If you are studying at St Mary's University on a Student visa then you have a legal obligation to comply with the conditions of your immigration permission.
St Mary's has a trained UKVI Compliance and Immigration Team to assist you with questions related to visas and immigration.
The team are located on the 1st floor of the J building with Registry, please ask to speak with a member of the team if you have any queries or questions.
1-1 drop-in sessions with the UKVI Compliance and Immigration Team are available between: 1.30pm – 3.30pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Please drop-in during this time (first-come, first-served) or ask for an appointment to be booked for you.
*You will be asked to complete a client care sheet so that we can record our meeting and share the notes from our discussions with you. We respect client confidentiality and your details will not be shared with any other areas of the University without your consent.
If you would like to contact the team directly, please email email@example.com
- Chris Hebbs
UKVI Compliance and Immigration Manager
0208 240 8264
- Tarina Dixon
UKVI Compliance and Immigration Officer
0208 240 4337
English Language Support and Academic Study Skills
If you need additional help to manage your academic work, either because you are not used to UK requirements or because your first language is not English, the following sources of support are available to you:
- Library Services can provide support with academic literacy and study skills.
- The Royal Literary Fellows offer targeted support with written work.
Academic English Support
The Academic English Support Programme is designed for any student who feels they need additional advice or support on language issues. Although this may be of particular use to students who speak English as an additional or second language, all undergraduate and postgraduate students are welcome.
The course is focussed on various aspects of academic English and different sessions will be offered to address these. Common topics include academic writing, presentations, grammar, reading and vocabulary.
Students are free to come to as many sessions as they’d like according to their needs and availability. The programme is free of charge and does not involve any compulsory assessments or homework, but to take full advantage of the course you should make some time available for self-study.
In autumn 2020, the course will run on Zoom from 1:00-3:00 p.m. on Wednesdays. In order to register and get the link, please e-mail Tori Marland at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Applying for a Student visa (extension or renewal)
You may be required to extend or renew your student visa to allow you more time to complete your programme successfully or you may be able to make changes to your course at St Mary's. If you do require a student visa, you are strongly advised to prepare three months prior to your current visa expiry date.
CAS number (Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies)
You will need to request a new CAS number to support your student visa application. A CAS number will be assigned to you when you can show that you have the correct documents and finances in place to apply for a new visa. As a duty of care, we will check your documents before your CAS is assigned to ensure they meet the requirements for a Student visa, this will significantly help with avoiding a visa refusal.
Before requesting your CAS you are advised to book an appointment with the UKVI Compliance and Immigration Team to discuss your circumstances. Please include: Your full name, your regnum and the reasons you require a Student visa extension or renewal. The UKVI Compliance and Immigration Team will respond within 48 hours.
Please use the Checklist for making a Student visa application inside the UK and please use the UKCISA guidance for more information about the finances you require.
From the 5th October 2020 if a new applicant is applying for permission to stay and has been living in the UK with permission for 12 months or more on the date of their application, they will meet the financial requirement and will not need to show funds as part of their application. St Mary's policy includes additional checks to ensure applicants can afford to pay for the remainder of their studies.
You can begin your Student visa application extension online. Please use the links below for access to further Student visa information to assist you.
- You will need to request your CAS by completing the request form (below) and please attach copies of the documents you would like to be assessed.
- All documents submitted with a Student visa application must be originals.
- A CAS number will only be assigned when all of the visa requirements have been met.
- REQUEST YOUR CAS HERE
Student visa application costs
£475 is the standard Student visa application fee. You will also need to pay your immigration health surcharge as part of your Student visa application which is £300 per 12 months of leave. Calculate how much you will need to pay here
- £19.20 to have your biometric information (fingerprints and a photo) taken.
- £500 for the priority service to ensure a decision from the Home Office within 5 working days = £975.
- £800 for the super priority service to ensure a decision from the Home Office within 1 working day = £1275.
Your Biometrics Residence Permit (BRP)
You can opt to have your BRP delivered to St Mary's University. You will be contacted by The UKVI Compliance and Immigration Team when your BRP has been delivered.
You will be unable to travel outside the UK until your new BRP is in your possession. You are strongly recommended not to book travel until your new BRP is in your possession.
Information for students on a Student visa
*Due to the Coronavirus pandemic some of the information below may be subject to change. Please read through the guidance and if you have any questions please contact us.
