Discover how to apply to study in the UK as a USA citizen. Make sure you've got your documents ready and are prepared to act quickly to avoid any delays.

Worldwide students

Who needs to apply?

Citizens from the USA require a student visa to study in the UK.

It's expected that there'll be high demand for UK student visas this summer. Remember to apply for your student visa as early as possible as soon as you have received your Certificate of Acceptance for Study (CAS) from your education provider. August is the peak month for UK student visa applications. Beat the rush and apply before August, if possible, to allow time to travel for September course start dates.

You can apply six months before your course start date.

See the latest student visa decision waiting times.

Biometric information

Once you've completed your online application you will be prompted to select one of the following services to provide your biometric information (fingerprints and digital photograph):

For more information visit: Apply for a UK visa in the USA.

  1. Check your eligibility and prepare your supporting documents

    Your decision can take longer to be assessed if you don't have the correct supporting documents. 
  2. Submit your student visa application

    Apply for your student visa on the website
  3. Provide your biometric information

    Use the links above to see what you'll need to provide.
  4. Wait for your decision

    Your application will be sent to UKVI to assess. UKVI will complete biometric, criminal and travel history checks. You may be called for an interview.
  5. Wait for your passport

    If you provided your biometrics at an ASC, your passport will be returned to you using the UPS prepaid electronic shipping label you provided.

    If you provided your biometrics at a VFS Premium Application Centre your passport will be couriered to you.

    Your passport will be returned with a visa vignette (sticker) stuck inside.

    Your visa will be valid for travel for 3 months from the start date of your visa. Please do not travel to the UK without the visa in your passport.


Your partner or children aged under 18 may be able to come to the UK providing you are studying on an eligible course. You can choose to apply for their visa at the same time as you apply for yours or after you have received yours. You must provide proof of your relationship and finances to fund their maintenance. This is in addition to the proof of finances that is part of your own application.

More information: Student visa – family members

Supporting documents

You'll need:
  • Passport or travel document
  • Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) from your course provider

You may also need:

How much does it cost?

  • A standard Student visa application costs £348 if you apply from outside the UK, and £475 if you apply when you are already in the UK.
  • If you choose to apply using the priority or super priority service, for a faster decision on your visa, the fee is more expensive. These services may be available in some countries but not others. You may also be able to choose other optional services, such as document checking or interpretation, for an additional cost.
  • As well as the visa application fees, you will need to pay the immigration health surcharge. From 27 October 2020 this is £470 for each year of the visa for which you are applying. For example, £1,410 for a three-year visa.