What to do before you arrange travel
At least 3 months before you are due to start your studies in the UK as a visitor, we recommend you read the UKCISA guidance and government website to find out all you need to know about applying for entry as a Standard Visitor overseas or, at the UK border if you are eligible, and gather all the documents you need. Also:
Find out if you are a visa national:
- If you are a visa national, you must apply for entry clearance overseas and will need to be have the entry clearance vignette (sticker) placed in your passport before you can travel to the UK. We do not recommend booking travel until you have been granted your visa.
- If you are not a visa national, you will be able to apply for entry at the UK border when you arrive.
Check your course end date, you will need to make sure you do not enter the UK more than 6 months before that date. If you are applying for entry clearance overseas make sure your intended date of travel is not more than 6 months before the course end date.
Contact the relevant team, to request a supporting letter from the University, read the ‘What else you will need’ section below to find out who to contact and how.
As well as the information below, please read our Coming to the UK page for more information about travelling to and arriving in the UK.
Applying for entry clearance overseas
We recommend you apply at least 2 months before you are due to start your studies, you may have to travel to another country for your biometric appointment and it can take at least 15 working days to receive an outcome from the date of your appointment. You may be able to book a priority service to receive a quicker outcome.
You should complete your application to enter as a Standard Visitor online. Make sure your intended date of travel is no more than 6 months before your course end date.
Applying for entry at the UK Border – non-visa nationals
If you are a visa national, you must obtain entry clearance before you travel.
If you are not a visa national, you can apply for entry overseas before you travel or upon arrival at the UK border. If you decide to apply for entry at the UK border, you must ensure you carry all the documents you require to prove you are a genuine visitor in your hand luggage, including evidence that you meet the requirements to study as a Standard Visitor.