International Arrivals Guide

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Arrivals Guide

Living and studying in a new country can be overwhelming but it can also be really exciting. You will make new friends, try different food and of course experience the ever changing British weather! Plus there will be lots of opportunities to participate in many new and exciting things. We realise that moving away from home can be a big change and we are here to support you with any challenges you may face. This guide aims to help you settle into life in Lincoln as easily as possible.

Collecting your Biometric Residence Permit (BRP - Your Visa)

When you arrive in the UK you have 10 days to collect your Biometric Residence Permit (BRP).

You must collect your BRP from the post office you selected on your visa application form. If you do not collect your BRP within 10 days of arriving in the UK you may have to pay a fine and/or your visa may be cancelled.

The Post Office in Lincoln where you can collect your BRP is:

City Square Post Office 
Lincoln 
Sincil Street 
LN5 7EJ

For opening times, search for this branch on The Post Office website. You do not have to make an appointment to collect your BRP. If you arrive at the University in September there will be student ambassadors who can guide you to the Post Office in Lincoln.

For more information, including a list of the documents you will need to take when collecting your BRP from the post office, visit the Gov.uk website.

If you have a question about the BRP or any other immigration issues, contact the International Advice Team (based in the Student Support Centre) by email: internationaladvice@lincoln.ac.uk.

Studying in the UK

Understanding and working in English as a second language has its challenges. 

One of the most important services for you to get to know when you arrive is the English Language Centre. We know that studying in a foreign language can be very difficult. We also know that during your time in Lincoln, you will want to improve your language skills, understand British culture better, and take the opportunity to meet other students from all over the world.

At the English Language Centre, we offer a range of courses and workshops, as well as a regular drop-in service if you need individual support. All of our courses and services are completely free and run throughout the academic year. On arrival you will be offered the opportunity to take a short English language diagnostic test with us. Our tutors will then be able to advise you which of our programmes will be suitable for you to attend throughout the year.

Main Courses

  • Academic English
  • Culture and Conversation
  • Grammar for Academic English

Short Courses

  • Active Listening
  • Advanced Academic Writing
  • Better Pronunciation
  • Critical Thinking
  • English for Dissertation Writing
  • Effective Presentation Skills

Drop-in & 1:1 Writing Support

If you need individual help with any English language problem, the ELC’s Drop-in service is the perfect place to go. Our experienced, well-qualified team of teachers can advise you on any language issue. You do not need to make an appointment before and can simply arrive when the drop-in session takes place. We also provide a writing support service where we can check part of your assignments and give advice on how to avoid grammatical mistakes, improve sentence structure and paragraphing. 

For full details of the workshops and to book a place please email Englishlanguage@lincoln.ac.uk

The UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) have a thorough guide to all elements of studying in the UK, from choosing a course, choosing accommodation, study tips through to immigration advice, student financial support and what happens after you finish your study.

Your Lincoln Community & Social Life

Starting a new life in a new place away from home can be daunting. To help international students become a part of the student community the University of Lincoln’s Students' Union has several societies and committees you can join to meet other international students, increase your knowledge of different countries and cultures and practice your English.

These societies are based around sporting interests, hobbies such as gaming, favourite films, favourite music and much more. To find out more about these and other societies, visit the Students' Union website.

Travelling around Lincoln

Most places of interest and facilities in Lincoln are within walking distance of the University campus and most University accommodation sites. For alternative options to walking, if you need to get somewhere quickly or further away, see our guide below.

Cycling

The University has a Hire bike station on campus, where you can rent bikes for a short period such as 1 or 2 hours, or for the full day.  This is based near the LPAC (see campus map for exact location).  There is a discounted annual membership for students.  For further tariff details see Lincoln Hirebike.

For cycling routes, go to the Visit Lincoln website.

Buses

For full route details and timetables, visit the Lincs Bus Info website.

Taxis

Please be aware that Taxis can be an expensive form of transport.  They may however be useful for bringing home shopping from the supermarket. Always use a licensed taxi company. Some taxi firms will send you a text when they arrive so you know which car has been assigned for your journey. It is also wise to tell someone you trust where you are going and when you expect to arrive at your destination. A list of taxi firms can be found on Yell.com.

