Students Staff

Visa and document checks at Registration

In line with Home Office rules, we must check your identity, address and if applicable, immigration documents to ensure you have the right to study in the UK before you can be registered on to a new course or to complete your re-registration if you're a returning student. We're required to keep copies of your passport and UK visa for if you're a non-EEA student. If you're a Tier 4 student, we must also have evidence of your UK address and all UK visas along with certain other documents.

Maintaining your immigration status throughout your studies is your responsibility. You must also make sure that you're aware of your responsibilities both to us and the Home Office.

All non-EEA students will need to bring their passport and proof of their current immigration status to Registration.

We will check your UK immigration status allows you to register and study your course at Essex and take a copy of all your documents.

If we don't have valid immigration proof for you, you'll receive an email telling you that you can't register online. You'll have to register in person at your campus and provide evidence of your valid immigration status.

Tier 4 students

You’ll be required to attend a visa and document check after you have pre-registered online. For more information, including when and where to finalise your registration, please see our returner registration information.

For general enquiries about online registration, contact the Registration team.

Proof of your right to study in the UK

See below for advice on what documentation you'll need to bring to Registration, as it depends on your circumstances.

Documents must be originals. You must bring your passport and visa. If you've sent your passport and visa to the Home Office, you must provide copies of the original documents we require and be able to prove your UK immigration status allows you to study your course with us.

  • British or European citizenship

    British citizen

    • A valid UK passport that describes you as a British citizen with right of abode.

    Some British nationals need a visa to study in the UK. For instance, if you're a British Overseas territories citizen, British national (overseas) or British overseas citizen you may need a visa to study a degree course in the UK. We won't be able to register you if you need a visa and don’t have one. Check the Home Office website to see if you need a visa.

    European nationals

    • A valid European passport or national identity card.

    If you don’t have a passport or national identity card please read the information about registration.

  • Tier 4 (General) - visa applied for in the UK

    I have my visa

    • Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) card if you have one.
    • Your CAS statement.

    Your visa must contain our Sponsor Licence Number THHCP1YV6, be for the course you're registering to study and not expire before your course end date.

    I don't have my BRP yet

    If you don't have your BRP, you'll need to bring your CAS statement and proof of your application as follows:

    • outcome letter from the Home Office confirming your Tier 4 application has been successful or if you don't have this yet:
      • a PDF copy of all pages of your submitted online application form, and
      • any letters from the Home Office you have received about the application, and
      • if postal application: proof of posting documents to the Home Office, or
      • if premium application: proof of in-person appointment

    I haven't received my Tier 4 outcome

    If you’re waiting on the outcome of your Tier 4 application, you must have made your application online using a valid Essex CAS for the correct course. You must be eligible to make the application in the UK and have submitted it:

    • before your last visa expired
    • before the CAS course start date

  • Tier 4 (General) - visa applied for overseas

    Course duration up to six months

    • Entry Clearance Sticker.

    Your Entry Clearance Sticker must contain our Sponsor Licence Number, THHCP1YV6, be for the course you're registering to study and not expire before your course end date.

    Course duration of more than six months

    • Your CAS statement, and
    • Entry Clearance sticker, and
    • Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) card.

    Your BRP must contain our Sponsor Licence Number, THHCP1YV6, be for the course you're registering to study and not expire before your course end date.

    I don't have my BRP yet

    If you haven’t been able to collect your BRP because it's not available yet, you'll need to bring your UKVI (UK Visas and Immigration) letter that shows when and where your BRP is available to collect.

  • Short-term student

    Course duration up to six months

    • Entry Clearance Sticker that must not expire before your course end date.
    • If you applied for Entry Clearance upon arrival in the UK (non-Visa Nationals only) - the Short-term student entry clearance stamp in your passport that must allow you to remain in the UK until after your course end date.
    • Your University of Essex short-term student visa letter that you used for your application overseas or to gain entry at the UK border.

  • Refugee status

    Documents required

    • Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) card or sticker in passport, or
    • Home Office document (a convention travel document is not evidence of your status).

    Additional notes

    Your status document must not show a restriction on studying.

  • Any other visa or permit

    Documents required

    • Entry clearance or leave to remain sticker in passport, or
    • Biometric Residence Permit (BRP), or
    • Home Office document.

    I don't have my BRP yet

    If you've made a valid application to extend your leave in the UK but not received your BRP, you need to provide:

    • outcome letter from the Home Office confirming your application has been successful, or
    • any letters you’ve received from the Home Office about your application, or
    • a PDF copy of all pages of your submitted online application form, or
    • if you applied by post, a copy of your application form and proof of payment

    If you're waiting for the outcome of your leave to remain application, your application must have been submitted before the date your last visa expired.

If you haven't got the right documents

If you're unable to provide proof that your immigration status allows you to study here, you're unlikely to be able to register or commence your course as planned. This also applies if:

  • your application for leave to remain in the UK has been refused
  • we believe that you don't have valid leave to study
  • your visa has expired
  • your visa doesn't contain our Sponsor Licence Number
  • your visa doesn't cover the length of your course

Please contact the International Services Team if you have any queries about this.

You're unable to register by the LAD

If you can't enter the UK and register by the Latest Accept Date (LAD) shown on your CAS, you must email visaquery@essex.ac.uk immediately and before you travel to the UK.

Our admissions team will contact your academic department to request an extension to the LAD. If approved, your CAS will be updated so that you can enter the UK and register. An extension to your LAD will be given after careful consideration by your academic department and can't be guaranteed. Please don't contact your department directly.

You've decided not to register

As a Tier 4 sponsor we must report all students who remain unregistered after the registration period and withdraw any unused Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS).

If you've been issued a visa using a CAS from our University and you don't register, but have entered the UK, your visa will be curtailed (cut short) by the Home Office. If you haven't travelled to the UK, the visa will no longer be valid.

If you've decided not to register, whatever the reason, please inform Admissions immediately by emailing visaquery@essex.ac.uk.

Other registration queries

If you're a continuing student who can’t register online because of your immigration status and you would like advice, please contact the International Services Team.

For other registration queries not relating to your visa or immigration status, contact the Registration team.