Passport stamps

Visa guidance

Find some important information below. If you have any questions, or would like to book an appointment, please get in touch – we aim to respond to emails in 2–3 working days.

We're the only members of the University that are legally permitted to offer visa advice – operating within our conditions of service, the UKVI, the OISC and the UKCISA.

Working in the UK

Working in the UK

In most cases, students on a Student visa will be able to do some work whilst studying in the UK. Check your visa or Biometric Residence Permit (BRP). You'll likely see a condition that allows work, but with restrictions. You'll also see specifics – including the maximum hours you can work during term time:

If you are studying at degree level and above

If you are studying a course below degree level

20 hours maximum per week during term time

10 hours maximum per week during term time

This includes work, paid or unpaid, for one or more companies – and applies to you if you're undertaking your dissertation module or you have re-sits or re-submissions.

This includes work, paid or unpaid, for one or more companies – and applies to you if you if you have re-sits or re-submissions.

Please note – work placements considered to be an assessed part of your course do not count towards these hours and can be full-time.

Student visa holders have certain restrictions on the types of work they can undertake. If you have this type of visa, you cannot:

  • Be self-employed
  • Engage in any business activity
  • Take a permanent full-time job
  • Be employed as a professional sportsperson, including as a coach
  • Be employed as an entertainer
  • Be in a permanent, full-time job
  • Work as a doctor or dentist in training

In some cases, students on a Student visa may not be allowed to work if their visa or BRP states ‘no work’ or ‘work prohibited’. If you have this and believe it's incorrect, email us.

Students on a Short-term study visa or a Visitor visa are not allowed to work in the UK. It's a breach of your immigration status and a criminal offence if you're found to be working more than your weekly limit, or when you're not permitted to do so. You can be penalised with a fine of £5,000 and/or up to six months’ imprisonment – and might be removed from the UK. You could also be banned from returning for at least 12 months.

Working during holiday periods

During official holidays, students on a Student visa are allowed to work full-time. Dates vary depending on your level and course – so it's important to check before undertaking any full-time work. If you want to work more than your restricted hours, your employer must legally check that you're on holiday. If in doubt, refer to your academic calendar.

After graduating

If you've completed your course, you can work full-time during the remainder of your Student visa. The same limitations to the types of work apply. If you're uncertain about whether you will breach any UKVI regulations, please get in touch.

Completion of your course means either the end date of your course as stated on your Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies or, if you complete your course later or earlier, the date that the board agrees your award.

National insurance

As an international student, you must pay National Insurance (NI) if you plan on working in the UK. To do this, you need to apply for an NI number by phone:

Telephone: 0800 141 2079
Textphone: 0800 141 2438
Lines open Monday to Friday, 08:00 – 17:00

You can start work before your number arrives if you can prove you're allowed to work in the UK by showing your visa or BRP. When you receive it, alert your employer.

Visiting the Schengen Area

The Schengen visa

You might need a visa to visit other European countries while studying at Regent's. The Schengen area covers 27 countries and you can get one visa to cover them all – allowing non-EU/EEA nationals the ability to visit multiple countries for a maximum of 90 days in a 180 day period (Short-stay visa) or to transit through the area (Airport transit visa).

It covers the following countries:

Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Latvia, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Sweden, Slovenia, Slovakia, Switzerland and Spain.

But does NOT cover all EU countries – if you want to travel to Ireland, Romania, Bulgaria or Cyprus, you'll need a separate visa. For more information, refer to the embassy website of the country you plan to visit.

Do I need a Schengen visa?

If you're a non-EU/EEA national then you will need a Schengen visa to visit or to transit through the area. If you believe you have another form of eligibility – e.g., you're a family member of an EU/EEA national – please check with the embassy of the country you're intending to visit.

These countries are currently exempt from needing a visa for a short term stay. This can change frequently, so please check the European Commission website.

Albania, Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominica, El Salvador, North Macedonia, Georgia, Grenada, Guatemala, Holy See, Honduras, Hong Kong, Israel, Japan, Kiribati, Malaysia, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Mexico, Micronesia, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Palau, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Samoa, San Marino, Seychelles, Serbia, Singapore, Solomon Islands, South Korea, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Timor-Leste, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tuvalu, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United States of America, Uruguay, Vanuatu, Venezuela.

Where to apply

You should apply at the embassy of the country you intend to spend the most time in. If you plan on travelling between several countries over an equal amount of time, apply to the embassy of the country you'll visit first.

