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Global Education

Visa Information: United Kingdom

A visa is required for study in the United Kingdom. Which visa you’ll need and how you apply for it depends on the length of your stay and whether you plan to work or have an internship.

Important: Students traveling from the USA to the UK to study abroad should enter the UK on a direct flight from the USA. Students should not attempt to make their first entry to the UK via Ireland, as passengers on flights from Ireland to the UK do not clear immigration on arrival at the UK airport and the student will not, therefore, be able to be admitted in the correct status. As such, many British universities now require international students to fly directly from their home country to the UK to ensure they are admitted in the correct status. In many cases, these universities instruct any international students arriving via Ireland to leave the UK and re-enter from another country (such as France or Belgium) to ensure they clear immigration on arrival in the UK.

 

Semester Students

You have two options for applying for your student visa:

  1. Pre-apply for your visa before departing the US. (Strongly recommended)
  2. Apply at the airport in the UK upon your arrival. (Not recommended)

If you are planning to stay in the UK for less than 6 months and do not plan work or have an internship you can apply for your student visa upon arrival in the UK. This can be convenient, because the stamp you’ll receive in your passport upon entry to the UK serves as your ‘visa’; however, this visa is valid only for your initial entrance to the UK. Upon every entrance to the UK (both initially and after every time you travel to another country), you’ll need to show a series of documents to the immigration officer to receive a new visa. The process is not fool-proof and there is the potential that you can receive the wrong stamp, which would require that you depart the United Kingdom and reenter to go through the process again.

Because of the above scenarios, our partners in the UK have strongly advised that US students pre-apply for their short-term study visa before they depart for their semester abroad. You can apply up to 3 months before your program begins. Traveling with a pre-approved visa provides a more stream-lined entrance into the UK (as you’ll need only show your passport and visa, not all other supporting documents) both on your initial entrance as well as every time you travel outside of the UK.

 

To Pre-Apply for a Short-Term Study Visa

Review the Short-term Study Visa information provided by the UK government. This guide will explain the process and provide a link to the online application.

You must prove that you:

  • have been offered a place on a course in the UK at an accepted place of study
  • have enough money to support yourself without working or help from public funds, or that relatives and friends can support and house you
  • can pay for your return or onward journey

When you apply you need to provide:

  • a current passport or other valid travel identification
  • evidence that you can support yourself during your trip, e.g., bank statements or payslips for the last 6 months
  • details of where you intend to stay and your travel plans ­– you shouldn’t pay for accommodation or travel until you get your visa
  • your tuberculosis (TB) test results if you’re from a country where you have to take the test

You need to provide the original documents. You also need to provide a certified translation of any documents that aren’t in English or Welsh.

You need a page in your passport that’s blank on both sides for your visa.

Note: You must apply online for a Short-­term study visa; however, you will need to have your fingerprints and photograph (known as ‘biometric information’) taken at an approved facility as part of your application.

 

 

To Apply upon Arrival for a Visa

You must have the following original documents upon arrival and may have to present them to the border and customs agent:

  • Passport: Valid for at least 6 months beyond your return date
  • Passport sized color photo
  • Letter of acceptance from your host institution
  • Statement of financial support: Bank statement from personal account, Bank statement from parents (or from who is supporting you) or a financial aid statement and/or a bank statement (depending on your financial situation).
  • Details of your accommodations
  • Flight confirmation

 

Full-Year Students, Students Planning To Work, and/or Students Planning To Complete an Internship

If you are planning to stay in the UK for more than 6 months or you want to work or complete an internship you need to apply for the Tier 4 General Visitor. This must be applied for prior to your departure for the UK. You must have the following original documents:

Note: Even if you are completing an unpaid internship you must have the Tier 4 General Visitor visa.

 

Required Materials

  • Completed online application, found here
  • Passport: Valid for at least 6 months beyond your return date
  • Confirmation of Acceptance: from High Point University
  • Confirmation of Acceptance: from your host institution
  • Statement of financial support: Bank statement from personal account, Bank statement from parents (or from who is supporting you) or a financial aid statement and/or a bank statement (depending on your financial situation).
  • Passport sized color photo
  • Details of your accommodations
  • Flight confirmation

Additional information about Tier 4 General visas can be found here

 

IMPORTANT: This information provides guidelines about the visa process. Visa regulations often change, and procedures can vary by Consulate and/or Embassy. Students should verify the current visa application procedures with the appropriate Consulate or Embassy before initiating the process. While every effort is made to ensure these guidelines are updated and as accurate as possible, the Office of Study Abroad and High Point University cannot guarantee that the visa information posted is the most current. The information included only applies to US citizens.

Office of Global Education

Location: Cottrell Hall, Suite 142
Phone: +1 (336) 841-9280
Email: studyabroad@highpoint.edu
Mailing Address:
High Point University
Office of Global Education
One University Parkway, Drawer 24
High Point, NC 27268  USA

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