Travel during your stay

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This section provides information to help students who wish to travel outside the UK during their studies.

What counts as the UK for internal travel?

The UKVI define the UK common travel area as being made up of England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man. If you are visiting any of these areas you are still within the UK.

If you hold a visa, you will need to be able to present this even if you are traveling within the UK common travel area.

When can you travel outside the UK, and for how long?

Once you have your Tier 4 (General) Student visa you will be able to travel freely in and out of the UK from the time that your visa is granted until the end of your programme of study.

Every time that you re-enter the UK you may be asked to confirm that you are still a student, we therefore recommend that you keep an enrolment letter with the dates of your course with you.

If you intend to travel outside the UK close to your visa expiry date or after your programme has finished, and intend to return to the UK for a period before your visa expires, we recommend that you contact the Immigration Advisory Service to request a letter to support your re-entry to the UK.

Please be aware that if you are leaving the UK during term time, you will need to seek approval from your department if your trip will mean that you miss any of your classes, tutorials or other scheduled contacts.

Other considerations for travel outside the UK

You will need to ensure that you have the necessary visas for any travel that you plan outside of the UK, and should ensure that you obtain your visa where necessary in advance of travelling. Details of how to apply for a visa can be found on the Embassy website for the country that you wish to travel to. You should also make sure that your passport is valid.

For certain countries your passport must be valid for 6 months after the date you travel – check the entry requirements before you go.

If you intend to travel inside Europe then you may wish to apply for a Schengen visa.