Travelling to the UK

Your course start date is the date given on your CAS. If you are doing a course that is six months or longer, or for a pre-sessional course that is less than six months, you will be able to come to the UK up to one month before the start date of your course. If you are doing a course that is less than six months in length (and is not a pre-sessional), you will be able to come seven days before your course start date.

If you are studying a course of more than 6 months, your visa would normally be issued as a 30 day entry vignette (sticker) in your passport and you will need to collect a Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) after arrival in the UK. As a result of the pandemic, UKVI will issues 90 day entry vignettes to allow for more flexible travel arrangements to the UK.

If you are studying a course of less than 6 months, the entry visa you received in your passport should be endorsed to cover you for the full duration of your course and you should not need to collect a BRP once you arrive in the UK.

If you cannot travel to the UK before the latest acceptance date on your CAS you may need to defer your start on your course. If your arrival in the UK is delayed you must contact the Admissions Staff in your Academic School to ask them if they can extend your latest arrival date. If you arrive in the UK after your latest acceptance date you may not be permitted to start your course.

Digital student status

If you were eligible to use the UKVI immigration ID app on your phone to apply for your student visa you will be issued with digital student status. This means you can only travel to the UK during the validity dates of your visa as you will not receive a vignette visa in your passport. You must ensure that you have your decision letter email from UKVI available in your phone or printed out when you travel to the UK as evidence of your immigration status. As soon as you receive a decision on your student visa application you need to check that you have been granted the correct length of visa ie. course end date plus 4 months if your course is longer than 12 months, course end date plus 2 months if your course is less than 12 months and let us know if there are any errors with your visa. You also need to obtain a share code from the UKVI website and email it to visa@manchester.ac.uk along with your student ID number, your date of birth and your boarding pass. Once we have obtained your share code we can verify your immigration status online and update your student record with your visa information. This is called the Right to Study check.

You must not travel to the UK until your student visa is issued. If you travel to the UK before a decision is made on your student visa application you will be entering the UK as a visitor and you are not permitted to study with a visitor visa. 

Immigration permission granted but cannot travel

If you have obtained your visa but not yet arrived in the UK, you must check that the visa sticker (‘entry clearance vignette’) in your passport will still be valid for your intended travel dates.

You may find that the entry clearance vignette is about to expire or will have expired by the time you wish to travel to the UK. In this situation you will need to apply for a replacement sticker. 

If you chose not to come to the UK during the time given on your 90-day vignette:

You must apply for a replacement vignette that is valid for your intended travel dates. You will need to pay £154 for this new application and provide your biometric information again. You do not need a new CAS and you will not have to pay the IHS again. If your TB certificate is more than 6 months old you will need to obtain a new one. You need to read the information on the UKVI website about how to apply.

Your application will be for a Transfer of Conditions (vignette transfer):

You should state the country that you wish to apply from when you apply online.

In the additional information section you should state that you have been granted a Student visa but you need a new 90 day vignette as you have not been able to (or will not be able to) travel to the UK before the expiry date of the vignette that you have been issued