This page provides information for new international students on how to complete registration with the University.

If you are classified as “overseas” at the time you apply for your programme with us you will be required to complete an arrival visa check so we can confirm your permission to study in the UK.

If you still have questions after looking at the information on this page, you can contact:

  • Our Admissions Office for any questions about your application to study; or
  • Our Tier 4 team within Registry for any questions about how your visa or immigration status will affect your studies with us; or
  • Our International Student Advisers about your visa application or the terms of your Tier 4 visa.
Students on a Tier 4 visa
What is a Tier 4 visa?

Most of our full-time international students will  apply to come to the UK on a Tier 4 visa. To apply for a Tier 4 visa, the University (your sponsor) will generate a CAS (Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies) number for you. You have to satisfy academic and immigration rules criteria before we can give you a CAS number. There are also a number of limitations and requirements you have to bear in mind as a Tier 4 student.

More details on applying for your visa, and applying to study at the University, are available from our Student Recruitment pages.

More details on the visa check process is available in the Visa Check Information Sheet.

When should I arrive in Aberdeen?

You must make sure that you arrive in the UK, on time, to start your programme. We will put the start date of your programme on the CAS document we send you during the admissions process. You should look to arrive in the UK for this date so that you are able to register with us and do not miss any teaching. You must not arrive after the “latest start date” that we put in your CAS.

It is also vitally important that you follow the information provided to you by the UK Visa and Immigration service (UKVI) when they send you your visa outcome. This will give you a window of 30 days to arrive in the UK and then collect your Biometric Residence Permit. It is important to know that your entry visa could be valid beyond the latest start date of your course and you must ensure that you arrive by the earlier of your latest start date or the date your temporary visa expires.

What if I no longer wish to come to the University?

If you decide not to start your programme at the University you need to inform the Admissions Office as soon as possible. You should also let them know if you fail in securing your Tier 4 visa or if you wish to defer to another academic year.

What if I want to defer my studies?

If you defer your start date, but you already applied for or received your visa, you may need to apply for a new visa with a new CAS number. Please don’t travel on the original visa, because the Home Office may not let you enter the UK. You can contact the Admissions Office for further information and to request a new CAS number.

What if I will arrive later than expected?

If you are no longer able to travel when you first thought, or will not be able to arrive for the start date of your programme, you should alert the Admissions Office as soon as possible to explore your options. You should not travel until you have spoken with them and know if your arrival in the UK will still be possible.

Collecting your BRP

If you are coming to the UK on a Tier 4 visa you will have to collect a Biometric Residence Permit from a Post Office within 10 days of arriving in the country. More information on this process will be given to you in the outcome letter you are sent following your visa application.

You can find more informing on collecting your BRP in our guide.

Visa Checks for Tier 4 students

During the registration process you will also need to complete a visa check before your registration is completed. We will inform you of the time and place of the visa check before your arrival.

Please consult our Visa Check Information Sheet for detailed information on the visa check process.

What do we check?

At the visa check, we look at your passport and visa details and add these to our student record database. We also have to keep a copy of your documents so, along with your original documents, please bring a photocopy of your BRP, all pages in your passport (except the blank pages), and your Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) certificate (if you required one).

If you are renewing your passport or your visa, or have lost your documents, please still attend the visa check. We will ask you to complete a disclaimer form to explain where your documents are and you will complete the visa check once you receive your new documents.

What if there is a problem?

If there is any problem or query about your immigration status, we may refer you to an International Student Adviser, who will provide you with immigration information and advice.

Students Who Hold a Visa that is not Tier 4

You must have valid clearance to study in the UK to become a registered student at the University of Aberdeen. You must provide us with evidence of your immigration status at registration or if a member of University staff asks you to do so. Once this has been received we will then keep this on file. We will ask you to complete a follow up check with us should this permission expire during your studies.

Please consult our Visa Check Information Sheet for detailed information on the visa check process.

Switching to another visa type

If you would like to discuss switching to a Tier 4 visa please contact the International Student Advisers.

If you don't need a visa

We must check that you do not require a visa so we will ask you for evidence of this at registration. If you have dual nationality, you will be required to provide your British or European passport to us for verification. If you have indefinite leave to remain, you still have to provide us with evidence of this.

European (EEA or EU) Nationals

If you are an EEA or EU student, but pay overseas tuition fees, we will ask you at registration or during your studies to provide us with proof of your immigration status. If you hold dual nationality, you will be required to provide your British passport or European passport to us for verification.