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Most international students need a student visa to study in the UK. Finding out whether you need a visa to study is easy, simply check the UK government website.
Your visa will allow you to live and study in the UK for the duration of your course.
Applying for your student visa
If you are 16 or over and want to study a course at a higher education level in the UK lasting longer than six months, it is most likely that you will need to apply for a student visa through the Student Route.
Follow this step-by-step guide to applying for your student visa:
- Step 1: Apply to your chosen university (or universities) and receive an unconditional offer.
- Step 2: Once you have received your unconditional offer, and you have accepted it, your university will give you a document called a Certificate of Acceptance of Studies (or CAS).
- Step 3: Once you have your CAS, you can begin the visa application process. You can apply for your visa up to six months before your course starts. You will need to pay an application fee (£363 for students) and have a current passport.
- European students: If you’re from an EU country, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, or Switzerland, you can use the UK Immigration: ID Check app on a smartphone to complete the identity stage of your application.
- Step 4: As part of your application, you will need to pay a fee called an Immigration Health Surcharge. This gives you access to the UK’s National Health
Service. Students receive a 25 percent discount on the usual cost, so the rate for student visa holders is £470 per year.
- European students: If you have a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), you may be able to apply for a refund of the cost of the Immigration Health Surcharge. Check the GOV.UK website to find out if you are eligible to apply for a refund.
- Step 5: As part of your student visa application, you may need to prove your knowledge of the English language. Different universities have different requirements, so make sure you check what form of English language evidence you will need with your university.
- Step 6: You will need to complete your application and have it accepted before you arrive in the UK.