When to apply

You can apply up to three months before you travel. There's no deadline, but it takes around 15 days to process (up to 60 days in certain countries) so you're advised to submit your application at the earliest opportunity. An appointment is required, so be sure to check with the relevant Consulate or Embassy ahead of your visit.

An application costs approximately €60 per person. An additional service fee might be required.

Supporting documents

Documents vary according to the embassy you apply to – but these required for every country:

  • Your passport, valid for at least three months after you intend to leave
  • Your completed application form
  • Two recent passport photos
  • Evidence of being a student at Regent’s – ask the ASK Centre
  • Your BRP or visa vignette if applying in London
  • Valid medical insurance
  • Proof of funds for the visit – can be up to €120/day
  • Proof of purpose – accommodation booking, invitation from friend/family member
  • Proof of booked return travel

Check the website of the relevant embassy to see which documents are required for your application. You should also take your documents with you when you travel, as you can be asked to demonstrate your eligibility at the border. Please remember to:

  • Obtain a multiple-entry visa if you intend to leave and then re-enter
  • Check the visa you'll require if you intend to work or study in the Schengen Area
  • Take your BRP or visa with you in order to be able to re-enter the UK

If you attempt to re-enter the UK after you've completed your studies, but before your Student visa expires, you might be questioned by the Home Office, and you could be refused entry.

More information

EU Settlement Scheme

EU Settlement Scheme

Freedom of movement to the UK for EU/EEA nationals and their family members has ended following the UK’s decision to leave the EU. This means there are restrictions on the ability to travel, live and study in the UK where previously there were none.

The EU Settlement Scheme allows EU, EEA and Swiss nationals who entered the UK by 31 December 2020 the right to continue to reside, work, and study freely inside the UK.

Successful applicants will be granted a settled or pre-settled status. The deadline to apply was 30 June 2021, however, late applications may be considered in exceptional circumstances. You can find the eligibility requirements on the Government website.

Who can apply?

  • EU nationals with a valid passport
  • Citizens of the EEA (Norway, Lichtenstein, Iceland, Switzerland)
  • Family members of someone from the previous two categories

Conditions

  • You must have entered the UK before 31 December 2020 
  • The deadline was 30 June 2021, late applications may be considered

Since the transition period ended on 1 January 2021, EU nationals no longer have the automatic right to enter, live or study in the UK. Now, when you leave the country:

  • You may not be able to re-enter without proof of settled status or a visa 
  • You'll need to apply for a visa under the UK's new immigration system

Categories

When you apply, you'll be considered for one of two categories. This is automatic and based on the evidence you provide:

Settled status

  • For those who have lived in the UK continuously for five-years
  • It will allow you to remain in the UK permanently and study
  • If you've left the UK for more than 6 months in a 12-month period, you're ineligible
  • This can be extended to 12 months in exceptional cases, like illness

Pre-settled status

  • For those who currently reside in the UK
  • Once you've lived here for five years, you can apply for settled status

How to apply

You can apply online for free. It's not an automatic process, so you must apply for it yourself. If you're successful, please provide us with a confirmation so we can update our records. You can view and prove your status to others here.

Supporting documents

When you apply, you'll need to provide evidence of the following:

Your identity

  • If your passport has an NFC biometric chip, upload a digital photo with your phone
  • Or, complete an online application and upload your photo
  • Post your application to the Home Office – you'll be given the address during your application
  • Make an appointment to scan your ID document at a service location across the UK

Residential history

Criminal history

  • You'll be asked to declare any criminal convictions

Other options

If you can't (or don't want to) apply for the EU Settlement Scheme, you'll need to apply under a new route to enter the UK after January 1 2021, and to stay from July 1 2021. 

If you wish to come to the UK to study on a course longer than 6 months, you'll need to apply under the Student route. If you wish to study on a course up to 6 months, you can enter the UK as a visitor. Please bear in mind that you'll not be allowed to work, access the NHS, or extend your stay if you enter as a visitor.

For more information 

We're available to help and support all international students. Get in touch or:

Lost BRP

Lost BRP

If your Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) is lost, damaged or stolen, you'll need to report it. If it was valid for three months or more, you'll need to apply for a replacement – if it was valid for less than three months you won't need to apply for a replacement, but you'll still need to report it. Failure to do so may result in a fine of up to £1,000.

