Important things to consider
Please ensure that you are familiar with your visa regulations and all the legal requirements before you travel to the UK.
For UK Government information on general requirements for visa applications, application forms and official guidelines, visit the UK Government website. When planning your studies in the UK, you need to investigate what type of entry clearance or visa you need to obtain before you travel. You can check this on the UK Government website.
If you are a 'Visa National' then you will have to apply for a visa before you travel to the UK. This information can also be found on the UK Government website.
Students on courses of six-month duration or less
Students who wish to come to the UK to study on courses of six-month duration or less can now do this on the Visitor Visa route. Entry to the UK on a Visitor visa means that you will not be permitted to work in the UK (even if you need to work as part of your studies) nor will you be able to extend your visa from the UK.
If you want to come on a Visitor Visa you must show:
- That you have been unconditionally accepted on a course (by proof of an unconditional offer letter)
- If you are aged under 18 then you will need to provide additional information. Please see the UK Government website for more details.
- You have the financial resources to accommodate and maintain yourself during your studies
- You intend to leave at the end of your stay and be able to meet the cost of your return journey home
Visa nationals who wish to enter the UK under this category must apply for entry clearance prior to arrival in the UK. Non-visa nationals do not need entry clearance prior to arrival but will need to declare their intentions to the Immigration Officer on arrival. Make sure that the Immigration Officer marks your entry stamp as a Visitor Visa stamp for studies.
Further information about making an application for a Visitor Visa is available at on the UK Government website.
Checking your Student Visa
Once your visa is issued you should make sure that you check your visa is the right type of visa for you, and has the correct length of time. You should report any errors to the Entry Clearance Officer (ECO) as it may not always be possible to correct any mistakes once you have left your country.
You should check the vignette in your passport as well as your immigration decision letter. If you have applied for a Student Visa you will need to check the following:
- The visa stamp states you are a “Student,” not a “Visitor” or a “Child Student”
- No working prohibition
- Police registration; if your visa/immigration decision letter states that you must register, then speak with the University’s Student Immigration Team when you arrive in the UK and they will advise how and when to do this
- The Sponsor Licence Number (SLN) is correct; you can find this number on your CAS. Sometimes the ECO will write the CAS number instead of the SLN; this is okay as long as it is the correct CAS number
- Start date – in most instances the earliest your visa will be valid from is one month before the start date of the course (as stated on your CAS). If your course is less than six months (excluding pre-sessional courses) then the earliest date your visa will start is 7 days before the start date of your course
- Expiry/end date: If you are coming to study on a course for more than six months then the vignette in your passport will be valid for 30 days only*. Once you arrive in the UK you will then be able to collect your visa which should cover the full length of your programme of study. Your immigration decision letter will tell you what the full length of your visa will be. There are Home Office guidelines which determine how much leave someone on a Student visa should be given.
If these guidelines have not been followed then ask the ECO to amend your leave. For further details about collecting your visa on arrival to the UK please see our Ask Herts page.
If you use the CAS we have issued to obtain your visa then you will be tied to this University. If you therefore decide to change education providers, you will need to apply for a new visa before you will be permitted to start your studies (and in some instances you need to actually be in receipt of your new visa before you can start with another institution). This is still the case even if you have time left on your current visa.
Course End of immigration permission
12 months or more
4 months after the end of the course
6 months or more, but less than 12 months
2 months after the end of the course
Pre-sessional course, less than 6 months
1 month after the end of the course
Other course, less than 6 months
7 days after the end of the course
What happens if my visa is refused?
If your application has been refused, you will have been given a written notice detailing the reasons for the refusal. If you think that the Entry Clearance Officer (ECO) has made a mistake then you can request an administrative review.
Please inform the University of your refusal before you submit an Administrative Review, so we can provide you with the best possible advice. Send a copy of the refusal notice to SITcompliance@herts.ac.uk.
Your request must be made within 28 days of the date you receive the refusal notice. You may only ask for one administrative review for each refusal decision.
If you have been studying elsewhere in the UK on a Student Visa and you are now applying to study at the University of Hertfordshire, you will need to make a new Student Visa application using the CAS issued to you before you will be permitted to register. This is still the case even if you have time left on your current visa.
If you think you will need to extend your visa whilst you are in the UK, (for example, to do a new course of study, or you are studying on a pre-sessional or preparatory course), then it is important that you are aware of the application procedure. For information on this, visit the UK Government website.
Under new Home Office rules, if you are starting a new course of study, even with the same education provider, you will need to apply for a new visa (with a new CAS) before you can start the course. This is still the case even if you have time left on your current visa.
Note that if you are already in the UK and your existing permission to stay runs out more than 28 days before the start date of your new course of study, you will have to return home to apply from outside the UK. You will not be able to apply to extend your visa from the UK.
Bringing your family to the UK
Useful information about eligibility for family members to apply as dependants can be found here.
If you are applying for entry clearance for dependants then a separate application will need to be made for each dependant.
Guidance and policy on making applications for dependants is available here.
Please note that the University does not have accommodation suitable for families.
Immigration health surcharge
Many people who need immigration permission to come to or stay in the UK will be charged an additional sum as part of their immigration application. This will entitle them to receive free health services under the National Health Service.
