Find out about your Student visa and how to use it. 

This page will provide information on: 

Please note: UK Visa and Immigration (UKVI) are updating their immigration system and transitioning from physical documents such as BRPs to online immigration status (eVisas). The following will contain important information you need to be aware of. You should check your decision letter from UKVI to know what type of Student visa have been issued.

If you are a student expecting to receive a BRP this September 2024

During the Student visa application process, you may have been required to attend a biometric appointment and submit your passport in order to receive a Student visa entry vignette.

For non-EU nationals applying overseas, if your visa is for longer than six months, you get a 90- day vignette (sticker) in your passport which you use to travel to the UK, and will then collect your BRP on arrival at Sussex.

You must always arrive in the UK within the validity of your 90 –day vignette. If you have been issued with a BRP, this is a card issued by the Home Office which shows your immigration permission. It holds biographic details (name, date and place of birth) and biometric information (a picture of your face and your fingerprints). All BRPs are short-dated to 31 December 2024 due to the transition to eVisas. You will collect your BRP from either the University or a Post Office depending on where you selected during the application process.

After you arrive in the UK and collect your BRP you will then need to create a UKVI account to transfer your BRP to an eVisa. UKVI have a webpage specifically dedicated to this where you can follow the instructions on how to create an account and what you will need to do.

Important: If you are travelling outside of the UK you must carry your BRP with you until its expiry date. You may need to show it to a UK Border Force Officer or to the airline you are travelling with.

If you are a current student and hold a BRP

You may have noticed that your BRP is short-dated to 31 December 2024 and does not cover the full length of your course. You will need to create a UKVI account using your BRP and transfer your Student visa from a physical BRP to an eVisa.

You can follow the instructions on the UKVI website for how to do this. UKVI have not released the timeframe for when students can do this, so you may need to wait. On the UKVI webpage linked above you can sign up for updates on this.

We have heard that some students have been contacted by the UKVI to inform them of the process of how to switch from a BRP to an eVisa. This is a testing phase and not all BRP holders will be contacted.

Important: If you have not been contacted by the UKVI do not attempt to switch to an eVisa as your application will not be accepted and could cause issues in the future when you need to switch.

If you have been contacted by UKVI, you need to follow the steps in the email which ask you to go to the UKVI’s website. Make sure you have the following information prepared:

  • Date of Birth
  • BRP number
  • Passport details
  • Access to email address and phone number
  • Access to a Smart phone.

Follow the steps in the application and if you have any questions do not hesitate to contact the International Advice team or UKVI.

Important: After you have created a UKVI account and now have an eVisa you must still carry your BRP with you when travelling until its expiry date. You may need to show it to a UK Border Force Officer or to the airline you are travelling with.

If you have an eVisa 

During your application for a Student visa you will have created a UKVI account and uploaded your biometrics through the Check ID app and received an eVisa. You will have received a decision letter from UKVI which will state the validity dates of your Student visa.

Important: If you have applied for your Student visa from overseas you must enter the UK after the valid from date of your Student visa as confirmed on your decision letter.

Below is information about how an eVisa works at the moment:

With an eVisa, your Student visa will be connected to your passport and your UKVI account. Your UKVI account can be accessed through the Gov.UK webpages.

When you are travelling to the UK with an eVisa, you will only need your passport as your passport is connected to your UKVI account. It is essential that the passport you are using to travel to the UK is the same as the passport you applied for your Student visa with.

If your passport or other details change you should update them through your UKVI account.

If you are travelling outside of the UK and hold both a BRP and an eVisa, you must carry your BRP with you until it’s expiry date. You may need to show it to a UK Border Force Officer or to the airline you are travelling with.

How to evidence your Student visa 

There may be times during your studies where you need to show your immigration status, this will be to the University itself during registration and at other times when asked, to employers or landlords and property agencies. Depending on what immigration document you have will instruct how you can evidence your immigration status.

Immigration Status (and right to study)

Your immigration status and the right to study can be shown through either a BRP or the view and prove immigration service. You can read more information on the registration and the documents on the Student Hub.

If you are required to use the view and prove service, you have to log in with your UKVI account details, and request a share code. Share codes produced through this service will begin with the letter S.

Right to work or rent

It is a requirement that employers, landlords and property agents check your immigration permissions before they employ or make you a tenant.

If you have a BRP or an eVisa, this can be done through obtaining a share code. You need to complete an online form: right to work or right to rent. You will need to use the information from the identity or travel document you applied for your Student visa with, for example, your passport. This will then produce a share code which begins with the letter W/R respectively. Employers cannot accept share codes produced for another purpose.

Important: Employers, landlords and property agents cannot use your BRP as evidence of your immigration permission.

There are some circumstances where students will not be able to obtain a share code. If you are in this situation, your employer, landlord or property agent should use the employer checking service/right to rent check, an employer will require your consent to use this service.

To prove your right to rent, you can also use a combination of 2 documents on this list on the government website.

If you have an error on your Student visa

You must check your Student visa for errors, please see the Student Hub: Correcting errors for the types of errors and how to correct them.

Student visa conditions

The Student visa conditions are the rules that you must follow while you are inside the UK and on a Student visa. You can find a list of conditions as well as our responsibilities as a Student visa sponsor on the Student Hub: Your visa responsibilities. 

One of the most important conditions are those around working while studying.

It is your responsibility to know, understand and comply with your Student visa conditions.

Your healthcare entitlements

During your Student visa application, you would have had to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS), this is a charge so that while you are in the UK you have access to the National Health Service (NHS) similar to any other resident in the UK. You can choose to have private medical insurance on top of this but the IHS must be paid as part of your visa application.

If you are an EU student with an EHIC

Many EU students will have a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). If you have an EHIC you may be eligible to claim a refund for the IHS, however, this does come with risks and does affect your ability to work and receive healthcare.

If you have claimed a refund for the IHS and are working, you are unable to access healthcare through the NHS with your EHIC as working in the UK nullifies your EHIC entitlements.

Please see our Student Hub webpages on Health and welfare for more information on healthcare entitlements.

See more from Visas and immigration