Driving

Before driving any vehicle (car, motorbike, van etc.) in the United Kingdom (England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland), you should check that you meet all of the legal requirements that apply:

(a) to the driver and

(b) to the vehicle;

and that you are aware of the correct procedures, which may be very different from your home country.

We advise you to read the information UKCISA (UK Council for International Student Affairs) provide on their website about driving in the United Kingdom. There is lots of important information you should be aware of before you choose to drive in the United Kingdom.  In addition, you should read the relevant sections of the Highway Code.

The International Advice Team can help you understand the rules regarding driving in the UK. They have a drop-in everyday between 12pm-2pm in the Student Support Centre.

Culture Shock

What is 'Culture Shock'?

Life in the UK may be the complete opposite of life in your home country. The way people dress, speak and behave may be very different; the food available might be unusual and of course the weather in the UK can change frequently.  All these differences may cause you anxiety, stress and worry; this is culture shock. Don’t worry, everyone can experience culture shock and there are things you can do to help you cope with it.

If you are experiencing Culture Shock, there are online resources to help you understand how you can help yourself:  

Culture Shock can be minimised by becoming familiar with the national and local events and holidays that take place throughout the year.  A list of national events can be found on the British Council website.

Support Available at the University of Lincoln

  • The Student Wellbeing Centre. If you are very unhappy, and need someone to talk to, the Student Wellbeing team can help.  For details about their services, visit the Student Wellbeing Centre website.
  • The English Language Centre (ELC). You may find it helpful to attend the Culture and Conversation course provided by the English Language Centre. This course will help you better understand British culture, and provide the opportunity to meet other students from all over the world. For full details of this course visit the English Language Centre website.

Homesickness

It is normal to feel homesick (miss home) at first. If you feel you can’t cope, or you are running out of energy and/or feel physically ill, we recommend that you talk to someone at the Student Wellbeing Centre. The polite and friendly staff at the Student Wellbeing Centre will always be happy to help you; don’t be afraid to ask for support if you need it.

Contact the Student Wellbeing Centre.

Police Registration

The condition to register with the police is given to people of certain nationalities, who come to the UK for more than six months. You can check the list of countries whose nationals need to register in Appendix 2 of the Immigration Rules.

If you have the police registration condition but your nationality is not listed this might be an error by the Home Office staff who issued your visa. Contact the International Advice Team for advice (internationaladvice@lincoln.ac.uk).

If you are required to register with the police, you must do so within 7 days of your arrival in the UK.

Find out how to register with the police and which documents you will need, visit the Gov.uk website.

Remember:

You need to collect your Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) first, then register with the police. The police cannot register you without your BRP card.

If you fail to register with the police, or to tell them about any changes, the Home Office can refuse future immigration applications, or remove you from the UK. You might be barred from returning to the UK for a certain period.

In September, the police may register students on campus. If the police are offering this service, further details will be provided to you when you enrol. If the police are not offering this service when you enrol, you will need to go to the police station yourself to register.

The address for the police station in Lincoln city centre is:

Lincoln Police Station
West Parade
Lincoln
LN1 1YP

How to get there

The Student Support Centre have provided walking directions and a video of the journey to the Lincoln police station on the 'Useful Information' page of the Student Services website.

Keep your information up-to-date

If any of the information you have provided to the police changes during your time in the UK you must tell the police within 7 days. You will need to take proof of the change. There should be no charge for these updates.

If you lose your police registration certificate you must report it as soon as possible and get a replacement which you will be charged for.

If you have any problems registering with the police, contact the International Advice Team for advice: internationaladvice@lincoln.ac.uk.

International Enrolment

When you arrive at the University, one of the first things you should do is enrol onto your programme of study.  Visit the Enrolment pages for information about how and when to enrol.

For information on how to pay your tuition fees, visit our How to Pay pages.

If you have not aleady organised accommodation, visit our accommodation pages.

Registering with a Doctor

After arriving in the UK, you should register with a local doctor ('GP', General Practitioner) as soon as you can; do not wait until you are ill.

Students have a choice of several different GP Surgeries within Lincoln city centre however many students choose to register at the on-campus Health Centre.

When registering with a doctor’s surgery, you should take the following documents with you:

  • Personal Identification (passport)
  • Immigration documents
  • Proof of address with your name and term-time address on it (a household bill or tenancy agreement)
  • Medical card (if you have one)
  • List of current medications
  • A Confirmation of Study Letter (if you are registering with an off-campus doctor)

Doctors surgeries with online registration may ask you to produce these documents before they can complete your registration.

