Apply for a visa outside the UK or come to the UK as an EU / EEA national
This page provides information on obtaining a Student or a Short-Term Study visa from outside the UK.
We have also added information for EU nationals, but would advise that EU students keep a close check on different sources in order to keep up to date with the position post-Brexit. Please see below for further information and check regularly for any updates.
Any student who is a national of a country outside the EEA (European Economic Area) or Switzerland, and coming to the UK for longer than 6 months, must obtain Entry Clearance as a Tier 4 (General) student before travelling to the UK from their home country or the country in which they are normally resident.
A student coming to the UK for a course lasting 6 months or less may have the option to apply for a Short-Term Study visa.
EU Nationals / EEA nationals coming to the UK to study 2020/21
If you will enter the UK to study after the transitional period has ended (from 1st January 2021) and have not previously been living in the UK:
You will not be eligible to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme or come to the UK on your EU passport or EU National ID card. Instead you will need to apply for a Student visa before coming to the UK. You will need a CAS from Admissions to use to make the Student visa application.
If you will come to study in the UK for less than 6 months, please see our information for coming to the UK to study on a Standard Visitor visa.
Please see our Applying for a Student visa outside the UK webpages.
*If you have been living in the UK within the last 6 months but are currently outside the UK please see our pages explaining who is eligible to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme.
On 15 December 2020, the Home Office issued guidance to those who are eligible to apply under the EU Settlement Scheme, but have been impacted by the Coronavirus pandemic. This guidance explains how the Home Office will treat absences due to the Coronavirus and includes the following: "If you are a student who was studying in the UK and are studying outside the UK because of coronavirus, that absence will not cause you to break your continuous qualifying period, where it is for a single period of more than 6 months but not more than 12 months, during your 5-year continuous qualifying period."
Entering the UK:
The “Citizen’s Rights – EU Citizens in the UK & UK National in the EU” Policy Paper says it will be possible to use an EU National ID card to enter the UK until 31 December 2020 (and by 2021 for Swiss citizens). However you should bring your valid EU passport to use to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme.
The Statement of Changes issued on 24 October 2019 states if you do not have the correct documents at the UK border, you will no longer be given an automatic opportunity to produce the required documents or to establish a right of admission to the UK by other means during 2020.
Whilst there is no requirement for Irish nationals to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme you may wish to do if you would prefer to have a record of your right to stay in the UK. It can can also be useful to have documents showing your immigration status under the EU Settlement Scheme if you have family members who will apply to the Home Office for leave and who are not EU, EEA or Swiss nationals.
Apply for the new Student Route visa outside the UK
From 5 October 2020, a CAS will be issued to you by Admissions for the Student Route to use to apply for a Student visa. If you hold a Tier 4 CAS that was issued before 5 October 2020 and within the 6 months before you submit your online visa application form, you can also use this to apply for a Student visa.
Please read the ISS Entry Clearance for a Student visa FAQs information guide.
Student route points: Students will require a total of 70 points to be granted permission
Relevant requirements to be met
Number of points
Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies requirement,
Approved Qualification requirement,
Level of Study requirement,
Place of Study requirement
English language requirement
When to apply: you can apply for the Student visa up to six months before the course start date on your Student CAS when applying outside the UK (EU/EEA nationals outside the UK can apply for a Student visa from 5 October 2020 if they will enter the UK on or after 1 January 2021).
Please see the application form you would use if applying outside the UK based on your nationality, which you will be able to find on www.gov.uk.
Who can apply?: Students with an unconditional offer from a sponsoring institution, who can demonstrate they genuinely intend to study and can meet all the relevant points and requirements of the route.
Documents: Please see the UKVI's Student guidance for information on the documents required and the requirements your documents need to meet to be accepted by UKVI. The most common documents required include:
- Current passport
- CAS: make sure all details on the CAS for your new course are correct (e.g. personal details, passport number, amount of tuition fees to pay, amount of tuition fees you have paid so far, course dates). Sometimes if your CAS has been updated or information added this will be entered at the top of the CAS in the “Sponsor Note” section. Contact Admissions and request a CAS update if any changes are required. It is important the CAS details are correct for your visa application to be successful.
- Financial evidence: the type of document you need to prepare depends on whether you are a self-funding or sponsored student. The document you prepare must meet the UKVI’s requirements. Additional documents required if using money held in a bank account in your parent's name/s - see the Student guidance.
