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Apply for a Student visa from outside the UK

Find out about the application process and documents you need to apply for a Student visa from outside the UK.

Required documents

You will need to prepare the following documents when applying from outside the UK:

Document type Details
Confirmation of acceptance for studies (CAS) Required for all applications. Find out more information about your CAS.
Passport Required for all applications.
Financial evidence Find out more information about the financial evidence. Required unless your nationality is listed in ST22.1 of Appendix Student in the Immigration Rules.
Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) certificate Required for certain subjects - please check your CAS or contact the Student Immigration Service to check whether you require an ATAS certificate.
Original qualification certificates This may include previous academic qualifications (e.g. degree certificate or transcript). These will be listed on your CAS if required.
Proof of English language ability This may be proof of an English Language test (e.g. IELTs), a UK degree, or University assessment. If your English language has been assessed by the University, you will not need to provide evidence. Please check your CAS for confirmation.
Letter of Expected Successful Completion Required if listed on your CAS. Find out more information about the letter of expected successful completion.
Tuberculosis test certificate Required for applicants who have been living in specified countries.
Parental consent If you are under the age of 18 at the point of applying, you will need to provide the consent of your parent(s)/legal guardian(s) to travel to the UK. Find out more about additional documents if you are under 18 years old.
Translations Required if any supporting documents are not in English.


If any of your original documents are not in English, you must provide a translation by a professional translator. The translation must include:

  • confirmation that it is an accurate translation of the original document
  • the translator/translation company’s contact details
  • the date of the translation
  • an original signature and full name of the translator (or an authorised official of the translation company)

Differential evidence requirement

Some Student visa applicants do not need to provide evidence of qualifications or finances when applying for the Student visa. This exemption is called the differential evidence requirement.

This exemption only applies to specific nationalities, and the list of eligible nationalities may change regularly. To check if your nationality is included, always refer to the Immigration Rules for an up-to-date list. You can find the list under the section 'Differential evidence requirement for a Student'.

If you qualify to apply under the differential evidence requirement, you won't need to submit financial and qualification documents with your application. However, UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) may request this evidence during the application process. It is advisable to have evidence of your finances and qualifications ready, just in case.

Fees and the application process


You will need to pay the visa application fee and may also have to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge as part of the application:

  • The application from outside the UK currently costs £490
  • The Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) is currently £776 per year

When to apply

The earliest you can submit your application is six months before your course start date as listed on your CAS. If you submit your application earlier than this, your visa will be refused.

Please note, although you can apply up to six months before your course start date, you can only travel to the UK up to one week or 30 days before your course start date (depending on the length of your course).

Where to apply

If you are applying from outside the UK, you need to submit your application from the country in which you are ordinarily resident. Normally this means your country of nationality. If you hold a residence permit in a country other than your nationality, you may be able to apply from the country in which you are residing.

How to apply

To apply for the Student visa, you will need to fill in, submit and pay for the application form online. Visa applications can be delayed if mistakes are made on the form. We therefore recommend that you use our instructions to help you fill in and complete the online application form. If you have any questions about the application form, please also feel free to email us and ask.

Providing your biometrics

As part of the application process you will be required to give biometric information (your fingerprints and photograph). How you do this depends on your nationality and what type of passport you have.

You will either:

  • Give your biometrics at a visa application centre
  • Use the UK Immigration: ID Check app

You will be told what you need to do when you complete the online application. You should provide your biometrics as soon as possible after submitting your visa application online to avoid delays.

Visa application processing times

Applications processing times from overseas vary from country to country. However, the majority of applications are decided within three weeks. Please be aware that it may take longer than this and the University has no control over when your application will be decided.

To receive a faster decision on your visa application, you may wish to use the UKVI's Priority visa service if this is available at your chosen Visa Application Centre (VAC). However, if you have gaps in your study history, i.e. you have not progressed from the completion of school studies directly to university or one university course to another, then UKVI will require further information about what you have been doing. UKVI will not process an application with gaps in study history under the Priority service.

We do not recommend booking any travel until you have received your new visa.

You should receive the decision on your visa application by email or letter. Please read the email or letter carefully as it will contain important information about your visa.

Travelling to the UK after your visa is granted

If your course is longer than six months in length, you can travel to the UK up to 30 days before your course start date as listed on your CAS. If your course is six months or shorter, you can travel to the UK up to one week before your course start date as listed on your CAS.

In all cases:

  • do not attempt to travel to the UK until your Student visa is issued
  • do not try to travel to the UK before the start date on your Student visa

Electronic visa (eVisa) or Biometric Residence Permit (BRP)

Whether you receive a BRP or an eVisa will depend on how you provided your biometrics for your application.

You will get either:

  • A BRP if you gave your biometric information at a visa application centre
  • An eVisa if you used the UK Immigration: ID Check app to provide your biometric information

BRP and entry clearance vignette (temporary visa)

If you provided your biometric information at a visa application centre, once your visa has been granted, you will receive a temporary visa sticker (vignette) in your passport.

The vignette should be valid for 90 days. You need to travel to the UK during this 90 day period and then collect your BRP once you arrive in the UK.

If your course length is six months or less, your vignette will likely be for the full length of your course.

Please do not attempt to travel to the UK outside the dates printed on your travel vignette. If there is an error on the vignette, or the vignette expires before you are able to travel, you will need to apply to have the vignette corrected.


If you provided your biometric information through the UK Immigration: ID Check app, you will receive an eVisa. Please check the start date of your eVisa and do not attempt to travel to the UK before this date.

Arriving at the UK border

International students from Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea and the United States of America, as well as nationals from Switzerland, EU and EEA countries coming to study for longer than 6 months on a student visa and travelling on a biometric passport can use the eGates.

eGates are an automated self-service option that eligible travellers can use at passport control at 15 UK airports and Eurostar rail terminals. They are a quicker way to cross the border. The eGates use facial recognition technology to check your identity against the photo in your passport. If you use an eGate to enter the UK, please keep a copy of your flight ticket or booking confirmation as the University will need to see this.

If your visa application is refused

If your visa is refused you must email for further advice.

Typical reasons for refusal are:

  • your bank documents do not clearly show there is enough money in your bank account every day, for a 28-day period
  • your financial documents do not meet Home Office requirements
  • you have not provided original qualifications or certificates listed on the Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS)
  • your documents are not in English
  • your tuberculosis (TB) test has not been approved by the Home Office

Contact us

If you have any questions about applying for the Student visa from overseas, please contact us by email.

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