Before you leave

Once you've received your visa you're ready to make your arrangements for travelling to the UK and arriving in Bath.

This may be your first time travelling to the UK and living away from home. The experience can be both exciting and overwhelming and you may not know what to expect when you finally arrive.

Here, we cover everything you need to know before you leave. You may also like to read our information on travelling to Bath and important information for when you arrive.

Checking your visa is correct

Once you've received your visa acceptance email or letter, and if applicable, your Entry Clearance vignette, you must check that all of the details are correct.  

If you used the ‘UK Immigration: ID Check’ app and received 'digital status'

If you used the Home Office's ‘UK Immigration: ID Check’ app for your Student visa application you'll receive 'digital status' and an email from the Home Office when your visa application has been successful.

The 'digital status' means that the chip in your passport carries the information that you have been granted permission to enter or remain under the Student route.

Please remember that if at any point you replace your passport, you'll need to register the new passport against your UKVI account you made at the time of applying for your visa. The details of your new passport will not be moved to the new one automatically. 

When you receive your visa acceptance email from the Home Office, you'll need to check the following details:

  • Your name
  • The reference number (should match the reference number you received when you made the application)
  • That your application has been successful
  • Start date (should be one month before the start date stated on your CAS)
  • End date (this will depend on the length of permission you have applied for)
    • If your course is longer than 12 months, you should be granted four additional months of immigration permission after the course finishes
    • If your course is 12 months or less then you should be granted two additional months of immigration permission after the course finishes
  • Study conditions (the sponsor is Bath Spa University and the course title is the course you're going to study)
  • Work conditions (we would expect that you're permitted to work 20 hours a week during term time and full time during scheduled vacations according to the term dates)
  • The condition to register with the police (if this applies to you, see the police registration section on our when you arrive page).

If you're a visa national, you'll receive a Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) as well as 'digital status'. 

If you attended a Visa Application Centre (VAC) and provided biometric information

If you did not use the app and instead made an application online and attended a biometric appointment at a Visa Application Centre (VAC), you'll receive a visa acceptance letter when your passport and documents are returned to you.

You will not have 'digital status' and instead have an Entry Clearance vignette (visa sticker) in your passport.

When you receive your visa sticker in your passport and accompanying letter, you'll need to check that the following details are correct:

  • Your name, date of birth and gender
  • That you have permission under the Student route
  • The Sponsor Licence Number (SLN) is JVACU29U9, correct for Bath Spa University
  • Start date (should be one month before the start date stated on your CAS)
  • End date (this will depend on the length of permission you have applied for)
    • If your course is longer than 12 months, you should be granted four additional months of immigration permission after the course finishes
    • If your course is 12 months or less then you should be granted two additional months of immigration permission after the course finishes
  • Working conditions (we would expect that you are permitted to work 20 hours a week during term time and full time during scheduled vacations according to the term dates)
  • The condition to register with the police (if this applies to you, see the police registration section on our when you arrive page).

If you're expecting to be issued a Biometric Residence Permit (BRP)

If there are any mistakes on your visa email, Entry Clearance vignette or accompanying letter, these will likely also be on your Biometric Residence Permit (BRP).

When you collect your BRP at your in-person enrolment session you'll need to inform the Home Office to have these corrected, as described in your responsibilities as an international student. The Immigration Advice Service will be able to advise and assist you to address any corrections when you arrive.

The University, as your student sponsor, has its own responsibility to report mistakes on your BRP to the Home Office.

Planning your journey

When to travel

If you've been given 'digital status' then you can travel from the date stated in your visa email. It will say:

"You have been granted permission to enter and stay in the UK as a Student from..."

If your passport has been endorsed with an Entry Clearance vignette then you can travel to the UK on or after the ‘valid from date’. 

Tell us if you're delayed

It's important that you tell us if you're going to be late arriving to the UK – in particular, if you'll miss the Welcome Weekend on 25-26 September 2021 when we hope to see you for in-person enrolment.

You must arrive by the last course acceptance date stated on your CAS.

