The Student Room Group

Visa question for international students from USA

Hi all,

Hoping there's some US citizens studying in the UK here who may be able to share their experience.

My partner (US citizen) has just had her student visa approved to study teaching at Strathclyde University. The course is due to begin on 17th August. In her passport is a vignette which she has to get stamped at the UK border on her arrival.

The date the vignette is valid from (i.e. the earliest she can get it stamped at customs) is... 17th August. Not particularly useful, unless she's wanting to head straight to the lecture theatre from the airport. Our plan was for her to come to the UK for a couple of months as a tourist (i.e. no visa required) in order to settle in, buy teaching supplies, etc.

The US embassy in London has a page with information about US students coming to the UK to study (https://uk.usembassy.gov/u-s-citizen-services/resources-for-u-s-citizens/resources-for-u-s-citizens-uk-student-visa/), but it's lacking clarity on whether this would be acceptable. The page states that if you require a standard visitor visa to visit the UK, you would have to leave the country and then re-enter during the validity period of your vignette for the student visa to be 'activated.' However, it doesn't specify whether this is the case if you do not need a visa to visit the UK as a tourist.

So, for any US citizens studying in the UK: Did you come to the UK before your student visa began? If so, were you required to leave and then re-enter the country to activate your visa?

Thanks.

P.S. what's up with the visa starting on the same day the course begins? Do they not think people need time to move in and get settled?
Also US citizen here. How long did it take for your partner to get her visa? I've heard that some students who have to wait on exam results for their CAS number have had to miss the first week of their course because their visa was not approved in time, and I'm worried I might not get mine in time to start the course.
Reply 2
Original post by penguingirl18
Also US citizen here. How long did it take for your partner to get her visa? I've heard that some students who have to wait on exam results for their CAS number have had to miss the first week of their course because their visa was not approved in time, and I'm worried I might not get mine in time to start the course.


Application was completed late April, response came on Wednesday. So about 6 weeks. However she's had a CAS number since February as she was applying as a mature student and didn't have to wait for exam results.

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