All international students must complete their Visa Checkpoint at the start of the academic year to evidence they have valid permission to study with us, the University of Leicester. Some changes have been made to enable us to observe social distancing rules and carry out these checks in a safe manner for all. As a HEI who is permitted to sponsor international students we are required to ensure that every student has valid UK leave (permission) throughout the whole period of their study. We are required to keep copies of documents provided as part of our sponsor duties in accordance with our Privacy Notice. Students who we know are required to obtain a new visa before registering as a previous visa has expired or tier 4 sponsorship has been withdrawn will be contacted and asked to provide the relevant documentation before attending visa checkpoint.
Booking an appointment to attend Visa Checkpoint
Visa Checkpoint will take place in the Charles Wilson Building. You must only attend your Visa Checkpoint once you have all the documentation you require (please see below).
- If you are collecting your Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) from the Post Office please collect this before you attend your Visa Checkpoint.
- If you opted to collect your BRP from the University when you applied for your Visa, we will let you know when this has arrived and invite you to book an appointment to attend your Visa Checkpoint.
From Thursday 19 January 2023 onwards you will need to visit the Information Hub in the David Wilson Library to complete your Visa Checkpoint.
What happens at the Visa Checkpoint
We will check that you have provided us with copies of your visa and passport to ensure that you have valid permission to study your chosen course with us at the University of Leicester.
We will also ensure that the personal information we hold on you is correct and that we have a current UK address and phone number.
To successfully complete the visa checkpoint and register with the University all students must have provided:
- a valid passport and visa OR
- evidence of valid permission to study in the UK
If you do not evidence that you have valid leave (permission) to study in the UK you will not be able to register. If you are having difficulties providing evidence you should let us know as soon as possible by emailing Student Immigration Advice and Compliance (SIAC). With your consent they can liaise directly with the UKVI to confirm your status.
Once you complete the visa checkpoint you will receive your University ID card and a letter confirming that you are registered with us. We will also provide you with a letter to help you open a UK bank account.
Your permission should normally cover the full duration of your programme of study and if it does not you may be required to speak with a member of Student Immigration Advice and Compliance before you register.
What to bring with you
Please note all documents must be originals and copies will not be accepted.
New students who have BRPs or other physical immigration documentation
- Your offer letter or other correspondence you have received from us with your nine digit student number to help us find your student record.
- Your current passport and visa in case we need to make further checks.
- Your visa grant letter (letter provided with your entry clearance) if you are collecting your BRP from the University
Returning students - only those who have obtained a new passport or visa
- Your University ID Card to help us find your student record.
- Your current/new passport and new visa.
- Your visa grant letter (letter provided with your entry clearance) if you are collecting your BRP from the University.
If you are a student who was on a Student/Tier 4 visa and your visa was cancelled (eg. due to a break in your studies), you must obtain a new Student Visa before you travel to the UK. Do not attempt to travel on a visa which has been reported to the UKVI. If your visa has been reported we will have informed you by email.
Registering with a visa application
You may not be able to provide your visa at the visa checkpoint or during your studies because you have made a new visa application and are waiting for a decision. In this case, you must provide evidence that you made a valid application before your previous visa expired by providing:
- your current passport or travel document.
- your previous visa (or permission) so we can confirm the expiry date
You will need to evidence that your application has been submitted online or that it has been received and acknowledged by the Home Office. We will not accept a letter from a solicitor and you will need to provide one or a combination of the documents listed below;
- a checklist and UKVCAS appointment letter with barcode OR
- a biometrics letter OR
- an acknowledgement letter from the UKVI.
We will make periodic checks to ensure that your application remains valid. If you receive any updates or are notified of a change in your status you should tell email@example.com as soon as possible. If you receive your new visa you should take it to the Student and Library Information Services desk in the Library so it can be copied for our records.
To successfully pass the visa checkpoint and avoid delays please ensure you print the documents above and have them ready to present at the checkpoint. If you have any concerns around documentation please contact firstname.lastname@example.org in advance providing any relevant documentation so they can advise you correctly.
