Student Visa

For overseas students who are studying for 6 months or longer

Student visa

The Student visa allows overseas students to study on a higher education course with us. This visa has replaced the Tier 4 (General) visa route.

If the duration of your course is 6 months or less, the Standard Visitor visa may be more suitable. If your course is over 6 but less than 11 months and is an English language course (a course to study English as a second language), then you should apply for a Short-term study visa instead. 

Here are some key facts about the Student visa route:

  • You can apply for this visa in the UK or from overseas (not everyone can apply in the UK so it is important that you check your eligibility first)
  • You must obtain a valid Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) from us in order to apply.
  • The application process consists of submitting an online application form and either attending an appointment at a Visa Application Centre to verify your documents or using a mobile app to verify your documents (not everyone will be eligible for this alternative)
  • You will need to demonstrate that you have the required amount of money available to you (financial requirement) and that you have sufficient knowledge of the English language (English language requirement)
  • It costs £348 if you are applying outside the UK and £475 if applying in the UK (both fees are for standard visa processing, you can also choose to pay more for a quicker decision); you may also need to pay additional £19.20 which is a biometric fee when applying in the UK
  • You will also need to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge as a part of your application – this allows you to access the National Health Service while in the UK; £470 per year/ £235 per 6 months 
  • For standard visa processing service, it will take around 3 weeks for your application to be decided if you apply outside the UK and around 8 weeks for in-country applications: this is counted from the date when you attend your biometrics appointment

Please browse through the pages available here to learn more about your eligibility, the requirements, and the application process.

You should also familiarise yourself with the guidelines provided by the UK Visas and Immigration.

Confirmation of Studies (CAS)

Before you can make your visa application, you must have a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) statement from Regent’s University London. Regent’s is a Student visa sponsor. We are authorised to issue a CAS by UK Visas & Immigration (UKVI).

  • You must not travel to the UK until you receive your Student Visa
  • You cannot enter the UK and then apply for your Student Visa

What is a CAS?

The CAS is an electronic document that contains important information that you need to make your visa application:

  • It gives you an individual CAS number and confirms that you have the required documentation and funds to make a visa application
  • The CAS is valid for 6 months and can only be used once
  • If your visa application is refused, you can’t use the same CAS number to re-apply and new CAS number must be issued

How do I get a CAS?

You can obtain a CAS from Regent’s University London when you have completed the steps below:

  • You have received a letter from us that makes you an unconditional offer for your chosen degree programme
  • You have paid a minimum deposit of £4,000 towards your tuition fees
  • You have provided the required documentation (see below)

What documentation do I need to provide for a CAS?

  • A copy of the main page from your current passport showing your personal details
  • Copies of all your current/previous UK visas
  • A tuberculosis certificate, if required
  • An official financial document that proves you hold sufficient funds in a bank account to cover your tuition fees and maintenance costs while studying in the UK. 
  • Any other documents, if requested

Note: You will also need to supply these documents as part of your visa application.

You must provide an official translation for each document you submit that is not in English. The translation must include:

  • Confirmation from the translator or translation company that it is an accurate translation of the original document
  • The date of the translation
  • The full name and signature of the translator
  • The translator or translation company's contact details

Regent’s University London can only issue your CAS once all the required documentation has been received and approved.

The CAS will be sent as an electronic document to your email address. It contains key information about you and your studies at Regent’s which you must check carefully.

The University reserves the right to not issue a CAS where applicants:

  • Do not disclose their full UK study history
  • Have previously been refused a visa
  • Have been refused under the credibility requirement
  • Wish to study at a lower level than their previous UK study
  • Did not complete their previous course for which a Student visa was granted

For more information, contact [email protected].

Applicants: request your CAS

Step 1

You must pay a minimum deposit of £4,000 towards your tuition fees. For more information on how to pay your deposit, please see login into your applicant portal to see the options. You can pay by UK bank transfer, card or international bank transfer. 

Step 2

Complete the CAS request form that will be sent to you from 3 months before the start date of course. Please complete this as fully as you can. 

