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International students - FAQs

Below are some frequently asked questions with their answers.

If these do not answer your questions, please get in touch with us.

    If you have an existing Tier 4 (student) visa which was issued for study at another institution and does not have the UEL Sponsor Licence Number on it, whether you can enrol and study at the University of East London will depend on the date that you applied for the visa.
    • Tier 4 Visas (applied for on or after 5th October 2009) - If you want to study at UEL and you made your last application for a Tier 4 visa for another institution on or after 5th October 2009, you will need to apply for a new Tier 4 visa. You can begin studying at UEL before you have received a decision on your new Tier 4 application. Before enrolling, you will need to provide evidence that you have applied for a Tier 4 visa for studies at UEL (even if you have not yet been granted your new visa). The evidence can be an acknowledgement letter issued by the UK Home Office confirming receipt of your Tier 4 application or the special delivery receipt from the post office addressed to the UK Home Office.

    You can, at your own risk, start your new course at UEL after applying but before receiving a decision on your Tier 4 application for UEL. If for any reason your application is not granted, you may have to stop your studies and return to your home country. Once you have a decision on your Tier 4 application, you must notify the International Office.

    • Tier 4 Visas (applied for before 5th October 2009) - If you want to study at UEL and you made your last application for a Tier 4 visa for another institution before 5th October 2009, you must get the written permission of the UK Home Office. To request this permission, you must complete and send a Permission to Change Tier 4 Sponsor (T4 - PTS) application form. You can download the PTS form and PTS guidance notes from the UK Home Office website. This application costs £160 and can only be made by post.

    You can, at your own risk, start your new course at UEL after requesting permission, but before receiving permission from the UK Home Office. If for any reason permission is not granted, you may have to stop your studies and return to your home country. Before enrolling, you will need to provide evidence that you have requested permission to switch your studies to UEL. This evidence can be an acknowledgement letter issued by the UK Home Office confirming receipt of your T4 -PTS application, or a receipt of postage (special delivery receipt) showing that you have made the T4- PTS application. At some point in the future, the UK Home Office will send you a letter granting permission (or not as the case may be) - at which point you must inform the International Office.

    Most work visas (including Tier 1 - General & Post Study Work, Tier 2 & Work permits) do not prohibit study. This means that if you are in the UK on one of these work visas, you can study. However, you must ensure that you are fulfilling the conditions of your visa and that you have not changed the main purpose for your stay in the UK to study. Therefore, you should continue working within the specific conditions of your visa and study should not be the main reason you remain in the UK.

    You can normally study full or part time if you are in the UK on one of the work visas. However, you must be careful to ensure that you can finish your studies within the existing time on your work visa or that you are able to extend your work visa. Only some categories of work visa allow you to switch to Tier 4 (student) visa in the UK, if you need to do so. In other cases, you may need to return to your home country in order to obtain a Tier 4 (student) visa, if you need to switch to student. Be aware that you cannot study part time on a Tier 4 student visa.

    If you are in the UK on most types of visitor visa (including general, tourist, business and family visitors), study is generally prohibited. This means that you cannot study at UEL on a visitors visa. You will have to return to your home country and apply for a Tier 4 student visa or Short Term Study visa, as appropriate.

    Please see UK Home Office for more information on visitor visas.

    If you are in the UK on some other type of visa, whether you can study at UEL will depend on the visa you hold.

    If you have a visa as the dependant or spouse of someone legally in the UK (i.e.PBS dependant, spouse visa or EEA family permit), you can study. You can normally study full or part time. However, you must be aware that your stay in the UK is dependant on the person that you are the relevant family member of. If your relevant family member leaves the UK, if your relationship ends or you are not able to extend your stay in the same or other some other categories -your stay in the UK will no longer be valid, and you may not be able to continue your studies or you may have to apply for a Tier 4 visa in your home country.

    If you have a Tier 5 Youth Mobility visa, you can study full or part time. However, you must be careful to ensure that you can finish your studies within the existing time on your visa. You cannot switch to Tier 4 student visa in the UK if you are already in the UK on a Tier 5 Youth Mobility visa. If your course ends after your Tier 5 Youth Mobility visa expires, you will have to apply for a Tier 4 visa from your home country.

