Can I enter the UK as a visitor, while my visa is in processing and have my biometrics done there? Or do I have to come back to the USA? I only recently received my CAS and there were no biometric appointments available before my flight.

*Edit I have a passport and intend to come back to North America for Christmas. Would it be okay for me to stay until then on a visitor visa and if my Tier 4 PBS student visa is accepted - return in the new year?

closed as off-topic by JonathanReez, Henning Makholm, Gayot Fow, Gagravarr, JoErNanO Sep 8 '15 at 11:14

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    What kind of visa? US citizens don't need a visa to enter the UK, provided they're staying for a short period of time (<6 months and have no criminal convictions/history of overstays) and are not working in the UK. – CMaster Sep 8 '15 at 8:45
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    @CMaster, visa notwithstanding the OP would still need a passport :) – Gayot Fow Sep 8 '15 at 8:50
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    @GayotFow This is very true. Hadn't occured to me that "Visa in processing" probably meant handed over passport. They might have 2 passports though I guess? – CMaster Sep 8 '15 at 8:53
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    Where are you going to get a visitor visa from, if your student visa isn't ready yet? – CMaster Sep 8 '15 at 8:56
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    Yes, but that's having the visa waived, not on a general visitor visa. As a US citizen, you can get a general visitor visa if you are worried you might be refused entry, but that's not going to arrive any quicker than your student visa. Take a look at gov.uk/browse/visas-immigration . (I think I may be able to answer this one, but I imagine @GayotFow can do a better job, I might get it wrong) – CMaster Sep 8 '15 at 9:00

No. Please read Paragraph 245ZU of the rules...

All migrants arriving in the UK and wishing to enter as a Tier 4 (General) Student must have a valid entry clearance for entry under this route. If they do not have a valid entry clearance, entry will be refused.

Your sponsor will get into trouble if you attempt to study as a visitor when the course requires a T4. When sponsors get into trouble, they tend to revoke the person's CAS. If the trouble was caused by the student (like in your case), they will not issue another CAS to them. When they sent you the stuff, they advised you (along with the guidance) not to make travel plans until the visa was issued.

Additionally, they will not let a person enrol their biometrics from within the UK as part of a T4 application. That was the whole point of introducing biometrics as an entry clearance requirement. Also, trying to get a T4 from within the UK will lead to a refusal with possible removal instructions and then matters will be worse. Americans are not exempt from these rules.

We can answer here because it's urgent; your follow-up questions should be posted on the Expats site.

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    And this is why the visa you were waiting for/reason for wishing to nter matters. – CMaster Sep 8 '15 at 10:58

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