To study in the UK, you may need a Student visa. The information below will give you all the information and requirements you need to apply. There is a lot of information, but it is all very important.
Please read the guidance below carefully before making your Student visa application. If you are unsure about anything, have any questions, or would like support preparing your application, you can contact Student Life International by clicking the Contact Us button at the bottom of the page.
The following requirements will help you know when to apply:
- The earliest you can apply for a visa if you are applying from outside the UK is 6 months before you start your course.
- The earliest you can apply if you are applying from inside the UK is 3 months before your course starts.
You will need to apply online for a Student visa.
The process and the supporting documents you will need differ depending on whether you are applying inside the UK or outside the UK. UKCISA has some helpful pages below:Apply outside the UK
The process also differs if you are a Swiss or EEA country national. You must still follow the below information on the documents you need to prepare. However, you will find that applying for your Student visa application is slightly different. We have created a separate page for EEA and Swiss Nationals of what you might need to consider or what you might like to know before applying for your Student visa.
You can find out the cost of a Student visa and the cost of the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) on the Gov UK website.
Most students are required to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) as part of their Student visa application.
Paying this charge will allow you to use the National Healthcare Service (NHS). You will still need to pay for certain services such as prescription medications, dental treatment and eye tests.
You pay the Immigration Health Surcharge as part of your online visa application. If you do not pay this charge or you do not pay enough, you will get an email from UKVI (you should check your junk folder for this email too) to tell you how many days you have to pay for the surcharge. If you do not pay the full amount, your visa application can be refused.
When asked to list the course dates as part of your IHS application, you should list the course dates exactly as they are on your CAS statement.
Dependants will pay the same IHS fee as you, if they are applying as dependants on your Student visa.
There are a few instances where you may be eligible for a refund of your IHS fee. This includes if your visa application has been refused. You can find further information on refunds here.
The Home Office have strict financial requirements that you must meet to be able to get a student visa. Failure to have the required funds or to meet the requirements will result in your visa application being refused.
All students must be able to show:
- Tuition fees for at least 1 year (or duration of course if less than 1 year), and
- Living costs
You must have enough money to pay for the course fees for the first year of your course, or the entire course if it is less than one year long. If you have already paid your course fees, your CAS should confirm this.
Any scholarships or studentships from UEA will be deducted from your course fees on your CAS and you do not need to show further proof of this. If you do not pay any course fees to UEA, your CAS will state £0.00 course fees.
If you are applying to come to the UK on a study abroad programme and pay your course fees to your home institution, your CAS will confirm this. If you are a fully funded student, for example being sponsored by your government, your CAS will state your full year course fees and you will need to show your sponsorship letter or certificate as proof of your funds.
For your living costs, you need £1,023 for each month of your course, up to £9,207 for a course lasting nine months or more. Use the course start and end dates on your CAS to calculate the length of your course and therefore how many months' maintenance you will need.
UEA Accommodation Costs
You can deduct the following from the total amount of money that you need as part of your immigration application:
• Up to £1,334 that you have already paid to your Student sponsor for your accommodation fees, if you will be living in university or college accommodation.
UEA accommodation costs
A maximum of £1,334 paid in advance to UEA for accommodation (which will be listed on your CAS) can be deducted from the amount of maintenance you must show that you have, even if you have paid more than £1,334 in advance.
Money needed for dependants
You can find information on the financial requirements for dependants on UKCISA’s website.
You must have a CAS (Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies) statement to apply for your visa. A CAS statement confirms that the University is sponsoring your visa and lists your personal details, unique CAS number, details of your course, confirms your tuition fees and amount paid, and has other information about your admission to UEA. You will need to use this information in your visa application.
You can only get a CAS 3 months before the start of your course or 3 months before your visa end date. You will firstly receive a CAS preview, which you will need to check is correct before you will be given your official CAS and unique CAS number. Your CAS will be valid for 6 months and you can only use a CAS once. If you apply using an expired or used CAS your visa will be refused.
Receiving your CAS
- If you are starting a new course you will receive your CAS preview and final CAS by email from the Admissions team. You will only be able to receive your CAS after you have accepted your unconditional offer and have met all other admission requirements.
- If you are applying for a new visa to complete your current course, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for advice on how you can request a CAS.
- You must provide UEA with your passport details before you can get your CAS
- If requested, you must provide UEA with the financial documents you will use for your visa application.