    NOTE: You cannot study part time on a Tier 4 student visa.

    1. Enrolling at UEL, and visas for students already in the UK

    The following information applies to international students who are studying on a Tier 4 student visa at UEL.
    • If there is no significant break in studies (less than 60 days in term time) because of the re sit, you may remain in the UK and complete your studies. An example of this situation would be where you have a resit to do in the summer, but continue studying other modules in the meantime. If you do not have enough time on your student visa to complete your course, you may need to renew your visa - you will need to meet all the requirements for further visa sponsorship
    • If there is a significant break in studies (more than 60 days in term time) because of the re sit, you will be expected to leave the UK and apply for a new visa in order to return to the UK and to your course, nearer the time (if you meet all the requirements for further visa sponsorship). The break in your studies will be noted on your student record and UEL may be required to notify UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) - formerly the UK Border Agency.

    Examples of significant break in study are:

    • No modules to attempt in Semester B but resits in August
    • No modules available to take in Semester A but modules to take in Semester B

    Returning to Study

    If you need to apply for a new Tier 4 visa in order to continue with your studies, the University compliance team will ask you to prove that you have been meeting the conditions of your previous visa before issuing you with a CAS.

    If you are on a break from studies, you will be required to show that you have left the UK during this period by scanning and emailing stamps in your passport, flight tickets etc. You will be expected to make arrangements to leave the UK as soon as possible after a break from studies has been decided, and certainly within 60 days.

    If the International Compliance team are confident that you have left the Uk and you meet all of the normal Tier 4 requirements (as well as any additional UEL compliance requirements), you will be issued with a CAS for future study at UEL. You can request a CAS a maximum of three months prior to your return to study or resit exams. Your break in studies will be noted in your CAS.

    Please note that you will not be issued with a CAS for future study at UEL if you remain in the UK whilst you are on a break. If you are unsure about your current situation, please get in touch via the 'Contact us' link above.

    Please also note: Apart from the implications for your Tier 4 visa, a break from studies may also have an effect on your tuition fee liability (see UEL fee policy), module registration and/ or other aspects of your study/ residence in the UK. It is important that you seek advice from the relevant departments for advice on the impact of a break from studies.

    Your 50% tuition fee deposit is non-refundable except in the case of your visa application being refused. If you are in your home country and you have already paid your 50% deposit you may only defer your course if your visa application has been refused. If you need to defer your course to the next start date for unforeseen and exceptional reasons, you should email admissions.international@uel.ac.uk with your reasons along with evidence.

    If you require a refund of monies paid for tuition fees, please refer to the 'Fees Policy' for the current academic year. Refund requests are processed strictly in accordance with our refund policy.

    Please note: You can only defer entry for a maximum of 1 academic year.

    Deferring/taking a break from your studies is only acceptable in the most exceptional circumstances. If you are already in the UK on a Tier 4 student visa and you wish to defer or take a break from your studies, you will first need to discuss this with your School (personal tutor/programme leader).

    If, after discussing with your school, you still wish to take a break from your studies, you will need to contact  the International Compliance team to inform them of the reasons for your request, as it is normally only acceptable in the most exceptional circumstances.

    If a break is permitted because you have exceptional circumstances, you will be expected to leave the UK as soon as possible (and certainly within 60 days of the break being agreed). This is because the student visa rules do not allow for breaks in study and remaining in the UK.

    Please note: Apart from the implications for your Tier 4 visa, deferring/ taking a break from studies may also have an effect on your tuition fee liability (see UEL fee policy), module registration and/ or other aspects of your study/ residence in the UK. It is important that you seek advice from the relevant departments for advice on the impact of a break from studies.

    Returning to Study

    If you need to apply for a new Tier 4 visa in order to continue with your studies, the University compliance team will ask you to prove that you have been meeting the conditions of your previous visa before issuing you with a CAS.

