Passports and visas

Be prepared

It may seem obvious but make sure that you have a valid passport before you travel. If you have a UK/EU passport, you can live, study or work within the European Union without a visa. However, some countries require that you have at least six months remaining on your passport so do check with the visa website of the country you are travelling to. If you need to apply for a new passport you should do so in plenty of time before you are due to travel.

Before you go

Make copies of all your important travel documents such as your passport and travel insurance, and keep them in a separate place to the originals. This way if you do lose any of them, it will be easier and faster to replace them. Leave copies at home too in case you lose the originals. Get a supply of ID photos to take with you as they are useful for things like student cards and bus passes when you are away.

Providing proof

Some EU countries stipulate a timescale in which you must get in touch with the authorities to let them know that you are in the country. You may also have to provide documents to them such as your passport, valid health insurance, proof of enrolment at your host institution, or proof from your host employer.

For youth exchange activities, it is the responsibility of the participating organisations to ensure all visas, where required, are in order before the planned activity takes place. International students should check with their sending organisation/institution.

Coming to the UK on Tier 5?

European Voluntary Service (EVS) volunteers coming to the UK who have non-EU passports should contact their hosting organisation in the UK to organise a Tier 5 certificate of sponsorship, before applying for a UK visa under the Points Based System.

All non-EEA/EU Erasmus+ students coming into the UK on a traineeship must also obtain a visa to enter the UK under the Points Based System in order to take up their Erasmus+ placement in the UK. Read more on Tier 5 visas.

Stay safe

We recommend checking the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) guidance on vaccinations, health issues and safety precautions before you travel. Please observe the FCO recommendations if they advise against all travel and contact your home institution about postponing your trip.  Read more about insurance on our website.