Keeping your BRP safe

To avoid having to replace it in the future, we recommend keeping it at home in a safe place. You're not required to carry it with you wherever you go – but you'll need it when travelling abroad (to show at the UK border on re-entry) and you might need it when accessing the NHS services or opening a bank account.

If you're in the UK

If you lost your BRP while in the UK, you'll need to undertake the following steps:

  • If stolen, report it to the police and obtain a crime reference number
  • Report it as lost/stolen by submitting this online form to the UKVI
  • Apply for a BRP replacement using this online form – this usually costs £38.20 and needs to be done within 3 months of it being lost

As a part of the last step, you'll be asked to book and attend a biometrics appointment and provide your facial photograph and fingerprints again. Once you've attended, you'll receive a decision within 8 weeks – although you can choose to pay extra for a faster decision. Please let us know once you receive your new BRP as we will need to update our records.

If you need to travel

We'd strongly encourage you to obtain a new BRP before travelling abroad. You might be able to choose a priority service when applying to accelerate the process. If you need to travel without your BRP, you'll need to make additional arrangements to return to the UK. These are described below.

If you're outside the UK

If you lost your BRP abroad and are currently outside the UK, there are additional steps for you to take – this is because it's not possible to apply from overseas. However, you can't return to the UK without your BRP. Therefore, you'll need to apply for a document confirming your immigration permission to show at the UK border on arrival. This is called a ‘replacement BRP visa’ and is granted in a form of a vignette (sticker) in your passport.

These are the steps to follow:

  • If stolen, report it to the local police and obtain a crime reference number
  • Report your BRP as lost or stolen by submitting this online form to the UKVI
  • Apply for a ‘replacement BRP visa’ using this online form costing £154
  • Attend a biometrics appointment overseas
  • Once approved, a replacement BRP visa is endorsed in your passport
  • Travel back to the UK within the BRP's validity dates
  • Once you're in the UK, apply for a BRP replacement using this online form – this usually costs £38.20 and needs to be done within 3 months of it being lost

As a part of the last step, you'll be asked to book and attend a biometrics appointment and provide your facial photograph and fingerprints again. Once you've attended, you'll receive a decision within 8 weeks – although you can choose to pay extra for a faster decision. Please let us know once you receive your new BRP as we will need to update our records.

You can also find an overview of the process on the Government website here.

If you have any questions or doubts, please contact us at [email protected].

BRP and vignette problems

BRP and vignette problems

Very occasionally, you'll find an error on your visa documents – or you'll receive your documents later than expected. Please see the below headings for advice on what to do in your situation – and contact us to make us aware of your circumstances, the action taken, or for further assistance.

There's an error on my Entry Clearance vignette

If you spot an error on your Entry Clearance vignette (the sticker in your passport) when you're still in your home country, you'll need to contact your Visa Application Centre and explain that an error has been made. This should be corrected for you for free. An error could be, for instance, incorrect validity dates, a misspelled name, wrong date of birth or an incorrect sponsor licence number (you can check this on your CAS).

If you spot an error after you've arrived in the UK and you're due to receive a BRP card, we'd advise you to wait and see if it appears there too. If it does, you'll need to report it – see the below section ‘There's an error on my BRP’ for more information.

My Entry Clearance vignette has expired

If your Entry Clearance vignette expired before you were able to travel, you'll need to apply to replace it. This process costs £154 and is described in this short guide

I've lost my passport with the Entry Clearance vignette

If you lose your passport before you travel to the UK, you will need to apply for a new one. You should also report the loss/theft to the police (you may be asked to prove this by applying for a replacement vignette too). Once you have a new passport, you'll be able to apply for a transfer of your vignette.

If you've already travelled to the UK, you'll need to contact the Embassy of your home country to obtain a new passport. Unless your vignette was valid for the entire length of your stay you won't need to apply for a new one. This is because, once you're in the UK, your BRP becomes your official document. If your vignette was valid for the duration of your stay, or if you lost your passport before you collected your BRP, please contact us.

There's an error on my BRP

Occasionally you'll see an error printed on your BRP card. If you spot one, it's crucial you inform us of it. Examples include:

  • Incorrect personal details (name, date of birth)
  • Incorrect working allowance (e.g., 10h when you're entitled to 20h)
  • Incorrect expiry date (visa is too short or too long)*
  • Incorrect sponsor licence number (you can check against your CAS)

*Your visa should be valid until the end of your course +2  months if the duration of your course is under 12 months, or +4 months if your course is 12 months or longer.

When we confirm the error, we'll tell you how to report it to the Home Office. Read more here.

