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 recommend for all new international students. The programme is designed to help you settle into the university and to life in the UK.

Register with the Police

Some international students need to register with the police within 7 days when they arrive in the UK. Check your visa. If it says "report to police" or "must report to police within 7 days", this means that you must complete registration with the police within 7 days of arriving.  This is a legal requirement and therefore very important.

You should also note that for students who must register with the police, your registration certificate must be updated whenever you get a new visa or change address.

See our guidance on registering with the police.

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 need to attend part 2 of your registration, which is done in person. This is when you'll get your University of Greenwich student ID card. Don't forget to bring your passport with you and your original qualifications.

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. Also it can 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:

  • 'student status letter'.  This is issued by the university and confirms details of your programme, including its duration. 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. You can use documents such as a tenancy agreement or bill to show your address

Understand UK public transport (and apply for an Oyster Card for travel in London)

View the university's information about public transport. If you intend to use public transport in the London area, an 'Oyster card' is necessary for some modes of transport and in general will save you money. 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). 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.)

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 Tier 4 visa, check the visa to make sure this is permitted. See our guidance on working in the UK.

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 as it is broadcast in the UK.