There are a few circumstances where you may find you need to apply for another visa during your time at UEA. Student Life have outlined a few of these examples below.
Schengen Visas - Travelling to Europe
If you are not an EEA national and want to travel to Europe, you may be required to apply for a Schengen visa before you travel. Non-visa nationals do not need a visa to travel to Europe. You need to check the embassy websites for all countries you plan to visit.
The Schengen Visa Scheme is a scheme that allows you to visit and to travel between certain countries within the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland using only one visa. The countries that make up the Schengen space can be found on UKCISA’s website under ‘Schengen visas’.
Student Life can provide you with a help guide containing information on how to apply for a Schengen visa and what you might need to consider. You can obtain this by emailing Student Life.
It is important that you leave yourself enough time to apply for a Schengen visa, in case there are any unexpected delays in processing your application. You should also consider options for medical insurance and travel insurance for your trip before you travel.
You must check your term dates and check with your Hub if you have any uncertainties about when your term time is. If you miss more than 2 weeks of teaching at UEA, you may have to interrupt your studies because you have missed too much of your course. This means that you will have to stop studying and return home and then re-join your course.
If you have been asked to retake your assessments, you may need to return home until your reassessment takes place and your visa may be curtailed during this time. Your Hub and Student Visa Compliance will let you know the dates of your reassessment and what will happen with your visa.
If you have been asked to return home before your reassessment, your Hub will send you an email (to your UEA email address, so keep checking it) with details of your assessment and a Return to Study form for you to fill in. You must complete this form and send it back to your Hub. Your Hub will send you an ‘invitation letter’, which you can then use to apply for a Visitor visa to return to UEA.
Once you have travelled to UEA and completed your reassessment, you will need to return home to await your results.
If you pass your reassessments and can return to UEA to complete your course, you can request a CAS (Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies) letter under ‘Letter Requests’ on our forms page. This starts the process of applying for a new Student visa.
Once you have completed your PhD Thesis, you will be asked to attend a viva or oral exam. You will quite often need to be at UEA to attend your viva. If you have any questions about your viva, please contact the Postgraduate Research Service or your Graduate School.
If you have left the UK to complete writing up your thesis and your Tier 4 or Student visa has expired or is no longer valid, you may need to apply for a Visitor visa to return to UEA. Even if you can get a Visitor visa at the border, we recommend you apply for a visa before you travel. You will get an email or letter letting you know the date and time of your viva and you can use this as evidence in your visa application.
There are restrictions on Visitor visas and it is important you familiarise yourself with these before you travel. You can find a list of these restrictions on UKCISA’s webpage under ‘Prohibited activities’.
If you would like any support in applying for a Visitor visa for your viva, please contact Student Life.
Visas for Graduation
If you have left the UK and you require a new visa to return to the UK, you will need a Visitor visa. You can check if you need to apply for a visa before travelling to the UK at GOV.UK. If you need a visa, you must apply online before you come to the UK.
Once you have registered online to attend your graduation ceremony you will receive a confirmation email. You will need to print this and include it with your visa application. The email will confirm that you have registered to attend the ceremony, the date and time of the ceremony, and the number of tickets you have requested for your guests. You should also include the email you will receive when you have successfully completed your course. You do not need a CAS statement for a Visitor visa for graduation.
You can find a list of other documents you might need on the Gov UK website.
If you have travelled back to your home country and still have a valid Tier 4 or Student visa, we would still advise you apply for a Visitor visa. This is because UKVI want you to have the visa for the purpose you are coming to the UK. If you are no longer studying, a Student visa may not be considered as acceptable. It will be the decision of the immigration officer at the border.
Inviting Family and Friends
Your family and friends will also need a Visitor visa. The documents they require will be the same as for a visa for yourself and you should ask them to include your graduation ceremony confirmation email in their application too.
You can also send your visitor a copy of the letter you will receive after you have successfully completed your course. This will come with your final mark statement and transcript.
The University is not permitted to issue letters inviting your family or friends to visit the UK. You will have to write your own letter inviting them to visit you.
For more help, you can contact Student Life to obtain our help guide on inviting family and friends to visit.