New International Students

Coming to Scotland to study offers many exciting opportunities. At Edinburgh Napier University we like to do everything we can to help you make the most of your time here and feel right at home as soon as you arrive.

While you’re settling into life in Edinburgh, from time to time you might need a little help along the way. There are lots of great resources on campus to help you sort out everything, from legal issues to finding a new flat.

Are you a new international student joining us in September 2021?

Don’t forget to attend the international student induction event and get all the information you will need to get started on your studies and your new student life!

Visa and International Support team are hosting this special event for both EU and international students. Here you will have the opportunity to learn more about Edinburgh Napier University, chat to fellow international students and take the first steps to embracing your university experience. You will also have the chance to ask the Visa and International Support team questions and hear from various support team at Edinburgh Napier University.

The event will take place online at the below dates and further information on how to join will be made available closer to the time.

  • Wednesday 1 September 2021 - 10am – 12pm UK time
  • Wednesday 8 September 2021 - 10am – 12pm UK time
  • Friday 17 September 2021 - 10am – 12pm UK time

We look forward to seeing you then!


Entering the UK

UK airports are phasing in e-Gates (electronic security gates) to enhance the passenger experience.

We have been advised that students entering the UK on Short-term Visas should not use these e-Gates and should speak to a Border Force Officer in order to obtain a stamp in their passport.

Further information regarding this can be found here.

Overseas Visitor Registration - Registering with the Police

Due to the current Corona virus (COVID 19) outbreak, and in line with UK and Scottish Government advice about social distancing and avoiding any unnecessary travel or social contact, ALL NATIONALITY REGISTRATIONS ARE TEMPORARILY SUSPENDED WITH IMMEDIATE EFFECT until further notice.

If you have already made an appointment to attend a Police office to register as part of your visa conditions, please DO NOT ATTEND.

It is not known at this time when normal service is to resume but it is likely to be some weeks.

If you are required to register with Police as part of your visa conditions, please do not worry, this decision has been taken in conjunction with the Home Office and is deemed as a reasonable excuse for failing to register within the 7 days stated in the legislation.

Any change to this position will be communicated via the Police Scotland website and once they are able to re-open for registrations they intend to make extra appointments available to cope with the backlog.


Visa & Immigration

When you first arrive in the UK you will need to go through immigration and customs control. You’ll be asked to present the immigration officer with your valid passport and entry visa, and may be asked to show some documents including evidence of where you will live, an offer of admission and proof that you have money to cover any fees and living expenses you’ll have while you’re here. 

Arriving in the UK via Ireland

You might travel to the UK via the Republic of Ireland. However, it is important to understand that both countries are part of a Common Travel Area (CTA). The CTA streamlines arrival in the UK from the Republic of Ireland for most travellers, because there is no immigration control on arrival in the UK. However it can cause a problem for some students on short courses who did not apply for a visa before travelling.

If you already hold a UK visa (i.e. you applied for a visa before you travel to the UK)

There is no problem if you have applied in your home country for a Tier 4 or short-term student visa/entry clearance before travelling. Your UK visa/entry clearance will not be date stamped on entry to the UK, but this is fine. You should keep evidence of your travel in case your date of entry ever becomes important or relevant. If you do travel and re-enter the UK later, for example after a short trip elsewhere in Europe (other than Ireland), your entry clearance will simply be date stamped on re-entry.

USA, Japan, South Korea and other non-visa nationals

This information is for nationals of the USA, Japan, South Korea and other non-visa nationals who are planning to travel to the UK via the Republic of Ireland, and enter the UK as a short-term student.

As a non-visa national, you can indeed normally travel to the UK and apply when you arrive for immigration permission to enter as a short-term student (or other type of visitor) for up to six months. Non-visa national students on short courses often choose to do this rather than applying for entry clearance before travelling. However, if you arrive in the UK from elsewhere in the CTA (this includes the Republic of Ireland), you will not have the opportunity to do this because there is no immigration control at your UK arrival point. You should therefore apply for UK entry clearance (a visa) as a short-term student or Tier 4 student in your home country before travelling to the Republic of Ireland.

If, despite the above advice, you do enter the UK from the Republic of Ireland with no specific UK immigration permission, and you are a non-visa visa national, you will in most cases automatically have permission to be in the UK only for three months, not for six months. This may not be enough time to complete your short course, but you cannot extend your stay in the UK as a short-term student or Tier 4 student. If you need to be in the UK for more than the three months, you will need to leave the UK within the three month period, then re-enter asking for immigration permission to enter as a short-term student, for a maximum visit of six months.