Step 3

A tuberculosis certificate, If you are submitting your Student visa application in any country listed here, you must provide a valid medical certificate by an approved medical clinic confirming you are free of tuberculosis. The certificate must be less than 6 months old on the date you submit your visa application. 

Step 4

An official financial document that proves you hold sufficient funds in a bank account to cover your tuition fees and maintenance costs while studying in the UK.  Please click here for an example bank letter. Applicants already in the UK on a valid visa of 12 months duration or longer may be exempt from this requirement. 

Documents you will need for your visa application

There are a number of documents you will need to provide when making your Student visa application. It is very important to assemble all the required documents before you make your application online. Depending on your circumstances, you may be exempt from submitting some documentation with your initial application but that does not mean that you are exempt from meeting the requirement: the documents may still be requested by the UKVI when assessing your application and your application may be refused if you fail to provide them.

Passport

You will need your current passport or a valid travel document. If you have dual nationality, you will need to use the same passport as confirmed on your CAS statement.

Your CAS number

The Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) is a document which will be given to you by Regent’s University London. It has a unique reference number linked to a record created by the University in the UKVI system. You must provide this number on the visa application form in the question which asks for your CAS number. You must request a new CAS for each visa application. You cannot re-use an existing CAS.

Proof of academic qualifications

Your CAS will list the qualifications you used to obtain your offer at Regent’s. You must normally provide the original certificate or transcript for each of the listed qualifications and an official translation for each document that is not in English. 

Proof of your English language proficiency

Your English language official test scores, if required. See the English Language Requirement tab for more details.

Proof that you meet the financial requirement

You must show proof that you have enough money to pay your tuition fees for the first year of your studies and a specific amount of money to cover your living expenses. This evidence needs to meet specific criteria set by the UKVI. You will need to submit additional documents if the bank account is not in your name or if you are receiving official financial sponsorship (or have received such sponsorship in the last 12 months). Please refer to the Financial Requirement tab for more details. 

A TB certificate

Compulsory tuberculosis testing is required for some visa nationals. 

If you are submitting your Student visa application in any country listed here, you must provide a valid medical certificate by an approved medical clinic confirming you are free of tuberculosis. The certificate must be valid on the date you submit the visa application.

Failure to submit a medical certificate from an approved medical centre will result in your visa application being refused.

Immigration Health Surcharge

As part of your Student visa application, you must pay a National Health Service (NHS) surcharge. This means you will receive free health care in the UK during your studies. 

If you are studying for more than 6 months, you will need to pay £470 for each year of your studies. For any period of under 6 months, you will be quoted £235.

You will also need to pay the surcharge if you extend your time in the UK, even if it’s for a few months.

You are exempt from paying the surcharge if you live in the Falkland Islands and are considered to be a British Overseas Territory citizen.

To pay the surcharge

You will pay the surcharge as a part of your online visa application. You will be re-directed to the payment page in Section 5: Payment of your visa application.

You can use this tool to estimate how much you will need to pay.

Failure to make the payment will result in your visa application being refused by UKVI.

For more information, contact [email protected].

Meeting Student Visa Financial Requirement

As part of your visa application, you must provide documentation to show that you have the money available to cover your tuition fees and living costs while you are studying in the UK. The money needs to be held for a specific period of time and the evidence you provide must be in a format set by the UKVI.

If you are a national of one of the countries listed under the differential evidence requirement (please scroll down the page to see the list), you will not be asked to submit the evidence of your funds with your initial application. However, it is important to know that the person assessing your application may still ask to see a proof of your funds at a later stage. Because of this, it is crucial to have the required documentation ready at the time of applying.

If you are applying to extend your Student visa in the UK or to switch to the Student visa, and you have held a valid UK visa for a period of at least 12 months at the date of your application, you will automatically meet the financial requirement and are exempt from providing financial evidence with your application. This does not apply, however, if you are applying from outside the UK or if you have been in the UK with a valid visa for less than 12 months at the date of application.

How much money do I need to show?

