Apply from outside the UK
Information for students who are looking for guidance and support for applying for a student visa – and who are currently outside of the UK.
Please note: Coronavirus is affecting international students' ability to apply for visas and travel to the UK. The advice below applies under normal circumstances.
Who needs to apply for a visa?
Applicants from outside the EEA/Switzerland who wish to study on a full-time course of more than six months in the UK will need to apply for a student visa in order to study at the University.
Applicants from the EEA/Switzerland starting a course in or after January 2021 and planning to arrive in the UK after 31 December 2020 having not been previously resident must apply under the new system from 5 October 2020 onwards. EEA/Swiss nationals already in the UK, or planning to take up residence before 1 January 2021, are advised to apply instead for Settled Status.
If you are currently overseas, you will need to obtain a student visa before travelling to the UK. Please read the relevant policy guidance produced by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) before submitting your application.
Your visa application
Where to apply
You should apply from your home country. If you do not live in your home country you should apply from the country in which you normally live.
When to apply
Applications should be made:
- before you travel to the UK
- no more than six months before the start of your course
- no more than six months after the date your Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) is issued.
How to apply
You must apply for a UK visa online.
The application process should take between 45-60 minutes to complete. You are able to save the form and return to it at any time.
Please note: You cannot apply online if you are living in North Korea. Instead, please follow the instructions listed on the Gov.uk website.
How much does it cost?
£348, paid as the equivalent in your local currency.
Priority services may be available. Check with the Visa Application Centre in the country in which you plan to apply.
Applications for visas that are more than six months long will also include an Immigration Health Surcharge. The cost of this is based on the length of the visa that you are applying for.
This charge is in addition to the visa application fee and separate from the maintenance requirements of the visa application.
If you do not pay the Immigration Health Surcharge your application will be refused. The Home Office may contact you and request payment before refusing your application for this reason – but you can't rely on this happening. We recommend paying the fee before you apply to avoid problems.
View the full list of documents that you will need to provide as part of your visa application process.
Anyone applying for a student visa from outside the UK is likely to be interviewed. This is to establish that you are a genuine student and that your English Language ability is at the correct level.
A UK Visas and Immigration member of staff will ask you questions and a report of the interview will be sent to the Entry Clearance Officer who makes the decision on your visa application.
Interview instructions are sent via email – so regularly check the email address you have provided with your application. They usually take place when you attend a visa application centre to give your biometric information and submit your documents, but may take place by telephone.
To prepare for your credibility interview and for further information on what to expect, please see our guide to credibility interviews.
Students from some countries are required to provide a medical certificate confirming that they are clear of tuberculosis, if they are coming to the UK for more than six months. See an overview of the health requirements on the UKVI website.
How to apply if you are under 18 years old
If you are under 18 years old you must only apply under the Student route. UWE Bristol does not sponsor applicants under the 'Child Student' route.
Biometric Residence Permit
What is a Biometric Residence Permit?
The Biometric Residence Permit is a residence permit which holds biographic details (name, date and place of birth) and biometric information (facial image and fingerprints), and shows your immigration status and entitlements while you are in the UK. The BRP is issued to foreign nationals from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland who are granted leave to enter the UK for more than six months. EEA/Switzerland nationals will not receive a BRP, but will be granted 'Secure Digital Status'.
How to apply
You don’t have to apply separately for a BRP. You’ll give your personal data when you make your visa application.
When you apply for your BRP card you will be asked to insert a unique code called the Alternative Location Code (ALC) to designate UWE Bristol as your BRP card collection point. The UWE Bristol ALC is 2HE567.
Obtaining your permit upon arrival in the UK
You must collect your BRP within ten days of arrival in the UK. You can collect your BRP from UWE Bristol rather than the nearest post office, providing you use the alternative location code in your application.
Travelling to the UK without your permit
Successful applicants (except for EEA/Swiss nationals) will be issued with a vignette in their passport which is valid for 90 days from the date you indicated as your intended travel date in your visa application. The vignette is proof only of your permission to enter the UK and will allow you to travel to the UK. If you do not travel to the UK within this 90-day period, your visa will expire and you will need to apply for another 90-day visa. You will have to pay a fee for this.
Find out more about Biometric Residence Permits
Find out more about your Biometric Residence Permit, its use and how to replace it if is lost or stolen.