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UK University Student Visas

体育竞彩网When you come to study at a university in the UK from another country you may need a visa, depending on your nationality and country of residence. Here is an easy to understand guide to help you work out if you need to apply for a visa and, if so, how to do it.

IMPORTANT: There have been large changes to the student visa system in the UK recently. However, if you are a genuine student wanting to study at a reputable university, you should still be able to obtain a visa. Find out more about the changes here and here

Jump To:   Non-EU Students  |  Post Study Work Visas

 

EEA or Swiss Nationals UK Visas

If you are from one of the following countries then you are an EEA national:

 Austria.........................Germany...........................The Netherlands
Belgium.......................Greece..............................Poland
Bulgaria.......................Hungary............................Portugal
Cyprus.........................Republic of Ireland..........Romania
Czech Republic..........Italy....................................Slovakia
Denmark......................Latvia................................Slovenia
Estonia.........................Lithuania..........................Spain
Finland.........................Luxembourg.....................Sweden
体育竞彩网France..........................Malta

If you an EEA or Swiss national and want to study a full time course at a university in the UK for more than 3 months you do not need a visa.

What you Need

However, although you do not need a visa, you still need to fulfill a few requirements to stay in the UK for longer than 3 months. You must:

  • have a valid passport or national identity card 
  • be enrolled on a course at one of the government registered universities on this list.
  • show you have enough money to live in the UK without claiming unreasonable benefits from the British government 
  • OR already live in the UK under another European Directive (for example as a worker)

Non-EEA Nationals (Rest of the World)

体育竞彩网If you’re from a country outside of the EEA and want to study in the UK then you will need to get a visa before you arrive. When applying for a visa, there are a number of requirements you must fulfill:

- Have a ‘sponsor’:体育竞彩网 This basically means that you must have an unconditional offer of a place on a course at a government registered university. If you have been accepted on a course at a UK university, then the university itself will be your ‘sponsor’. If you are still worried, then check this list of government trusted institutions in the UK.

- Have a ‘Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies’ (CAS): A CAS is the proof that your ‘sponsor’ provides to the government that you have an offer with them. It is the standard online document that your chosen university will provide for you. It will have a 14 digit reference number on it which you need to put in your visa application form.

- Have money to cover your costs: You must prove that you have enough money to pay your fees and pay living costs. This amounts to:

ssLength of Coursess sssStudy Locationsss sssssssssMoney Neededssssss
9 months or less Inner London Full course fees and £1000 for each
calendar month of the course
9 months or less Outside Inner London Full course fees and £800 for each
calendar month of the course
More than 9 months Inner London First year of course fees and £9,000
to cover living costs for 9 months
More than 9 months Outside Inner London First year of course fees and £7,200
to cover living costs for 9 months

How and Where to Apply

体育竞彩网Once you have your CAS, you are ready to apply for your visa. Depending on where you live, you may be able to do it online and by post, or completely by post.

However you apply, you will also need to send off part of the application to your local visa application centre or the British mission in your country. For more information on visa applications visit the .

What you Need

体育竞彩网When applying, you will need to provide the following:

  • Your passport or travel document 
  • The application fee 
  • Your biometric details 
  • A recent passport sized (45mm x 35mm) photograph which should be: 
    • In colour against a white background 
    • Good quality, clear and not framed 
    • Printed on normal photographic paper 
    • Show your full face without sunglasses, a hat or head covering (unless it is worn for cultural or religious reasons but the face must not be covered).

Moving to the UK

Once you have sent an application and it has been accepted then you will be able to move to the UK before your course starts. How soon you can move depends on the course you are taking. If you are taking a course that is longer than 6 months or is a pre-sessional course (for example an English language course before you start university) then you will be able to enter the UK up to 1 month before the start date. However, if your course is less than 6 months long then you can only enter the UK up to 1 week before the start.

After your course has finished, if it was longer than 12 months then you can stay in the UK for a further 4 months with the same visa, a further 2 months if the course was 6-12 months long, and just one week if the course was less than 6 months long.

For any more information that you need, check the .

After Your Studies

All students used to be able to gain a 'Post-Study Work Visa' to stay in the UK to work for two years after finishing their degree. However, recent changes to the visa system have made this far harder to obtain. From 2012 onwards, to gain a Post-Study Work Visa, you must meet these criteria:

  • To stay and work, you must have a job offer from a sponsoring employer. This means that the firm has been registered with the government to accept overseas workers in the Tier-2 visa point system.
  • The job must be suitable for your skills and the starting salary must be a minimum of £20,000 a year.

To find out more about the changes, visit here. Although these are currently the rules, as with any new system, they is likely to change over the coming months and years. Make sure you keep right up to date by regularly checking our Student News section. 

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