Student Visa Route

The new Student Visa route went live at 9am on 5th October 2020 and replaced the Tier 4 (General) Student Visa route. The pages below provide advice and guidance on making an in UK Student Visa application. Remember if you are in the UK, you must apply via the Immigration & International Student Advice Team.

If you’re from the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein

If you’re from the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein and you started living in the UK on or before 31 December 2020, you can apply to the EU Settlement Scheme.

If you’re coming to the UK from 1 January 2021, you’ll need to apply for a visa to study in the UK. The earliest date your Student visa will start from is 1 January 2021.

Completing your CAS assessment form - All other nationalities

Before issuing your CAS statement, the University is required to consider your current circumstances and study history in order to assess whether or not you are eligible for a Student Visa. In order to access a CAS statement from the University to make your visa application you therefore need to fully complete the electronic CAS assessment form and submit as directed.  You will also need to email us  copies of the following documents:

  • Passport(s), including all UK visas
  • Documentation regarding all courses you have undertaken in the UK to date (e.g. offer letters / student status letters / CAS / results letters)
  • Bank statements showing you have enough money in your account to meet the Student Visa maintenance requirements (or sponsorship letter if you are a Government sponsored student)

You may be able to switch to a Student visa, in the UK if you already have permission to be in the UK. If you have a Tier 4 (General) or Tier 4 (Child) visa there are no barriers to you switching to the new route.

For all other categories not listed below, your adviser will confirm to you if you can switch to the Student Visa in the UK.

You cannot switch to this visa if you have one of the following visas:

  •     a visit visa
  •     a short-term student visa
  •     a Parent of a Child Student visa
  •     a seasonal worker visa
  •     a domestic worker in a private household visa
  •     leave outside the immigration rules

If you hold leave in one of the above listed categories, please contact us for further advice.

When you can apply depends on whether you are applying from inside or outside the UK.

1. If you are in the UK and applying for a new course, you can apply for your visa up to 3 months before the course starts. There must be no more than 28 days between your current visa expiring and the new course starting. For example, if your visa expires on 1 December, you must apply for a new visa before 1 December. Your new course must begin by 29 December.

2. If you are in the UK and applying to extend for the same course, you can apply for your visa up to 3 months before end of your current visa.

3. Students who are studying on a study abroad programme within the UK cannot apply to extend their permission within the UK. A study abroad programme is a non-extendable period within the UK.

4. If you are Overseas and applying for a new course or to extend on your current course, you can apply for your visa up to 3 months before the course start date on the CAS.

Your adviser will confirm the exact documents you need for your Student Visa application, however the below is provided as a guide to assist you in getting the correct documents together.

As a guide, you will need:

  • Current valid passport
  • Current BRP
  • CAS Statement (if you are in the UK, this will be held in our office ready for your application)
  • Police Registration Certificate, if required
  • Proof of Qualifications - if you have completed your previous course of study, you will need to provide a certificate or final transcript
  • Proof of Maintenance - please see the maintenance section below
  • Proof of English language proficiency - your adviser will provide more detail on this
  • Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) - certain courses require ATAS clearance. Please see our information on our ATAS pages.

If you have any immigration refusals for any country in the world, we will also need information on these.

Similarly, if you have any criminal or civil convictions, including for driving, speeding, littering etc., you will need to provide your adviser with details of these so they can provide advice for your situation to you.

You will need to show you have enough money to support yourself while you stay in the UK.

If you have been in the UK with a valid immigration permission for at least 12 months on the date of your application, there is no maintanance requirement for your visa applicaiton. Your adviser will confirm this with you.

If you are unable to show maintenance evidence when needed a CAS will not be produced for you.

How much money you need depends on where you will be studying:

  • £1,334 per month (for up to 9 months) for courses in London
  • £1,023 per month (for up to 9 months) for courses outside London, a maximum of £9207

You will also need to show any unpaid tuition fees along with the living costs.

If you are on the Doctorate Extension Scheme, you need to prove you have a total of £2,668 for courses in London, or a total of £2,046 for courses outside London.

You must have this money for at least 28 consecutive days. The end date of the 28-day period must be within 31 days of the date you apply for your visa. The money must still be available on the date of application.

If you have a student loan or financial sponsorship, you will need to provide evidence of this from your loan or sponsorship company. Your adviser will provide further guidance on this.

Paying this charge as part of your application will mean that you are entitled to receive free health services from the National Health Service (NHS) while you are in the UK.  The IHS is £470 per year of leave (paid in your local currency if applying overseas).  Periods of less than six months are charged at half the annual rate (£235).  Periods of leave which are more than six months but are under twelve are charged at the full annual rate.

Full information is available on our Unilife Pages.

Each person applying in the UK will need to pay:

Each person applying may also need to pay

  • Biometric Information charge of £19.20

If you are applying outside the UK, each person applying will need to pay:

  • The Student Visa fee of £363
  • The Immigration Health Surcharge

As part of your application you’ll need to prove your identity, and possibly provide biometric information.

How you do this depends on where you’re from and the type of passport you have.

You will either:

  • Give your fingerprints and a photograph (biometric information) at a UK Visa and Citizenship Application Services (UKVCAS) service point. Your adviser will book this appointment for you
  • Use the ‘UK Immigration: ID Check’ app to scan your identity document and take required photographs to prove your identity. Your adviser will undertake these checks with you

Applications outside the UK usually take 3 weeks after attending your biometrics appointment to be decided.

Applications in the UK usually take 8 weeks after attending your biometrics appointment to be decided.

There are priority routes, which can speed up your visa application, but these are not suitable for everyone. Please speak to your adviser for more information as the ‘priority service’ and ‘super priority service’ to get a faster decision on a visa or settlement (‘indefinite leave to remain’) application are both currently suspended because of coronavirus (COVID-19).

If your visa is refused, your adviser will contact you with advice and guidance for your situation. In most cases you will be able to apply for an administrative review and our advisers will guide you through the full process.