Applying for a Student visa outside the UK

Please read the information below to see who is eligible to apply for a Student visa and how to apply.

When and how to apply

You can apply for a Student Route visa up to 6 months before the course start date on your CAS.  You must apply for the Student Route visa in enough time to allow you to undertake the following: 

  • Receive your 30- or 90-day visa sticker (or online digital status if applicable) to travel to the UK with
  • Please do not arrive before the 'valid from' date on your 30- or 90-day visa sticker or before your digital online visa status is confirmed
  • If you are issued a 30-90 day visa sticker you need to collect your BRP within 10 days of arriving in UK
  • Complete Registration (including visa registration) before the course start date on your CAS.

You will need to fill out the Student visa application form - see the link to this from the UKVI webpages.

See our Guide to Applying for a Student Visa Outside the UK!

Student visa application process

Application fee and Immigration Health Surcharge

When you submit your Student visa application form online, you will need to pay a visa application fee and in most cases you will also have to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS).  These will normally be paid in the currency of the country in which you are applying. The IHS is calculated based on how long your visa will be if your application is successful. 

Appointments, Biometric Information & Credibility Interviews

Appointments: At the time of submitting your visa application fee(s) online, you will also book an appointment at your local Visa Application Centre. This is where you will submit the required documents for your application.

Biometric information: Most people obtaining a visa for the UK will need to provide biometric information, which involves giving fingerprints and having a digital photograph taken at your appointment.  This appointment must be undertaken outside the UK before your visa sticker or online digital visa status can be issued by UKVI.

Credibility interviews: You may be asked to attend a credibility interview. The interview will be short (around 5 minutes) and should also be conducted during your appointment by video link with UK Visas & Immigration staff based in the UK. The questions will be about your immigration, education and/or employment history, study and post-study plans and financial circumstances.

Getting a decision e-mail from UKVI

If your Student Route visa application made outside the UK is successful, you will receive a decision letter via e-mail confirming this and either:

  • An Entry Clearance vignette/sticker in your passport which is valid for 30 or 90 days (or for the full length of your Student visa if this is for less than 6 months).  You need to wait to receive your 30-90 day visa sticker before travelling to the UK to commence your studies and will collect the BRP once you have arrived in the UK.

Or

  • An electronic visa status instead of a physical visa sticker or BRP.  Your decision letter will confirm if you have been granted an electronic online visa status and give the link to the share code that you will need to use when required to show evidence of this.  Electronic visa status holders can travel to the UK once they have checked that their share code is working.

Please note: From 01 January 2025 UKVI intend to issue all visa holders with an online, electronic status which they will be able to access with a share code.  They do not intend to issue BRPs after this date.

If you have been issued a Student Visa BRP that expires 31 December 2024 but the duration of leave granted to you continues beyond this date, UKVI say you will be issued with an electronic status for the remainder of your leave nearer that time.

When you receive the decision letter by e-mail, check 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.

BRP Collection:

If you wish to collect the BRP from University of Glasgow's Immigration Compliance Team rather than collect this at a Post Office in the UK, please see the information on the Registry webpages about using the University's ACL code.

The ACL code is entered in the  'Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) Collection' section of the Student visa application online form.

ISS Guide - Applying for a Student Visa Outside the UK

See our Guide to Applying for a Student Visa Outside the UK for answers to the most commonly asked questions about applying for a Student Visa from outside the UK!

CAS

Please see the "Your CAS" information.

Documents

You should prepare all required documents before you submit your online visa application form. 

Documents need to meet the requirements stated in the UKVI's Student Guidance and the UKVI's Immigration Rules in:

Some of the common documents to prepare when applying for a Student Route visa include:

  • Current passport
  • CAS: make sure all details on your CAS are accurate. Contact the Admissions team to request a CAS update if any changes are required.
  • Documents: stated in the English Language and Evidence Used to Obtain Offer sections of CAS.
  • Financial evidence: evidence that you meet UKVI's financial requirements covering course fees and living costs.
  • ATAS certificate: if required for your course and if not exempt by nationality. Please note that ATAS applications can take approximately 20-30 working days to be processed.
  • Currency Conversions: using the OANDA website if the currency on your financial document is not in GBP (£ pounds sterling).
  • Translations: of any documents not in English language.
  • TB test certificate: residents of certain countries need a TB test if coming to the UK for more than 6 months

Differential evidence arrangements

Certain nationals applying for a Student Route visa do not need 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 full details.

You must still meet all the Student Route visa requirements and ensure that you collect the documents before submitting your application, as UKVI have the right to request your documents at any time during the application process. 

Students under 18

Please complete the Under 18s Parental Consent 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.

You will also need to prepare additional documents for your Student visa application - please see the UKVI's Student Guidance for details.

Biometric Residence Permits

Please note: From 01 January 2025 UKVI intend to issue all visa holders with an online, electronic visa status which they will be able to access with a share code.  They do not intend to issue BRPs after this date.

If you have been issued a Student Visa BRP that expires 31 December 2024 but the duration of leave granted to you continues beyond this date, UKVI say you will be issued with an electronic status for the remainder of your leave nearer that time.

What is a BRP

Biometric Residence Permits (BRPs) are issued to most Student Route visa holders and their dependants coming to the UK with permission to stay that exceeds 6 months.

This is a plastic "Residence Permit" card that is your "full Student Visa". Once you collect this you must keep it safe, and take it with you whenever you travel outside the UK, as you will need to have this with you when re-enter the UK at a later date.

Collecting your BRP

You can choose to collect your BRP from the Immigration Compliance Team in the university. For more details on how to choose this option when you apply for your visa, please see the information here

You must collect your BRP within 10 days of arriving in the UK or before the 30 day vignette/sticker expires, whichever is later. 

You will need to show this to the Immigration Compliance Team at the University as part of completing Visa Registration or Visa Check-in.

Check your BRP details

Report any errors online to UKVI within 10 days of receiving the BRP – corrections are free.  

Electronic visa status:

UKVI are rolling out electronic online digital visa status to replace BRPs over the next few years - if you will be granted an online status and share code to use to evidence this you will be told by UKVI on the decision letter you receive by e-mail.

Electronic visa holders will not receive a physical visa (i.e. no visa sticker or BRP).

The decision letter will give you a link to use to access your share code.  This allows you to see and share evidence of the visa you have been granted.

You will need to show the share code to the Immigration Compliance Team at the University as part of completing Visa Registration or Visa Check-in.

 

Entering UK via Ireland / Dublin

You can travel to and enter the UK via Dublin using the Student Visa sticker in your passport, or where you have been granted an electronic Student Visa status and share code. 

Please note however that your entry date will not be recorded if you do so, as you will not pass through immigration between Dublin and the UK.  Ireland and the UK are part of the Common Travel Area therefore there are no immigration borders between these countries.

If you travel to the UK via Dublin, you should keep evidence regarding the dates of travel and date you entered the UK in case your date of entry ever becomes important or relevant.  You would also take this evidence to Visa Registration.

Please see the link to the UKCISA webpages with further information in our "Useful links" section on this webpage.