UK Visas and Immigration will want to see that you have enough money to:

  • Pay your course fees for the first year
  • Support yourself in the UK 

Your course fees

Your CAS will confirm how much you have already paid to the University for your first year. The amount confirmed on your CAS can be discounted from the total amount you show in your bank account. However, if you pay your fees after your CAS has been issued and if it is not updated at the time of your visa application, you will need to present payment receipts issued by the University to be able to discount this amount. 

Example: Your course fees for the 1st year are £19,500 and your CAS confirms that you have paid £10,000. You will need to show £9,500 in your bank account to evidence that you have enough money to pay for your course fees.

Maintenance

Except for the academic fees, the UKVI will want to see that you have enough money for your living costs: accommodation and general maintenance. As a London student, you will need to show £1,334 for each month of your study, for a maximum period of 9 months, even if your course is longer. Please consider the examples below to see how to calculate this.

Example 1: Your course is 14 months long. You only need to show maintenance for the first 9 months. You need to show £1,334 x 9 = £12,006 for your maintenance.

Example 2: Your course is 6 months and 2 days long. You need to show maintenance for 7 months, as it will be rounded upwards to the next month if the length of your course includes a part of a month. You need to show £1,334 x 7 = £9,338

Discounting accommodation

If your accommodation is arranged by the University, you can discount up to a maximum of £1,334 from the total maintenance required. This only applies if your accommodation is arranged by the University and if the amount paid for accommodation is confirmed on your CAS or you have receipts from the University to evidence your payments. In any other case, you cannot discount this from the amount you are required to show.

Example: Your course is 12 months long. You paid all your course fees. You need to show 9 months’ worth of maintenance (£1,334 x 9 = £12,006). However, you already paid £5,000 for your accommodation arranged by the University. You can discount £1,334 from the total – you cannot discount more than that. As such, the amount you will be required to show is £10,672 (£12,006 - £1,334).

What documents do I need in order to meet the financial requirement?

Once you have calculated how much money you are required to show, you need to ensure you have the right documents to evidence the funds. The money you show may be in a currency different than Pound sterling. If this is the case, please ensure that the amount held corresponds to the required amount in GDP using the exchange rates published here at the date of your application. 

The funds can be evidenced by providing one of the following:

  • A compliant bank statement
  • A Student loan letter
  • Evidence of official financial sponsorship

Money held in a bank account

If you are relying on funds held in a bank account, the account needs to be either in your name or your parent’s or legal guardian’s name. If you are relying on money held in your parent’s or legal guardian’s bank account, you will also need to provide a letter of consent from them, allowing you to access the funds, and a legal document confirming your relationship: a birth certificate or adoption certificate, for instance. Bank accounts from any other relatives will not normally be accepted.

As per the Immigration Rules, Appendix Finance, paragraph FIN 8.1, funds may be held in any form of personal bank or building society account (including current, deposit, savings, pension from which the funds can be withdrawn or investment account) provided the account allows the funds to be accessed immediately.

The required level of funds must be held in the account for a consecutive period of 28 days, with the last day being within 31 days prior to your visa application.

Example: Your bank statement shows that you have maintained the required amount of funds from 1 August 2020 until 1 September 2020. ‘Maintained’ means that during this time the amount held by you did not drop below the required amount at the end of any given day. You must submit your visa application within 31 days counting from 1 September in order to be able to use this statement. Otherwise, it will expire and you will need a new statement.

Student Loan

If you are relying on a student loan, you will need to provide an official student loan letter meeting all of the following criteria, as per appendix Finance, FIN 9.2.:

  • It must be dated no more than 6 months before the date of your visa application
  • It must confirm it is a student loan provided to you by the relevant government, a government-sponsored student loan company, or an academic or educational loans scheme
  • It must confirm there are no conditions on release of the loan funds other than a successful application to study in the UK
  • It must confirm the amount of the loan
  • It must confirm that the loan is to you
  • It must confirm that the funds will be available to you before you travel to the UK or paid directly to your sponsor before you travel and then to you by the time you travel in the UK

Official Financial Sponsorship 

If you are receiving money from an official financial sponsor which wholly covers your course fees and maintenance costs, you will need to provide an official letter evidencing this.

