Arrivals and orientation for new EU and International students

Arriving in a new country can be exciting, but also a bit overwhelming. We understand that you may find it difficult to plan your arrival from another country, so we have taken the necessary steps to provide you with all the information you'll need to ensure you feel both welcomed and supported as soon as you arrive in the UK.

Before you arrive

Students joining us in September 2023

Changes to international travel to the UK

UPDATE: From 5 January 2023, there are different rules if you travel to England from mainland China. You will need to take a COVID-19 test no more than two days before you travel. This applies to all direct and indirect flights originating from mainland China, as well as Hong Kong and Macao.

For more information, please visit the UK Government website.

If you are travelling from any other country or territory, you no longer need to take any Covid-19 tests either before or after arrival in England. You no longer need to complete a UK passenger locator form before you travel or show proof of Covid-19 vaccination on arrival.

Latest dates of arrival for international students: September 2023 intake

All students are expected to arrive in time for Welcome Week and Induction, which starts on Monday 18 September 2023. Further details about latest dates of arrival for Faculties will be announced shortly.

Deferral requests

Postgraduate applicants

If you are unable to arrive in time for your course, you can request to defer your start date to the next available intake. You need to submit this request via OSIS. Please note that we don't process deferral requests by email.

After you arrive

Accessing the free Covid-19 vaccine and healthcare

Anybody aged 18 or over in the UK is eligible for the Covid-19 vaccination for free, regardless of their nationality or immigration status. International students who live in the UK will be able to access both doses and the booster Covid-19 vaccination for free, in the same way as they are able to access other healthcare.

You should register with a GP (a doctor who is a general practitioner) online as soon as you arrive in the UK. You can search for the nearest GP surgery to your term time address on the NHS website and register as a new patient on the GP's website. If you will be living in Kingston, students are welcome to join our on-site GP practice and can register by contacting the Fairhill Medical Practice (the Health Centre) on the University's Penrhyn Road campus.

Students registered with a GP can book their vaccination appointment through the National Booking Service website or by telephoning 119. Those who are registered with a GP will also receive an invitation to be vaccinated from their GP practice.

While registration with a GP is encouraged to access the vaccine, if desired, individuals can request to book Covid-19 vaccination appointments as an unregistered patient through a local GP practice.

NHS England have produced and published a Covid-19 vaccination Frequently Asked Questions document for students in Higher Education. These FAQs will help answer some of the most common questions, including how to get a vaccinated, vaccine eligibility and mixing different vaccine brands.

Support and well-being services at Kingston

Useful links

Biometric Residence Permits

A Biometric Residence Permit or BRP is a document issued by the Home Office to students as evidence of immigration permission. This is also known as leave to enter or remain. If you are applying for a Student Visa from outside the UK for a course which lasts more than six months, you will be issued with a BRP.

You will collect your BRP on arrival in the UK. You will be given an entry clearance vignette (a sticker) in your passport which will start no more than 90 days before your course start date as specified on your CAS statement.

You will be able to collect your BRP card from the post office designated on your visa decision letter. It is essential that you bring the following documentation with you:

  • Your passport and
  • Your visa decision letter

If you are required to quarantine on arrival in the UK, you will not be penalised for not being able to collect your BRP whilst coronavirus measures are in place. The post office will hold your BRP until you are able to collect it.

Police registration suspended from 1 August 2022

The requirement to register with the police, or update your details if you have already registered, has been abolished.

  • Students are no longer required to register with the police even if they have the requirement on their Decision Letter, on their Entry Visa Vignette stamp in their passport if they applied for their visa from overseas
  • Students in the UK who have a Police Registration Certificate who extended their student visa in the UK to study at Kingston, where the requirement to register was in their Decision Email, do not have to register or update their details.

If you have a visa or biometric residence permit (BRP) and need to tell the Home Office about a change in circumstances, you can do that here.

If you have any concerns or queries, please email the Student Immigration Advisory Service at

Opening a bank account

It is important to open a UK bank account when you first arrive and you should do some research to find the best bank account for your individual needs. You can get advice from the following sources:

Student travel discount

Oyster card

  • If you are a full-time student, and live in a London borough, you can apply for an 18+ Student Oyster photocard that enables you to get discounted travel on the Transport for London network. Please note: you must enrol before you can apply for the discount card.

National Railcard

  • If you are travelling from outside of London, studying full-time and aged 16-25, you can get a 16-25 railcard that offers one-third off rail travel.

International orientation

We have put together lots of great tips and information to help you with settling in at Kingston. Make sure you have access to Canvas, our virtual learning platform, and the Kingston University app so you can view all the online orientation sessions. You can find out more about these platforms on our Welcome page.

Welcome Week start dates vary by course. These events include a range of informative sessions to help you get settled and exciting social events to make new friends. 

Visit our welcome page to find out more about settling in at Kingston

International enrolment

Enrolment is when you officially register on your course. This is when you get your student ID card and officially become a Kingston University student. This year we are allowing international students to enrol online before joining us on campus. This is to make sure you can access all of the Welcome and Arrivals information while finalising your travel arrangements.

When online enrolment opens, you will receive an email with full instructions on how to enrol through OSIS (Online Student Information System) once your place has been confirmed (e.g. your status changes to unconditional firm). Please complete this as soon as you can. The second part of enrolment takes place when you arrive on campus and is in-person.