Skip to main content

Once you have your visa

Last updated: 11/07/2022 16:24

There are restrictions on the amount of time you can stay in the UK before and after your studies.

Arriving before your course starts

The start date of your course will be stated in the Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) email you receive from us.

Courses lasting six months or more

You can travel to the UK up to one month before your course start date if your visa is for a course of six months or more or for a pre-sessional English language course.

Courses lasting less than six months

You will only be able to come to the UK seven days before the course start date if you're coming for a course that is less than six months and is not a pre-sessional English language course.

Please check your visa carefully when you receive it. You cannot travel before the date stated on your visa document. If you believe there is an error please follow the guidance issued by the Home Office.

How long your visa will be valid

Type and length of courseLength of stay allowedExample of course
12 months or moreThe full length of the course
+ four months after the end of your course
Undergraduate or Master's
Six months or more but less than 12 monthsThe full length of the course
+ two months after the end of your course
International Foundation Programme
Pre-sessional course of less than six monthsThe full length of the course
+ one month after the end of your course
English Language Pre-sessional course
Course of less than six months that is not a pre-sessional courseThe full length of the course
+ seven days after the end of your course
English for University Study (EfUS) Programme

If you think you are not given the correct length of time to complete your course, in the first instance you should contact the visa post at which your application was made. If you are already in the UK, you can contact the Student Visa Support team for assistance at studentconnect@cardiff.ac.uk. Any request for amendment should be submitted to the Home Office within 10 days of receiving your Biometric Residence Permit (BRP). Contact studentconnect@cardiff.ac.uk as soon as possible after you arrive if you have a problem.

If your BRP expires on 31 December 2024

If your BRP expires on 31 December 2024 but your immigration permission should be valid for longer, then this is not a mistake and you do not need to report this to the UKVI.

The system of immigration documents is changing from 2025. You will not need a BRP from 1 January 2025. You’ll be able to prove your immigration status online, without a BRP.

UKVI will update their information on how to prove your immigration status in early 2024. You do not need to do anything and your immigration status will not be affected. For more information visit UKVI