Do I need immigration permission to study in the UK?

If you are an EU, EEA or Swiss national you can enter the UK without a visa until 11pm on 31 December.  You must then apply for the EU settlement scheme by 30 June 2021. 

If you enter the UK after 11pm on 31 December, you will need a student visa to study in the UK.

If you are a national of any other country, you require immigration permission to study in the UK.

What type of visa do I need?

It is important that you have the correct immigration permission that allows you to study in the UK. The type of visa you will need, and the process for applying for it, will differ based on the type of course you plan to study, the length of your course and several other factors. 

You can check which visa category is most suitable for you by referring to the table on our Visas page.

The following information describes eligibility for the student visa previously known as a Tier 4 Visa.  student visas are available for full-time courses at the University of Westminster.

Time limits on study (cap) for student visas

There are maximum time limits if you are staying in the UK with a student visa to study at or below degree level. There are no time limits for those studying at postgraduate level (MA, MSc, PhD). 

The time limits apply to students who are 18 years old and over, so any time spent studying on a course when you were under the age of 18 will not count towards the time limit.

The time limit for studying at below degree level is 2 years.

The time limit for studying at degree level, undergraduates courses (BSc, BA), is 5 years.
When calculating the time you have spent studying in the UK, you must include the periods of additional permission to stay granted before and after your course and any time spent whilst waiting for the Home Office to curtail a student visa.

There are some exceptions to the 5-year time limit for those studying a course with architecture in the title and if you have completed a course at degree level in the UK and are progressing to the Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL)

Find out more about time limits on study.

Academic progression

If you are currently on a student visa and wish to apply for further studies in the UK, you must demonstrate academic progression for your new visa application.

To demonstrate academic progression, the new course that you wish to study will usually have to be above the level of the previous course of study.

There are occasions where you may be able to study a course at the same level as your previous course.  The University must agree your academic progression statement which is added to your CAS. Read more about this in our pages on Applying for a Student Visa in the UK.

Though academic progression rules only apply to student applications made in the UK, the University of Westminster will require a progression statement if you are studying a course at the same level as a previous course. You can find more about academic progression statements on our pages on Applying for a Student Visa in the UK.

Have you completed your previous course?

If you have failed to successfully complete the previous course for which your Tier 4 (general) visa was granted, you will not be able to apply for your new visa from inside the UK. You will be required to return home and make your visa application from your home country.

Visa for a different institution

If you currently hold a student visa for another college or university, you will not be able to start a course at the University of Westminster until you have applied for a student visa to study at Westminster.

For information about when you can enrol/start your course read our pages on Applying for a Student Visa in the UK.

Previous official financial sponsorship

If you have received full financial support covering your fees and living costs from an official financial sponsor in the 12 months previous to you completing a course you must include a letter from your official financial sponsor confirming that they consent to a further Visa Application. If you apply without consent your application will be invalid, as if you had never made an application.

Course start date

If you have secured a place on a course and intend to apply for permission to stay in the UK, the course start date must be no more than 28 days after the end of your current visa. If there are more than 28 days between the start of your course and the expiry date of your visa, you will have to leave the UK and make your visa application from your home country.  However, special rules may apply to you as a result of Coronavirus, contact Student Advice for more information.

If you are applying in the UK for a student visa to start a new course, you will be able to apply up to 3 months before your course start date.  If you are applying for a student visa outside the UK, you will be able to apply up to six months before your course start date. 

Your course start date is given on your Conformation of Acceptance of Studies (CAS)