Essential Information

Entry in the UK


Q. Which visa do I need to apply for after I have been made an offer by a University?

A. You will need to apply for the Tier 4 (General) Student Visa.

Q. When can I apply?

A. The safest time to apply would be to apply at least 2-3 months before your course is to begin. If you're applying late, please check the visa processing time — which is usually up to 4 weeks. You can only apply for a visa once you've received an "unconditional" offer from your University and once you have ensured that you have enough money for the entire year. The amount varies according to your course and circumstances.

Q. What is a BRP?

A. A BRP is a Biometric Residence Permit. You will need to have your fingerprints and photograph taken at the Visa application centre as a part of your application process. You will need to collect this permit within 10 days of your entry into the UK from the nearest post office. This permit will then act as your visa for your entire course and you will be required to carry it every time you leave and enter the UK.

Q. Which documents do I need to carry if I'm entering the UK for the first time?

A. Make sure you have all your documents in your hand baggage as you will be asked to provide a few of them at the Immigration Desk. Apart from your passport, please carry details of your accommodation, CAS letter from your University, your medical report (you will be asked to a have TB checkup done, before you apply for the visa), some contact numbers of Family/your University, in case of emergency as well as a copy of your bank statement.

Alert —

Over the past couple of months, imposters, pretending to be officers from the Immigration Department in the UK, might contact you via phone calls and extract information from you or ask for money to help you from any kind of deportation. Please be aware to never leak any information about yourself to such people. The Immigration Department will ONLY contact you via post or e-mail or through your University.



Employability


Q. How many hours am I allowed to work whilst on a Tier 4 visa?

A. According to the Tier 4 visa rules, you are permitted to work for 20 hours per week during term time and full time during vacations.

Q. Do I need to pay taxes on my salary?

A. Most employers don't require you to pay any tax whilst you're on Tier 4 visa. Make sure you request a tax exemption letter, if your employer hasn't already sent you one.

Q. How do I apply for a National Insurance number?

A. Before you apply for any job in the UK, whilst on a Tier 4 visa, you are required to apply for a National Insurance number. This usually takes up to 2 weeks to arrive by post so make sure you apply for one, well in advance. The details and procedure for your NI number can be found here.

Q. How do I apply for part-time jobs?

A. The best place to look for part-time jobs is on your University website, which, more often than not, has a dedicated employability page. This is a preferred option as most employers looking for part-time employees usually reach out to Universities. Other ways are simply keeping a tab on websites such as Gumtree, Reed, Indeed, JobSite. You may also walk into shops and stores in your local high street and drop in your CV and tell them your availability, in case they have any openings.

Q. Is it difficult to manage a part-time job and studies?

A. Most students, originating from the UK, itself, usually depend on their part-time jobs to earn their living expenses. As Indian students, you will not be the only ones working and studying, simultaneously. Your professors at your University are aware that students mostly earn their own living expenses, which is why the curriculum is designed accordingly. Make sure you have a schedule to follow, in order to manage time well. If you feel that you're unable to cope, arrange a meeting with your personal tutor to work around your current timetable or with your employer, to change your existing rota. Try to cut back on your job hours during exam time; you can cover this up during your summer or winter break and work full time.

Q. How do I create a solid CV and Cover Letter from myself?

A. Most University's Student's Union have a dedicated employability center to help you with your CV and cover letters. Remember — a CV is a recreation of your true self on paper form, so don't rely on sample CV which are found online. For any CV related questions, please contact: [email protected]

Q. What rights do I enjoy, as an employee?

A. A list of your rights can be found here.



Accommodation


Q. What are some common websites to look out for private accommodations in the UK ?

A. You can search for private accommodations through a number of websites such as spareroom.co.uk, loc8me, student.com, the university living, etc. There are some private hall facilities available around most of the universities in the UK that can be found by a simple google search. You can also check at university's accommodations website. Some universities do provide links to trusted websites that can be used to search for private accommodations.

Q. How do I choose the best accommodation?

A. Most universities in the UK have guaranteed University Accommodation for first year students/post graduate students. Therefore, please check your university website to see if they're offering one. University accommodations, for your first year in the UK, are the most convenient as it allows you to interact with tons of students, most of them are inclusive of all bills and have dedicated parking and laundry services along with 24 hour security. Before you apply for one, make sure you check it's close to your school or if within campus, you will be able to find a wide range of accommodations for your monetary needs.

