Apply from outside the UK

Information for students who are looking for guidance and support for applying for a Tier 4 (General) visa – who are currently outside of the UK.

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All the up-to-date information.

Coronavirus updates

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 who wish to study on a full-time course of more than six months in the UK will need to apply for a Tier 4 (General) student visa in order to study at the University.

If you are currently overseas, you will need to obtain a Tier 4 visa before travelling to the UK. Please read the Tier 4 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:

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.

Required documents

View the full list of documents that you will need to provide as part of your visa application process.

Interview process

Anyone applying for a Tier 4 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 Tier 4 application.

Interview instructions are sent via email – so regularly check the email address you have provided with your application. They take place when you attend a visa application centre to give your biometric information and submit your documents.

To prepare for your credibility interview and for further information on what to expect, please see our guide to credibility interviews.

Health screening

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. View 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 and applying for a Tier 4 visa you must only apply as Tier 4 (General) student. UWE Bristol does not sponsor Tier 4 child applicants.

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 who are granted leave to enter the UK for more than six months.

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.

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 as your BRP card collection point. The UWE ALC is 2HE567.

Travelling to the UK without your permit

Successful applicants will be issued with a vignette in their passport which is valid for 30 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 30-day period, your visa will expire and you will need to apply for another 30-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.