University Preparation students
Before you leave home

Essentials before you leave your country for the UK.

Visas and Immigration Issues

Depending on your nationality, you will require certain documents before you are able to enter the UK.

Students from the European Union

If you are a European citizen living within the EU, you will not need a visa to study in England.

Students from outside the European Union

If you live outside the European Union, you will almost certainly be classed as a visa national and will need to obtain a visa before you can study in the UK.

There are currently five categories of visa which are applicable for international students who want to study in the UK:

1. Short Term Student/Child Visa
This is for students under the age of 18. It allows study in the UK for a maximum of 6 months, at any language level and for any course. There is no minimum language level required (at the discretion of the Entry Clearance Officer). Kings will provide documentation confirming the course of study which will be required in order to gain entry to the UK. 16-17 year olds will also need a signed letter of parental consent or details of guardianship.

2. Tier 4 Child Student Visa
This is for students under the age of 18. It allows study in the UK for between 6 months and 6 years. Kings is a licensed sponsor and rated Highly Trusted. This means Kings is able to provide a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) confirming the course of study, which will be required in order to gain entry to the UK. Students aged 16-17 will also need a signed letter of parental consent or details of guardianship. Students under 16 require a guardian in the UK.

3. Short term Student Visa – over 18 – up to 6 months
This is for students aged 18 and over. It allows for study in the UK up to a maximum of 180 days. There is no minimum level of language required. Students are not permitted to work during their stay, or to extend their visa. Kings will provide documentation confirming the course of study, which will be required in order to gain entry to the UK.

4. Short term Student Visa – over 18 – up to 11 months
This is for students aged 18 and over. It allows study of an English language course for a maximum of 11 months. There is no minimum language level requirement.

5. Tier 4 (Adult) General Student Visa
Kings will provide a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) confirming the course of study, which will be required in order to gain entry to the UK. Students aged 16 – 17 will require a letter of parental consent in order to be considered adults.

For the most up-to-date information and guidance on visa and immigration issues, we suggest you visit: www.gov.uk/government/organisations/uk-visas-and-immigration

Working in the UK

Depending on your visa status and the type course you are studying, there are strict rules about working in the UK while you are a student. If you plan to work during your time in the UK, please visit the United Kingdom Visas and Immigration website for the most up-to-date information.

Remember that it is important to understand and follow the rules relating to working as a student.

Top 10 tips for students arriving in the UK

These are top tips from the Border Force and UK Visa and Immigration.

Please read carefully and arrive prepared: 

Student arrivals: 10 Top Tips

Checklist before you leave

Ask yourself, and answer, these important questions before you leave for Britain.

  • Is my passport valid?
  • Have I got the visas I need?
  • Do I need a single visa or multiple visas?
  • Have I got my Biometric Residence Permit letter (non-EU nationals) from UK Visas and Immigration, telling me where to collect my BRP when I arrive in the UK?
  • Have I got a Student Parent School Agreement which is signed by my parents (under 18s)?
  • Have I got an IELTS Consent Form which is signed by parents (under 18s)?
  • If required, have I got a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies?
  • If required, have I got a letter of parental consent or details of a guardian?
  • Have I arranged somewhere to stay?
  • Do I have enough money for my time in Britain?
  • Can I prove to the British authorities that I have enough money for my stay?
  • Do I have addresses and telephone numbers for both my college (and host family, if applicable) in Britain?
  • Do I have the telephone number of my country’s Embassy in Britain?
  • Do I know how to get to the college when I arrive in Britain?
  • Do I have enough money to get to the college or host family when I arrive?
  • Have I told my host family and the college about my travel arrangements and arrival times?
  • Do I know my contact details – including my mobile telephone number, home address, email address and my emergency contact’s telephone number, email address and home address (usually parents or a close family member)?
  • Do I have any medication I may need while I’m in the UK (labelled in English)?
  • Do I have the school equipment I will need, such as a pen, notebook, coloured pens and highlighters, ruler, dictionary, etc? (Also available to buy locally in your first week.)
  • Do I have my insurance documents – for travel, medical and personal belongings?
  • Have I got my laptop and/or tablet – with chargers and UK adaptor?
  • Do I have suitable clothes for the time of year in England – coat or jacket, enclosed shoes or trainers etc? (Also available to buy locally.)

If you have ticked every box, you are ready to travel!