Do I need a visa to study in the UK?
If you're an international student (not from the UK) then you'll likely need a visa to study here. If you're from the European Economic Area or Switzerland you'll also need a visa – unless you have, or are eligible for, a status under the EU Settlement Scheme.
Types of visa
Types of visa
In order to come to the UK to study, you'll need to apply for one of these:
- Student visa: this visa is generally for students studying on a full-time course lasting longer than six months
- Visitor visa: this visa allows students to study on accredited short courses of up to 6 months, including retakes and exam re-sits
- Short-term study visa: this visa is for students studying an English language course – lasting between 6-11 months
Once you've completed your studies, you'll be able to apply for a Graduate visa: allowing you to stay and work in the UK for up to two years after you graduate (up to three years for PhD graduates).
1) Apply for your CAS
Before you make your visa application, you must have a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) from us: an electronic document, confirming you've met our requirements and hold sufficient funds.
Once you've applied for a course, received an offer and paid your deposit, you'll receive a link to an external platform, Enroly, where you'll fill in a form with:
- Your name, birthday, contact details, passport number
- When you’re planning to travel to the UK – and from where?
- How you intend to fund your studies and living costs
- If you've previously been refused a visa – and if so, why?
Once you've provided us with evidence of the above, we'll issue you with your CAS. It'll be sent to you via email – please check the information carefully, and let us know if you spot any mistakes.
2) Apply for your visa
Once you receive your CAS, you can apply for your visa from the UKVI. You must apply within six months of receiving your CAS and six months before your course starts.
You're usually required to apply for a visa from outside of the UK, unless you're already here on a visa that permits you to switch visas and you meet the requirements for an in-country application.
If you're applying from outside of the UK, you must wait for approval before you travel – or you’ll be refused entry at the border.
How to apply:
1. Prepare your supporting documents (see supporting documents tab)
2. Apply via the UKVI website as soon as you get your CAS reference from Regent's
3. Choose your service: standard (15 days), priority (5 days), super priority (next day)
4. Pay your visa fee and your Immigration Health Surcharge to access the NHS*
5. Book an appointment at a Visa Application Centre
6. Wait for your decision
*Use this tool to estimate how much you'll need to pay. You're exempt from paying the charge if you live in the Falkland Islands and are considered a British Overseas Territory citizen. You might also be entitled to a partial or full refund if your healthcare is paid for by an EU country or Switzerland.
After you apply:
You'll receive a decision letter from the Home Office (usually via email) as soon as your application has been approved. Depending on where you're from, you may also receive an Entry Clearance vignette in your passport. If you do, you must travel to the UK within the validity dates.
Please remember to obtain your visa/approval before travelling to the UK.
It's important to gather all the documents you need before applying online – they might differ slightly depending on your circumstances, but they typically include:
Or a valid travel document. If you have dual nationality you'll need to use the document/ passport you used on your CAS request form.
Your CAS statement
This includes a unique reference number linked to a record created in the UKVI system. You must request a new CAS for each visa application, you cannot re-use them.
Proof of your English language proficiency
Your official English language test scores, or a formal letter confirming your acceptance onto an English language course.
Proof of your finances
Evidence that you have enough money to pay tuition fees and living expenses. You will need to submit additional documents if the bank account isn't in your name, or if you're receiving official financial sponsorship. More details can be found under your visa type – Student, Short-term, Visitor.
Proof of your academic qualifications
Typically you'll need to provide the original certificate or transcript for each qualification listed on your CAS – as well as an official translation for documents not in English.
A tuberculosis certificate
This is compulsory for all countries listed here. You must provide a valid certificate by an approved medical clinic confirming you're free of TB.