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Entering the UK from the Republic of Ireland

Students who are non visa nationals* who enter the UK via the Republic of Ireland without previously obtaining a Student Visitor Visa from the British Embassy in their own country will not be given a Student Visitor Visa on arrival. This is because you will not encounter any UK Border Force Officers, which means that you will not be able to apply on entry for a student visitor visa or under any other visa.  

However, even though there is no record of this in your passport, you will automatically be given permission to enter and study in the UK, but for 3 months only from the date of entry.  The conditions of entry into the UK are that you do not undertake any work (paid or unpaid) and you leave the UK after 3 months.

*A non visa national is seen by UK immigration authorities as a national from USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan and any other citizen not listed in the Visa National List

How to avoid this problem

  • Obtain a student visitor visa prior to travelling to the UK
    or
  • Do not enter the UK via the Republic of Ireland

What to do if you already find yourself in this situation

It is very important that you keep your travel ticket or any proof of date of your entry into the UK, so that you are in a position to demonstrate that you have not overstayed your visa or entered illegally, should you be required to do so at any point.

In order to obtain permission to stay in the UK for a maximum of 6 months, you will need to travel outside the UK, (e.g. to France) and then return via one of the UK borders in England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland.

Upon your return to the UK

You will need to explain to the UK Immigration Officers at the airport that you are coming to study and are applying for a student visitor visa (as if you are entering the UK for the first time). You must show all of the following documents to confirm this:

  • Your student visitor visa letter from Cardiff University Study Abroad Office stating the course you are studying at Cardiff University and the start and end date of your course
  • Evidence that you have enough money to live and study in the UK

How much money do I need to show?

You must show you have enough money to pay your tuition fees for your whole course and also £800 for each month you are going to be in the UK to cover your accommodation and living expenses

What financial documents do I need to show to prove I have enough money for my visa?

Self financing students
If you are funding your studies yourself, you must provide bank statements showing that you have enough money for your tuition fees and £800 per month for living and accommodation expenses for the duration of your stay in the UK.  

Your Home University is financing your studies
If you are receiving money from your Home University for your tuition fees and/or accommodation and/or any living costs, you must obtain a letter from your home University on official letter headed paper with University stamp stating:

  • Your name
  • The name and contact details of your University
  • The date of the letter
  • The length of time that you will be in the UK
  • The amount that they are giving you for your tuition fees and/or accommodation and/or living costs.

Family/friend(s) are financing your studies
If you are receiving money from another Financial Sponsor, such as your parents, another family member or a friend then you should  provide their bank statements. They must show that they have enough money for your tuition fees and £800 per month for living and accommodation expenses for your time in the UK.  
You should also provide a letter from your Financial Sponsor stating:

  • Their name and contact details
  • Your name
  • The length of time that you will be in the UK
  • The amount of money they are giving you
  • Their relationship to you.

You are using a loan to finance your studies

If you are using a loan to finance your studies then you must provide a letter which states that the loan is provided by one of the following:

  •  your national government; 
  • the state or regional government;
  • a government sponsored loan company;
  • is part of an academic or educational loans scheme

The letter must be dated and not more than 6 months old. It must be on headed paper and state the money available to you as a loan.