You may be asked to book a ‘Registration Appointment’ which is an initial health check and a chance for you to meet a GP or Nurse Practitioner. If you have any ongoing conditions or medication, it is a good time to discuss these.

For further information about the health services available to international students, visit UKCISA.

The Immigration Health Surcharge

People from non-EEA countries are now required to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) in order to be eligible for healthcare in the UK. This is done as part of the visa application form.  If you are unsure if you are eligible for healthcare in the UK, contact the International Advice Team and they will help you.

Dental Care (Teeth)

Once you have registered with a GP you can also register with an NHS dentist. Visit the UKCISA website for information about dental treatment in the UK.

Optical Care (Eyes) 

In the UK, eye care is provided by high street opticians. To purchase spectacles or contact lenses you will need a British prescription, which you get from the optician following a sight test. Sight tests can be arranged by contacting the optician directly. The cost of frames, lenses and contact lenses varies.  Visit the UKCISA website for information about eye tests and eye care provided in the UK. 

Health Care Mobile App

You may find it helpful to download the ‘ESC (Expert Self Care) Student’ is health app to your mobile.  This app has developed by medical doctors, together with students.  It does not cost much to download onto your phone from your app provider.  You can find answers to questions about:

  • Emergencies – learning the truth about life-threatening illnesses and how to give basic first aid
  • General ill health – how to deal with sleep problems, feeling stressed, and constant fatigue
  • Mental health – finding out what to do when feeling low or anxious, self-harming or worried about drinking too much alcohol
  • Common ailments – headaches, finding out how to treat spots, and managing common aches and pains
  • Navigating health services – what to do next and when to see a pharmacist, nurse or doctor.

Opening a Bank Account

We have provided some information below to help you with opening a bank account in the UK.  You can find detailed information with regards to opening a bank account in the UK via the International Students: Opening a UK bank account leaflet produced by the British Bankers’ Association.

How to Apply for a UK Bank Account

In order to open a bank account you will need to ensure you have the following documentation with you:

  • your passport
  • your visa (if relevant)
  • proof of address in the UK and in your home country
  • a bank letter from the University of Lincoln confirming you are a student.

(Please note the documents you need to open a bank account may vary depending on which bank you decide to open an account with).

How to get a Bank Letter

Download the letter request form from the Student Services website, complete the form and take this to the Student Support Centre.  After you have submitted your form, your bank letter should be ready to collect within a few days. Please be aware that during September it may take longer as there are a large number of letter requests to process.

Banks in Lincoln         

There are a variety of banks to choose from in Lincoln, each offering a range of services. Use the internet to research which UK banks have branches in Lincoln and which bank account will be most suitable for you. Remember, if you plan to extend your visa you will need to provide a bank statement. Before you apply for a bank account you should check which banks can produce statements in the format required by the Home Office - not all banks do this. If you need help understanding this contact the International Advice Team: internationaladvice@lincoln.ac.uk.

Banking Terminology

In order to familiarise yourself with a few of the various banking terms you may encounter, please refer to the list below:

  • Standing Order – an instruction by a bank’s customer to the bank, to pay an amount of money regularly to another account.
  • Cash Card – allows you to access your money 24 hours a day using a cashpoint.
  • Direct Debit – a payment arranged by the organisation which leaves the account with the express agreement of the account holder.
  • Debit Card – allows you to withdraw cash from your account as well as use your card to pay in shops, restaurants and online.
  • Automated Credit Transfer – a direct payment into your bank account, instead of by cash or cheque to you.
  • Overdraft – an agreed extension of credit when your account reaches zero.
  • ID – Identity.

When you arrive at the University of Lincoln, you join a friendly and welcoming, close-knit academic community of staff and students, and have access to a range of support services throughout your time here. For more information visit our Student Support pages.

Protecting your Visa & Visa Compliance

If you are studying in the UK on a Tier 4 visa, it is very important that you protect your visa by ensuring that you understand and follow the rules and conditions set by the Home Office. Each Tier 4 student is responsible for complying with the conditions of their visa.  Failure to comply with the conditions of your visa is a criminal offence.

