Please find responses to our most frequently asked questions below


The UK Home Office abolished the requirement to register with the Police on the 5th August 2022.  This was with immediate effect, meaning that new students with a nationality that had been subject to Police Registration, no longer had the requirement listed as one of the conditions on their visa. 

It also means that existing students with the requirement no longer have to register nor update the Police with changes, even if their documentation still states this.  There is no need to request replacement immigration documentation to remove the requirement. 

If you have a Police Registration Certificate, we advise that you retain this although you will not be asked by anyone to produce this in the future.

Absolutely! Many students take advantage of our proximity to Europe to visit other countries for tourism or to attend conferences to aid their research.  If you plan to visit as a tourist, you must ensure that your planned travel is not within term time.  For clarity, postgraduate taught degree (PGT) students do not benefit from the same summer vacation as undergraduate degree (UG) students.

For countries outside Europe, students should apply for a tourist/visit visa for each country they will visit.  Applications must be made to the relevant embassy/embassies within the UK of the destination country/countries.

For countries within Europe, a special agreement means that students in the UK with a student visa can apply for a 'Schengen Visa' to enter a European country, or several European countries as part of the same trip.  

More information on how to apply for a Schengen visa and other useful information can be found here

Your friends and family may wish to come to the UK for a short holiday and to see you during your time studying in the UK.  They may also decide to come to the UK for your graduation ceremony.  For these visits, they need to apply for a Standard Visitor visa.

The UKVI website here has information on how to apply and the documentation required.  Further information is available on the self-service Knowledge Base in eVision.

For information on how to apply for a Dependent visa to bring your partner/dependent child to the UK to join you for a longer period of time, please see the FAQ below.

Students can apply for their partner/dependent child to join them in the UK as Points Based System Dependents.  You will be able to do this if you are:

  • A postgraduate student on a course that is for nine months or more OR
  • A new government-sponsored student on a course that lasts for six months or more

An overview of the requirements can be found on the UKVI website here, however, we strongly recommend that you receive advice and support from Immigration Compliance and Advice before you commence any application.  

Note: If you are intending on applying for the Graduate Route, partners/children are only able to apply with you if they are already in the UK as your Points Based System Dependent.

If you are considering taking a break from your studies (a Leave of Absence) or withdrawing from the University, please contact the Student Experience and Support Officer (SESO) for your School.  This may have an impact on your UK immigration status so it is important to talk through the options available and receive support with any decision you make.  You can contact your SESO via Student Services at student.services@keele.ac.uk .

All international students should have sufficient time left at the end of their visa to attend their graduation ceremony.  You should have received a visa for the length of the course plus an additional four months 'wrap-up' period if your course is 12 months or longer.

Some students may have reassessments or may have to request an extension of the deadline for submission of their thesis.  Because of this, graduation does not take place when initially expected and after the visa expiry date.  In some cases, students may be eligible to apply to extend their student visa to remain in the UK, but not if it is solely to remain in the UK and attend your graduation ceremony.  UKVI expect international students with a graduation ceremony date after the expiry date of their student visa, to leave the UK and re-enter as a Standard Visitor so that they can attend the graduation ceremony.  The UKVI website here gives information on how to apply for a Standard Visitor visa.

The Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) is a health surcharge that must be paid as part of any visa application to stay in the UK for more than six months.  This then gives you access to free healthcare from the National Health Service (NHS) for the duration of your stay in the UK.  You will still need to pay for certain types of services such as prescribed medicines, dental treatment, eye tests and glasses/contact lenses.  

If you will be in the UK for six months or less, you are not required to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge as you are unable to access free healthcare from the NHS.  In this case, we strongly advise you to take out private medical insurance for the duration of your visit, including travel to and from the UK.

The IHS is an annual amount that is payable for each year (or part year) that you will be staying in the UK.  Those applying for a student visa (and any associated PBS Dependents) are able to enjoy a lower annual rate of the Immigration Health Surcharge, this is currently £470 per year against the full rate of £624 per year.

Further information on the UK Healthcare system, and how to access and receive healthcare while you are in the UK, is available in the Self-Service Portal.

You will usually only be able to open a UK bank account after you have enrolled on your course.  You should research carefully the international student bank accounts on offer from the major UK banks to be sure to find the account that is right for you.  Some will have special rates for international transfers, while some may charge a monthly fee to operate the account and others may have a free gift on joining that is beneficial to you.  It is a good idea to talk to other students to find recommendations.

Some students are now choosing to open an online only account before they arrive in the UK.  Banks such as Starling and Monzo will open an account and have it operational in time for your arrival in the UK, however, the selection criteria means that they may refuse to open an account without providing a reason.

You generally need two documents to open an account:

  • Proof of ID, which is your passport and visa
  • Proof of address, the best evidence of this is a Student Status Letter from Student Services (ensure your UK address is correct on eVision)

For more information on bank accounts and banking in the UK, visit the Self-Service Portal.

For a September intake we aim to begin the CAS process from the start of May onwards. For a January intake the CAS process will start from the end of September/ early October.

Please note, before we begin the visa process, applicants would need to complete all of the conditions of their offer and we will require a tuition fee deposit or evidence of suitable official financial funding (if not already done so). Please see your offer letter for details.

Details on how to pay the deposit towards tuition fees, if self-funding, can be found here.  Please refer to our refund policy before making a payment.

The CAS process is a two stage process - you will receive a Pre-CAS checklist by email to confirm first, before the Immigration Compliance Team decide upon visa sponsorship with a CAS. The CAS number will be needed to complete the online visa application to book an appointment at a Visa Application Centre.

Please review the Student Route Visa guidance from UK Visas and Immigration here, ensuring that you meet the requirements including TB Certification (as applicable), financial requirements such as living costs, etc. These will be checked by the University before a CAS can be issued. Funds must be held in a suitable account for a minimum period of at least 28 days.