Student visa

For overseas students studying for over six months

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 six months or less, the Standard visitor visa may be more suitable. If your course is over six 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's important to 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'll need to demonstrate that you have the required amount of money available to you (financial requirement) by uploading a bank statement or official letter from your bank
  • You'll also need to demonstrate that you have sufficient knowledge of the English language (English language requirement)
  • It costs £363 if you're applying outside of the UK and £490 if you're applying in the UK (both fees are for standard visa processing, you can also choose to pay more for a quicker decision)
  • 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 you're in the UK; £470 per year or £235 per six months 
  • For standard visa processing service, it will take around three weeks for your application to be decided if you apply outside the UK and around eight weeks for in-country applications: this is counted from the date when you attend your biometrics appointment

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

You should also familiarise yourself with the guidelines provided by UKVI – UK Visas and Immigration. More information can be found on UKCISA.

Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies

Before you can make your visa application, you must have a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) statement from Regent’s. We're a Student visa sponsor, meaning we're 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?


A CAS is an electronic document that contains important information that you need to make your visa application. It provides you with a unique CAS number and confirms that you have the required documentation and funds to make a visa application. It's valid for six months and can only be used once. 

If your visa application is refused, you can’t use the same CAS number to re-apply. A new CAS number must be issued.

Request your CAS

You can obtain a CAS from Regent’s when you have:

Once you've completed these steps, you'll be sent a CAS request form. Please complete this in as much detail as possible before sending it back to us. 

Note: You will also need to supply these documents as part of your visa application. For both, you must provide an official translation for each document that isn't in English.

Receive your CAS

We can only issue you your CAS once all the required documents have been received and approved. It will be sent via email as an electronic document – please check the information carefully and let us know if you spot any mistakes.

Please note: We reserve the right to not issue a CAS. For more details, contact [email protected].

Apply online

You're usually required to apply for a visa from outside the UK, unless you're 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 (neither a Visitor visa nor a Short-term study visa permits you to switch to the Student visa inside the UK).

When applying from outside the UK, you must obtain your visa before travelling to the UK. You will 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 visa in your passport.

Once you've gathered your required documents, you can proceed with your application.

When to apply

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

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. Wait for an invite to book an appointment at a Visa Application Centre
5. Wait for your decision

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

Please see our application guide for more information. The UKVI regulations are updated frequently, so this document should be used for guidance only.

After you apply

After you apply and attend your appointment (or prove your identity via a phone app), you'll need to wait for a decision on your application before travelling to the UK. You will usually hear back via email within three weeks, but there are currently delays, with UKVI stating you should receive a decision within five weeks.

Once your visa application has been successful, you'll 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 in their decision letter.

Supporting documents

It's very important to gather all the required documents before you apply online.

Depending on your circumstances, you might be exempt from submitting some initially, but that doesn't mean you're exempt from meeting the requirement: they may still be requested by the UKVI when assessing your application – and your application may be refused if you fail to provide them. For more information, visit the UKVI website.

You'll need:

Valid passport/travel document

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

Your CAS number

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

Proof of English language proficiency

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

Proof of finances

You must show proof that you have enough money to pay your tuition fees for the first year of your studies and your living expenses. This evidence needs to meet criteria set by the UKVI. You'll need to submit additional documents if the bank account isn't in your name or if you're receiving official financial sponsorship (or have received such sponsorship in the last 12 months). Refer to the financial requirements tab for more details.

You might also need:

Proof of academic qualifications

Your CAS will list all the qualifications you used to obtain your offer at Regent’s. Normally, you'll need to provide the original certificate or transcript for each of the listed qualifications, as well as an official translation for each document that isn't in English. 

A tuberculosis certificate

Tuberculosis testing is compulsory for some visa nationals. If you're submitting your Student visa application from any country listed here, you must provide a valid medical certificate by an approved medical clinic confirming you're 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.

Financial requirements

As part of your visa application, you must provide evidence that you have the money available to cover your tuition fees and living costs while you're studying in the UK.

If you're a national of one of the countries listed under the differential evidence requirement, you won't be asked to submit the evidence of your funds with your initial application. However, you might be asked to show evidence at a later stage.

If you're applying to extend your Student visa in the UK, or you're switching to the Student visa, and you've held a valid UK visa for at least 12 months at the date of your application, you'll 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

When you apply for your visa, you'll need to upload a bank statement or a letter from your bank (see example) proving you've got enough funds in your bank account.

Your course fees

Your CAS will confirm how much you've 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's 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. 

For example, if your course fees for the first year are £19,500 and your CAS confirms that you have paid £10,000, you'll need to show £9,500 in your bank account to prove you have enough money to pay for your course fees.

