Students Staff

Visa and right to study checks for 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 continue the same course. We'll take copies of your passport and UK immigration documents. If you're a Tier 4 student, we must also have an up to date record of your UK address and contact details, along with certain other documents.

Maintaining your right to study in the UK throughout your course is your responsibility along with many others, make sure you know what they are.

All non-EEA nationals will need to bring their passport and proof of their current immigration status to Registration. This includes students who have been living in the UK for a while and have indefinite leave to remain or settlement.

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

All students must register in person for the first academic year of their course. If you are continuing the same course, you should be able to register online unless we need to check your immigration status. The Home Office requires us to ensure that your UK address and contact details are up to date. So, it's really important that, even if you haven't changed anything, you do as follows each September and whenever your details change thereafter:

  • During September - log in to your myEssex portal, select 'update personal details' and press 'update' (even if there are no changes).

Our International Services team will run a check later in the Autumn term to make sure you have updated your contact details recently, we will be in touch with you by email if your details are incomplete or haven't been updated since August.

Don't forget - you will need to inform others of changes to your personal details/circumstances including the Home Office. If you are registered with the Police you must update your certificate within 7 days of a change at your local Police Station. Visit our immigration pages for more information.

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

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.

Proof of your right to study in the UK

See the relevant section below for advice on the additional original documentation you'll need to bring to Registration.

All students must bring their 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 the other evidence required.

Summer Schools

If you are coming to take part in one of our summer schools we will also need to undertake some pre-arrival checks as part of your application process. Read our guidance (.pdf) to find out more.

  • Overseas territories/British national (overseas) or British Overseas citizen


    • A valid UK passport that describes you as a British citizen with right of abode and if you are;

    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 Tier 4 visa to study a degree course in the UK or a certificate of entitlement. We won't be able to register you if you need immigration permission to study and don’t have it. Check the Home Office website to see if you need immigration permission to study.

  • 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.

    If non-EEA national with a residence permit for a European country this does not give you the right to live and study in the UK.

    Brexit

    If you are entering the country before the UK leaves the EU you won’t need anything additional. Once you are here studying you can apply for the EU Settlement Scheme. Please read our information about the EU Settlement Scheme for more information.

    If you are entering the country after the UK leaves the EU please read the UKCISA guidance for more information.

  • Tier 4 (General) - applied for overseas

    Course duration up to six months

    • Passport containing Entry Clearance Sticker.
    • Your travel ticket showing that you entered the UK after the "valid from" date on the 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

    • Passport containing Entry Clearance sticker, and
    • Your travel ticket showing that you entered the UK after the “valid from” date on the Entry Clearance Sticker and
    • Your Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) card card (you’ll need to pick this up from the place shown on your UKVI outcome letter before your registration event)
    • Your CAS statement.

    Your Entry clearance sticker and 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.

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

    I have my BRP

    • Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) card.
    • Your CAS statement.

    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 but I have the outcome from the Home Office

    If you haven't received your BRP yet, you'll need to bring your CAS statement and:

    • outcome letter from the Home Office confirming your Tier 4 application has been successful

    If you’re waiting on the outcome of your Tier 4 application, you must have submitted your application online before your last visa expired and before the course start date, using a valid Essex CAS for the correct course. You must be eligible to make the application in the UK. You'll need to provide us with:

    • a printed PDF copy of all pages of your submitted online application form and
    • any letters from the Home Office you have received about the application

  • 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.

    If you used the e:gates when you arrived at the UK Border you must have an entry clearance sticker as a short term student and have entered after the "valid from" date. If you do not have a Short Term Student Entry Clearance Sticker or stamp in your passport and used the e:gates on arrival you will be a visitor and visitor's cannot study for more than 30 days in the UK. You'll be referred to our International Services team for further advice.

  • Settlement/Indefinite Leave to Enter or Remain/Refugee status

    Documents required

    • Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) card or sticker in passport, or
    • Home Office document showing full details of your current immigration status

    I don’t have my BRP/outcome 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
    • if you don’t have the outcome yet, a printed PDF copy of all pages of your submitted online application form.

    Additional notes

    Your immigration status must allow study at the University of Essex.

    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.

    A refugee convention travel document is not evidence of UK immigration status.

  • Any other leave to enter/remain or residence permit

    Documents required

    • Valid UK entry clearance, leave to remain or residence sticker in passport, or
    • Biometric Residence Permit (BRP), or
    • Home Office document showing full details of your current immigration status.

    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 printed PDF copy of all pages of your submitted online application form.

    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.

    Additional notes

    The type of leave you have/have applied for must allow study at the University of Essex.

    If you have a document showing that you are exempt from UK immigration control you should be able to study.

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 was submitted after your previous leave expired or has been refused
  • your leave has expired and you haven’t made a valid leave to remain application
  • we believe that you don't have valid leave to study your University of Essex course
  • your leave doesn't contain our Tier 4 (General) Sponsor Licence Number
  • your visa doesn't cover the length of your course
  • you have leave to enter as a visitor and your course is for longer than 30 days

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 and don’t travel to the UK until you have permission to arrive late.

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 Tier 4 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.