The University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 7NZ, T +44 (0)1227 764000
Visas, immigration and police registration
If you are a citizen of the European Economic Area (EEA) – the 27 EU countries plus Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway – or a Swiss national (all of whose citizens have the right of free movement and residence in the UK) you do not need to seek entry clearance before travelling to the UK to take a programme of study for more than six months.
If you are not a citizen of these countries, you need to have a Tier 4 Student Visa. For further information, see the UKBA website. For guidance on how to apply for a visa, see the Student Advice Centre website.
Visa and entry clearance
Find out more about your CAS and read our handy guide.
Preparing for your visa application
In order to avoid delays to your visa being granted, it is essential that you prepare well in advance. Further information on preparing for your visa application can be found on the UKBA website.
Visit the Kent Union website for further information
To apply you must have received a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies(CAS) number from the Recruitment and Admissions Office.
Before they can issue the CAS, they need to check that your visa application will not take you over the maximum time that you are allowed to be in the UK as a student. You must also satisfy the immigration authorities that you are able to meet the costs of the course and maintain yourself and any dependants during your course of studies.
You must be able to show that you have had these funds available to you (eg in your bank account) for 28 days before making your Tier 4 visa application. It is advisable to make your tuition fee payments early in order to get evidence of these payments for your visa application.
If you are a Masters or PhD student you must get a clearance certificate before submitting your visa application if you are studying a subject which is on a list under the Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS). It takes up to 20 working days to obtain the certificate.
You can find out if your course is on the list by checking its JACS code with Admissions and visiting the ATAS pages at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office website.
You will need to make an appointment at your nearest visa application centre to provide your biometric details as part of the application process.
For full details please go to:
Preparing for your visa application
In order to avoid delays to your visa being granted, it is essential that you prepare well in advance and that you submit the correct documents. Further information on preparing your visas can be found at:
Extending your leave to remain
Ongoing immigration advice can be obtained from the Kent Union Student Advice Centre in Kent Union (Mandela Building: www.kentunion.co.uk/advice/international) at the Canterbury campus, or from UMSA (Pilkington Building: www.umsa.org.uk/advice/international) at the Medway campus.
Most students on a course of more than six months duration will be given permission to work part-time during the term (up to 20 hours a week) and full-time during the vacations. However, for immigration purposes, you must be able to show that you can afford to study and live in the UK without having to work. You must be able to show other sources of funding apart from your part-time work.
International students should have the following documents readily available when they arrive at the airport or point of entry. Please ensure these documents are kept in your hand luggage and not in your suitcase.
- Current passport and old passport if your visa is in it
- Biometric Residence Permit (if you have one – this only applies if your current visa was issued in the UK)
- Health certificate (if applicable, see information on tuberculosis screening)
- Proof of your finances
- Unconditional Offer Letter
- Accommodation room agreement
Tuberculosis (TB) screening
If you are coming to the UK for more than 6 months you need to get a certificate confirming that you are free from infectious TB before you apply for your visa, if you are a resident of one of the countries on the UKBA list. The list of countries is subject to change - please refer to the UKBA information for an up-to-date list of countries and full details.
If you do need a certificate, carry it with you in your hand luggage in case you are asked to show it to an immigration officer when you arrive in the UK.
Students whose visas are for more than six months and who are from certain countries must register with the police within seven days of arriving in the UK. Your visa will tell you if this applies to you. If your initial visa is for six months or less, you will need to register with the police if you extend it. You can get advice on this from the Student Advice Centre..
You may register direct with the Kent Police Nationality Department at the following address:
Longport Police Station
Ashford Road, Newington
Kent CT18 8AP
T: +44 (0) 1303 297337 (15 2137)
F: +44 (0) 1303 297319 (15 2119)
You will need your KentOne card, your passport and two passport-sized photographs. The charge levied by the police for this service is £34. Read more about Police Registration.
If you need help regarding visas, immigration or police checks, please go to the Registry where representatives from the International Development office will be able to assist you.