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When should my visa expire?

Students coming to the UK for more than 6 months and who apply for their Tier 4 visa outside the UK will be granted an Entry Clearance visa which is valid for 30 days, starting either one month before the course start date or seven days before the intended date of travel, whichever is later. Please do not be concerned about the early expiry date of this visa: it is to allow you to enter the UK within the 30 days’ visa validity, and then you must collect your full visa on a Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) within 10 days of arriving in the UK.

Instructions on where to collect your BRP will be in your visa decision letter, issued at the same time as your Entry Clearance visa. This letter will also confirm the full duration of your BRP visa. Please check the visa dates in this letter carefully to ensure that you have been granted the correct length of leave. Students studying on a course that lasts more than 12 calendar months should receive a visa to cover the full length of their course + 4 additional months. (For example if you are an Undergraduate student your course is likely to end in June and your visa should expire in October.) If you notice an error before travelling to the UK please contact your local Visa Application Centre to challenge this error.

If you only notice the error when you collect your Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) once you are in the UK then please contact the International Student Support team to discuss the possibility of having this corrected.

Can you suggest an alternative form of ID?

At times you may be required to show ID (eg going to a bar or a club). Forms of ID that are accepted are your passport, driver's licence or BRP.

However we do not recommend carrying your passport or BRP with you on a daily basis. If you do not have a driver's licence there is an alternative form of ID that you can apply for that is recognised by the UK Government. This ID is called PASS and you can find more information about how to apply on their website.

Where can I have a document notarised?

The International Student Support team are not able to notarise copies of documents. Please refer to the Notaries Society website which provides a tool to help you find a local notary.

How do I apply for a visa to visit the United States?

The International Student Support team are not able to give specific advice on US visas. We have put together some general information on applying for a US visa [pdf].

How can I invite family or a friend to visit me in London?

Further information on inviting Family and friends to the UK is available, see our inviting Family and friends [pdf] information sheet.

How do I apply for a National Insurance Number?

If you intend to do any kind of work in the UK you will need to apply for a National Insurance number [pdf] for tax purposes.

What are the Home Office requirements for translating documents?

Where you are using translated documents as part of a visa application, these documents must meet the Home Office requirements. Documents that do not meet these requirements could lead to your visa application being refused (see: Translations [pdf]).

What are the Home Office requirements for bank statements?

Bank Statements [pdf] that are used as part of a visa application must meet the Home Office requirements.

What is a 'financial sponsor' under the Tier 4 rules?

A Financial sponsor [pdf] as defined by the Home Office carries a very specific meaning and does not refer to a parent providing financial support.