    If you are on a break from studies, you will be required to show that you have left the UK during this period by scanning and emailing stamps in your passport, flight tickets etc. You will be expected to make arrangements to leave the UK as soon as possible after a break from studies has been decided, and certainly within 60 days.

    If the International Compliance team are confident that you have left the UK and you meet all of the normal Tier 4 requirements (as well as any additional UEL compliance requirements), you will be issued with a CAS for future study at UEL. You can request a CAS a maximum of three months prior to your return to study or resit exams. Your break in studies will be noted in your CAS.

    Please note that you will not be issued with a CAS for future study at UEL if you remain in the UK whilst you are on a break. If you are unsure about your current situation, please get in touch via the 'Contact us' link above.

    More information available in the Student Visas section of this website.

    It is extremely important that you attend and engage fully with your course of study.The University of East London has a strict Student Attendance Policy, which must be met in order to continue on your course of study. UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) - also has a very strict attendance requirements and requires the University to report any international student on a Tier 4 student visa who fails to meet the attendance requirements.

    Furthermore, part of the conditions of your student visa is that you attend fully and are fully engaged with your studies (this includes; required attendance at scheduled classes, research for dissertation, revision for exams and resits, attendance at exams, practical assessments, presentations and vivas & submission of coursework). Failure to meet the attendance policy requirements, or failure to engage with your studies could result in your withdrawal from your programme of study. Failure to fully meet UEL's attendance policy may result in withdrawal from your module(s), which could then lead to your withdrawl from your programme of study.

    Under the terms of the Tier 4 sponsor licence, the University of East London is required to notify UK Visas & Immigration of any International Student on a Tier 4 visa who has been withdrawn and provide details for the reasons for withdrawal (i.e: If you failed to meet the attendance requirements). UK Visas & Immigration will then curtail your visa to 60 days. If you are in the UK on a Tier 4 student visa and you are withdrawn from your studies, you will be expected to leave the UK as soon as possible (and certainly within 60 days of being withdrawn). Your visa will be curtailed and therefore will no longer be valid (after the curtailment) to remain in the UK to to gain entry to the UK.

    If you really are unable to attend your classes for exceptional reasons (for example due to hospitialisation or serious illness), you should complete and submit an ‘Absence Request Form’ and provide your programme leader/ personal tutor and Student Retention with suitable evidence of the reasons for your absence at the earliest opportunity (for example; a doctors note). Please also copy the International Compliance team to any correspondence so that they are aware.

    If you are having problems attending due to ill health, or because you are stressed out, you might also find it useful to see the University's Health and Wellbeing team for support and advice. You can find more information here: Health and Wellbeing.

    Please also note: Apart from the implications for your Tier 4 visa, a break from studies may also have an effect on your tuition fee liability (see UEL fee policy), module registration and/ or other aspects of your study/ residence in the UK. It is important that you seek advice from the relevant departments for advice on the impact of a break from studies.

    2. Course problems, resits and changes

    We do not advise travelling during term time for two reasons:
    • Because you may be questioned by immigration upon your return to the UK, as you will be expected to be studying.
    • Because you will be missing classes and the University of East London has a strict attendance policy.

    Furthermore, part of the conditions of your student visa is that you attend fully and are fully engaged with your studies (this includes: required attendance at scheduled classes, research for dissertation, revision for exams and resits, attendance at exams, practical assessments, presentations and vivas & submission of coursework).   Failure to meet the attendance policy requirements, or failure to engage with your studies could result in your removal from your programme of study.

    Postgraduate students who are registered for their dissertation or other modules in the summer period, are considered to be in Term-Time and should be actively engaging with their studies during the summer vacation period. Students who have re-sits to complete in the summer are considered to be in term-time until the end of the summer re-sit period.

    If you really need to travel during term-time for exceptional reasons, you should first discuss the request with your personal tutor/programme leader.

    If, after discussing this, you still have to travel and your personal tutor/programme leader agrees to a notified absence, you must complete and submit an ‘Absence Request Form’ to the Student Retention team along with suitable evidence of why you need to travel. Please also copy the International Compliance team into your email so that they are aware.