As your Student visa sponsor, it is our responsibility to advise you of your visa conditions while you study at St Mary’s University. It is very important that you read and follow all of the steps below. We’re here to assist and support you, so don’t be afraid to ask us any questions.
Please include your regnum and name when you email us: email@example.com
For more information about your Student visa status, please visit the UKCISA website.
If you are a foreign national, you may need to register with the police.
If it is a requirement, you must book your appointment online within 7 days of your arrival to the UK.
Once your appointment is booked you MUST attend at the OVRO on the date booked, save the date and don’t be late!
To check if you need to register, please look at your visa decision letter and the 30-day entry clearance ‘vignette’ inside your passport.
If you are not a national who must register, there is no need for you to complete this process.
*If your address changes after your Police registration has been completed, you must update your certificate at your local Police Station. You must complete this task every time your address changes.
Your attendance and engagement
Your engagement throughout the full academic year is monitored. You must attend all timetabled (Online or face-face) sessions and submit all of your work on time.
- Your Moodle activity is regularly monitored and is used as a measure to check levels of engagement. You must be accessing your Moodle accounts unless your course does not use the Moodle functionality.
- You must ‘Tap in’ using your student ID card for all face-face lectures. Please do not forget to do this. If you do not ‘Tap In’, you will be marked as absent, even if you are present. You must ask your lecturer to mark you as present if you forget your ID card.
- Please notify your lecturer and personal tutor if you will be absent. Your absences must be authorised and recorded. If you have unauthorised absences on record this will lead to further investigation from the UKVI Compliance and Immigration Team.
If you do not attend or fully engage with your studies, you will be at risk of being withdrawn from the University.
You may need to travel to your home country urgently for a family emergency. Any absence during term time must be authorised by your programme director. Please do not leave your programme without authorisation.
Please complete the authorised absence letter request form, to be signed by your programme director.
An authorised absence letter request form can be downloaded here.
Return the form to Registry or email it to firstname.lastname@example.org
Your contact details
Throughout your studies, you must keep your UK contact details updated. We will need your:
- Current personal email address
- Mobile telephone number
- Term-time UK address
You must update your contact details via the student portal throughout the year when any of your details change
If you have any difficulties updating your contact details, please email the changes to email@example.com and include your name and regnum.
Your passport and Biometric Residence Permit (BRP)
Working during your studies
Your visa conditions allow you to work a maximum of 10 or 20 hours per week during term time. More information about working in the UK.
You may also be able to work more than 10 or 20 hours per week during recognised vacation periods. You will need to check the working conditions on your BRP that are attached to your level of study.
If you find work, you will pay tax and National Insurance contributions on your earnings. For information about obtaining a National Insurance Number, please visit: www.gov.uk/national-insurance
Become a Student Ambassador
Why not work as a Student Ambassador? Enthusiastic students are required to assist St Mary's with recruitment events.
Types of work not permitted
You cannot be self-employed, run a business, or work as a professional sportsperson, including a sports coach. In addition, you cannot be employed as an entertainer. You may not hold a permanent full-time job while studying.
Some courses include work placement opportunities. What is a work placement?
If you are completing a work placement, you can also work 10 or 20 hours per week during term-time in a different job.
Work placements as an assessed part of your course and being employed in a job are different and both are allowed.
Before you begin your placement, you must notify us of the following details:
- Your placement provider contact name and address
- How many days per week you will work
- The number of hours per week you will work
Change to your studies
Any changes to your studies are likely to have implications to your visa; for example:
- Changing your course
- Withdraw/leave of absence
- Repeat or resit exams
- Transfer of university
- Change of immigration status
Please contact us with any questions before making any changes to your studies.
Travelling around Europe
The Schengen Visa Scheme allows those who wish to visit certain countries within the European Economic Area (EEA) (and Switzerland) to travel between these countries using only one visa. You should contact the Embassy in London of the country or countries you wish to visit.
The countries are: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland.
You will need to request a verification letter from the student portal to submit with your application.
More information about how to apply
Opening a Bank Account
If you are an international student new to the UK you are advised to open a bank account in the UK. This is the safest and most effective way of managing your money. If you intend to take up part-time employment you will find that your employer will want to pay your salary into a UK account.
