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
There will be further announcements soon about how to come to the UK to study as a result of the UK leaving the EU - check these pages regularly for updates and the UK Home Office webpages .
It is important that you keep evidence of the date you arrive in the UK, such as your flight tickets, for Registration at the University, and, if you will come to the UK before 23:00 on 31st December 2020 (when the transitional period will end) and apply for the EU Settlement Scheme.
Both EU & EEA nationals who have already been living in the UK before the date the UK left the EU, and those who come to the UK during the transitional/ implementation period, can apply to the EU Settlement Scheme.
You need to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme if you wish to remain in the UK after the end of the transitional period. If you’re an EU or EEA citizen who arrives in the UK after the date the UK leaves the EU, but were previously living in the UK before this date, you can also apply to the EU Settlement Scheme.
Please note that those who enter the UK before 31 December 2020 before 23:00 will have until 30 June 2021 to apply under the scheme. We recommend that you apply to the EU Settlement Scheme as soon as possible once you have arrived in 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, however a passport will be required to enter the UK in 2020 (and by 2021 for Swiss citizens).
Please note however that the Statement of Changes issued on 24 October 2019 states from 6 January 2020, 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.
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.
If you will enter the UK after the transitional period has ended (after 31st December 2020):
Unfortunately you will not be eligible to apply for the EU Settlement Scheme. You will need to apply for and receive immigration leave to come to the UK for study before travelling here under the new UKVI immigration structure.
Please keep checking our webpages as we will add more information and important details about the new immigration system and how to apply as the Home Office make further announcements with this (this is expected to be around mid to end of December 2020 and early January 2021).
The most current information we have about from the Home Office so far can be found on our New "Student" route pages and our Latest News pages. There is also tailored guidance from the UKVI for EU / EEA nationals that was published 5th October 2020.
Please see the UKCISA webpages for information for EU nationals studying in the UK and accessing NHS services.
We also have information on accessing the NHS and registering with a GP for EU nationals here.
Apply for the new "Student" visa route outside the UK
The Student visa route will replace the current Tier 4 visa route under the new UK points based immigration system.
From 5th October 2020 you will be given a CAS for the Student visa route to use to apply for a Student visa. If you are holding a Tier 4 CAS that was issued before 5th 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.
We are currently working on updating our weboages and resources with the new Student visa guidance and immigration rules made live by UKVI on 5th October 2020 and are working to add these to the ISS webpages as soon as possible.
UKVI have published the UK points based immmigration system further details statement with information on the Student route that you can see below:
Student route points: Students will require a total of 70 points to be granted leave
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 5th October 2020 if they will enter the UK on or after 1st 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.
Financial requirement: (ST12.1 - 14.3 - this will be in the Finance Appendix of the immigration rules)any unpaid tuition fees (see CAS for amount you need to pay) plus £1015 for each month of study on the CAS, up to a maximum of 9 months (£9135).
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 1.1- 4.1 for the information that will be in the Appendix ATAS of the immigration rules), 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, however you will need to be academically progressing in your studies and demonstrate this when applying for a Student visa.
Differentiation arrangements: Applicants who are citizens of certain countries considered to be low risk will benefit from reduced documentary requirements. See point ST 22.1 of the Statement of Changes to the Immigration Rules.
TB Testing - see point ST3.2 (this will be in Appendix 3 of the immigration rules) to check if you are required to provide a TB Test certificate with your visa application.
Work conditions: see point ST 26.1 of the Statement of Changes to the Immigration Rules:
Student route conditions and requirements:
- 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.
- Applicants must:
- be aged 16 years or over and studying at GCSE level or above;
- have parental consent if aged under 18;
- 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 academic progression (if applying in the UK) and 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 EU citizen).
- No switching of sponsoring institution is allowed without making a new application.
- Students can apply for further leave as a Student or switch into other routes in line with the wider approach to switching when applying for leave inside the UK. This will include the ability to switch into work routes if they are able to meet the requirements. Whether supplementary work is allowed depends on the level of study and sponsoring institution. Separate restrictions apply regarding what type of employment is permitted. For example, students are not allowed to be employed as a professional sportsperson, a doctor or dentist in training or as an entertainer. Additionally, they cannot be selfemployed or engage in business activity. 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 (varies with length of course).
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
Short-term study visa
Please be aware that there are 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 Short Term Study Guidance and ISS resources when preparing your application.
If you are coming to the UK to study for 6 months or less, it may be possible for you to apply for a Short-term Study visa. Non-EEA students coming to study in the UK for less than 6 months using the Short-term Study visa route to study full time do not have to pay the IHS, but are entitled to free NHS treatment if in Scotland.
Students coming to do a medical elective at the University of Glasgow can now also apply using this route.
Visa nationals are nationals of countries listed in Appendix 2 of Appendix V of the Immigration Rules. Visa nationals must apply for a visa before travelling to the UK (see how to apply for a Short Term Study visa below).
If you are a non-visa national, it is possible to travel to the UK without a visa and apply to enter under the Short-Term Study route 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 visa before travelling to the UK, this is also acceptable (see below).
When applying as a short-term student, you must intend to leave the UK within 30 days of the end of your period of study (if this is before the date your immigration permission ends). If your study continues until the date that your immigration permission ends, you must leave the UK no later than the date your immigration permission ends.
Please also note that anyone who wishes to enter the UK on an 11-month Short-Term Study visa (only applicable for an English language course) must obtain the visa before travelling to the UK; non-visa nationals can only apply to enter at the UK for a visit of 6 months or less.
Applying for a Short-Term Study visa from your home country
You should apply for a Short-Term Study visa in the country of which you are a national or where you are normally resident. The application form is completed online in all countries (except for North Korea, where you must complete the VAF1A paper form).
Remember that a Short-term Study visa:
- does not permit employment - paid or unpaid
- does not allow you to do a work placement (even if it is part of your course)
- has a maximum duration of 6 months (11 months - if you’re 18 or over and taking an English language course)
- cannot be extended
- does not permit 'switching' into another visa category from within the UK
- does not permit you to bring dependants with you
Find out more:
Entering the UK via Dublin
If you are a non-visa national, you cannot apply to enter under the Short-Term Study 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 Short-Term Study 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
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.
Common documents required for a Short-term Study visa application are listed below. Students entering as non-visa nationals or under the Electronic Visa Waiver scheme should be prepared to show the documents (except for the fee and the photograph) to the Border Force Officer on arrival.
- Your passport or travel document
- The application fee: This cannot be refunded and you must normally pay it in the local currency of the country where you are applying.
- 1 recent passport-sized (45mm x 35mm) colour photograph of yourself meeting the UK Visas & Immigration guidelines
- Visa Letter from university with details of your unconditional offer
- Financial evidence showing how you will fund your studies and stay in the UK
- Other supporting documents relevant to your application
Find out more:
- UK Visas & Immigration website
- UKCISA Guide on making an Application as a Short-term Study visa holder
Electronic Visa Waiver
If you are a national of Kuwait, Oman, Qatar or the United Arab Emirates, you may be able to obtain a Short-Term Study visa (lasting 6 months or less) by using the Electronic Visa Waiver (EVW). You should still ensure that when travelling to the UK, you carry the relevant Short-term Study visa documents below.
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.
If you are a non-visa national, check the stamp in your passport to ensure that you have definitely been admitted under Short-Term Study.
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.