A view of Exeter University students walking on campus
A view of Exeter University students walking on campus

UK student visa requirements 

With thousands of international students studying in the UK with INTO every year, we’ve got plenty of support to offer when it comes to applying for your UK student visa.

What type of visa do I need to study in the UK? 

The majority of international students will need to apply for student immigration permission (a visa) in order to study in the UK.

You may not need to apply for a visa if you:

  • are a non-visa national on a course lasting less than 6 months
  • hold an ‘alternative visa’ or ‘leave to remain’, where there are no time limits on the permissions to stay

You can check your status to see whether you need a visa on the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) website. Click the link at the bottom of the page to find out more.

What happened to the Tier 4 visa?

Due to recent legislation changes in the UK, the Tier 4 visa has been replaced by the Student Route. Any student who was planning to study in the UK on a Tier 4 visa will now need to apply under the Student Route instead.

How do I apply for a Student Route visa? 

To apply for a Student Route visa, you’ll need a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) number. INTO will send you your CAS once you have accepted your unconditional offer, paid your deposit and passed any additional checks.

As part of your application, you may need to pay the ‘Immigration Health Surcharge’, which will give you access to the UK’s National Health Service. The costs can vary, so we recommend checking how much you’ll need to pay using the UKVI calculator tool

For full details on how to apply, you can read the latest UK student visa  here. Visas can take up to 30 days to come through, so it is recommended that you apply as soon as you have received your CAS.

How much money will I need?

In order to apply for a UK student visa, you’ll need to show that you have sufficient maintenance funds to support you as you study. As well as your maintenance funds, you’ll also need to demonstrate that you have enough money to pay the full tuition fee for your course – if you haven’t already paid in advance.

Find out more about the UK student visa financial requirements here.

Which documents are required for a UK student visa?

When you apply for student immigration permission, you may need to produce a number of documents, along with your CAS. These could include:

  • a current passport or other valid travel documentation with at least one page that is blank on both sides (your visa will be printed here)
  • proof that you can support yourself financially and pay for your course
  • proof of parental or other legal guardian consent if you are under 18
  • your tuberculosis test results, if you’re from a country where this is applicable

You may be asked to provide additional documents depending on your  individual circumstances. Supporting documents are usually returned within 14 days. 

Where can I get help with my visa application? 

We understand that applying for a UK student visa can be a bit confusing at  times. That’s why we offer guidance and advice on visa applications, no  matter where you’re applying from. Our unique support includes: 

All the information we provide is based on the latest information available – but please note that the UKVI update their guidance frequently, and often without notice. You should always check the UKVI website to be sure.