Complete your university registration

If you have not completed part 1 of your registration online, you will need to complete it as soon as possible.

After part 1 registration is complete, you will need to visit the Student Centre to attend part 2 of your registration. This is when you'll get your University of Greenwich student ID card. Don't forget to bring your passport with you.

Find a local GP (doctor's surgery) and register yourself

We strongly recommend that you register with a doctor or a GP as soon as possible when you arrive, so that you can receive medical care if you need it. Not registering can cause you delays in accessing help if you are sick later on. It can also sometimes result in significant medical bills, so don't delay this action.

Open a UK bank account

To open a bank account, you will usually need:

  • A 'student status letter'.  This is issued by the university and confirms details of your programme. You must be fully registered before you can get this letter.
  • A document to prove your identity. You can use your passport, driving licence or identity card
  • A document to prove your address, e.g. a tenancy agreement or utility bill (e.g. gas, electricity, water)

UK public transport

Take a look at the university's information about public transport.

If you intend to use public transport in the London area, an 'Oyster card' or ‘Contactless’ card can be used for public transport. For more information, visit the Transport for London website.

Copy your documents

Take copies of your passport and Biometric Residence Permit (BRP), either digitally or on paper and keep them separate from the originals. You may also wish to copy your air travel ticket(s) and/or boarding pass(es).

If you lose your passport or BRP, having copies of these documents will make it easier to get them replaced.

Purchase insurance to protect your valuables (laptop, phone, camera etc.)

The best way to get good deal on insurance, and protect your valuables is to use compare websites.

Get a national insurance number if you want to work in the UK

If you intend to work while studying in the UK and you hold a Student Visa, check the visa to make sure this is permitted. Please also make sure to see our guidance on working in the UK before starting work.

All students wanting to work in the UK need to apply for something called a national insurance number.  This is a reference number given by the UK government which allows you to be taxed and paid for your work.

Buy a TV Licence

You will need a TV Licence to watch or record TV in the UK.

Choose the best UK Network provider for your area

The main UK network providers in UK are Vodafone, EE, O2 and Three. To see which mobile network providers are available in your area, visit the OFCOM website.

You will also need to have a UK term-time phone number as part of your conditions of your Student Visa.

Other useful links