- Currency Conversions: If the currency on your financial document is not in GBP (British pounds), you need to make and print a currency conversion made on www.oanda.com.
- Translation of any document not in English: Make sure documents not in English are accompanied by a translation that meets all requirements in the Student Guidance.
- ATAS certificate if CAS states this is required – you can also check if ATAS is required for your new course before you receive your CAS by contacting Admissions. ATAS applications can take around 2 months to process so you will need to apply for the ATAS certificate in enough time to have received this before you need to submit your visa application.
- Academic Documents stated in the “English Language” and “Evidence Used to Obtain Offer” sections of CAS.
Financial requirement: (Appendix ST, ST 12.1-12.7 & Appendix Finance) Any unpaid tuition fees (see CAS for amount you need to pay) plus £1,023 for each month of study on the CAS up to a maximum of 9 months (£9,207).
You will need to show you have access to this money via the Sponsor Letter or educational loans letter you will prepare. If you receive financial sponsorship or scholarship money via the University of Glasgow, the details of this should be stated on your CAS.
Students using a bank statement, bank letter or certificate of deposit in their name or parent's name/s will need to show this money has been held for at least 28 days prior to the date of submitting the online Student visa application form.
ATAS Certificate requirements: if your course requires an ATAS certificate and you are not on the list of nationals who are exempt (see Appendix ATAS, ATAS 1.1-4.1), you will need to apply for an ATAS certificate to submit with your visa application and also to show to the University to be able to start your studies.
Study time limits: There are no study limits for students studying at postgraduate level.
Differential evidence: Applicants who are nationals of the countries listed in the Appendix ST paragraph below will benefit from reduced documentary requirements. (See Appendix ST, ST 22.1).
TB Testing - see UKVI's information on TB testing to check if you are required to provide a TB Test certificate with your visa application.
Additional Student route conditions and requirements:
- be sponsored and have valid Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS);
- meet academic ability, English language and maintenance requirements (different means of assessment and evidential requirements dependent on nationality, course level and sponsor type);
- be a genuine student (applicants may have a credibility interview);
- meet time limit (no more than two years below degree level or five years below postgraduate level) requirements;
- obtain Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) clearance if studying relevant course (unless an exempt national).
- Students can generally only study at their sponsoring institution on the course for which the CAS was assigned.
- Generally given a four-month ‘wrap up’ period post-study.
Student visa applicants and holders are able to bring dependants if studying at postgraduate level for at least nine months at a Higher Education Provider (HEP) with a track record of compliance, or if government sponsored to study a course longer than six months.
Student visa application form (applying outside the UK)
ISS Applying for a Student visa outside the UK - video guide
Your Confirmation of Acceptance of Studies (CAS)
Update: The UK Government is introducing a new Student Route which is to replace the Tier 4 visa route. This Student Route is part of the new points-based immigration system. It may take time for changes to be analysed however we will aim to update our resources as soon as possible after full details of the route are released. Please see our Latest News page for information released so far.
Please be aware that there are temporary policy concessions for Tier 4 students in response to the outbreak of Covid-19. The concessions will all be kept under regular review and will be withdrawn once the situation returns to normal. Please ensure that you read the Covid-19: Guidance for Tier 4 Sponsors and Migrants and for Short Term students alongside the Tier 4 Policy Guidance and ISS resources when preparing your application.
You should expect to receive your CAS by e-mail once you have accepted your unconditional offer and uploaded all documents relating to meeting the entry requirements for your course at University of Glasgow. The CAS will usually be issued within the 3 months before your course start date. If you have any CAS related queries please contact External Relations who can assist you with these:
Postgraduate Taught: firstname.lastname@example.org
Postgraduate Research: email@example.com
Check your CAS
Please ensure that you check all the details on your CAS once it is issued to you. If there are any errors on the CAS, contact the External Relations Office as soon as possible and before you apply for your visa. You should enter "CAS Errors" in the subject line of the e-mail you send to them and tell them the errors to be changed, your name, your application reference and CAS number. Once you are sure that all your details are correct on the CAS you can use it to help you complete the visa application form.
Updating your CAS with fee payments
When you pay tuition fees or accommodation fees to the university, the amount you pay can be shown on your CAS. As part of your visa application requires you to show financial evidence, it is important that you ensure your CAS update accurately reflects the fees you have paid before you submit your visa application online. If your CAS does not show the correct amount of tuition fees paid please e-mail External Relations as soon as possible and before you apply for your visa. You should enter "CAS Fees Update Required" in the subject line of the e-mail you send to them and tell them the errors to be changed, your name, your application reference and CAS number.