Official financial sponsorship can be granted by:

  • Her Majesty’s Government 
  • Your home government 
  • the British Council 
  • an international organisation 
  • an international company 
  • a university 
  • a UK independent school

If the amount you are receiving does not cover the full amount you are required to show, you will still need to evidence you hold the required funds by providing a compliant bank statement.

Additionally, if you have received official financial sponsorship within the last 12 months at the date of your application (for example, for a previous course you studied), you are required to provide your sponsor’s written consent for the new application.

The Admissions and CAS teams will check your documents to ensure they are compliant before issuing your CAS.

Meeting the English Language Requirement

When applying for a Student visa, you must show that your knowledge of English is sufficient to undertake your course. The UKVI has specific requirements with regards to your English level and this is dependent on the level the course you are going to study. Based on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR), you will need to obtain at least:

  • B2 level, if studying a course at UK bachelor’s degree level or above
  • B1 level, if studying a pre-sessional course, or a course below UK bachelor’s degree level

There are certain circumstances in which you will automatically meet the English language requirement and will not need to provide any additional evidence. These are as follows:

  • You are a national of a majority English speaking country: check here; to satisfy this criterium, you will need to apply using the passport issued by a majority English speaking country
  • You have already met the English requirement at the required level in your previous UK visa application

If the above points do not apply to you, have a look at the below ways of proving your English level.

Previous study

You will meet the English language requirement if you have an academic qualification at a bachelor’s level or above awarded in the UK. This will also apply to degrees from majority English-speaking countries (with the exception of Canada) and Ireland, as well as if your qualification was taught in English and meets the standard of a UK bachelor’s degree or above. You will need to evidence this by providing your degree certificate and transcript. If your qualification was awarded outside the UK, we will also need to check that it meets the required standards.

Secure English Language Test

You can also meet the English language requirement if you have passed an approved English language test to the required level. The test must have been taken within 2 years prior to your application. You will need to provide a valid digital reference number from the test provider to evidence this. You can see a list of approved tests and providers here.

Internal Assessment 

As a Higher Education Provider with a track record of compliance, we are also allowed to carry out our own assessment of your English language. We would test your abilities in four components: reading, writing, speaking, and listening, unless you are exempt from meeting one of these due to a disability. If you pass our internal assessment, we will confirm this on your CAS and you will not need to provide additional evidence of this in your visa application.

For more information, contact [email protected].

Apply Online

The application process consists of two stages:

  1. Submitting an online application form
  2. Proving your identity

Online application form

You will need to apply online at the UKVI website. There are two versions of the online application form: one for applications made from outside the UK and another for applicants who are already in the UK and are either extending their visa or switching from a different visa category. It is crucial that you select the correct application form accordingly with your circumstances. Please go to the relevant tab (applying outside the UK or extending your visa) for more information. 

Proving your identity

As a part of your application, you will need to prove your identity. Depending on where you are from and what passport you have, you will either be asked to book and attend an appointment at a visa application centre or use a Document checking app on your phone. Once you start your Student visa application, it will tell you which one applies to you.
 

Applying Outside the UK

You will normally be required to apply for your visa from outside the UK, unless you are already in the UK with a visa that permits you to switch to a Student visa and you meet the relevant requirements for an in-country application. Please note that neither Visitor visa nor Short-term study visa permits you to switch to the Student visa inside the UK.

When applying for the Student visa from outside the UK, you must obtain the visa before travelling to the UK. You will receive a decision letter from the Home Office (normally sent via email) once your visa application has been approved. Depending on where you are from, you may also receive an Entry Clearance visa in your passport.

Once you have gathered all the required documents (including a CAS issued by the Regent’s University), you can proceed with the online application form. 

When to apply

If applying from outside the UK, the earliest you can apply is 6 months before the start of your course. You also must apply within 6 months of receiving your CAS.

How to apply

Please see our Applying for Student Visa from Overseas guide for information on how to apply. Please note that the UKVI regulations are updated frequently and as such this document should be used for guidance only.