Basic bank account
This should allow you to pay in and take out money and you are normally provided with a cash-point (ATM) card or debit card to enable you to draw money out. Basic accounts do not offer any form of credit, so you will not be given an overdraft facility or credit card.
You should be able to open a basic account with any of the main UK banks without making a payment or with a minimum of £1. However, you may be offered a more flexible account if you are able to pay in a substantial amount.
There are several useful websites you can visit that will give you information on the types of account that are available to you. It is worth doing some research as you might find that some banks will be more flexible with the type of account they will offer you or the proof of identity that is required.
You will need to find out if the bank will offer you any of the following:
- A cash card
- A debit card
- An overdraft facility
- Regular statements
- Telephone banking
- Internet banking
You should also check whether:
- money can be transferred from abroad
- you are able to make direct debit payments
- Any outstanding balance at the end of your studies can be transferred back to your bank in your own country, if required
- there are any account charges and if so, how much?
When you have this information you can make a decision about which bank you would like to open an account with. Most of the main UK banks have a local branch within 15 minutes walking distance from St Mary's.
Proof of identity
You will need some or all of the following documents (depending on the bank requirements) to be able to open an account:
- Your passport, with student visa if appropriate
- Your national photo ID card if you are from an EU country
- A letter of introduction from St Mary's, giving details of your course and confirming your overseas and UK address. You can request this from the e:Vision Portal.
- A copy of your rental agreement
- Utility bills (gas, electricity, phone etc) with your name on it
Please ensure you take all the necessary documentation with you when you go to open an account.
You may need to wait for 2 weeks or more before your account is fully functional so you will need to ensure that you have enough cash or travellers cheques to last you until your account is set up.
Direct debit payments
If you set up a direct debit with St Mary's in order to pay tuition fees or accommodation fees, you must ensure that you have enough money in your account on the agreed payment dates.
If the direct debit amount is more than the money you have in your account, the bank will refuse to make the payment and will charge you about £30 - £40 every time the payment is declined. St Mary's will also charge you for declined payments.
Please see the list below of some of the main banks which are located in Twickenham, close to St Mary's. There are also branches in Teddington, Kingston & Richmond which are also close to the University. You may also wish to consider using an online bank, such as Monzo or Revolut.
- Barclays Bank plc
2 York Street, Twickenham, Middlesex
Telephone: +44 (0) 845 755 5555
- HSBC plc
2 London Road, Twickenham, Middlesex
Telephone: +44 (0) 845 740 4404
- Lloyds TSB
17 Heath Road, Twickenham, Middlesex
Telephone: +44 (0) 845 300 0000
- NatWest plc
25 King Street, Twickenham, Middlesex
Telephone: +44 (0) 845 610 1202
1 King Street, Twickenham, Middlesex
Telephone: +44 (0) 845 765 4321
Applying for a National Insurance Number
To work in the UK you need a National Insurance Number. National Insurance is a type of UK taxation. When allocated a National Insurance Number this will be a number unique to you.
To get a National Insurance Number you need to wait until you are in the UK to apply.
How to apply
To apply for a number you will have to call the JobCentre Plus application line:
0345 600 0643 (Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm)
They may ask you to attend an interview. More information of getting a National Insurance number can be found on the Gov.uk website.
UK Government website
Accessing Health Services
National Health Service
The UK's National Health Service is often referred to as the NHS. The NHS provides treatment through a range of services from Accident and Emergency centres to Local GP (General Practitioner) doctor's surgeries. Some services are free and some are paid for.
If you are studying with St Mary's University on a student visa on a full-time course that is longer than 6 months, you will be asked to pay the immigration health surcharge. Paying this surcharge will qualify you to receive NHS treatment from the beginning of your stay on the same basis as anyone who is ordinarily resident in the UK. EU students can use a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) to access NHS care until the end of the Brexit transition period, when the situation may change. UKCISA will update its healthcare guidance for EU students as more information is finalised.
If you are entitled to NHS treatment, the following services will be free of charge:
- consulting a GP and most other GP services (e.g. visiting a clinic)
- treatment in a hospital (both emergency and non-emergency treatment)
You may need to pay for:
- medicines prescribed by your GP
- some GP services (e.g. vaccinations for travel, getting a sickness certificate) - ask your GP for details of costs
- dental treatment
- optical treatment
Your General Practioner, or GP, is your primary doctor. When you arrive in the UK, you should register with a GP surgery (i.e., a doctor's office) as soon as possible. The York Medical Practice and Cross Deep Surgery are the two closest surgeries to the St Mary's campus. If you are living elsewhere in London, you can find a local doctor on the NHS website.
