Travelling outside the UK

Travelling during your studies

If you are a current RAU student on a Tier 4 visa and you want to visit other European countries you will need to get a Schengen Visa. This is a visa scheme within the European Economic Area and Switzerland to travel between all of these countries with one visa.

Usually you will need a short stay or travel visa that will allow a visit of up to three months in any six-month period.

Where and when to apply for Schengen

  • If you visit only one country then you should apply to the embassy of the country you plan to visit
  • If you visit several countries you should apply to the embassy of the country which is your main destination and you plan to spend most of the time during your visit
  • If you visit several countries in the Schengen area but you do not have one country which is your main destination, then you should apply to the embassy of the first country you plan to visit

For fees, eligibility criteria and documentation required please visit the relevant embassy website.

Applications should be processed in two weeks. This sometimes can take a month and exceptionally two months. We advise that you contact the consulate you are applying from to find out precise details and requirements for your travel.

Look after your BRP and passport when travelling

Please ensure that during your travelling you look after your passport and your Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) as many people fall victims of pick-pocketing, or lose their BRP during travelling.

If you lose your passport and BRP you would not be able to return to the UK until you got a replacement passport and a replacement BRP. This is a lengthy and costly exercise so you should be careful about protecting your documents.

Travelling after the end of your course

Your Tier 4 visa allows you to travel out of the UK and return while you are studying on your course.

This means that if your course is 12 months or longer you have four months additional time added to the duration of your Tier 4 visa.

However, please note that if you leave the UK once you have completed your course and then travel back to the UK you will no longer be entering the UK for the purpose your visa was issued for (i.e. study at the RAU). So, you may be refused entry as your course has already been completed. We strongly advise you not to travel outside the UK during the time at the end of your course.

If you decide that you need to travel then you may be allowed back in to the UK on your current Tier 4 visa if you can show that:

  • You will be attending your Graduation ceremony
  • You will be returning to your course at RAU (e.g. retaking a module), in which case you will need a new Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) which will confirm your new course end date. You should also carry financial evidence to show that you meet the Tier 4 Visa requirements for your further period of study
  • You are moving on to a new higher level course having successfully completed the course your visa was issued for, e.g. Bachelor to Masters. In this case you will need to carry the CAS for your new course and financial evidence to show you meet the Tier 4 Visa requirements

You must carry any letter or new CAS with you to show to the Border Control Officer.

N.B. Travel outside the UK after the course end date is at your own risk as there is no guarantee of re-entry to the UK.