My BRP hasn't arrived

If you applied to extend your visa or replace your BRP in the UK, your document will be delivered to your chosen address by the Royal Mail. It normally arrives within 10 days of your application decision letter from the Home Office.

If it's not delivered in the expected timeframe, or you miss delivery, you should contact the Royal Mail. If they aren't able to help, you should report it to the UK Visas and Immigration. Read more here.

My BRP is not at the Post Office

If you applied for your visa from outside the UK you'll have a designated collection point in the UK – usually Regent's or a local Post Office. Your visa application letter will confirm this. If you go to your designated Post Office and your BRP card isn't there, please let us know and we'll contact the UKVI on your behalf. 

If you're under 18 and therefore can't collect your BRP card yourself – let us know so we can arrange the collection together.

Attending your graduation ceremony

Attending your graduation ceremony

Your Student visa is intended to cover the duration of your studies in the UK, but it doesn't necessarily cover your graduation. If it expires before your ceremony, you'll not be able to extend it for the purpose of attending graduation. Instead, you'll need to obtain another type of visa.

a) Visitor visa

We usually advise you to apply for a Visitor visa. You can only apply for this visa from overseas, but if you're a non-visa national, you may be able to obtain this directly at the border. To determine whether you need to apply in advance, please use the checker

Either way, you should provide the following documents:

  • A valid passport with at least one free page
  • A formal invitation to your ceremony, issued by Regent’s
  • Details of where you intend to stay, with evidence like a hotel reservation*
  • Evidence of your intent to leave afterwards, like booked tickets*
  • Evidence that you have enough money to support yourself during your stay**
  • Official translations of any documents which are not in English or Welsh

*Be careful about accommodation and travel payment before you receive your visa in case your application is refused.

**We advise a minimum of £1,334 per month for living costs. Evidence includes (over six months of) bank statements and recent payslips – failure to show sufficient funds is one of the most common grounds for visa refusal.

Visa nationals will need to submit the application online on the Government website.

b) Graduate visa

If you'd like to stay in the UK to work, or look for work, after your studies, the Graduate visa is the best option for you as it permits you to stay for a further two years (or three years, after a PhD) after your studies.

Inviting family and friends

If you'd like to invite someone from overseas to attend the ceremony with you, they'll need to apply for a Visitor visa. We can't issue an invitation letter in their name, instead you should write a letter inviting them to join you. They should use this letter (and the formal invitation issued by Regent's) with their application.

The standard processing time for visa applications is around 3 weeks.

Reimbursement of the Immigration Health Surcharge for EU and Swiss nationals

Reimbursement of the Immigration Health Surcharge

If you're from the EU or Switzerland, and you're studying in the UK for over six months, you might be eligible for a refund of your Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS). Currently, Student visa applicants need to pay £776 per year to access the NHS while in the UK. This a mandatory step in the visa application process.

However, the Government have introduced a scheme in which EU and Swiss nationals can claim reimbursement of that fee. Depending on your circumstances, the refund may be backdated as far as 1 January 2021. To be considered, you'll need to have a valid European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) issued by your country, and you must not work or intend to work in the UK on your Student visa.

If you receive the refund, you'll only be able to access medically necessary treatment in the UK – as opposed to a broader NHS provision available for those who paid IHS.

Who can apply?

You can apply if all the below conditions are met:

  • You're from the EU or Switzerland
  • Your visa started on or after 1 January 2021
  • You're a full-time student at Regent’s
  • You have an EHIC issued in EU/Switzerland
  • You don't  intend to work in the UK

(As advised by the UKVI, if you work in the UK, your EHIC will no longer be valid as your home country will no longer be responsible for your healthcare while you’re here).

Important notes:

  • If successful, you'll only be able to access ‘medically necessary treatment’
  • You may be charged for treatment not regarded as such
  • You must have had at least six months left when your visa started
  • Reimbursement will cover the dates that your EHIC is valid
  • If you renew your EHIC, you may be able to apply for further reimbursement
  • If you arrived in 2021, you must submit your application by December 2022
  • If you arrive from 1 January 2022, you'll have a year to apply
  • For EU students, reimbursement will be backdated to 1 January 2021
  • For Swiss students, it will be backdated no further than 1 November 2021
  • The type of visa you're on does not affect your eligibility for this scheme
  • Your dependants may also be eligible for the reimbursement

Before applying, please familiarise yourself with the information on the Government website.