- You must also check the “other evidence” section of your CAS, as this may detail documents that you might need to provide as part of your visa application. These must be original documents that have been officially translated if they are not in English. The UKCISA website has a section about official translations on this webpage under ‘Evidence’.
- You can apply for your visa using your official CAS when this has been emailed to you.
Please keep your CAS in a safe place, as you may need information from this in the future.
If you have any questions about your CAS preview, please reply to the emails you have received about your CAS.
You will need to prepare supporting documents for your application. The number and type of documents will depend on your individual application.
You can find a list of the sorts of supporting documents you may need to apply on the Gov UK webpage.
If you are unsure of anything or would like your documents checked, you can contact Student Life on email@example.com
Original documents and translations
All supporting documents must meet the Home Office's requirements. If you are unable to include documents, you will need to write a covering letter explaining why. You can contact Student Life (firstname.lastname@example.org) for help with this.
If your bank statement or any other documents are not in English, you will be required to send the original along with a fully certified translation by a professional translator. This translation must include the following details:
- Details of the translator's credentials
- Confirmation that it is an accurate translation of the original document
- The translator's contact details
- The date and original signature of the translator
If you are not sure how to get your document translated you can contact Student Life (email@example.com) for help with this.
Some Students do not need to submit evidence that they satisfy all requirements with their applications. The Home Office calls this the 'differentiation arrangements' for 'low-risk applicants'. However, UKVI can ask for these documents at any time when processing your application, so you must prepare them and have them ready at the point that you submit your visa application.
You are a low-risk applicant if you apply for a Student visa (inside or outside the UK), and you have a passport issued by one of the countries or territories listed in paragraph 22.1 of Appendix ST of the Immigration Rules.
You will need an ATAS (Academic Technology Approval Scheme) certificate if you are doing a PhD or Masters degree in one of the subjects listed on the Foreign and Commonwealth Office website. These are mainly in the science subjects. Some nationalities are exempt from the ATAS requirement. Depending on your level and length of study you must check with Admissions Service, the PGR Service or your School at UEA to confirm if you are required to apply for an ATAS certificate.
You will need to apply and receive your ATAS certificate before you are able to get your CAS from the University. You will also need it when you apply for your Student visa. Your CAS Statement will also confirm if you need an ATAS certificate or not.
- You will need information from the school, including a Code, which will be required when applying.
- To apply go to the GOV.UK website. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office administer the scheme and you will need to apply online.
- You will receive your ATAS certificate by email. Print this off and include it in your visa application. It can take up to 8 weeks to get an ATAS Certificate, so prepare early and apply for it as soon as possible.
Some students can have family with them in the UK as their dependants. You can find out which students can have dependants, the financial requirements for dependants and other useful information on UKCISA’s website. You should notify Admissions during the CAS preview process if you plan to bring dependants to UEA with you.
Student Life have also created a section on dependants on the page ‘Student Visa – other considerations’
Once you have submitted your visa application, and provided biometric information and supporting documents – either by appointment at a UKVCAS centre or using the UKVI ID Verification app – your application will be processed. The standard waiting time for a decision on your application is 3 weeks from the date you provide biometric information. This can be longer during busy periods. Up-to-date waiting times can be found on the UK Government website.
Once your visa is granted, you will receive a decision email or letter explaining this to you. You will then receive your visa in one of two ways:
- Entry Clearance Vignette
This will be valid for 90 days and appears as a sticker on a page in your passport. You must travel to the UK within this 90-day period. You will receive a letter explaining how to collect your Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) when you arrive in the UK.
- Digital Status
Some students will not be issued with a physical visa document but instead will have a digital immigration status. To prove this to anyone in the UK, you will generate a ‘share code’ online. These will most likely only apply to applicants from EU/EEA countries.
The Student Life team have a help guide to assist you in preparing for your visa application. We also have a step-by-step visa guide, which runs through the sorts of questions you may be asked in your visa application. You can obtain these documents by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
You are welcome to contact us at any point if you are unsure of anything, have a query related to your supporting documents or a query related to your visa application.
- Student Life Team – email@example.com
- UKCISA – advice on visas, immigration and life in the UK
- UKCISA Student Advice Line – this is open from Monday to Friday 1.00pm to 4.00pm (UK time)
- Gov UK – information on the Student visa
- Home Office Student Visa Policy Guidance
- ATAS – Academic Technology Approval Scheme
- OANDA – Currency Converter website