The charge for students and their dependants can be found online. This sum is an annual amount and applicants will be charged the annual amount for each year of the maximum period of leave which could be granted under the immigration rules. If this period of leave includes part of a year that is six months or less, the amount payable for that part of a year is half the specified amount. If the period of leave includes part of a year that is more than six months, the full annual amount is payable. Find out more information about the health surcharge can be found here.
Pre-screening for tuberculosis (TB) has been introduced in areas which are considered to be high risk. If you are applying for a visa from certain countries for over six months you will need to obtain a certificate, from an accredited clinic, showing that you are free from infectious TB. If you do not have a certificate your entry clearance application will normally be refused. To find out if you are required to be screened for TB visit the UK Government website.
You do not need to have received a COVID-19 vaccine in order to travel to the UK.
Once you are registered at the University, you will be able to sign up to a GP in the UK. As you will have paid your NHS Health Surcharge during your visa application, you will be able to use the NHS during your time in the UK. Let your UK GP know that you have not yet had your COVID-19 vaccination and they will be able to help arrange the appointment for you.
You can read more about International students vaccine eligibility online.
Biometric finger scans and digital photographs
All visa applicants, irrespective of nationality, will need to provide ‘biometric’ information as part of the visa application process. This biometric information consists of scans of all 10 of your fingers and a full-face digital photograph. You will have to go to the nearest Visa Application Centre (VAC) in person to provide this biometric information. In countries where there is no VAC, you will need to go to the British Mission. Your visa application will not be processed until you have provided the necessary biometric information.
Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS)
If you will be studying in the UK on any type of time limited leave (visa) and you are planning to undertake postgraduate studies and/or research which leads to a Doctorate or Master's degree in certain designated subjects (usually science and engineering), you will have to obtain an Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) certificate before you apply for your visa. Your CAS will indicate whether or not you are required to obtain an ATAS certificate. Applicants have to obtain ATAS before they are given a CAS.
Full details about this scheme can be found here.
Any Student visa applicant may be required to undergo a short interview as part of their visa application. The purpose of the interview is to ascertain that a student’s intentions to study in the UK are genuine. More information can be found here.
Biometric Residence Permit (BRP)
Any national applying from overseas for permission to stay for more than six months will be given a 30 day vignette* when they apply for a visa. To ensure that you can collect your Biometric Residence Permit from the University of Hertfordshire you must enter the Alternative Collection Location (ACL) code: 2HE462, when you apply for your visa online. If you do not do this then your BRP will be sent to a Post Office. Arranging collection from a Post Office could cause delays in your registration. Ensuring your BRP is delivered to the University is essential if you are aged under 18.
The visa confirmation letter will advise you to collect your BRP within 10 days of arrival in the UK.
Further information about Biometric Residence Permits can be found at on our Ask Herts page.
On campus BRP Card Alternative Collection Location (ACL) code: 2HE462
School specific information
Remember to keep an eye on your emails for any updates from your School of Study about your course and the start of term. Your School may provide you with important details to help you know what to expect.
Students for programmes within the School of Health and Social Work should ensure they are familiar with the FAQ document.
The laws in the UK may not be quite the same as in your own country. If you break the law and are found to be guilty of a crime, a successful prosecution could result in a fine, a prison sentence or even being deported from the UK. You would also be subject to the University’s disciplinary procedures and liable to be excluded from the University.
Immigration guidance during your studies
The Student Immigration Advisors are here to help students with any queries they may have about student visas, and to help, where necessary, to extend their time in the UK. The advice we give is free.
If you have a Student Visa, it’s important that you act in a way which protects your immigration status, find out how to do this on the UKCISA website.
As a Student sponsor the University has a legal duty to report to the UK immigration authorities those Student Visa holders who:
- Fail to enrol for their course within the enrolment period
- Leave their studies (permanently or temporarily)
- Are absent without permission
- Complete their course earlier than expected
- Raise suspicion that they may be in breach of the terms of their visa
Registering with the police
Previously, some Student Visa holders were required to register with the police within 7 days of arriving in the UK. However, on the 1st August 2022 Police Registration was discontinued and is now no longer required.
If you need more information about police registration, see Ask Herts. You can also see an International Student Advisor at the University.
Working in the UK
Most students entering the UK on a Student Route student visa are permitted to work a maximum 20 hours per week during term time.
Please note that if you are studying on a course classed as below degree level, which includes our International Foundation and English Language courses then you are only permitted to work a maximum of 10 hours per week.
Your vignette or biometric residence permit will tell you how many hours you are allowed to work.
If you have entered the UK on a Student Visitor Visa you are not permitted to work - either paid or unpaid.
Find out more about your right to work in the UK. Many of our undergraduate courses include an optional work placement opportunity, allowing you to obtain industry experience in the UK as part of your degree programme. This is permitted on a Student Route student visa and will allow you to work full time during your placement but only if this is part of your degree programme.
If you are planning to have a part time job during your studies, ensure you allow yourself enough free time to have a good work-life-study balance. Your studies should take priority.
Please continue to the 'Start dates for international students' section.