Applying for a Student Visa inside the UK
You can apply for a Student Visa inside the UK if you meet the UKVI's eligibility requirements to do so. You must make an "in-time" visa application when applying in the UK.
Eligibility to apply for a Student visa inside the UK
Eligibility Requirements to apply for a Student Visa in the UK:
- Current UK visa: You can apply for a Student Visa where you...
- Hold a valid Student or Tier 4 visa, or
- Hold a valid visa for a category that UKVI permit to "switch" into the Student visa route (see below), and
- Have a valid CAS issued for a new course, course change or forthcoming period of study at UoG
UKVI say you cannot apply in the UK to "switch" to a Student visa if you are in the UK on one of the following visa types -
- a visit visa
- a short-term student visa
- a Parent of a Child Student visa
- a seasonal worker visa
- a domestic worker in a private household visa
- leave outside the immigration rules
- Course Start Date on CAS: This must be either before your current visa expires, or, within the 28 days after your current visa expires.
- Academic Progression: Student and Tier 4 visa holders must also meet the UKVI's academic progression requirement. Your CAS for the new visa application must state the reason (from Appendix Student of the UKVI Immigration Rules) which explains how you are either demonstrating academic progression, or, are exempt from demonstrating academic progression (see the ISS Academic Documents, Academic Progression and ATAS requirement on CAS Guide).
Other important considerations:
Making an "in-time" visa application: You must make an "in-time" visa application to be able to continue staying in the UK lawfully. You must submit the online visa application form on or before your current visa expiry date to make an in-time visa application. This will allow you to stay in the UK under the same conditions as your current visa while you are waiting for UKVI to make a decision on your visa application (even if your current visa expires while you wait for that decision).
Deadline to complete Visa Registration / Visa Check-in: See the Registry webpages which explain the deadline by which you need to show evidence of having submitted an "in-time" Student Visa application to complete Visa Registration or Visa Check-in and be able to start or continue your studies at UoG.
You must submit the online visa application form either on or before your current visa expiry date to make an "in-time" visa application. This allows you to stay in the UK lawfully after applying for the Student Visa, and wait to receive your visa application decision from UKVI (even where your current visa expires while you wait for the decision).
When and how to apply
If you leave the Common Travel Area before UKVI make a decision on your application, UKVI say they will withdraw your visa application. You should wait to receive your visa decision, and new BRP (or follow the instructions to access your digital online status if applicable) before travelling outside the UK.
You can apply for the Student visa:
- once you have the new CAS (this is usually issued no earlier than 3 months before your visa expiry date when you will apply for a visa in the UK), and
- have prepared all other required documents for your visa application
Remember - you must make an "in-time" visa application (submit the online Student Visa application form on or before your current visa expires).
If your current visa is a Student or Tier 4 visa...
- Complete the online Student Visa application form here to "extend" your visa.
You may be asked to download and use the IDV app. When you use the IDV app your Biometrics given for your last UK visa application will be re-used.
If you cannot use the IDV app as your phone is not compatible or you do not have a Biometric passport, select the link option in blue on the screen saying "I do not have a phone that can use the app" - you will need to attend a UKVCAS centre to give your Biometrics instead.
If you hold another type of eligible visa to apply in the UK...
- Complete the online Student visa application form to "switch" into the Student visa route.
Complete and submit the Student Visa online application form:
You will need to submit the online visa application form on or before your visa expiry date to be able to stay in the UK lawfully while you wait for a visa application decision (even where your current visa expires while you wait). You must also show evidence of making an "in-time" visa application at Visa Registration to be able to start or continue your studies at UoG.
See the estimated visa processing times on the UKVI's Student Visa webpages.
Application fees and Immigration Health Surcharge:
Pay the visa application fee to submit your online application form - the screen will confirm if any "priority" application routes are available at the time you apply (you will pay a higher amunt of visa processing fee but will get a decision on your visa application quicker).
In most cases you will also have to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS). The amount you pay for IHS will depend on the length of visa you will be granted. Where your overall course is longer than 12 months you can expect UKVI to grant you a visa that expires 4 months after the course end date on your CAS.