Students Under 18
Please complete the Under 18s template letter and upload it to your Applicant Self-Service Portal. The University will require permission from your parents/guardians for you to study with us.
Short-Term study visas (English language courses only) and Standard Visitor Visas for other short courses
Please be aware that there are also temporary policy concessions for Short Term Students in response to the outbreak of Covid-19. The concessions will all be kept under regular review and will be withdrawn once the situation returns to normal. Please ensure that you read the Covid-19: Guidance for Tier 4 Sponsors and Migrants and for Short Term students alongside the and ISS resources when preparing your application.
Whether you will need to apply for a Short-Term study visa or a Standard Visitor visa, please note that it is not possible to undertake employment or extend your stay on these visa types.
These visas are for studying short-courses only and have very different conditions to the Student visa.
Short-Term Study visa route from 1st December 2020 (now for English language students only):
Only the following English language students can apply under the Short-Term Student route from 1st December 2020:
- aged 16 or older on the date of your immigration application
- have an offer of a place to study an English language course that is between six and 11 months long
- will not be studying any other subject
- you must leave the UK within 30 days of the end of your course, or at the end of 11 months, whichever comes first
- you must apply for entry clearance before you come to the UK (it is no longer possible for non-visa nationals to apply for a Short Term study visa at the UK Border)
- you have enough money to be cover your fees, living costs, accommodation and the cost of your return or onward journey - you will have to provide evidence as set out in Appendix Finance of the UKVI's Immigration Rules
- you must study only the course for which you are granted permission.
Study on a Standard Visitor visa from 1st December 2020 (for short courses of up to 6 months in duration):
You will be allowed to undertake a short course of study of up to 6 months in duration in the UK (that are not English language courses) if you apply for a visa or enter the UK as a Standard Visitor on or after 9 am on 1st December 2020.
These students will not limited to studying one course and are not required to have a place on a course before arriving in the UK.
If you are at least 16 years old and studying a course equivalent to a UK degree in another country, you may also undertake the following under the Standard Visitor visa route:
- research or be taught about research at a UK institution
- electives at a UK higher education provider (but only if you are studying medicine, veterinary medicine and science, or dentistry as your principle course of study) and the electives are relevant to your course of study abroad, are unpaid and do not involve the treatment of patients.
The Statement of Changes HC813 clarifies: "Where the applicant is seeking to come to the UK to undertake research or be taught about research at a UK institution, their overseas course provider must confirm that: (a) the research or research tuition is relevant to the course of study that they are enrolled on overseas; and (b) the applicant will not be employed at the UK institution, either as a sponsored researcher under Appendix Tier 5 (Temporary Worker) Government Authorised Exchange Scheme Worker, or otherwise".
The types of study below are in addition to the current permitted study activities for Visitors:
- taking part in educational exchanges or visits and attending recreational courses that do not lead to a qualification, and do not include English Language training, for a maximum of 30 days.
You will need to prove that you have enough money to cover all reasonable costs of your visit without working or accessing public funds, including the cost of the return or onward journey. You will be able to use someone else's money to prove this if you have personal or professional relationship with them, and they will provide support to you for the duration of your visit.
You do not have to see a UKVI Border Force Officer on arrival to get leave to enter the UK as a Visitor to study if you are permitted to use automatic ePassport gates - see ukborder-control for further information.
UKVI - How to apply for a Standard Visitor Visa (to study a course of under 6 months in the UK)
Visa Nationals applying for a Standard Visitor visa:
Visa nationals are nationals of countries listed in Appendix Visitor: Visa National List of the Immigration Rules. Visa nationals must apply for a visa before travelling to the UK.
Non-visa Nationals applying for a Standard Visitor visa:
If you are a non-visa national, it is possible to travel to the UK without a visa and apply for a Standard Visitor visa on arrival. If you do this, you must show the Border Force officer that you meet the requirements of that category by carrying the relevant documents listed below. If you are a non-visa national and would prefer to obtain the Standard Visitor visa before travelling to the UK, this is also acceptable.
Entering the UK via Dublin
If you are a non-visa national, you cannot apply to enter under the Standard Visitor visa route at the UK border if you travel to the UK via Dublin, as you will not pass through immigration control. If you intend to travel to the UK via Dublin, you should obtain a Standard Visitor visa from home before travelling to the UK.
