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Student Visa

If you’re studying a short course and are over 18 years old, you may be eligible for a short-term study visa. This is valid up to six months for most short courses and can be extended for a stay of up to 11 months for English language courses.


If you want to study in the UK, you will need to apply for a Student Visa. In the post-Brexit environment, both EEA nationals and non-EEA nationals will need to have an unconditional offer from a licenced sponsor to be eligible for the visa.

Those who graduate from an approved course in the UK will be able to remain in the country under the new Graduate Visa route for up to two years to live, work and look for work. PhD graduates will be able to do so for up to three years.

If you’re studying a longer course, you’ll need to make sure your chosen institution holds a Student Sponsor License. You can either apply for a child student visa (if you’re aged 4-17 and want to study at an independent school in the UK) or a general student visa for those aged 16 and over.

Student Visa Requirements

Your course provider may be willing to help you to apply for a UK student visa once you have been offered a place on a course; ask to find out if this is the case. You can apply for the visa up to three months in advance of the start date of your course.

UK student visas are awarded on a points-based system. In order to meet all the UK student visa requirements, you’ll need to provide:

  • Details of your passport
  • A recent photograph
  • An unconditional offer of a place on a course offered by a licensed Sponsor, evidenced by a ‘Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies’ (CAS) form from your course provider (worth 30 points)
  • Proof of adequate English language skills, demonstrated by passing one of the secure English language tests (SELT). You will not need to provide this if you’re from an English-speaking country such as the United States or have completed a qualification equivalent to a UK degree in an English-speaking country.
  • Proof you have financial support throughout your stay in the UK (worth 10 points)
  • If you’re a non-EU/EEA/Swiss student studying a sensitive subject, you may also need an ATAS certificate

Student Visa Document Checklist

This summary and checklist is designed to help you with the stages and timeline of application process. It includes links to external websites where appropriate. This checklist by itself does not contain enough information to make a successful application. It is only a summary of the steps involved in applying for a Student visa and does not contain detailed information about the requirements.

If you want to make a successful application, it is extremely important that you:

  • check that you meet all the requirements
  • allow time to obtain any supporting documents you need to provide
  • provide your supporting documents in the format required
  • complete all sections of the form, fully and accurately
  • follow any specific guidance from your sponsor institution

This is a generic checklist for all applicants. Most universities, colleges and schools publish detailed guidance for their own students on applying for a Student visa, and they may offer individual advice on the application. We strongly advise that you use these resources offered by your sponsor when preparing your Student visa application. You should wait until you have obtained your Student visa before you book any non-refundable tickets for travel.

  1. Choose an institution and course, apply for admission on the course, receive an unconditional offer and accept your offer.
  2. Apply for ATAS clearance (if applicable).
  3. Request a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) number from your institution and check the information on your CAS is correct when you receive it. The CAS issuing process can vary between institutions. Note that a CAS is only valid for six months and you must make your visa application within this time. You can only use the CAS for a visa application once.
  4. Check the visa process in your country of residence and the current visa processing times. If there is more than one VAC in the country where you live, decide where to apply.
  5. Book and take a TB test (if applicable).
  6. Check that you meet the requirements.
  7. Make sure that you have all of the necessary supporting documents, including:
    • Valid passport
    • Evidence that you can meet the financial requirements (if required)*
    • Evidence of qualifications listed on your CAS (if required)*†
    • Evidence that shows you meet the English language requirement, or that you are exempt from having to meet it
    • ATAS clearance certificate (if required)
    • Valid TB test certificate showing you do not have TB (if required)
    • If you will be under 18 on the date that you apply for your visa, a letter from your parent/legal guardian confirming their relationship to you and that they consent to your study and living arrangements in the UK and your travel arrangements. You will also need evidence of your relationship with your parent/legal guardian (e.g. birth certificate, certificate of adoption)
    • Receipts for any tuition fees and/or accommodation costs that you have already paid to your institution, if this information is not included on your CAS*
    • Translations of any documents that are not in English or Welsh
  8. Complete the application form, submit it and pay the application fees, the immigration health surcharge (if applicable), and upload your documents.
  9. If required, book a biometrics appointment at the VAC.
  10. If an appointment is required, attend at the VAC and pay the application fee (if you haven’t already done so) and provide your biometrics.
  11. Attend an interview, if you are asked to do so. You may also be contacted to have a further interview which you must attend.
  12. Wait for the outcome of your visa application. Your passport and supporting documents will be returned to you by post (if these were retained at your appointment) or you will be instructed to collect them at the VAC.
  13. Wait until your Student visa is issued. Do not travel to the UK and attempt to enter as a Standard Visitor.

How our immigration Advisers can help

Our immigration advisers regularly assist international child students and their family members to move to, or extend their stay in, the UK in order to pursue their education.

Our immigration advisers are experts in the immigration options for student visa application and will guide you through the complex Home Office rules and policies.

We pride ourselves on being approachable and proactive in understanding and meeting our client’s needs. We are a highly driven team, dedicated to providing clear and reliable immigration advice to child students as part of a professional and friendly service.

Contact us today

Nexus Visas assists international clients in obtaining UK visas, residence and citizenship under the respective programs. Contact us to arrange an initial private consultation.

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Nexus Visas is the trading name of Nexus Immigration Limited company registered in England and Wales with company number: 12633225. 

This firm is regulated by the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner.

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