Q. How much money do I need in my account, during my visa application, for living expenses?

A. UK Visa and Immigration requires you to show £ 1015 per month for living expenses, in most cities, except London, which is £ 1265 per month for living expenses. It is estimated that, you might spend around £ 150 per week apart from your accommodation charges and around £ 180 per week in London. (subjected to change based on individual lifestyle)

Q. Which are the best accommodations in Scotland?

A. The rough living cost + accommodation in Scotland is between 350-400 £ s. The following are the links to find the accommodation of your choice.

Q. Which are the best accommodations in Northern Ireland?

A. The rough living cost + accommodation in Scotland is between 140-150 £ s per week. The following are the links to find the accommodation of your choice:



First Week in the UK


Q. What are the things that needs to be figured out before arriving in the UK?

A. Once you are done with your visa, flight tickets and other formalities, figure out how will you be traveling from airport to your university/accommodation along with your luggage. You can either take a cab directly to your place (if your university is in the same city as the university) or you can get a public transport (a train or a shuttle). Cabs are generally very costly, to check estimated prices, you can look into Uber or ADT cabs. To find out available options for public transport, use Google Maps, navigate between the two locations and select Public Transport to see all the options available. You can book train tickets directly from Trainline, and buses for intercity travel through National Express or Mega Bus. Do look into luggage allowed in bus before booking tickets.

Q. Do Indian Smart Phones work in the UK?

A. Yes, most of the Indian Smart Phones work in the UK. To be sure, look into the technical specifications of your smart phone and under Network, if the phone supports at least two of the following frequency bands - 800MHz, 900MHz, 1800MHz, 2100MHz and 2600MHz, it will work in the UK too. iPhones bought from legit stores in the India are unlocked and can be used in the UK too.

Q. What are the available options for SIM Cards in the UK and where can I buy them?

A. There are a lot of network providers in the UK. Students generally prefer networks like Lebara, Lyca and GiffGaff because of their plans and very cheap international calling rates. You can buy a SIM at any general store or supermarkets in town, on airports or railway stations easily.

Q. What are the things that needs to be done on my arrival?

A. Once you arrive in the UK, rest for the day, collect your Biometric Residence Permit (BRP), and get yourself registered at the university. Collect your student ID and handbook from the university. Explore the town a little, figure out nearest shops, TESCO, post office, bus routes and bus stands, train station, etc.

Q. How do I open a Bank Account in the UK?

A. Once you are in the UK, you will have to open a Bank Account for receiving any part time work payments. Prefer Barclays, HSBC, Santander or Netwest. Here in the UK, you cannot just walk-in in the bank and get an account opened. First of all, go through their website look out for different types of bank accounts available and which suits you the best. Then either book an appointment with the bank or just give a call to the nearest branch and they will advise you on how to get it done.

For the bank account you will be needing,

  1. Your Passport or BRP
  2. A proof of Residence and proof of being a student - You will have to ask your university's administration team, they will issue you a letter for this.
  3. Your Student ID Card

Once the bank account is opened, you will receive your online banking credentials along with your debit card.



General Tips


Some Useful Apps

  1. Travel Support Apps
    • Ola, Uber and ADT are two of the most used cab services in the UK.
    • Use Trainline for booking trains.
    • National Bus and Mega Bus for inter-city bus travel.
    • Use Google Maps to check routes, how to reach using public transports, timing for buses and trains etc.
    • Use CityMapper to check for Tube and Public Transport within London.
  2. Food and Groceries
  3. Shopping
    • Amazon UK is the best website to shop. A lot of things can easily be found in Tesco itself.
    • For electronics, you can look into Currys UK as well.
  4. Miscellaneous
  5. Free Accounts for Students and Loyalty Cards for General Savings and Discounts
    • Almost all big chains give you loyalty cards.
    • Oyester Card is always beneficial BUT ONLY IF YOU ARE LIVING IN LONDON. Oyster Cards are only valid on public transports in London.
    • 16-25 Rail Card gives you heavy discount on train tickets. Rail Card costs 70GBP for 3 years.
    • Amazon Prime bought in India willNOT work in the UK. But you can get free Amazon UK Prime if you register with your university student mail address.

Disclaimer: NISAU does not provide any legal, medical, immigration or university ranking advice. Whilst NISAU makes every effort possible to help students, we make no representation or warranty of any kind, express or implied, regarding the accuracy, validity, adequacy, reliability, or completeness of any information shared.