Once you have submitted the visa application form you will need to:
- Upload any documents asked for (either on the screen when prompted if you used the IDv app, or on the UKVCAS website where you did not use the IDV app)
- Where you have not used the IDV app you will also need to book and atttend a UKVCAS centre appointment to give your Biometric details
- Download your Document Checklist -and show this at Visa Registration or Check-in
- Download a copy of your completed visa application form for your records
Wait for a decision e-mail from UKVI:
Once a decision has been made on your visa application you will receive a decision e-mail from UKVI. The decision e-mail will confirm the outcome of your visa application. It will also state if you have been granted a digital visa status (and how to access your share code if so).
If you are not granted a digital visa status you will be issued with a BRP. You can expect to receive your BRP usually within 7-10 working days after receiving the decision e-mail. This is posted by courier to your address in the UK that you entered onto your visa application form.
If you change your UK address after submitting the online visa application form:
You must notify the UK as soon as possible by completing and submitting a Change of Circumstances form.
ISS Prepare-Complete-Submit guides to applying for a Student Visa inside the UK
The Prepare-Complete-Submit guides offer step by step, in-depth information about preparing for and making a Student visa application in the UK. They also discuss how to check the documents you need to prepare, the UKVI requirements to be met (such as maintenance and academic progression) and what happens after you have applied for a Student visa:
PREPARE to make your visa application and gather the documents required
COMPLETE your visa application form
SUBMIT your visa application form, upload documents and give Biometrics if you did not use the IDV app (includes information on evidence required for Visa Registration and what to do when you get your new visa)
Please see the "Your CAS" information.
- See the ISS Prepare Guides to read more about documents you need to prepare for your visa application.
- Documents need to meet the requirements stated in the UKVI's "Student route: caseworker guidance", "Financial Evidence for Student Route Applicants" guide and Appendix Student / Appendix Finance of the Immigration Rules. See our "Useful Links" section to access the UKVI materials.
Applicants who have lived in the UK for 12 months or more when they apply
If you have been living in the UK on a valid visa for 12 months or more at the time you make your Student visa application, UKVI say you will not be asked to provide financial evidence of meeting the Student visa maintenance requirements.
"Differential Evidence" arrangements
Certain nationals applying for a Student Route visa may not be asked to provide evidence of their finances or their 'evidence used to obtain the offer' documents with their visa application - see Appendix Student, paragraph ST 22.1 for details. However it is best to prepare these documents anyway, as UKVI can ask for them at any time before they make a decision on your visa application.
BRPs and Digital Visa Status
Please note: From 01 January 2025 UKVI intend to issue all visa holders with an online digital visa status which they will be able to access with a share code. They have announced that they do not intend to issue BRPs after this date.
If your visa decision says you will get a BRP:
UKVI will post your new BRP to you via courier to the UK address you entered onto your visa application form. Check your BRP details are correct once you receive this.
Please note: If you have been issued a Student visa on a BRP that expires 31 December 2024, but the duration of leave granted to you (on your decision letter) continues beyond this date, UKVI say you will be issued with an electronic status for the remainder of your leave nearer that time.
If your visa decision says you will get a digital visa status:
Follow the link and check you can generate a share code - you will need to be able to show your digital visa status when proving your right to study or work in the UK, when entering the UK if asked by a UK Border Officer to do so, and as part of Visa Registration at UoG.
Report any errors with your BRP or digital visa to UKVI
- Errors in length of visa or visa conditions on a BRP - apply online for administrative review within 14 days of (the £80 fee is refunded if UKVI agree there was an error)
- All other errors on a BRP: report online within 10 days of receipt of the BRP - corrections are free.
- Errors on a digital visa: contact UKVI's Settlement Resolution Centre as soon as possible.
UKVI's Student route: caseworker guidance
UKVI's Financial Evidence for Student Route Applicants guidance
UKVI's Immigration Rules:
UKVI's Identity Verification App (IDV) Video Guide
UKVI's Identity Verification App (IDV) Information Sheet
UKCISA webpages - Making a Student visa application in the UK
Electronic Online Digital Visa Status