Do I need immigration permission to study in the UK?

You do not need a visa to study at the University of Westminster if you are a national of a country in the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland.

Countries in the EEA include:

Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, the Republic of Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

If you are a national of any other country you require immigration permission (a visa) to study at the University of Westminster.

If you currently have immigration permission in a category other than Tier 4 (general), please contact Student Advice to check whether you are able to study while on your current visa.

What type of visa do I need?

It is important that you have the correct immigration permission which 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.

Time limits on study (cap)

There is a maximum time limit for studying on a Tier 4 (general) student visa in the UK. The time limits only 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 cap.

The cap for studying at below degree level is 2 years. These 2 years can be spent studying on a single course or several short courses.

The cap for studying at degree level is normally 5 years. When calculating the time you have spent studying in the UK, you must include the periods of additional leave granted before and after your course. There are some exceptions to the 5 year cap.

Find out more about time limits on study.

Academic progression

If you are currently on a Tier 4 (general) 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 exceptional occasions where you may be able to study a course at the same level as your previous course. Please contact Student Advice if you are in this position.

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 Tier 4 (general) 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 Tier 4 (general) visa to study at Westminster.

To enrol onto your course, you must either have a Tier 4 (general) visa for the University of Westminster or provide evidence that you have applied to extend your Tier 4 (general) visa in the UK using a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies.

Course start date

If you have secured a place on a course, 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.

If you are applying for a Tier 4 (general) visa to start a new course, you will not be able to apply for your visa extension more than 3 months before the new course starts.