Princeton Program: University College London
Passport & Visa Information
Students are responsible for ensuring that their passports are valid for their entire stay in the United Kingdom. For further information on renewing or obtaining a U.S. passport, please consult the U.S. State Department passport website.
If you are studying in the UK for six months or less and do not plan to intern/work/volunteer while you are there, then you can enter as a student visitor. Non-visa nationals (which include U.S. citizens) do not need to apply for student visitor clearance before arriving in the U.K. They do, however, need to bring specific documents to show the entry clearance officer upon arrival. If you are not a U.S. citizen, you should check to see if you need to apply for student visitor clearance ahead of time (see https://www.gov.uk/check-uk-visa). If you enter as a student visitor, you must leave at the end of six months.
If you are studying in the UK for more than six months or want to have the option to intern/work/ volunteer while you are there, then you need to get a Tier 4 Student Visa. This visa is complicated, and you will need to start the process six-eight weeks before you plan to leave for the UK. If applying from the U.S., you should first complete the visa application form online, make your payment, and then use the online booking system to schedule a convenient location and time to submit your biometric data. You will visit one of the 129 U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Centers, where they will scan your fingertips and take a digital photo. Once you have submitted your biometric data, you will send in your passport and documents by mail.