Non-student visas

Most types of visa allow you to study in the UK. But the type of study you can do may be limited if your visa is short term with restrictive conditions – such as the Standard Visitor visa. If you are in any doubt, please contact a UWE Bristol Immigration Adviser.

As a student sponsor with a track record of compliance, UWE Bristol is allowed to advise on Student visas and closely related matters. Consequently, when enquiries fall outside our remit (for instance, if you have a complex question about one of the visas described below), we will suggest you seek specialist advice if you need detailed guidance.

In particular, if you are considering an asylum claim because you fear returning to any part of your country because of persecution on the grounds of your race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or anything else that puts you at risk because of the social, cultural, religious or political situation in your country, such as your gender, gender identity or sexual orientation, we cannot advise you. For asylum applications, you are urged to appoint an adviser or lawyer to act on your behalf.

You can find local law firms which deal with immigration and asylum matters by searching the database of the Immigration Law Practitioners’ Association (ILPA).

Search for advisers registered with the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC). Although the University is not required to register with the OISC, we remain bound by its Code of Standards.

Please note that UWE Bristol does not endorse any external body.

 

British National Overseas (BNO)

You can apply for a British National (Overseas) visa if you hold BNO nationality and are 18 or older.

You must be ordinarily resident in Hong Kong.

The BNO visa can lead to settlement after five years of residence.

Because the range of family members allowed to apply as the main applicant’s dependants is significantly greater than for other UK visas, the BNO visa may be of interest to adult children and other relatives of BNOs regardless of their own nationality (eg if they only have a Hong Kong SAR passport).

Although applicants must meet a financial requirement to prove you have enough money to support yourself and your family (dependants) for six months in the UK, there is no set level of funds you must hold. The test for adequate maintenance is whether you can show that, after your accommodation costs have been paid, you have at least as much money as you would if your family were receiving income support in the UK. See Appendix Finance of the Immigration Rules for ways you can show this.

BNO visa information

How to apply

You can apply inside or outside the UK.

Apply outside the UK. You will be asked either to provide biometric data (ie fingerprints and photograph) at a visa application centre or to use the ‘UK Immigration: ID Check’ app. You will be told which when you apply.

Apply in the UK. This includes applicants who have already been granted leave outside the rules at the port of entry. You will be asked either to provide biometric data (ie fingerprints and photograph) at a UKVCAS service point or to use the ‘UK Immigration: ID Check’ app. You will be told which when you apply.

The application fee is £180 for two years and six months, or £250 for five years.

You must also pay an Immigration Health Surcharge of £624 per year of permission for which you are applying (ie £1,560 for two years and six months, or £3,120 for five years). A lower rate applies to applicants under 18.

If you’re applying outside the UK and you’ve been living in Hong Kong or another country where tuberculosis (TB) testing is required for the past six months, you must provide a certificate showing you are free of pulmonary tuberculosis. Applicants in the UK who submitted a TB certificate to come to the UK do not need to re-submit. If your current immigration status did not require TB testing (for example you are in the UK as a standard visitor), you need to obtain a certificate from one of a number of private fee-charging clinics. This service is not available on the NHS.

We recommend you refer to the detailed policy guidance (PDF) before applying for a BNO visa.

Studying

As the holder of a BNO visa, you are allowed to study at UWE Bristol.

  • Please be aware that it is your responsibility to ensure your visa is long enough to complete any proposed course of study.
  • If you need more time to start or complete a course of study than your visa allows, you can extend it or apply for settlement within the UK.
  • UWE Bristol may not allow you to register before the extension or switch is complete and the new visa is in your possession.
  • You must obtain Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) clearance if your nationality and subject of study require it.

Dependants

Our information on bringing your family will help you decide whether you are eligible to bring family members to live with you while you follow a course on a Student visa – and how to apply.

Post-study work

For information about the Start-up, Graduate Route and Skilled Worker visas, please see our working after your studies information.

Schengen

Refer to our travelling with your information for particulars of the Schengen scheme.