    If you travel during term time, you should carry with you in your hand luggage an up to date Student Status Letter which you can request from the Student Hub, a print out of your CAS, evidence of any agreed notified absence, evidence of the exceptional reasons for travel and evidence of your finances.

    PhD Students

    PhD students remain registered throughout their enrolment, and the summer vacation periods in the academic calendar do not apply. Therefore PhD students are considered to be in term-time throughout the long summer period.

    Exceptionally, a PhD student may request a short vacation (normally not more than a few weeks), which may be agreed at the discretion of your academic supervisor and with the approval of the Graduate School. In all cases, this must be requested before any holiday is taken. If the request is then agreed, you can then request a letter confirming the vacation periods from the Hub.

    If you wish to travel in the official university vacation times and you have a valid student visa, then that should not be a problem with regards to immigration.

    However, please note: Postgraduate students who are registered for their dissertation or other modules in the summer period, are considered to be in 'term-time' and should be actively engaging with their studies during the summer vacation period. Students who have re-sits to complete in the summer are considered to be in 'term-time' until the end of the summer re-sit period.

    We would advise that if you travel in the official vacation times, that you carry with you in your hand luggage evidence of your enrolment at UEL and which confirms the term dates. You can request a student status letter, which also confirms the term dates from the Student Hub.

    We would also advise that you also carry in your hand luggages evidence that you have sufficient finances to cover your fees and living expenses.
    Please see UEL web pages for official vacation periods.

    If you wish to travel to another country, you should first of all check with the web site of the consulate of the country in question, to check if you require a visa or not. Always prepare in good time as the visa application process and gathering together all necessary documents may take some time.

    Normally, if you do require a visa to visit another country the minimum requirements are:

    • Completion of the relevant application form
    • Payment of the relevant visa application fee
    Passport (normally with at least 3 or 6 months validity from date of proposed return to the UK)
    Valid visa for UK (BRP or visa in passport) - normally with at least 3 or 6 montsh validity from proposed date of return to the UK
    Evidence of your finances (how much money is required may vary) - normally at least 3 months bank statements
    Evidence of your student status (request a Student Status letter from the Student Hub) - sometimes evidence of attendance is also required
    Travel and health insurance - most countries have specific requirements for the insurance policy
    Evidence of purpose of visit (for example: if it is to attend a conference - an invitiation, if it is to visit friends living there - a letter of invite)
    Evidence of itinerary (including return travel tickets to the UK, accommodation and internal travel for the duration of the stay)

    Please note that the exact requirements will be explained in detail on the relevant country's web site. Most countries will require that you have a minimum period of time remaining on your UK visa as well as on your passport.

    If you wish to travel to most countries in the European Union, Norway, Iceland and Switzerland (known as the Schengen Area), one visa allows you entry to all Schengen Area countries. You must check whether you require a visa for the countries that you wish to travel to. If you do, you must make an application to the first country that you are travelling to or to the country in which you will spend the most time.

    More advice on applying for a Schengen Visa can be found at UKCISA website.

    See more information on Schengen Visas.

    If your family members or friends wish to visit you in the UK and they are not European Economic Area nationals, they may require a visa to visit the UK. They should apply for a Standard Visitor Visa at any British Embassy or High Commission. This will normally be in the country in which they normally live.

    If your visitor is a family member coming to the UK to visit you, they must apply as a Standard Visitor. More information can be found on the  Government's Visitor Visa pages.

    Your visitor will normally need to provide at least the following evidence:

    • bank statements, pay slips, or some other evidence to show that they can pay for the trip and that they have enough money to support themselves and any dependants without working or getting any help from public funds, and
    • evidence that they intend to leave the UK at the end of their visit (for example, a letter from their employer) and
    • a letter of invite from you explaining your relationship with them and the purpose of their visit, (see below) and
    • a copy of the bio-data page (the page containing your photograph) of your passport and, if you are not a UK national, evidence of your immigration status in the United Kingdom.
    • A letter from UEL confirming your student status.

