How to get a student visa
If you live outside the UK, you’ll need to get a Tier 4 student visa to study here – unless you’re an EEA or Swiss national. Once you’ve been offered a place on a course, the university or college will advise you on how to apply for your student visa from UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI).
However, there are a few things you need to do first before you can send off your visa application.
- Add your passport number to your UCAS application – either when you’re filling out your details, or when you’re offered a place on a course.
- Prove your English language skills – your chosen university or college can advise you whether you need to take a UKVI approved English language test, or an alternative test or Skype interview. If the visa you’re applying for asks you to prove your English language ability, since 6 April 2015, the secure English language test (SELT) required must be taken in one of the SELT centres approved by the UK Home Office. View the approved secure English language tests and test centres that meet the Home Office’s requirements.
- Accept an unconditional offer of a place on a course – then if your university or college has a Tier 4 Sponsor licence, they can give you Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS).
- Apply for a Tier 4 student visa – make sure you provide all the information and documents required – including your CAS (and English language test certificate if you needed one). You’ll also need to prove you can afford to study and live in the UK – check the UKVI financial requirements and our finance and support information.
Arriving in the UK
When you arrive at passport control here in the UK, you should expect Border Force officers to ask you simple questions about your studies or your stay in the UK. To help you get to grips with what to expect the UKVI has put together 10 top tips for student arrivals.
Working in the UK after your studies
You might be able to apply for other visas after your course if you’d like to stay in the UK to work.