If you do decide to travel without first obtaining entry clearance you will be deemed to have three months permission to stay in the UK. The three months' permission allows you to study, but it may not be enough time to complete your short course. You cannot extend your stay in the UK; 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 after you arrive, then re-enter asking for immigration permission to enter as a short-term student.
In either of the above scenarios, you must keep your tickets and evidence of date of entry to the UK in a safe place as you may need to produce these in the future.
Find out more:
Entering the UK via eGates
If you are eligible to use the eGates, and have not applied for a Standard Visitor visa before arriving in the UK, you will be granted leave to enter under the Standard Visitor visa route when you enter the UK via the eGates system.
More travellers are now able to use eGates on arrival in the UK at 15 major airports (including Glasgow, Edinburgh and Heathrow airports) and Eurostar terminals. EGates use facial recognition technology to check your identity against the photo in your passport and therefore the arrival process should be much quicker. In addition to UK, EU and EEA nationals who can already use eGates, from the launch date, nationals of Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea and the United States of America will also be able to use the eGates. Please however note the following important points:
- You cannot use eGates if you are travelling with children under 12
- You cannot use eGates if you are using a national ID card or passport which does not have a biometric chip
- You cannot use eGates if you are coming to the UK as a short-term student (coming for up to six months) and you need a stamp in your passport as you have not applied for entry clearance (a visa) before leaving your home country
For more information, please see UKVI's eGates Information Leaflet.
Electronic Visa Waiver:
If you are a national of Kuwait, Oman, Qatar or the United Arab Emirates, you may be able to obtain a visa for a short course of study (where the course lasts 6 months or less) by using the Electronic Visa Waiver (EVW).
Find out more:
When you get your visa check it to ensure that:
- Your personal details are correct,
- The type of visa granted is correct and that
- It is valid for the date on which you want to travel and for the correct duration.
Applying for a Dependant visa from outside the UK
You may be able to bring dependants (partner/spouse, and children under 18) with you to the UK.
Your dependant(s) should apply for their PBS Dependant visa in the country of which they are a national or where they legally live.
Only Student visa applicants or Student visa holders who meet the following criteria can bring their dependants to the UK:
- Government sponsored students who are on a course which is longer than 6 months OR
- Postgraduate students who are on a course of 9 months or longer at a publicly-funded Higher Education Institution (the University of Glasgow meets this criteria) or a recognised body.
Find out more:
- UKVI information
- Find your local Visa Application Centre
- Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS)
- Find out if your dependant(s) need to be tested for tuberculosis
Applying for a child to come to the UK as your dependant:
UKVI state that both parent's must lawfully be in the UK if a child is also applying as a dependant, unless:
(i) The Relevant Points Based System Migrant is the applicant’s sole surviving parent, or
(ii) The Relevant Points Based System Migrant parent has and has had sole responsibility for the applicant’s upbringing, or
(iii) there are serious or compelling family or other considerations which would make it desirable not to refuse the application and suitable arrangements have been made in the UK for the applicant’s care.
Please see the UKISA Dependants webpages for further information.
Differentiation Arrangements and PBS dependants
Where you and your dependants hold the same 'low risk' nationality, and you are all applying for Entry Clearance together from your country of nationality, they are also able to apply using the 'differentiation arrangements' detailed earlier.
Biometric Residence Permits
If your dependants are coming to the UK for longer than 6 months, they will need to collect a Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) on arrival in the UK. Please see above for more information.
International Student Support offer activities and support for dependants of international students. If you will have a spouse and /or children joining you to live in the UK while you study, please see our International Family Network webpages for more information and how to register!
Graduate Immigration Route
On 11 September 2019 the UK Government announced the creation of a new immigration route which will enable international students to remain in the UK for two years after they have completed their studies.
The Graduate visa route can be applied to by both Student and Tier 4 visa holders who have successfully completed the course that their current visa was granted for them to study, from the time the Graduate visa route is open for applications in summer 2021.
- The Graduate Immigration Route will be available to international students who have completed a degree at undergraduate level or above at a Higher Education Provider with a track record of compliance and who have a valid Tier 4 or Student visa at the time of application.
- Successful applicants on this route will be able to stay and work, or look for work, in the UK at any skill level for a maximum period of two years. Graduates will be able to switch into skilled work once they have found a suitable job.
- The new route will be launched in the summer of 2021, meaning that any eligible student who graduates in the summer of 2021 or after will be able to apply for the route. This includes students who have already started their courses.
More information about the route will be available on the Gov.UK website when available.