EU students registering with the university are required to evidence their right to study in the UK by attending a visa checkpoint. EU students who have obtained a digital immigration status through the EU Settlement Scheme or by after obtaining a student visa are asked to provide this evidence in advance by emailing email@example.com with the relevant information. When you attend your Visa Checkpoint you must also bring your passport or EU national identity card with you as ID to obtain your student ID card.
Student/Tier 4 visa with a different sponsor
You can only study with the sponsor (college or University) named on the Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) you used to obtain your visa.
If you have been studying with another sponsor you must apply for a new Student visa using a CAS we have issued to you. If you have successfully completed the last course you studied in the UK you are probably able to make this application within the UK. You must provide evidence that you have submitted a new visa application before you can register. Please see Registering with a visa application below and email the relevant documents to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tier 4 visa and just completed a course - you must apply for a new Student visa
If you have just completed a course with us or another UK institution, you must apply for a new Student visa to cover your new course. Our Admissions team will provide you with a CAS to make your application.
You can register and start studying before receiving your new visa from UKVI or permission to switch, but you do so at your own risk. If permission for a new Student visa is refused, you must end your studies immediately and you may not be able to complete your course.
To register you will need to provide evidence that you have made this visa application and should read the guidance below carefully. if you have any difficulties in making this application before you register please contact Student Immigration Advice and Compliance who can advise you further.
Tier 4 Child or Child Student route
We do not hold a Tier 4 licence to sponsor students with a sponsored Child student visa. If you are over 16 and studying at degree level you should apply for a Student visa.
If you have a Tier 4 (Child) visa and wish to study with us, you will need to apply for a new Student visa before you can start your studies. If you think you have been issued with a Tier 4 (Child) visa in error, please contact Student Immigration Advice and Compliance who can help you to correct this.
When should I arrive in the UK?
You must travel to the UK within the validity (start and expiry date) of your entry clearance vignette. You should plan your travel to arrive in the UK and complete registration before the start date of your course and in time to attend your teaching events including scheduled introductory sessions.
Where can I collect my Biometric Residence Permit (BRP)?
When you applied for your Student visa you will have chosen where you will collect your BRP. If you have opted to collect your BRP from the University we will let you know when it arrives and provide you with further information on how to collect it. You will normally collect it when you attend Visa Checkpoint. Otherwise, you should collect it from your chosen Post Office before attending visa checkpoint.
When should I collect my BRP?
You should collect your BRP within 10 days or arriving in the UK. If you are not collecting your BRP from the University you should collect it before you attend visa checkpoint. You must attend visa checkpoint with your BRP and wait until you have completed registration before providing it in another process such as applying for a driver's licence.
What do I need to show to collect my BRP?
To collect their BRP students must provide their original passport and entry clearance vignette (visa sticker in passport) and those of any dependants whose BRPs they are collecting. You will also have to show the visa grant letter (letter provided with your entry clearance) which states the collection point and the date your BRPs should be available for collection.
To collect your BRP you must evidence that you entered the UK between the start date and expiry date on your entry clearance so if your vignette was not stamped you must show other evidence of when you entered the UK such as a flight ticket or boarding card. This is because a BRP can only be collected once it is confirmed the holder entered the UK after the 'valid from' date and before the 'expiry date' on the entry clearance vignette.
When you collect your BRP please check the details are correct. If you require more information on BRPs please see the information provided by the UKVI.
What if my entry clearance vignette has not been stamped?
Sponsored students with a Student visa must provide a date stamped entry clearance vignette (visa sticker in passport) and their Biometric Residence Permit (BRP card). If your entry clearance vignette was not stamped you must bring your boarding card or flight booking with you so we can establish and record when you entered the UK. This is an important and mandatory requirement of our Student Sponsorship.
What if my 90 day entry clearance vignette has expired before travelling to the UK?
If your 90 day entry clearance vignette expires before you are able to travel to the UK you must apply online to transfer your visa. The application costs the equivalent of £154 (GDP). You will be provided with a new entry clearance vignette which will permit you to travel to the UK and collect your BRP.
When you travel to the UK you should carry the documents you provided with your visa application in your hand luggage as a UK Border Force Officer can request to see them. Please make try to see a Port Officer at the border to ensure your entry clearance vignette is stamped when you enter the country. If you cannot do this please retain your boarding card or e-ticket and email a copy with your documents to email@example.com.