Induction for new students - Starting with us

Registration and Passport/Visa copying

If you’ve entered the UK on a Tier 4 Student Visa, or you have any other type of visa, the University is required to take a copy of your visa for our records. You will need to attend a passport/ visa copying session as a condition of your registration at Sussex. If you obtain a new visa or a new passport at any time during your studies, you should also provide us with a copy of this.

New students can begin the registration process online before arrival. If you have applied for a visa to study at Sussex, in order to complete your registration the University will need to take a scan of your passport and visa. This can be done when you arrive at Sussex as part of in-person registration. Please see our information on Biometric Residence Permits for details of when and where to collect these, if you have entered the UK on a 30 day visa and need to collect a BRP within 10 days of arriving in the UK.

You will need to bring the following original documents to complete registration on your arrival:

  1. Your passport
  2. Your visa, leave stamps or immigration status document showing your permission to stay in the UK
  3. Your BRP - Biometric Residence Permit (if you have one).

Once you have completed all elements of the registration process you will be able to collect your Student ID card.

The University has an obligation to inform UK Visas & Immigration (UKVI) if students holding a Tier 4 visa for studying at Sussex do not arrive on time (there will be a latest registration date that the Admissions Office will set for your course), so you should make sure we scan your visa as soon as possible. If you have not provided your details we will assume that you have not arrived and report this to UK Visas & Immigration.

If you extend your visa at any point during your studies, or switch into another immigration category, you must inform us immediately and we will need to take a scan of your new visa. Please also inform us if you renew your passport.

Students switching institutions from within the UK (including ISC students)

If you are currently in the UK on a non-Sussex Tier 4 student visa which is tied to another institution (this includes students who have been studying with the International Study Centre) and want to enrol at Sussex, the registration procedures are different. These procedures also apply to people in the UK on a work related visa who then switch into Tier 4 and have a pending application.

If you applied for your current Tier 4 student visa on or after 5 October 2009, this visa will be tied to your previous Tier 4 sponsor, and we will not be able to register you at Sussex on this visa. Before we can enrol you at Sussex, we will need to see proof that you have made a Tier 4 application to UKVI using a University of Sussex CAS. You will need to bring the following documents to registration:

  • the online application cover sheet from your application showing the submission date. We can also accept a letter from UKVI confirming receipt of your application provided it is dated before your last visa expired
  • copy of your previous visa so we can see that you submitted the application before your current visa expired. If you submitted the application after your visa expiry date it will not be possible for us to register you until you have been granted the visa.

When you finally receive your Sussex visa from UKVI, we will need to take a copy to complete your registration. If your visa application is ultimately refused it may not be possible for you to remain registered on your current course.

If you applied for your current Tier 4 student visa before 5 October 2009 and you still have leave remaining which you want to use to study at Sussex, please email us and we can advise you on the registration process.

If you have a pending immigration appeal for a Tier 4 visa which is tied to another institution we will not be able to register you, as your visa will still be tied to this institution.

Please email immigration@sussex.ac.uk if you are unclear about any of the above procedures.

Students with a Sussex visa which is about to expire

If you have been studying at Sussex (for example with the Sussex Centre for Language Studies, or if you are progressing from an undergraduate degree to a Masters or a Masters to PhD) and you have a Tier 4 student visa which is about to expire, this visa will be tied to your previous course (as well as your Tier 4 sponsor, Sussex). This means that UKVI would normally expect a student to have made a new Tier 4 visa application, for the new course, before they could be registered. However, UKVI have announced a concession for certain courses starting before 1 November 2015, which is explained in the 'Sponsor Duties' document, paragprah 5.69, of the Tier 4 sponsor guidance .

This means that the following types of students will be allowed to register for their new course on their existing Sussex Tier 4 visa, provided they make the new visa application within 6 weeks of registering, or before their visa expiry date (whichever is sooner):

  • SCLS (pre-sessional) students progressing to UG/masters/PhD course. If you have a Tier 4 visa which covers you for the pre-sessional and main course this does not apply
  • UG students progressing to a masters course

Unfortunately the rules do not allow a Sussex masters student on a Tier 4 visa to begin their PhD in September 2015, if their PhD is conditional on them passing the Masters. This is because masters students do not formally finish their course until 30 September 2015 and the CAS for the PhD cannot be produced until they have formally passed.

This means that a current Sussex masters student on a Tier 4 visa will only be able to start a PhD with Sussex in January 2016. Also, you will need to submit a new visa application before you can be enrolled on your new course. If you have not received your new visa before registration you will need to provide us with the following proof that you have submitted a Tier 4 application:

  • the online application cover sheet from your application showing the submission date. We can also accept a letter from UKVI confirming receipt of your application provided it is dated before your last visa expired
  • copy of your previous visa so we can see that you submitted the application before your current visa expired. If you submitted the application after your visa expiry date it will not be possible for us to register you until you have been granted the visa.

If you have a non-Tier 4 visa (such as a dependant visa, ILR or any other non-student immigration permission) or your PhD offer is not based on your current masters, it may be possible for you to begin your PhD in September. However, please check this with the Research Student Administration office when you apply:

researchstudentoffice@sussex.ac.uk

In all the cases above, if you submit your application after your visa expiry date, or you are not in a position to submit a valid application (for example because your finances are not ready), then it may not be possible for you to be registered.

IMPORTANT - other terms and conditions for registration

If you have a pending visa application in any other immigration category you will need to seek advice from the relevant admissions office on whether you will be able to register:

Undergraduate applicants: ug.applicants@sussex.ac.uk
Masters applicants: pg.applicants@sussex.ac.uk
PhD applicants: researchstudentoffice@sussex.ac.uk
Visiting & Exchange students: international@sussex.ac.uk
English Language students: efl@sussex.ac.uk
International Summer School: issoffice@sussex.ac.uk

This includes students with pending asylum claims, dependant applications and ILR applications.

Also, under Sussex policy if you have an adult work related visa (such as Tier 1, Tier 2,  certain Tier 5 categories, Turkish ECAA Businesspersons etc.) you will not be able to register on a full time course of study, and will be permitted to register on part-time courses only (unless you have a pending Tier 4 application). Dependant visas, Tier 1 investor, and Tier 5 Youth Mobility should be permitted to register for full time courses (provided your application is not pending), but please check first. If your visa does not cover you for the full duration of your course please seek advice on the implications of this by contacting an International Student Adviser (immigration@sussex.ac.uk). 

Furthermore, all visit categories, other than the short-term student route, have a requirement that the applicant does not intend to undertake study in the UK (other than 30 days of 'incidental study'). This means that if you enter the UK as a standard visitor for example, you will not be able to study on the majority of courses that Sussex offer and we will not be able to register you.

If you are in any doubt, please contact the immigration advice team to discuss your case further.