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 you are an EEA national with a passport with a biometric chip applying with the UK Immigration: ID check app) to travel to the UK with
- Please do not arrive before the 'valid from' date on your 30- or 90-day visa sticker
- Collect BRP within 10 days of arriving in UK (however, please read the information for students who are required to self-isolate after arrival in the 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.
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.
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 and your 30 or 90 day visa sticker
If your Student Route visa application made outside the UK is successful, you will receive:
- 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) and
- A Decision Letter which confirms the application has been successful and specifies the address from which you will need to collect your BRP after arrival in the UK (please bring this to the UK as you will need it to collect your BRP)
You will use the visa sticker in your passport to travel to the UK.
As soon as you receive your visa sticker, Decision Letter/e-mail and BRP, check the details below carefully to ensure that any errors are reported within the UKVI timeframes:
- 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.
Please note: EEA nationals who have used the UK Immigration ID check app receive their visa in the form of an online digital status, rather than a visa sticker or BRP.
Please see the "Your CAS" information.
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 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.
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
What is a BRP
Biometric Residence Permits (BRPs) are issued to 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.
EEA nationals who have used the "UK Immigration ID check app" when applying for their Student visa
You will receive their visa in the form of an online digital status, rather than a visa sticker or BRP. You will need to show this to the Immigration Compliance Team at the University as part of completing Visa Registration or Visa Check-in.
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. However, please read the information for students who are required to self-isolate after arrival in the UK.
Check your BRP details
Report any errors online to UKVI within 10 days of receiving the BRP – corrections are free.
Useful links and resources
- ISS FAQs Guide to Applying for a Student visa outside the UK
- UKCISA Student Route visa information
- UKVI Student Route visa information
- UKVI Student Guidance
UKVI's Immigration Rules:
- UK Government Points-based immigration system guide for EU students
- ISS video guide: Applying for a Student visa outside the UK (click below!)