    Your letter of invite should state:
    • the visitors name, date of birth and nationality
    • your relationship to the visitor (i.e. child of, friend of etc)
    • purpose of their visit (i.e. attend graduation, holiday etc)
    • where they will stay (if staying in your house you should provide the address)
    • the length of visit, including arrival and departure dates
    • your status in the UK (i.e. studying and on a student visa)

    If your visitor is coming to the UK to attend your graduation ceremony, you should request a Graduation Invitation (Visa) Letter from the Graduation team . For more information on Graduation Ceremonies and invites please see the Graduation team webpages.

    If you wish provide your visitors with a letter from the University confirming your student status, you can request a student status letter from the Hub.

    Your student visa is issued to you for studies in the UK. You are normally granted sufficient time on your visa to complete your course along with some additional time. Your student visa allows you entry into the UK for studies or study related activities.

    Therefore, if after having completed your studies, you wish to leave the UK for a period in order to return again, an immigration officer may not be convinced that you are entering the UK for studies. If an immigration officer is not convinced that you are entering the UK for studies whilst holding a student visa, in some cases he or she might refuse entry into the UK.

    Therefore we do not advise that you travel outside of the UK at the end of your studies whilst still on a student visa, if you wish to return to the UK on that same visa.

    If your visa has expired and you have left the UK, you may wish to return for your graduation ceremony. If you only only wish to return to the UK to attend the graduation ceremony (you do not intend to study or work), you should return to the UK as a visitor. If you are a Visa National you must apply for entry clearance (visa) as a visitor before returning to the UK.

    Visa Nationals - Citizens of some countries must apply for entry clearance (visa) to come to the UK for any purpose and for any length of time. These citizens are known as Visa Nationals. If you are a Visa National, you must apply for entry clearance (a visa issued as a sticker in your passport) to come to the UK as a Standard Visitor. To find out if you must apply for a visa to come to the UK as a Standard Visitor see the Gov.uk website

    Non-Visa Nationals - Citizens of some countries may be able to come to the UK as a Standard Visitor without applying for entry clearance (a visa issued as a sticker in your passport). This is only an option for citizens of countries who are Non-Visa Nationals. To find out if you are a Non-Visa National see the Home Office website. If you are arriving in the UK without Entry Clearance (as a non-visa national) and claiming Leave to Enter the UK as a Standard Visitor you should have in your possession some of the same documents as listed below, in case you need to prove your Visitor status.

    Applying for a Standard Visitor Visa

    You can apply for a Standard Visitor Visa at any British Embassy or High Commission, however this will normally be in the country in which you normally live.
    More information on applying for a Visitors Visa can be found on the Home Office website (please read this information very carefully)

    To come to the UK as a visitor will normally need to provide at least the following evidence:

    • Bank statements, pay slips, or some other evidence to show that you can pay for the trip and that you have enough money to support yourself without working or getting any help from public funds, and
    • Any evidence that you intend to leave the UK at the end of your visit (for example, a letter from your employer), and
    • A letter from UEL inviting you to your graduation ceremony. See the Graduation team webpages, and
    • Evidence of accommodation during your stay (for example: hotel booking or if staying with friends a letter confirming this), and
    • Anything else relevant to your application

    UK Visas and Immigration provides an approximation of visa processing times - whilst most visa applications are processed within 3 weeks and often quicker, it can sometimes take much longer. Therefore, we advise that you prepare and apply for your Visitors Visa early.


    3. Travelling (to and from the UK)

    If your visa application has been refused, it is very important that you seek advice immediately. This is because there are very short timeframes involved whether you are to make an appeal or not. In certain cases you may have the right to appeal and in others you may not. It is also crucial that you are advised on what other action you could take if your receive a refusal. The options available to you will depend on your particular circumstances - which is why it is very important that you seek advice immediately.

    In the first instance you should email isa@uel.ac.uk with a scanned copy of the refusal notice or visit us in one of our drop-in sessions or appointments with the refusal notice and all other relevant documents to your application and refusal, so that we can advise you as appropriate.

    Although we are able to offer limited advice and guidance on refusals and appeals, we will in all circumstances recommend that you seek specialist legal advice from either an ILPA registered solicitor or an OISC level 3 organisation.