Maintenance

As well as academic fees, UKVI want to see that you have enough money for your living costs, including accommodation and general maintenance. As a London student, you'll need to show £1,334 for each month of your study, for a maximum period of 9 months, even if your course is longer.

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

Example 2: If your course is six months and two days long, you'll need to show maintenance for seven months – as it will be rounded up. 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 and you've paid all your course fees. You need to show 9 months’ worth of maintenance (£1,334 x 9 = £12,006). However, if you've already paid £5,000 towards 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'll be required to show is £10,672 (£12,006 - £1,334).

What documents do I need?

Once you've calculated how much money you're required to show, you'll need to ensure you have the right documents to prove you have the funds. The money you show can 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 proven 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're relying on funds held in a bank account, the account needs to be either in your name or your parent or legal guardian’s name. If you're relying on money held in your parent’s or legal guardian’s bank account, you'll also need to provide:

  • A letter of consent, allowing you to access the funds
  • A legal document confirming your relationship (birth certificate or adoption certificate)
  • Bank accounts from any other relatives will not normally be accepted.

As per the Immigration Rules, 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. When you apply for your visa, you'll need to upload a bank statement or a letter from your bank confirming you have the required funds. 

Example: Your bank statement shows that you have maintained the required amount of funds from 1 August 2022 until 1 September 2022. ‘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 from 1 September to be able to use this statement. Otherwise, it will expire and you'll need a new statement.

Student loan

If you're relying on a student loan, you'll need to provide an official student loan letter meeting the following criteria:

  • It must be dated no more than six 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, and 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're receiving money from an official financial sponsor which wholly covers your course fees and maintenance costs, you'll need to provide an official letter proving 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.

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

Additionally, if you've 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're compliant before issuing your CAS.

English requirements

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're going to study. Based on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR), you'll need to obtain at least:

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

There are certain circumstances in which you'll automatically meet the English language requirement and will not need to provide any additional evidence:

If the above points do not apply to you, there are other ways you can prove your English level.

Previous study

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 prove 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

If you've passed an approved English language test to the required level. The test must have been taken within two years prior to your application. You'll need to provide a valid digital reference number from the test provider to prove this. You can see a list of approved tests and providers here.

Regent's 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 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].

Credibility interviews

As part of your application for a Student visa, you may need to undergo a credibility interview 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, usually via Skype.

Top tips: 

  • The interviewer will expect you to respond to the questions in English
  • Be prepared to answer questions about what you'll be studying
  • Find out about the local area and where you plan to live
  • Explain how you're funding your studies and maintenance during your stay in the UK
  • Try to answer the questions as honestly and clearly as you can
  • Think about your passion to study and how it'll contribute to your future career.

For more guidance, contact [email protected].

NHS surcharge

As part of your application, you must also pay a National Health Service (NHS) surcharge. This means you'll be able to receive free health care in the UK during your studies. 

If you'll be studying for more than six months, you'll need to pay £470 for each year of your studies. For any period of under six months, you'll pay £235.

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

You're exempt from paying the surcharge if you live in the Falkland Islands and are considered to be 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. Find out more.

You'll pay the surcharge when you reach section 5 of your visa application. Use this tool to estimate how much you'll need to pay. Failure to make the payment will result in your visa application being refused by UKVI.

Student visa time limits

The maximum amount of time a Student visa holder can spend studying in the UK at degree level is five 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 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 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's 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]

Visa problems

Although we hope you won't encounter any problems with your visa, please be assured that we're here to help 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're 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're 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're unsure how to proceed, please contact us for advice. There's usually a specific timeframe for you to provide your 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'll usually 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 BRP

Please see this page for answers on what to do if there's 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're facing any other problems with your visa, please contact us at [email protected] for further guidance.
 

Arriving in the UK

If you applied for your visa from overseas, you'll 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'll 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're 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'll 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. This is usually 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.

Extending your Student visa from within the UK

It is not always possible to extend a Student visa inside the UK. If you don't meet the requirements to apply inside the UK, you might 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 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 the Student Immigration 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're 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've withdrawn from your previous course
    • You failed your previous course or were expelled/suspended for academic non-progression
    • You're applying for a second Master’s degree and have not yet completed your 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 three 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 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 eight weeks for you to receive your decision. You can also choose to pay extra for a priority service (if available at the time of your application) 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 of the Immigration Act 1971. This means that even if your most recent visa expires while you're waiting for a decision on your application, you'll be able to legally remain in the UK until your new application is decided, as long as the application itself was submitted before your visa expired.