Visas and immigration

Entry Clearance

You can apply for entry clearance to the UK as a Tier 4 Student or as a prospective student.

The information below only applies to students who are not currently in the UK. If you are already in the UK, you should read 'Extending your visa'.

The Home Office has introduced Biometric Residence Permits for applicants applying for entry clearance to come to the UK for more than six months. Read our Biometric Residence Permits page for information.

Applying as a prospective student

Entry as a prospective student is only given if you have not finalised your arrangements (eg you need to attend a course interview), and is for a maximum of six months.

If you want to come to the UK as a prospective student, you are required to apply for entry clearance.

Consult the www.gov.uk website for more information

Applying as a student

Students must apply to come to the UK under 'Tier 4' of the UK's points-based system of immigration.

For full guidance on the current rules, please see the information sheet on the UKCISA website.

Also, for more information and detail about the application procedure, see the www.gov.uk for people outside the UK.

The Home Office has introduced Biometric Residence Permits for applicants applying for entry clearance to come to the UK for more than six months. Read our Biometric Residence Permits page for information.

If there is a problem with your application, or your application has been refused, contact Student Services for advice. You can also get information from the websites above and the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC) website.

If your application is successful, a sticker will be placed in your passport. Check that the details on the entry clearance sticker are correct. If they are not, contact the entry clearance officer to change them.

Always keep an up-to-date photocopy of your passport and copies of your visa sticker showing your permission to enter and remain in the UK. Keep these copies separate from your passport.

When you land in the UK, show the sticker to the immigration officer. You should make sure you have the documents you used to apply for your visa with you in your hand luggage.

It is very important that you make a separate note of the date your permission to be in the UK will expire. If you want to extend your stay in the UK, and you meet the requirements, you will need to make an application before the date that your visa expires. If you apply late, you will not have an automatic right to appeal if your application is refused.

Note that once you have a Tier 4 Student visa to study at a particular sponsor institution (college or university), you may need to follow certain procedures - or apply for and be granted a new visa - before you can start a course at a different sponsor institution.

For further advice, contact Student Services on 00 44 (0) 20 8231 2573, or email our Student Services Team