If you renew your visa outside the UK, you need to follow the same procedure as students applying for a visa for the first time.
You cannot apply for a visa more than six months before your course start date if applying outside the UK.
All visa applicants are required to provide biometric data and some applicants will also need to undergo health (tuberculosis) screening.
- Apply for your visa via the Gov.uk website.
It is your responsibility to collect the documents you need for your visa application. Your application form will confirm which documents you need to submit from the following:
All documents submitted which are not in English or Welsh must be accompanied by a full translation that can be checked by UK Visas and Immigration. The translation must contain:
A student qualifies for the differentiation arrangements if he/she is a national of one of the countries the Home Office classifies as 'Low risk' under "Financial Evidence for Students" : financial-evidence-for-student-route-applicants
If you are a national of one of the countries the Home Office classifies as 'low risk', there is no requirement to provide evidence of finances or qualifications with your Student Visa application. However, you will need to provide an ATAS certificate (if appropriate) and sign your application form to confirm you have sufficient funds and that you hold documentary evidence of any qualifications listed. The Home Office reserves the right to ask you to provide these documents at a later date. Failure to provide the evidence if requested by the Home Office will result in your application being refused.
For Courses of 6 months or longer, you will require a Student Visa.
You will have the option to apply using the ‘UK Immigration: ID Check’ app to scan your identity document - you’ll also be asked to create or sign into your UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) account. This process means that you do not have to attend a Visa Centre to verify your documents. Your visa will be in a digital format, so there is no physical document that you need to carry with you. You will receive an emailed letter from the UKVI explaining how to share your visa details with anyone who requires the information.
If you are unable to use the App, you can still use the online application form but you will be asked to attend a Visa Application Centre in person, to verify your identity and supporting documents. If successful you will receive a Biometric Residence Permit (BRP), which is your visa and which you will need to keep with you when entering and exiting the UK.
The Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) was introduced in order to ensure that people who are applying to study certain sensitive subjects in the UK do not have links to Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD). Students studying on certain science, engineering and technology degrees will have to apply for an ATAS clearance certificate before obtaining a new visa. Students who are nationals of EU countries, the European Economic Area (EEA), Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, Switzerland or the United States of America do not need an ATAS certificate.
To check whether you need an ATAS certificate, and for more details about the ATAS scheme, please see Gov.uk.
Failure to provide a valid ATAS clearance certificate (if your course requires one) when you submit your Student visa online application form will result in your application being refused.
To apply for an ATAS certificate, you will need to use the text provided in your conditional offer letter. You should go to Gov.uk and, using your text, complete the online application form.
As part of the application, you will be asked to provide a supervisor name. If your supervisor has not been confirmed by the time you make your ATAS application, then you should insert the name of the Head of Department in the appropriate box.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) will process the application and email a certificate to you, which you should print out and submit with your other documents. The FCO gets very busy at certain times of the year and so you are strongly advised to apply at least eight weeks before you intend to apply for your student visa.
Visas for more than six months include an Immigration Health Surcharge. Paying this will mean that you are entitled to receive certain free health services from the National Health Service (NHS) while you are in the UK, but this is not private medical insurance.
Use the Immigration Health Surcharge tool to check how much you will have to pay.
The Student Visa application form will direct you to the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) portal where you can pay the required charge.
You can only be refunded the IHS in specific circumstances. If you need further guidance on IHS refunds, please see the GOV.UK guidance on IHS refunds or contact us for advice.
Note: Though most people need to pay the IHS, certain groups of people are exempt from paying the immigration health surcharge and/or from completing the IHS portal and obtaining a reference number.
EU or Swiss Student? - You may be able to receive a full or partial refund on your IHS fees. See our healthcare for international students web-page for further eligibility information and guidance on how to apply for a refund.
Students applying for the Student Visa who are under the age of 18 are required to provide evidence of parent(s)/legal guardian(s) having consented to their travel to the UK. You must also provide evidence of your relationship with your parent(s)/legal guardian(s).
Acceptable evidence includes one of the following:
Copies of the above documents must be translated if not in English. A translated document must meet UKVI (UK Visas and Immigration) requirements and should contain the following information:
If you need further guidance on translated documents you can contact the International Student Support Team.
After you have received your offer, you will receive a 'consent to travel' form for your parent(s)/legal guardian(s) to complete and sign. You will then need to return this form to firstname.lastname@example.org before Admissions can issue you with a Confirmation of Acceptance to Study (CAS).
Do not travel to the UK until you have been notified that your application has been successful or before the valid from/start date of your visa.
Do not travel to the UK via Dublin, as due to immigration protocols between the Irish Republic and the UK, your Student visa will not be activated when arriving in the UK. If you do take this route, you will have to leave the UK and travel to another country and then re-enter the UK to activate your visa. You will not be allowed to study until this has been done.
On arrival in the UK after a successful visa application, your permanent BRP (Biometric Residence Permit) visa card should be collected from a designated post office in the UK. Most students select the post office in WHSmith on Coney Street in York city centre. The BRP will include information on restrictions for working during your studies. You should also check the UKVI letter confirming your successful visa application for details of your visa conditions, such as police registration. This letter is sent by email and is an important document which you should keep. Your visa will allow you to enter and leave the UK for the duration of its validity.