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.


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 9 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. Please note that 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
  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.

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

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 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 please note that 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.  

Please note that 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. 

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. 

Please note 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 email the International Student Support Team at 

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 before Admissions can issue you with a Confirmation of Acceptance to Study (CAS).


If your application is successful, a temporary visa sticker will be placed in your passport giving you one month in which to travel into the UK. The permanent BRP (Biometric Residence Permit) visa card is collected from a designated post office in the UK. Most students select the post office in WHSmiths on Coney Street in York city centre to collect their BRP. 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.