Remote learning due to COVID-19 disruption

If you're travelling from a red list country and your arrival is going to be delayed beyond the last course acceptance date stated on your CAS, it may be possible to start your course before arrival by online learning. 

Approval for this will be decided on a case-by-case basis and it will depend on your personal circumstances and the course you're studying. If you want to explore this please send an email addressed to both:

Check the rules before travelling

England is currently operating 'red, amber and green list' rules for international travel. When you arrive in England you need to follow the rules for the highest risk country or territory that you've been in or passed through in the previous ten days before arriving in the UK. This includes transit stops.

Check the red, amber and green list to find the rules for the country or territory you’re travelling from or have travelled through.

If there is a sudden change in conditions, a country or territory may be moved between lists without warning. If the country you've travelled from or through changes to a different list after you arrive, you must follow the rules that applied at the time you travelled.

You must follow these rules even if you have been vaccinated.

Please read the UK Government’s requirements on entering the UK and check it regularly for changes so that you're prepared. There is an option to sign up for an email alert.

Booking COVID-19 tests or quarantine hotel packages

All travellers will need to find a coronavirus (COVID-19) travel test provider so that they can take a test in the three days before arriving in England. 

If you’ve only travelled from or through a green list country

You'll need to:

If you test positive you'll be required to stay at your accommodation and isolate. If you get a negative test result you will not have to isolate.

If you’ve travelled from or through an amber list country

If you're fully vaccinated

Read about the fully vaccinated rules, quarantine and taking COVID-19 tests after arrival in England.

You'll need to:

If you test positive you'll be required to stay at your accommodation and isolate. If you get a negative test result you will not have to isolate.

If you're not fully vaccinated

You'll need to:

  • Take a COVID-19 test in the three days before you travel and get a negative result
  • Quarantine in your accommodation for ten days
  • Book and pay for COVID-19 tests to take on day two and day eight after arriving (day of arrival is day 0)
  • Take the COVID-19 tests on day two and on day eight

You can quarantine in the University's Halls of Residence and support is available

If you’ve travelled from or through a red list country

To stop the spread of potentially harmful variants into the UK, stricter measures are in place for people who have been in a red list country in the ten days before they arrive.

Those coming to England from red list countries will only be allowed to enter if they have residence rights. Having a Student visa or Dependant visa counts as having residence rights. 

Everyone who arrives in England and has been in a red list country must quarantine in a managed quarantine hotel for ten full days from the point of their arrival. The day of arrival in England will be treated as day 0.

See more information about what to expect if you’re going into hotel quarantine, including help and support.

You'll need to:

Get tested and complete the required documents

The test you take pre-departure must meet certain requirements and you must be able to prove a negative test result before boarding and on arrival.

If these requirements are not met, you may not be able to board your transport to England. If you arrive in England without proof you tested negative, you could be fined £500.

Information that the COVID-19 test result must include

Your test result must be in either English, French or Spanish. Translations will not be accepted.

It must include the following information:

  • Your name, which should match the name on your travel documents
  • Your date of birth or age
  • The result of the test
  • The date the test sample was collected or received by the test provider
  • The name of the test provider and their contact details
  • Confirmation of the device used for the test, or that the test was a PCR test.

Showing proof of your negative COVID-19 test result

You must provide the original test result notification. Your test result can be provided as:

  • A printed document
  • An email or text message you can show on your phone - make sure your device is charged.

Complete your passenger locator form

You'll need to complete a passenger locator form online before you arrive in the UK. It can be submitted any time in the 48 hours before you arrive in the UK. The Government will use the form to contact you if someone you’ve travelled with develops COVID-19 symptoms.

When you submit the form you’ll receive a confirmation email with a document attached. At border control you must show either a:

  • Printed copy of the document
  • Downloaded copy of document on your phone.

Border Force officers will scan the QR code at the top of this document to check you've completed the form successfully.

It's important that you complete the passenger locator form carefully and make sure it does not contain any false information. Providing false or misleading information when completing this form is a criminal offence.

Ready to travel?

When you’re ready to make firm travel arrangements please have a look at our Travelling to Bath page.

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