If you are applying for a Student visa and are located outside the UK, the following processes apply for making your application.
When and how to apply
You cannot apply until you have accepted an unconditional offer from City, University of London and have been issued with a CAS. City will start issuing CASs three months before the start of your course.
If you are applying for a General student visa for your course at City in your country of residence, please make your application to your nearest British Embassy/Consulate or Visa Centre.
Your "country of residence" is usually your country of nationality, but sometimes you may be living in a country where you are not a resident, for example for work or study. In that case, you can apply from there if you are legally living in that country. You cannot apply from a country you are just visiting.
Select your country at the Home Office's country finder to find out more information on how to apply in your country, visa centre locations, application processing times and how your documents will be returned to you.
You can also check the visa processing times online. The length of time it takes to process your application will depend on the time of year and where you are applying
Please also use the UKCISA's flowchart to guide you through the application process
Your visa application date is the day you complete your online form and pay the application fee online, not the day you attend your biometric or in-person appointment. You must meet all the requirements on this date
In order to make your Student visa application you should follow these steps:
- Create an online account with UKVI. You should ensure you answer all the questions accurately and give as much detail as you can
- Pay the Health surcharge and application fees online
- Book an appointment with your local visa centre to hand in your visa form and required supporting documents (see Documents you must provide)
- Provide your biometrics and attend a credibility interview at your appointment.
Immigration Health surcharge
The Immigration Health Surcharge is a fee that is charged at the time when you submit your visa application. From 27 October 2020 the health surcharge will be increasing to £ 470 per year for a main applicant and £470 per year per dependant for each year of the visa granted.
The health surcharge is incorporated into the online visa application form and is paid only once the application has been submitted online. You can check online to calculate the health surcharge you will need to pay.
Other requirements in the process
As part of your visa application, you are required to provide your biometric information (fingerprints and facial image) at a Visa Centre. Your visa application will not be processed until you have provided the necessary biometric information.
You may also be requested to attend a short video interview with a Home Office member of staff in Sheffield. The purpose of the interview is to check that the applicant is a genuine student, so they may ask you some questions about your course and why you chose to study it and any other institutions you considered when making up your mind about where to study.
You could apply for an administrative review if your Student visa application is refused in the UK with a mistake made by the Home Office. Please read the FAQs and contact us if have any questions.
Collecting your BRP
You will be issued with a one-month entry permit in your passport which will allow you to travel to the UK. When you arrive in the UK you will need to collect your Biometrics Residence Permit (BRP) within 10 days.
Documents you must provide
In addition to completing the application form for a General Student visa online, you will also need to provide the following documents and prepare for the following processes.
£348 in local currency plus £470 per year for health surcharge. Please read our Immigration Health Surcharge FAQs. At most posts it is possible to pay extra (around £560 in local currency) for an expedited service.
You will need to provide your current passport.
English Language requirement
All applicants that require a Student visa must meet the minimum Home Office English Language ability requirements before City can issue a CAS.
These minimum English requirements are set out alongside our general entry requirements.
Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) statement
The CAS is a unique reference number linked to a record created by the University in the Home Office IT system, which includes details of your course and the University's Sponsor Licence Number.
Proof of qualifications
Your CAS may list the qualifications you used to obtain your place at City. If it does, you must include a certificate or transcript for each of these qualifications and official translation if it is not in English.
Your application is also subject to certain financial requirements. Our detailed advice on preparing your application explains these in detail.
Nationals of certain countries (e.g USA, China) are considered to be low-risk for immigration purposes. Click here for the full list of low-risk national countries.
If you are a low-risk national, you do not need to provide financial evidence with their application but UKVI might request these evidence later if they want to, so you must still meet these requirements and ensure that you could produce documents in the required format if they are requested.
Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) certificate
You must obtain clearance certificates under ATAS if you want to study at advanced levels within certain subject areas, before making your visa application to study or extend your study period in the UK.
If you were financially sponsored before this course
If you have already been studying for a course in the UK and received official financial sponsorship from a government or scholarship agency within the last 12 months you must get your sponsor's permission in writing to stay in or re-enter the UK.
Your sponsor must confirm they have no objection to you continuing your studies here. If you do not provide this your application will be refused. More information can be found in the Student visa guidance.
If you have been funding yourself through government loans this does not count as "official financial sponsorship" and you will not need this letter.
When preparing your documents, you might find this checklist useful. (Please note some students may need additional documents not covered on this list.)
Arriving in the UK
From June 2020, temporary travel visas will be issued for a period of 90 days instead of 30. This is in response travel disruption caused as a result of the global Covid-19 pandemic.
When your visa is issued you will be given a vignette (sticker) in your passport which will be valid for 30 days. This period will start 30 days before the course start date stated on your CAS, or 7 days before the date you specified on your form that you will be travelling, whichever is later.
You cannot enter the UK before or after this period. If you attempt to do so it's likely you will be refused entry to the UK. You must bring with you the letter you were issued with your visa and a copy of your CAS, as you may be asked to show these when you pass through immigration control.
You will then need to collect your BRP (which will include your full visa dates) within 10 days of arrival.
You can find more guidance on UKCISA's website.
You are advised not to travel to the UK visa the Republic of Ireland due to immigration arrangements between Ireland and the UK which can mean you are not stamped into the UK correctly.
Keeping your details up to date
It is very important that UKVI has current up to date contact details for you in case they need to contact you. This includes your home address. If any of your details change you must inform UKVI. Usually you will need to do this by completing the MCC form.