The University will support students through the provision of information and guidance but will have no choice but withdraw sponsorship of the Tier 4 visa if there has been a breach in the visa conditions. If you have breached the conditions of your visa, the Home Office can remove you from the UK, refuse future immigration applications, or you may be barred from returning to the UK for a certain period of time.

You can read further information about the conditions attached to your visa and the responsibilities you have on the Home Office website or the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) website.

The University of Lincoln holds Tier 4 visa Sponsor Licence, which means that we can sponsor international students to obtain a Tier 4 visa to study with us. The Tier 4 Sponsor Licence is granted by the Home Office and in order to maintain it we have to ensure that we fully comply with the Home Office sponsorship guidance.  In addition to complying with the conditions of your Tier 4 visa, you also have a responsibility to co-operate with the University in fulfilling its Tier 4 Sponsor licence duties. 

The Tier 4 Compliance Team within Student Administration is responsible for ensuring that a range of areas relating to the University’s Tier 4 Sponsor Licence and conditions are met. 

The Tier 4 Compliance team are here to help with any problems or queries you have regarding the responsibilities of your visa and how to remain compliant. If you have any queries, please email the Tier 4 Compliance Team at tier4visa@lincoln.ac.uk.

Top tips to comply with your visa

1. Make sure that you arrive in the UK and enrol on time.  You course start date is noted in your CAS statement sent by the International Admissions team which you needed to make a Tier 4 visa application.  If you are delayed and know that you will miss the start of your course this may impact your Tier 4 visa, please contact tier4visa@lincoln.ac.uk so that the Tier 4 Compliance team can help you.

2. Check your University email account regularly.  The University will contact you via email with information or important matters so make sure you check your email on a regular basis.

3. Update your contact details using Blackboard – this includes your email address, telephone number or term time address.  If you had to register with the Police at the start of term you will also need to update the Police if you move term time address.

4. Know the conditions of your visa such as your working rights.  This should be on your visa but if you are not sure, ask the International Advice team at Internationaladvice@lincoln.ac.uk before working.  Alternatively, you can speak to a member of the International advice team by attending the drop-in session every weekday from 12pm to 2pm at the Student Support Centre.

5. Bring any new immigration documents to the Student Support Centre. If you receive any correspondence from the Home Office relating to your visa, or you have a new passport, please let the University have a copy of this as we will need to update your record.

6. Attend all your classes on your own timetable and sign the register at each session.  If you have to be absent for a session, don’t forget to inform your School in advance if you can and give them evidence of why you cannot attend.

7. You should use the same signature when you sign your name on the attendance register.

8. Apply for Authorised Absence if you need to be absent during term time.  You should apply and wait for a decision before you stop attending and especially if you need to buy flight tickets to travel.

9. Complete the Tier 4 Census Check form. You will be sent an email mid-way through your academic year inviting you to check the contact details the University hold for you.  This is an opportunity for the University to check that all contact details, passport and visa information held is still current and up to date. You will be sent an email to your university email account about this.

10. Attend all meeting requests.  If you are invited to a meeting by the School, or the Tier 4 Compliance team, or any other University department it is very important that you attend the meeting.  If you cannot attend the meeting then you need to inform the person you are meeting so that this can be rearranged.

11. Request a CAS to extend your leave early if your current visa does not cover the end of your course. You can apply for a CAS 4 months before your current visa expires by completing the CAS request form for Current/Continuing Students.  The International Advice team hold regular visa workshops every Tuesday (excluding when the University is closed) to help support you in completing your visa application.  For more information, visit the Advice Service Website. You should attend a workshops as soon as possible to make sure you have time to get all your documents ready.

12. Inform the Tier 4 Compliance team, in advance, if you are undertaking a work placement or attending a conference in the UK or overseas by completing the Change of Circumstances form.

13. Check out the Tier 4 Compliance blackboard page for compliance information and updates. Once you have enrolled with the University, you will have access to the University’s Blackboard site which includes the Tier 4 Compliance Community site.  This will contain important information on Tier 4 Compliance.

For more information on how to keep compliant with the conditions of your visa please watch the following videos:

Tier 4 Visa Pre-Arrival & Enrolment Information    

Tier 4 Visa General Compliance Information    

Tier 4 Visa – Postgraduate Study

Contact the International Office

Tel: +44 (0)1522 886040 (During office hours, 8:30am - 5:00pm GMT, Monday - Friday)

Email: international@lincoln.ac.uk or use our online enquiry form.