Short-term study

Students coming to UWE Bristol for short courses, distance learning or re-sits and retakes may be eligible to enter the UK as visitors. Our Standard Visitor visa information tells you what you need to know.

UK Ancestry visa

The UK Ancestry visa is restricted to applicants aged 17 and over (on the date you plan to arrive in the UK). You must be a national of a Commonwealth country, and you must be able to prove that one of your grandparents was born in the UK.

For the purposes of the UK Ancestry visa, your grandparent’s place of birth can include:

  • the Channel Islands
  • the Isle of Man
  • Ireland (if your grandparent was born before 1922)
  • a ship or aircraft that was either registered in the UK or belonged to the UK government.

You must be able to provide your own full birth certificate, and the full birth certificates of the parent and grandparent on whom your application is based.

You must demonstrate that you are able to work and intend to seek and take employment.

The UK Ancestry visa allows you to bring family members with you as dependants. Each dependant must apply individually and must pay the application fee and immigration health surcharge.

The UK Ancestry visa can lead to settlement after five years of residence. You can also extend it for a further five years.

UK Ancestry visa information

How to apply

You must apply outside the UK and the application fee is £516. You will be asked to provide biometric data (ie fingerprints and photograph) at a visa application centre. 

You must also pay an Immigration Health Surcharge of £624 per year of permission for which you are applying (ie £3,120 for five years).

Apply for the visa

Although you must meet a financial requirement to prove you can support yourself and any dependants in the UK, there is no set level of funds you must hold. See Appendix Finance of the Immigration Rules for ways you can show this.

Depending on your country of residence, you may be asked for a certificate showing you are free of pulmonary tuberculosis (TB).

View detailed guidance (PDF) concerning eligibility, supporting evidence and the application process.

Studying

As the holder of a UK Ancestry visa, you are allowed to study at UWE Bristol.

  • Please be aware that it is your responsibility to ensure your visa is long enough to complete any proposed course of study.
  • If you need more time to start or complete a course of study than your visa allows, you can extend it or apply for settlement within the UK.
  • UWE Bristol may not allow you to register before the extension or switch is complete and the new visa is in your possession.
  • You must obtain Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) clearance if your nationality and subject of study require it.

Youth Mobility visa

The Youth Mobility Scheme visa (T5) is restricted to applicants aged 18 to 30 (on the date of application) of the following nationalities:

  • Australia
  • Canada
  • Monaco
  • British National (Overseas) - BNO
  • Hong Kong
  • New Zealand
  • British Overseas Citizen (BOC)
  • Japan
  • San Marino
  • British Overseas Territories Citizen (BOTC)
  • Korea (Republic of)
  • Taiwan

You can be granted a Youth Mobility Scheme (YMS) visa only once, so previous YMS holders cannot apply successfully.

To be eligible you must not have children under 18 who live with you, or children for whom you are financially responsible.

The YMS does not allow you to bring family members with you as dependants.

With a YMS visa you will be allowed to live, work and study in the UK for two years (regardless of whether you turn 31 during the period). 

Youth Mobility visa information

How to apply

You must apply outside the UK and the application fee is £244. You will be asked to provide biometric data (ie fingerprints and photograph) at a visa application centre.

You must also pay an Immigration Health Surcharge of £470 per year of permission for which you are applying (ie £940 for two years).

You must show that you have held £2,530 in personal savings for 28 days continuously at the time of application, using a document no more than 31 days old. See Appendix Finance of the Immigration Rules for ways you can show this.

Depending on your country of residence, you may be asked for a certificate showing you are free of pulmonary tuberculosis (TB).

Apply for the YMS visa

View detailed guidance concerning eligibility, supporting evidence and the application process.

Studying

As the holder of a YMS visa, you are allowed to study at UWE Bristol.

  • Please be aware that it is your responsibility to ensure your visa is long enough to complete any proposed course of study.
  • If you need more time to start or complete a course of study than your YMS visa allows, you can switch to a Student visa within the UK.
  • UWE Bristol may not allow you to register before the switch to student status is complete and the new visa is in your possession.
  • You must obtain Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) clearance if your nationality and subject of study require it.