    If your visa application has been returned to you as invalid, it is very important that you seek advice immediately. This is because if your application is rejected as invalid, it means that you have not submitted a valid application and that is the same thing as not having made an application in the first place. If your visa has expired before your application is rejected as invalid, you will be considered to be an over-stayer in the UK.

    The options available to you in the case that your application is returned to you as invalid will depend on your particular circumstances - which is why it is very important that you seek advice immediately.

    In the first instance you should email ISA with a scanned copy of the notice of invalid application or visit us in one of our drop-in sessions or appointments with the notice of invalid application and all other relevant documents to your application, so that we can advise you as appropriate.

    4. Visa problems (refusals and rejections)

    Passport: If you have lost your passport or it has been stolen (in the UK), you must in the first instance report this to the Police and obtain a report or crime reference number.
    You must then contact your embassy or high commission in London to find out what the requirements are to obtain a new passport.

    If your passport contained your visa, you will need to apply to UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) to request a Transfer of Conditions (TOC) . This currently costs £168 by postal application or £758 for a premium (in person) application. You must read the Transfer of Conditions Guide and complete the Transfer of Conditions (TOC) application form. Your new visa will be issued on a Biometrics Residence Permit (BRP). This will mean that you must make an appointment to provide your biometrics. If you have a premium appointment you will provide your biometrics at the same time as your application. If you make a postal application, you will be sent a letter asking you to make an appointment after you have submitted your application form.

    As with all applications to UKVI, you must ensure that you meet all the requirements, provide the necessary documents, provide photographs in line with Home Office Photo Guidance, payment by postal order, send by special delivery if making a postal application and keeping a photocopy of your completed application and all documents.

    If you are outside the UK and your passport has been lost or stolen and you plan to return to the UK to continue your studies at UEL, please email ISA for advice.

    If you have a new passport:

    You may wish to obtain a Biometric Residence Permit if your visa is in an old passport which has now expired, even though you have obtained a new passport. This is because although for immigration purposes, you can show both your passports (one for valid identity document and the other to show your immigration status in the UK) when necessary, for work purposes this is not acceptable.

    An employer is required to see that either; you have your visa in your valid passport or on a Biometric Residence Permit. If you have a new passport and your visa is in your old passport, your employer cannot accept that for e,ployment purposes. You will need to apply for a Transfer of Conditions and obtain a Biometric Residence Permit.

    Biometric Residence Permit (BRP): If you have lost your BRP, or it has been stolen (in the UK), you must report this to UKVI as soon as you discover this. Once you have reported the card as lost or stolen, it will be cancelled and you must apply for a new one within 3 months of reporting it as lost or stolen. Failure to do so could mean that your leave to remain in the UK could be curtailed and you could be fined.

    You can find information about how to report this on the Home Office web site - Biometric Residence Permit Holders' Responsibilities.

    You can apply for a replacement card using the form BRP(RC) The cost of a replacement card application is £56 and can only be made by post.
    You can find information about completing the form in the UKVI Guidance. You will see that UKVI do not give guidance on how long it will take to receive your new card.
    You can find more information about what to do if you lose your passport/visa on the UKCISA webpages here.

    Some international students are required to register with the police. If you have a student visa for more than 6 months and you are required to register with the police, it will be stamped on your visa that you must register with the police. You must do this within 7 days of arrival.

    If you are required to register with the police, there is a £34 charge for the initial registration. You should take your passport, two passport sized photographs, a completed OVRO Registration Proforma and fee. If you have a dependant who is also required to register with the police, they too must go in person for the initial registration.

    Renewal of police registration, for example because you have extended your visa is free of charge.

    You must notify the police of any change in address within 7 days. If any of the particulars detailed in your police registration certificate change (for example: immigration conditions, passport details, name, address, marital status or occupation) you must notify the police within 8 days.

