Before you start your Student visa application please check that you meet the UK immigration and eligibility requirements.

Where can you apply for a Student visa?

You can apply for a Student visa in your home country. Normally you cannot apply for a Student visa in another country unless you have been a resident there for some time.

When can you apply?

You can apply for a Student visa up to 6 months before your course starts, not before.

A Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) is valid for 6 months when applying outside the UK, so apply before it expires.

Advertised processing times are normally three weeks for a for a Student visa, see the GOV.UK page for processing times. You may experience delays because of the current coronavirus pandemic. For information about application centre opening times and faster Priority and Super Priority services see the GOV.UK website.

Please note that the Student visa application is made on the date you pay for it normally online and not the date you submit your documents. This is important as many students must have the required money for 28 consecutive days and your bank statements cannot be more than one month old at the time of application. Read more about the documents you need on our Documents page.

Applying online

You must make an online application for a Student visa.

Under 'confirm your Visa Type' select 'Student visa' and proceed with the application.

Towards the end of your online visa application form you will be asked where you would like to collect your BRP when you arrive in the UK. You cannot currently choose to collect your BRP from the University. We are unable to offer the Alternative Collection Location (ACL) service, you will need to arrange for your BRP to be delivered to a Post Office for collection.

At the end of the online application form you will be taken to the VFS Global website to organise your biometric appointment and submission of documents.

Application centres give advice about the process of booking and attending an appointment including whether Priority and Super Priority services are offered for faster visa processing. Some centres now offer the option of uploading scanned documents before the appointment.

At your biometric appointment your fingerprints and photograph will be taken and you will normally need to submit your documents, translations and passport. You can read more about the documents you will need on our Documents page.

At the appointment you may be required to take a credibility interview, or you may have a later interview on the phone. You should prepare in advance for the interview.

Please see a guide to completing your visa application form below.

(This guide was originally produced for Tier 4 visa applicants however much of the information remains relevant and can be used In your Student Visa Application. The guide will be updated in due course.)

What are the basic visa application costs?

The Student visa application fee is £348 and usually charged in the local currency.

The Student Immigration Health Surcharge is £470 per year and £235 for 6 months.

If your course lasts for less than six months, for instance a pre-sessional or a semester study abroad programme, then you will not have to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge but should obtain your own health insurance.

For example, if you are studying a three-year Undergraduate Degree your Immigration Health Charge will be £1,645. An MSc programme student would have to pay £705; £470 for their 1-year course plus £275 for the additional 4 months of leave granted after the course ends.

If you are eligible to bring dependants on a PBS Dependant Visa the application fee per dependant is £348. Dependants usually need to pay the same amount as you.

Visit the UK government website to calculate how much you will have to pay before applying.

If your family will be coming to the UK read the UKCISA information for dependants.

When can you come to the UK on a Student visa?

If you are granted a Student visa, the date on which you will be allowed to enter the UK depends on your course.

Length of course Arrival period
6 months or longer Up to 1 month in advance
Shorter than 6 months 7 days before the course starts

Pre-sessional course in preparation for a degree course

1 month before your course starts

Arriving in the UK on a Student Visa

When you are preparing for your arrival in the UK you may have questions about what to bring and what to expect. Useful information is on the UKCISA website.

It is also important to be aware of the eGates when arriving in the UK. The eGates, also known as ePassport gates, are automated self-service barriers located at immigration checkpoints at UK airports. They are an alternative to seeing an Immigration Officer/Border Force Officer. You may have seen communications from the UKVI advising you of this option.

You can enter the UK via the eGates if you hold a current passport (with a biometric chip) from Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea and the United States of America. Registered travellers can also use the eGates.

Entering the UK using the eGates

If you enter the UK using the eGates, you will not be given a stamp in your passport. For this reason, the University does not recommend that you use the eGates to enter the UK. The stamp acts as proof that you have entered the UK in accordance with the rules of your visa. If you do not have the stamp it is more difficult to prove that you have entered the UK correctly and may cause complications when you enrol at the University, collect your BRP or rent accommodation.

When you enter the UK please make sure that you see an immigration official/officer and request a stamp in your passport to prove that you have entered the UK correctly.

If you do enter via the eGates you will need to keep evidence of the date that you entered the UK (such as flight tickets) and provide these in addition to your other documents when you enrol. You will also need to keep these documents safe for the duration of your stay in the UK to prove the date that you entered the UK.

It is important that you enter the UK during the validity of your Student visa. If you enter the UK before the start date of your visa on your vignette (visa sticker in your passport) using the eGates, you will enter the UK as a visitor. You will not be able to enrol onto your course as a visitor and will be required to leave the Common Travel Area (UK, Ireland, Isle of Man, Guernsey and Jersey) and re-enter the UK after your Student visa is valid in order to ‘activate’ your Student visa.

How to collect your Student visa

Stays of up to 6 months

If you are applying for a visa to come to the UK for 6 months or less, eg for a pre-sessional English language course, your Student visa will be issued on a sticker and placed in your passport.

Stays longer than 6 months

If you are applying for a Student visa to study on a course which is more than 6 months long, your visa will initially be granted on a sticker in your passport. The visa in your passport will only be valid for 90 days.

You must travel within this time as otherwise you will need to apply for another 90-day visa. You can find information about applying for a new entry clearance vignette on the Home Office website.

Once you arrive in the UK you will be issued with a Biometric Residence Permit (BRP). Your BRP will have the details of your visa and will confirm the duration of your Student visa. Where you collect your BRP will depend on the option you selected on your Student visa application form.

Post Offices have been advised to keep BRPs for some time as some people are required to self-isolate on arrival in the UK.

Where to collect your visa

Normally, you will need to collect your BRP card within 10 days of arriving in the UK, though there is some flexibility if you are self isolating. To collect your BRP you will need to show your 90-day visa, which should be in your passport, and the visa decision letter. Remember to bring this letter with you to the UK.

As part of your Student visa application you will have chosen where to collect your BRP. At present you cannot nominate to collect your BRP at the University.

If you are 17 or under you can not collect your BRP card yourself from a Post Office. You will need a nominated adult to collect it for you. See the the Government website for further details. You will need your BRP card for enrolment.

When you collect your BRP, please check the details on your card. If you feel that the information on your BRP is not correct please contact Student Advice.

Find out more about BRPs in the Home Office's initial guidance document on biometric residence permits.

Refusals

If your Student visa application is refused, it is important that you contact us immediately. You must inform the Student Visa Compliance team by emailing and contact Student Advice to discuss your next steps.