International student visas

Visas & immigration information

This section of our site provides further information on a range of immigration matters. It is important that you obtain the correct visa for your studies in the UK. Please remember that it is your responsibility to apply for the correct visa before leaving home.

Please see the UKCISA website or the UK Border Agency Website for the most up-to-date immigration information.

Information on whether you require a visa, how to apply, guidance notes and application forms are available from the UK Border Agency website.

What type of visa do I require?

The types of visa you may require are:

TIER 4 General Student Visa
If you are coming to study a course of more than six months or a pre-sessional course to prepare you for further study in the UK, you should apply for a Tier 4 General Student Visa. The Tier 4 General Student visa is part of the Points-Based System. The system is made up of five tiers, as a student you will be applying under Tier 4. To get permission to come to study in the UK you will need to pass a points-based assessment. You will need 40 points to qualify. You will get 30 points for the Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) sent to you by the University. The CAS is not an actual certificate or paper document, it is a unique reference number which allows access to a database record which contains all the relevant information about you and the course you will study. You will earn another 10 points if you show that you have enough money to cover your course fees and living expenses - also known as maintenance. 

Student Visitor Visa
If you are coming to study a course of six months or less, or an English Language course of 11 months or less, you should consider whether it would be appropriate for you to apply for a Student Visitor Visa. Remember that as a student visitor there will be no option to extend your stay beyond six months and you will not be able to work.  If you do decide to stay in the UK beyond six months you will have to return to your home country to make a new entry clearance application.

European Economic Area (EEA) Nationals
You can enter the UK freely by showing your Passport or National Identity Card, and do not need to get a visa before travelling to the UK. Remember that your dependants may need to obtain entry clearance if they are not EEA nationals.

General Visitor Visa for Graduation
You and your guests may need visitor visas to attend your graduation ceremony. You can apply for a visa to stay up to six months.

Exchange and Study Abroad Students
All non-EEA students who want to study as an Exchange student or Study Abroad student for less than 6 months, will need to obtain either Tier 4 General Student visa, Student Visitor visa or leave to enter as a student visitor.  If you are coming to study a course of more than six months you should apply for a Tier 4 General Student visa.