    If you live within the Greater London area, you should go to:

    • The Overseas Visitors Records Office. Ground Floor, Brandon House, 180 Borough High Street, Borough, London. SE1 1LH (nearest underground station: Borough -Northern Line)
    • Telephone number: 020 7230 1286
    • There is also a recorded information line: 020 7230 1208
    • The Overseas Visitors Records Office in Borough is normally open from 9.00 until 16.00 Monday to Friday.
    • Students living outside the Greater London area should register with the local police force.

    For more information on the Police Registration Certificate see the information here.

    The Student Health & Wellbeing team (SHWB) recommend that all students register with a doctor (known in the UK as a General Practioner or GP) as soon as possible after their arrival at UEL as waiting until you are unwell could mean that you are not able to see a doctor when you need to.

    In the UK GP’s, dentists and opticians operate an appointment system and you need to book in advance to see them.

    Students living on Campus can obtain forms from SHWB in order to register with the Royal Docks Medical Practise whilst those living near to Stratford Campus can register with Vicarage Lane Health Centre.

    Students living off campus in other areas can use the NHS Choices web site to find their nearest GP. This web site can also be used to find other health care services e.g. hospitals, pharmacies etc which are local to your home address.

    If you have any problems filling out these forms or finding health care please contact Health and Wellbeing.

    For International Students, this depends on the the permission you have to be in the UK. Generally, International Students on a Tier 4 visa who made a Tier 4 application before 6th April 2015 can access all NHS services without charge. Tier 4 students who made a Tier 4 application on or after 6th April 2015 must have paid the approrpiate level of NHS surcharge with the visa application.

    Vistors to the UK or Short Term Students (coming to the UK for 6 months or less) are generally liable to fees for using most NHS services.

    The following treatment is free for anyone:

    • Accident and Emergency treatment (but not follow-up treatment, or admission as an in-patient to hospital)
    • Family planning services.
    • Diagnosis & treatment of sexually transmitted diseases
    • Diagnosis & treatment of some some infeccious diseases
    • Compulsory mental health treatment (if in psychiatric detention or ordered by a court)
    • Treatment of conditions caused by torture, female genital mutilation, domestic or sexual violence
    • Treatment in prison or immigration detention

    All other medical treatment provided by the NHS is charged for to overseas visitors (anyone who has a time limit on their stay in the UK). If you are an 'overseas visitor' and are not in one of the groups who are exempt from paying fees, you will be charged a high rate for any hospital treatment you receive (150% of the usual 'tariff'). You should make sure you have comprehensive private health insurance from the beginning of your stay.

    However, below is a list of non European Economic Area Nationals who are exempt from paying fees:

    • Tier 4, Dependant & most work visa holders (if applied for visa before 6th April 2015)
    • Tier 4, Dependant & most work visa holders if they have paid the appropriate National Health Service surcharge when they made a relevant visa application (if visa applied for on or after 6th April 2015).
    • Australian or New Zealand citizens with permission to enter/remain in the UK
    • Children born in the UK under the age of 3 months (if parents meet one of the above requirements)
    • Those with the right to free hospital treatment under European Law
    • A British Overseas Territory citizen who is resident in the Falkland Islands
    • Someone who has been granted or has made an application for asylum, humanitarian protection, temporary protection, or a child who is looked after by a local authority
    • A member of the UK's regular or reserve armed forces (or in some cases their spouse, civil partner or child).

    European Economic Area & Swiss Students

    Students from the European Economic Area (EEA/EU) and Switzerland need to obtain a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) prior to leaving their home country. You cannot apply for this card in the UK and without it you could be charged for using the NHS unless you have alternative, adequate medical insurance. This card entitles them to free NHS treatment. For more information on the EHIC Card, click here.

    If you are not able to obtain an EHIC card, you shoud obtain comprehensive sickness insurance to cover your entire stay in the UK.

    NHS Statutory Charges:

    Anyone who meets the ordinary residence criteria or is able to access all services of the NHS with fee may still need to pay statutory NHS charges e.g. prescription charges, and will go onto waiting lists for non urgent treatment as appropriate.

    More detailed information on Health & Healthcare in the UK for International Students can be found at UKCISA.

    The University of East London also has a Health and Wellbeing team who can advise you on health related matters.

    5. Other issues