After you apply

After you apply and attend your biometrics appointment (or prove your identity via a phone app), you will need to wait for a decision on your application before travelling to the UK. The decision should normally be received within 3 weeks from the date of your biometrics appointment (or submitting your application and the relevant documents via the phone app). A ‘decision letter’ will normally be sent to you via email.

Once your visa application has been successful, you will be able to travel to the UK. If you receive an Entry Clearance vignette in your passport, you must travel to the UK within the validity dates on that vignette. EU/EEA citizens will normally not receive a vignette and can travel to the UK as per information outlined on their decision letter.

Extending your Student visa from within the UK

It is not always possible to extend a Student visa inside the UK. If you do not meet the requirements to apply inside the UK, you would normally need to leave the UK and submit your application from your home country.

Who can extend their Student visa in the UK?

If you hold a valid Student visa, you may apply to extend this visa in the UK provided that:

  • You meet the academic progress requirement: you must have completed the course your most recent visa was granted for and the new course must usually be at a higher level than your previous course (for example, progressing from a bachelor’s to master’s degree)
  • Your current visa does not expire more than 28 days before the start of the new course
  • Your most recent visa is still valid at the date of application

You may also be able to apply for a visa extension in the UK to continue studying on the same course if the duration of your course has been extended due to exam resits or module retakes. Your eligibility to apply in the UK is subject to meeting relevant UKVI and Regent’s criteria. Please contact Student Immigration Advisory Service team for more information.

Who needs to return home to apply for a new Student visa?

You will need to return home to submit your application if:

  • There are more than 28 days between the expiry date of your current visa and the start date of your new course
  • The course you are applying for is at a lower level than your most recent course
  • You have not completed your previous course of study; this includes the following situations:
    • You have withdrawn from your previous course
    • You failed your previous course or were expelled/suspended for academic non-progression
    • You are applying for a second Master’s degree and have note yet completed the previous Master’s degree, and are therefore not able to show evidence of academic progression

Applying in the UK

When to apply

The earliest you can submit your application is 3 months before your course starts. You must also apply before your current visa expires.

How to apply

If you wish to apply for a Student visa from within the UK, you must use the free service offered by the University’s Student Immigration Advisory Service team. We will help you navigate through the application form and check your documents.

We cannot issue a CAS to a student who intends to apply by use of a third party, such as a solicitor or representative.

After you apply

After you submit an application and attend a biometrics appointment (where required), it should take around 8 weeks for you to receive the decision. You can also choose to pay extra for a priority service if you wish to obtain the decision sooner. Please do not travel abroad while waiting for the outcome – leaving the UK during this period will automatically cancel your visa application.

While waiting for the decision, your most recent visa will be extended under section 3C leave of the Immigration Act 1971. This means that even if your most recent visa expires while you are waiting for the decision on your application, you will remain legally in the UK until the new application is decided, as long as the application itself was submitted before your visa expired.

Credibility Interviews

As part of your application for a Student visa, you may need to undergo a credibility interview. These interviews are carried out by the UKVI. They are intended to help assess your intent and credibility to study in the UK. The UK Embassy in your home country will contact you to ask a series of specific questions. The interview usually takes place via Skype.

Top tips: 

  • Speak in English. The interviewer will expect you to respond to the questions in English
  • Research your course and be prepared to answer questions about what you will be studying
  • Find out about the local area and where you plan to live
  • Be prepared to explain exactly how you are funding your studies and maintenance during your stay in the UK
  • Be truthful. Being interviewed can be worrying, but try to answer the questions as honestly and clearly as you can
  • Think about your passion to study your chosen course and how it will contribute to your future career aspirations

For more information, contact [email protected].

Student visa time limits

The limit on the amount of time a Student visa holder can spend studying in the UK at degree level is 5 years. Degree level courses are those which lead to a recognised UK bachelor’s degree, or an equivalent qualification at level 6 RQF. There is no limit set by the UKVI for studying on courses above degree level.

