Pre-arrival checklist

There's a lot to organise before you begin your journey to the University, so we've put together this handy checklist to help you get as prepared as possible.

Do you have the correct documentation?

Make sure the following documents are packed in your hand luggage:

  • Current passport (and old passport if your current visa is in it)
  • Your UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI)/Home Office visa decision letter
  • Biometric Residence Permit (if applicable)
  • Health certificate (if applicable)
  • Proof of your finances
  • Copy of your Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) email
  • Accommodation Arrival Pass (if you're living on the Canterbury campus)
  • Accommodation Agreement (if you're living at Pier Quays at Medway)

See our Student Immigration website for more information

Have you applied for your visa?

Most international students will need to apply for a visa to study in the UK.  If your course is for 6 months or less, you will need to apply for a visitor visa. If your course is for longer than 6 months you must apply for a Student Route visa.  

Read our guide to applying for a visa. You can also find information and guidance on how to apply for your visa on the Kent Union Advice Centre website.

To apply, you must have received a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) number from our Recruitment and Admissions Office.

Before the University can issue a CAS, we must carry out some checks. These checks include, but are not limited to, ensuring that students have not exceeded the maximum study time allowed to be in the UK as a student, ensuring that students can meet the costs of tuition fees, maintenance and accommodation. We will ask for supporting documents to evidence the checks that we are required to make.

Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) Clearance

All students who are subject to immigration control and who are intending to study certain subjects are required to apply for an ATAS certificate before applying for a visa.

You should apply for your ATAS certificate as early as possible from when you have received a conditional offer to study at a UK Higher Education Institution (HEI).

Make sure your ATAS certificate will not expire before you apply for your UK visa. Read more about the ATAS certificate.

You can find out if your course is on the ATAS list by checking its CAH3 code with Admissions and visiting the ATAS pages at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office website       

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. More information can be found on the following websites:

To complete your visa application, you will need an appointment to provide your biometric details (photograph and fingerprints) at your visa application centre. It is important that you do not delay in making an appointment to provide your biometric details. Any delay could result in your visa being issued late and you not being able to register onto your course on time. 

Do you need to pay an immigration health surcharge?

If you are applying for a student visa for six months or longer, you are required to pay the immigration health surcharge as part of your visa application fee. This will allow you full access to the National Health Service (NHS) in the UK. 

If you're studying at Canterbury you can register as a patient at the Medical Centre. If you're studying at Medway, you should register with a local doctor near to your accommodation in order to receive treatment under the National Health Service. More on Health Services at the University

Do you have the requirement to register with the police on your visa?

As of Monday 1 August, the requirement to register with the police (which is applied to students from certain countries) has been suspended for decisions made on Student applications.

Students who have received decisions up to 1 August that have been asked to register will now not be required to do so. The UKVI have confirmed that this is retrospective.

For students that had already registered with the police, you will no longer be required to inform the Nationality Department of any changes to circumstances (including change of address), but should communicate them to the Home Office directly 

If you have been granted immigration permission in any other category, you will still be required to register with the police if the requirement is endorsed on your visa/decision letter/BRP.

 Further information on the suspension can be found on the Student Immigration website.

Collecting a Biometric Residence Permit (BRP)

You will need to have your immigration status and ID documents checked by the Student Immigration Compliance Team. 

If you are travelling from overseas and need to collect a Biometric Residence Permit (BRP), this will be done on an appointment only basis once we have notified you that we have received your BRP. 

To collect your BRP, you must bring your passport and Home Office Visa decision letter for verification checks. Should these arrangements change, we will notify you of the process.

Do you need medical insurance?

If you are on a course lasting six months or less you can be seen as a temporary patient at the Medical Centre (Canterbury campus) and the Sunlight Centre (Medway campus), but you will be unable to register. You may not be entitled to further National Health Service (NHS) treatment  (for example onward referral to hospital services, if required), so you should arrange private medical insurance. 

Do you have sufficient funds to cover your first few weeks while you open a UK bank account?

There are branches of the main national banks (Barclays, Halifax, HSBC, Lloyds, NatWest, RBS, Santander and TSB) in Canterbury city centre (for the Canterbury campus) Chatham and Gillingham (for the Medway campus) There is also a Santander branch on the Canterbury campus.

Have you arranged schooling and childcare?

If you are bringing children with you, you may need to arrange appropriate schooling and childcare. 

Have you checked what you may need to present at Border Control?

Read the Guide to faster travel through the UK border to be more prepared about what you may need to present at Border Control.

Have you arranged your travel to Kent?

Read our information on how to get to our Canterbury and Medway campuses.

Do you have UK electric plug adaptors?

It's a small thing, but an essential one!

Have you signed up for the Welcome Events?

We're planning some exciting virtual and in-person events to help you get familiar with the University and settle in. More details will be available nearer the time.

Have you applied for a buddy?

Excited about starting at Kent but wish you had someone to show you the ropes? Kent Unions’ Buddy Scheme could be just what you need and available virtually too. It matches you with a current student, based on your preferences such as your course, interests, hobbies and language.

Your buddy can help you connect with others, is someone to talk about student life at Kent and can help recommend things to get involved in. The more you share about your likes and dislikes, the better Buddy match we can find you! 

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