How do I register for these services?
Once you've decided which GP you'd like to use, follow the instructions on their website to register as a patient. You will need to fill in a few forms, and you may need to visit them in person to complete your enrolment.
Students not eligible for NHS treatment are advised to ensure their insurance policies cover healthcare during their stay or get private medical health insurance so that they can access healthcare when needed.
The UKCISA website has information on private medical insurance for international students.
Global Peer Mentors
Build your CV, gain volunteering experience, make friends… Become a St Mary's Global Peer Mentor!
What is a Global Peer Mentor?
A Global Peer Mentor is a St Mary's student who volunteers to meet with incoming international students after they arrive in the UK. Global Peer Mentors are a social resource for international students – you will help them settle in, answer questions they might have about St Mary's/life in the UK, and be a familiar, friendly face on campus for them.
Who can be a Global Peer mentor?
Sign-ups are open to any and all full-time undergraduate or postgraduate students. There will be a short training session for accepted Global Peer Mentors.
What can being a Global Peer Mentor do for me?
Being a Global Peer Mentor will build your CV with valuable volunteering experience, broaden your horizons, and give your university experience an international flair – all from the comfort of St Mary's campus! Global Peer Mentors will also receive additional counselling from the Careers and International departments on making the most of their experience and presenting it to future employers.
Apply to be a Global Peer Mentor
If you'd like to volunteer to be a mentor, please complete the Global Peer Mentor Application Form. If you would like to be matched with a mentor who can settle in at St Mary's, please complete our mentee application form here.
For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Work after Studies - Graduate Immigration Route
11th March 2021:
Graduate route ("Post-study work")
The new Graduate immigration route will open for applications at 0900 on 1 July 2021.
The Graduate route is a work route for those who have a degree or other relevant qualification awarded by an approved UK Higher Education provider. It is an unsponsored route, so your application does not need sponsorship or any endorsement by an employer or by your university. It is similar to the old Tier 1 Post-Study Work route.
More information provided from UKCISA
4th March 2021:
Legislation was laid in Parliament today (4 March 2021) which sets out changes to the Immigration Rules.
This includes the introduction of the new Graduate route which will open for applications on 1 July 2021. The launch of the route demonstrates the Government’s determination to support the education sector, and our commitment to the International Education Strategy, which sets out our ambition to increase the number of international higher education students to 600,000 by 2030.
The Graduate route will enable international students to remain in the UK to work, or look for work, for two years (three years for doctoral students) after they have completed their studies. All international students who have successfully completed a degree (or other permitted qualification) at undergraduate level or above at a Higher Education Provider with a track record of compliance, and who have valid Student (or Tier 4) permission at the time of application, will be able to apply. The introduction of this route will significantly improve the UK’s offer to international students.
The Graduate route will be unsponsored, meaning applicants will not need a job offer in order to be eligible. There will be no minimum salary requirements nor caps on numbers. Graduates on the route will be able to work flexibly, switch jobs and develop their career as required. Whilst the route will not lead to settlement, those on the route will be able to move into another work-based route, such as the Skilled Worker route – which does lead to settlement – once they meet the requirements.
Sponsors will be required to notify the Home Office when a student has successfully completed their course in order for that student to be eligible to apply for the Graduate route. We have been engaging closely with sector bodies and we will provide further operational detail on how this notification function will work in the near future. Students will be required to know the Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) they used for their most recent Student (or Tier 4) application in order to apply for the Graduate route. Sponsors who are Higher Education Providers with a track record of compliance may wish to advise potentially eligible students of this in advance of the route opening on 1 July 2021.
Due to COVID-19, we have also put in place concessions for students unable to travel to the UK due to the pandemic. Applicants who began their studies in autumn 2020 now have until 21 June 2021 to enter the UK (updated from the previous date of 6 April 2021) in order to be eligible for the route. Students who began their studies in January or February 2021 will need to be in the UK by 27 September 2021.
A full list of the changes to the Immigration Rules can be found on GOV.UK