Regent’s University London can only sponsor you for a Student visa if the length of the course you are joining will not take you beyond the limit of five years of study at degree level.

When calculating the cap on degree-level studies, the University must take into account the following periods of time:

  • The whole length of any previous Tier 4 or Student visas you have had, including the extra time granted at the start and end of the visa
  • Time spent on Section 3c leave while waiting for an application to be decided in the UK, or the outcome of an appeal or an Administrative Review
  • The time spent waiting for a previous Tier 4 or Student visa to be curtailed e.g. if you previously interrupted your studies or withdrew from a course

It is very important that you provide accurate information about your previous degree-level studies in the UK, to avoid the risk of your visa application being refused.

For more information, contact [email protected]

Arriving in the UK

If you applied for your visa from overseas, you will need to wait for the visa application to be decided before you can travel. The documents you will receive and the date you can enter the UK will depend on your circumstances.

EU, EEA, and Swiss nationals

If you are an EU, EEA, or a Swiss national, once your visa application is decided, you will receive a decision letter – this will come to you by email or by post and will describe the conditions granted to you under your Student visa. The letter will state the start date and the expiry date of your visa. The earliest you can enter the UK on this visa will be its start date. You will need to show this letter to the Border Control Officer on arrival – please do not use the E-gates and go through the passport control queue instead.

Once you are in the UK, you will not receive a Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) card. Instead, your immigration record will be stored electronically and you will be able to see it and prove it to others by using the Government online verification service available here, as described in your decision letter.

Non-EU nationals

If you are not from the EU, EEA, or Switzerland, once your visa is approved, you will receive three important visa documents: your visa decision letter, an Entry Clearance Vignette, and a BRP.

Visa decision letter

This will be a letter or email received from the UKVI which will confirm the outcome of your visa application. It will also confirm where to collect your BRP card once you arrive in the UK. You will need to keep this letter and show it at the UK Border on arrival.

Entry Clearance Vignette

This will be a visa sticker in your passport which you receive from the Visa Application Centre and which you must present at the UK Border when you arrive in the UK.

You will notice that the vignette is valid for a period of 30 or 90 days (see the top right corner) – this is the window during which you need to travel to the UK in order to activate your visa.

If you are unable to travel during this window, or if there is any problem with your visa vignette, please see this page for advice on how to proceed before you travel.

When you arrive in the UK, you will need to show the Visa vignette together with your visa decision letter to the Border Control Officer. They will stamp your visa vignette and the stamp will show the date when you entered.

Biometric Residence Permit (BRP)

Once you are in the UK, you will be able to collect your BRP from the collection point confirmed on your decision letter. Currently, this will be a designated Post Office. If your decision letter states Regent’s University London as your collection point, please contact us for further guidance.

If there is a problem with your BRP, please see this page for general advice and contact us for further guidance.

Visa problems

Although we hope that you will not encounter any problems with your visa, please rest assured that we are here to help you and guide you in case any issues come up. Please read the general information below and contact us at [email protected] if you need additional assistance.

Problems with the visa application form 

If you are struggling with your visa application, please contact us and describe the problem so that we can help. You may also wish to check our step-by-step Student visa application guide if you are applying for your visa from overseas.

Additional documents requested

The UK Visas and Immigration may occasionally contact you requesting additional documents while assessing your visa application. If this happens and you are unsure how to proceed, please contact us for advice. There will be normally a specific timeframe for your to provide the additional documents so it is important to act promptly.

Visa application refused

If your visa application is refused, please inform us of this at your earliest convenience. You will normally be able to apply for Administrative Review if you believe there was an error made while assessing your application. Depending on your circumstances, you will either have 14 or 28 days to submit the application. Please speak to us for further advice.

Problems with your Entry Clearance visa or your BRP

Please see this page for answers on what to do if there is an error on one of your documents, your Entry Clearance visa expires before you can travel, or your BRP has not arrived.

Your BRP card is lost or stolen

Please refer to this page for advice on what to do if your BRP card is lost or stolen.

If you are facing any other problems with regards to your visa, please contact us at [email protected] for further guidance.