Accessibility statement

How to apply for a visa from outside the UK

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. 

You'll need your Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) statement from the University. You can request your CAS via e:Vision when your offer becomes unconditional.

All visa applicants are required to provide biometric data and some applicants will also need to undergo health (tuberculosis) screening.

Apply

Documents you will need

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:

  1. Passport - Your current passport and any previous passports that you have which contain a UK visa.
  2. Financial documents - Documents which prove you have the required funds available to you (unless you are a 'low risk' applicant).
    • If you are a new student, you will need to show that you have a minimum of £1,023 per month to cover the first nine months of your course (£9,207), plus any outstanding tuition fees for the first year of your course.
    • If you are to be accompanied by a dependant(s) (eg spouse and /or children) you will need to show that you have an additional £6,120 available per dependant. Please ensure you read the section on Dependants, to ensure that your dependant(s) is/are allowed to join you in York while you study.
    • The funds detailed above need to be evidenced in a bank account for a minimum of 28 consecutive days and your bank statement must be no more than one calendar month old (using the date of the closing balance) on the date you make your visa application.
    • Bank statements, bank letters and savings books (for an account in your name) are all considered acceptable financial documents. Electronic bank statements must include the account number, date and bank logo. 
    • If you are being officially financially sponsored, you will need a letter from your sponsor confirming the sponsorship arrangements, to include how much money you have been awarded, what the money is intended to be used for and the dates the sponsorship is valid for.
    • If you are relying on money held in a parent/ legal guardian's bank account you will need:
      • Your original birth certificate/ certificate of adoption/ court statement (showing the name of the parent/ legal guardian(s) providing the funds), and
      • Your parent/ legal guardian's bank statement, and
      • An original signed and dated letter from your parent/ legal guardian confirming their relationship with you and that they give consent to making their funds available to you
    • If you are using overseas currency, the Home Office will expect you to show the closing balance in pounds sterling using the official exchange rate on the OANDA website. Please write directly on your bank statement the amount in GBP sterling of the closing balance, the date of the conversion and confirmation that you used Oanda.com.
  3. Qualifications - Evidence of previous qualifications mentioned in the 'Evidence' section of your CAS. If you are a 'low risk' applicant or your CAS states that you are being sponsored on the basis of 'progression on programme to date’, you do not need to provide qualification evidence.
  4. Police Registration Certificate - (if applicable)
  5. ATAS Certificate - (if applicable, see below)
  6. Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) - (if applicable) You will have a BRP if you applied for your current Tier 4 visa in the UK.
  7. Birth and/or marriage certificate - To supply if dependants are applying.
  8. A medical certificate - (if applicable) Please see the information on Health (tuberculosis) screening on the Home Office website.

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:

  • confirmation that it is an accurate translation of the original document;
  • the date of the translation;
  • the translator's full name, contact details and signature;
  • the translator's qualification or credentials.

'Low risk' applicants

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.

EU Students

EU, EEA and Swiss Students

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.

 

ATAS Certificates

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.

Immigration Health Surcharge

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. 

Consent if you're under 18 years old

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: 

  • your birth certificate showing the names of your parent(s);
  • your certificate of adoption showing the name(s) of your parent(s) or legal guardian;
  • a court document naming your legal guardian. 

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:

  • confirmation that it is an accurate translation of the original document;
  • the date of the translation;
  • the translator's full name, contact details and signature;
  • the translator's qualification or credentials.

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 ug-admissions@york.ac.uk before Admissions can issue you with a Confirmation of Acceptance to Study (CAS).

Application form top tips!

  • You may start filling out your application before your CAS or ATAS certificate (if applicable) is issued, but ensure that you do not submit your application until you have entered your CAS and ATAS (if applicable) numbers, or else you may receive a refusal.
  • Do not use an old CAS number from a previous course or visa application. A new CAS is needed for every new Student visa application. 
  • You can save the form and return to it whenever you wish. The UKVI will email you a link to access your form once you register. The form will expire if you don’t access it for 56 days.
  • Always select ‘Save and Continue’ when you complete each page of the form.
  • The University of York’s sponsor licence number is MKPTG0EMX and our sponsor address is:  University of York , Heslington, York, North Yorkshire, YO10 5DD. 
  • The University of York is a Higher Education Provider with a Track Record of Compliance.
  • You may be asked to provide an Alternative Collection Location (ACL) code for your BRP collection (if one will be produced for your visa). The University of York does not provide BRP collection on campus so does not have an ACL code. You will need to collect the BRP at the Post Office in WHSmith on Coney Street which is in York city centre. The postcode is YO1 9QL. 
  • When providing information on your course;
    • Qualification you will get  - this is stated on your CAS but for a Bachelors Degree it should be RQF 6, for a Masters Degree  RQF 7 and for a PhD RQF 8. 
    • Course name - Use the course name as it is stated on your CAS.
    • Course start/end date - Use the dates that are stated on your CAS
  • You will  have the opportunity to go back through the form and check the answers you have given. You are strongly advised to do this as many applicants who, having submitted the form, suddenly realise they have provided incorrect information. Once the final declaration has been completed it is not possible to change the answers given. If you need to change anything, after the declaration is completed, you will have to start a brand new application. 
  • Answer all questions truthfully and to the best of your knowledge. If you want to further explain why you answered a question in the way you did there should be a space, normally at the end of the application, for you to provide additional information on your application. Alternatively you can write a covering letter and upload it with your application when providing your other mandatory documents. Be aware, however, that any information you provide will be looked at and considered by the UKVI decision maker assessing your application.

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.