Note also that any immigration permission you are given on arrival in the Republic of Ireland is for the Republic of Ireland, not for the UK.

Our Visa and International Support Team can give you further advice. Email:


Visiting Students

The Global Mobility team at Edinburgh Napier University are the first point of contact for visiting students to the University so regardless of if you are an Erasmus+ exchange student, a free mover from Europe, or a visiting student from a non-EU institution, they will be a key contact and are here to help.

Frequently Asked Questions about starting your studies at Edinburgh Napier can be found in the FAQs section but if you can't find the information you're looking for, email

Find answers to your questions using the FAQ
Students taking a selfie in front of Edinburgh Castle

Pack your bags


The weather in Edinburgh is predictably unpredictable all year round. Like most of the United Kingdom, the climate is temperate, which means we don’t experience huge extremes in temperatures throughout the year. In July and August the average temperature is roughly 19°C, while during the winter months the average temperature is a little over freezing. It’s not unusual to get snow during the winter; however it’s usually no more than a light covering that melts away after a few days.

Because of the city’s northern location, daylight hours vary significantly between summer and winter. On the longest day of the year in June the sun doesn’t set until after 10pm, while on the shortest day the sun sets just after 3.30pm. For many students coming to Edinburgh Napier University from warmer climates, adjusting to the lack of sunshine is the most challenging aspect of life in a new city.

Useful Information 

How do I open a bank account?

To open a bank account, make an appointment with your bank of choice and bring with you your passport, student card, student status letter (available from any of the iPoints) and proof of address. You will need to show the bank your accommodation acceptance letter if you’re living on campus, along with proof of your home address. It’s also wise to ask when making the appointment if there are any other documents you require to get an account opened.

Where can I get insurance?

In the UK there are a number of insurance providers that offer everything from contents to travel insurance. Many people choose to take out insurance policies through their bank. You can also find a policy to suit you on a price comparison website, which will help you secure the best deal.

Do I have access to healthcare?

In addition to the Tier 4 visa application fee, from 6 April 2015, applicants will also be required to pay an immigration health surcharge at the point of submitting their visa application. This is not optional and will apply to all applicants and family members applying to come to the UK as their dependants for more than 6 months. The fee will apply to all applications, whether inside or outside the UK. The charge will entitle the visa holder and dependants to free health services under the National Health Service (NHS) once inside the UK.

What if I need medication?

If medication is prescribed to you by your GP you will be able to get this free of charge at your local pharmacy.

Police registration

Some nationalities may have to register with the police once they have arrived in the UK. If you have to register with the police it will state this on your visa. Further information can be found on the Police Scotland website.

Can I work during my studies?

Your Biometric Residence Card will advise you if you are eligible to work during your studies. As you will be studying a full time course at a Highly Trusted Sponsor institute your BRP should state that you can work up to 20 hours in term time. Further information can be found on the UKCISA website.


Keeping in touch

Moving away from friends and family is a difficult adjustment for many international students who come to study at Edinburgh Napier University.

Staying in touch with loved ones back home - as well as all the new friends you'll make while you're here - doesn't need to be difficult. One of the biggest challenges many of our international students have is the change in time zones and finding the right time to talk, but with a little creativity and some modern methods most manage to keep connected with no trouble at all.

The easiest way to stay in touch during a busy semester is with a mobile phone. If you want to keep your phone from back home, you can purchase a SIM card from a local provider or opt to buy a new phone once you arrive. There are many different tariffs that offer everything from international calling to mobile internet and unlimited texts, and almost all will offer a pay as you go service. To keep your bill down, it's also a good idea to invest in a calling card that you can make use of when making long distance calls. Text messaging is another affordable and convenient way to keep in touch on the move.

The internet also helps make it easy - when you arrive at Edinburgh Napier University you'll be set up with your own private student email address for course work, which you can also use to keep in touch with your classmates, lecturers, friends and family. Free services like Skype also offer the opportunity to video call loved ones back home for a face-to-face catch up. For most students, social networking also plays a huge part, and makes it easy for you to share all the things you've been up to in Edinburgh with your social circles.

Mobile phones

There are various mobile phone networks available in Edinburgh.  You may have to visit various stores to see what company can provide you with the best offer for your needs.  Again, there are a number of mobile phone shops on or near Princes Street:

Contact the International Support team

The International Support team is dedicated to advising and supporting international students on all campuses.

Visit International for further information or email