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Continuing Students and Recent Graduates Re-Entering the UK

In this section you will find information about travel advice for continuing students who wish to travel during or after the course.


Click here if you are a New Student entering the UK for the first time
Please click on the relevant section below to expand the guidance.
  • Click here for a Guide to faster travel through the UK border

    Please answer the following questions to answer your query.

    Do You Hold A Biometric Passport And You Are A National Of:
    • EEA Countries
    • Australia
    • Canada
    • Japan
    • New Zealand
    • Singapore
    • South Korea
    • USA

    What type of Visa do you hold / are requesting on entry?
    Other Nationals

    If your Nationality is not listed, you cannot use the e-Gate, and must visit the Immigration Desk.


    E-Gate National - Short Term Study visa / EEA family permit

    If you enter the UK without visiting the Immigration Desk, you may inadvertantly enter as a Visitor, which may mean you may not be permitted to study.

    Have you entered the UK previously on this visa?

    NON-Visa National - Other Visa - Not previously entered

    We would therefore recommend that if it is your first time entering the UK using this visa, that you visit an immigration desk.

    NON-Visa National - Other Visa - Previously entered

    We advise that you keep a copy of your bording pass and or flight ticket/travel booking for future reference, in case you have to provide proof of entry.

  • Always travel with a copy of your passport and visa/BRP (or, digital copies you can have easy access to). If your hotel has a safe, store the original documents there and carry duplicates when out and about.

    If your visa is a separate BRP card, remember that you will need both this and your passport to re-enter the UK when travelling overseas.

    Be mindful of your surroundings, never leave bags open or unattended and avoid carrying on your person high-cost items like digital cameras or tablets.

    If travelling overseas, take out comprehensive travel insurance which will cover both your personal belongings and health care.

    If the worst happens and you lose your passport and/or visa, follow our 'Lost Passports and Visa' page for full advice on how to re-enter the UK.

    When returning to the UK, you are advised to carry the following documents in your hand luggage:

    • Your passport

    • Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) (if you have one)

    • Status letter confirming your registration at Warwick.

    • Police Registration Certificate (if this is required).

      • If you haven't managed to book an appointment or attended your appointment to obtain your Police Regisration Certificate, please visit our Police Registration website for further information.
    • Any evidence that you have been given consent to be absent from studies, for example, print-out of an email (if the travel will take place outside recognised University vacation periods because you have no class scheduled, or if you have been given permission by your academic department or the University).

      • This should only be presented at the UK border upon request.

    • Financial evidence to support a new Tier 4 visa application (if your current visa is about to expire and you intend to make a new Tier 4 visa application when you return to the UK)

  • If you will return to the UK before your 'course end date' as detailed in your CAS, then you should be permitted entry because you are still a registered student and meet the requirement of your Tier 4 visa.

    The fact that you have fulfilled the academic requirement of the course does not change your immigration status as a student.

    However, if you have had a course change (from a longer to a shorter course), or, are completing your research course earlier, and the university has reported your 'early completion', then you should not attempt to return to the UK using your current Tier 4 visa after the date of the report - you will receive an email notification within 24 hours of the report being made.

    This is because the report will trigger curtailment of your visa and you do not always receive notification from the UKVI successfully.

    If you are returning to the UK very close to your course end date then you may expect the immigration officer at border control to question your reason of returning to the UK.

    We would therefore recommend that you bring:

    • 1) Evidence that you are a current student, for example: A Student Status Letter
    • 2) Evidence of return ticket leaving the UK, if available
    • 3) Evidence of your purpose of returning to the UK, for example: A copy of a new CAS/offer if you will pursue further studies, a copy of email confirming you will attend a Graduation Ceremony, or a print-out of a CoS if you have secured sponsorship for a work visa etc.

    You should present these only if you are asked to do so and these should mitigate the risk of you being refused entry.

    You should avoid mention of work, if at all possible without being dishonest, as this often raises doubts in a border force officer's mind about your real reasons for re-entering the UK.

  • Since March 2018, we have been assured by the Home Office UKVI Policy Team that the Border Force officers have been briefed that attending the Graduation Ceremony is a permitted activity for students who have completed their course successfully, but NOT as a result of early completion, hold a valid Tier 4 visa and wish to return to the UK for the purpose of attending their Graduation Ceremony.

    If you fall into this category, you no longer need to apply for a Standard Visitor visa, although you can if you wish to.

    Please note however, that the Border Force officials retain the right to establish that you are genuinely coming back to the UK to do what you said you would, and so it is important that you have sufficient evidence in your hand luggage in case you are asked, for example, the email sent from Graduation Team confirming your registration, the email from professional services or your academic department confirming you have passed your degree the return ticket to your home country after the Graduation Ceremony, etc.

    If you have any questions about inviting family/friends to attend your Graduation Ceremony, please refer to the Graduation Portal for further information, including information on visitor visas.

  • Since March 2018, we have been assured by the Home Office UKVI Policy Team that if your complete your course successfully, and NOT as a result of early completion), the Border Force officers have been briefed that returning to the UK after the 'course end date' on your CAS to pursue further studies, undertake internship or look for internship or switch to Tier 2 visa etc., should not be considered as a 'change of circumstance'.

    Therefore, if you have completed your course successfully, hold a valid Tier 4 visa and wish to return to the UK for one of the reasons as stated above, you should be permitted to re-enter the UK.

    However, please note that the Border Force officials retain the right to establish that you are genuinely coming back to the UK to do what you said you would, and so it is important that you have sufficient evidence in your hand luggage in case you are asked, for example, a letter confirming your internship, evidence that you are looking for internship, a print-out of CoS for Tier 2 visa, an email from professional services or your academic department confirming you have passed your degree, a return ticket to your home country before your Tier 4 visa expiry date etc.

    As with any changes, some of the UK Border Force officials may not remember this and so the safest option is always not to leave the UK during this period, especially if the stakes are high, for example, if you already have a CoS for a Tier 2 visa and failure to re-enter the UK may mean that you lose the opportunity for a Tier 2 job.

    However, if you have shown sufficient evidence to the UK Border Force official but are still experiencing difficulties re-entering the UK, please contact us immediately.

  • Students with dependants including babies born in the UK, for whom leave has not been applied for and obtained should seek advice from the Immigration Service before travelling out of the UK with their baby.

    This is because the immigration rules have changed and there is now a restriction on applying for leave for a baby born within the UK.

    This could mean student parents needing to obtain entry clearance from outside the UK before being able to re-enter with their baby.

    If you have specific queries that have not been covered here, please contact the Immigration Service.