Requirements for Student visa applications made in the UK
You must pay to submit a visa application online to extend your visa before your current visa expires. You do not need to have been granted a new visa before your visa expires as you will be lawfully in the UK while your visa application is being processed. If you remain in the UK beyond the expiry date of your visa without first submitting an in-time visa application, you will become an overstayer. Overstaying is a criminal offence and can lead to serious consequences for future immigration applications.
Documents not in English must be translated by a fully certified translator/translation company and the translation(s) must meet specific requirements. Please see the Translations page for more information.
You can apply for a Student visa up to 3 months before the start of your course as stated on your CAS, but you usually must have completed your previous course if you are in the UK as a Tier 4 student/Student.
The Home Office may invite you for an interview or call you to check you are a genuine student. Failure to attend the interview will likely lead to your application being refused. Please refer to our Credibility Interviews page for more information.
Who can apply in the UK?
It is important to check if you are eligible to apply in the UK as there are several requirements that you will need to meet.
To be eligible to apply in the UK you must:
- Ensure the gap between the end of your current immigration permission and the start of your new course (as stated on your CAS) is not more than 28 days. If the gap is longer than 28 days you must apply for your visa from outside of the UK.
- Not be on immigration bail or be in the UK:
- As a visitor
- As a short-term study
- As a parent of a Child Student
- As a Seasonal Worker
- As a Domestic Worker in a private household
- Hold permission outside the Immigration Rules
- Demonstrate that you meet the academic progression requirement or are exempt if you were last granted leave as Tier 4/Student. To meet the academic progression requirement, you need to:
- have successfully completed the course for which you were last granted immigration permission; and
- be applying for a visa to study a course that is normally above the level of the previous course.
Exemption from showing academic progression is normally only for those seeking an extension to complete a PhD or are applying to undertake a study abroad programme or work placement which is both integral to and assessed as part of the course, or to complete their course, having completed a study abroad programme or work placement.
The following documents are required for Student visa applications:
- Completed Student online application form.
- Current passport or travel document.
- Current Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) if applicable
- Police Registration Certificate (PRC) if you were required to register with the police. Ensure your PRC is up to date with current address, BRP details etc. Further information on Police Registration.
- Assigned Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) number from the University of Reading.
- Any qualifications listed on your CAS in the 'Evidence used to obtain offer' field. Please note if you are studying a course at degree level or above you will not be required to provide evidence of your qualifications.
- If you do need to provide evidence this can be in the form of a transcript, certificate or print outs of your qualification or transcript results from the awarding body’s online checking service. Each document provided must include:
- your name
- the title of the award
- the name of the awarding institution or awarding body
- the date of the award (if the qualification has already been awarded)
- confirmation that the qualification will be awarded (if the document is a transcript of results or print out of a transcript of results)
- Evidence of English language proficiency as stated on your CAS.
- Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) certificate, if you are applying for postgraduate study or research in one of the subjects listed in Immigration Rules Appendix ATAS.
- Evidence of successfully completing the previous course studied in the UK in the form of a formal award or, for courses at degree level or above, formal written confirmation (this does not apply to those who are exempt from academic progression such as continuing PhD students).
- Letter from your financial sponsor confirming that they have no objection to your application to remain in the UK (if you were financially sponsored to study in the UK within the past 12 months).
- For under 18 years old only: a signed letter of parental consent confirming:
- the relationship between you and your parent(s)/legal guardian(s)
- that they consent to your living arrangements in the UK
- that they consent to your application as a student
- Evidence of your relationship with your parent(s)/legal guardian(s) if you are under the age of 18 and/or submitting evidence of funds in your parent(s)/legal guardian(s) name(s).
- Evidence you meet the Student visa maintenance Requirements.
- If applicable, fully certified translations.
- More information about the policy on Student visas.
When applying we suggest you use the International Student Advisory Team as your postal address to minimise BRP delivery issues:
C/O International Student Advisory Team
University of Reading
Fees and biometric enrolment
Time for a decision
Cost per person
Within 8 weeks of submitting
Within 5 working days
The next working day
* Plus an additional £19.20 biometric enrolment fee
At times Priority and Super Priority applications may not be available.
As part of the application process, you and any dependants will each be required to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) to cover the duration of your stay in the UK. You will then be able to use the National Health Service (NHS) in the UK and will not require private medical insurance. Please note that you will still need to pay for certain types of services (e.g. prescriptions, dental treatment and eye tests). That is a requirement for everybody, including British nationals.
If you pay the surcharge twice for the same period, you will be entitled to a refund of the surcharge for this overlapping period of time.
The cost of this charge will be £470 for each applicant and dependent per year of the actual visa to be granted, including any final extra period. Periods less than six months are charged at £235. Periods between 6 and 12 months are charged at the full year rate.
Biometric enrolment appointment
You will need to book an appointment to attend a UKVCAS service point to enrol your biometrics (facial photograph and to provide your fingerprints) and to provide your required documents (if you have not uploaded the documents yourself online).
There are three different types of service points:
Core – offering both free and chargeable appointments. The closest core service point to Reading is in Croydon. You will either need to upload the documents yourself online before your appointment or pay extra for the Document Scanning Service.
Enhanced – offering chargeable appointments only, but document scanning is included. The closest service point is Reading Central Library in the town centre.
Premium lounge – offers a personalised customer experience for a higher fee.
How to make a Student visa application in the UK
The form is only available online and can be completed by following the steps listed below:
- Go to the Home Office’s UK Visas & Immigration (UKVI) website and click ‘Start now’
- Follow the instructions on the form.
- If you would like an International Student Adviser to check your visa application, stop when you get to stage ‘3: Documents' (pictured below) of the application, click ‘return to this application later’, ‘Download your part-completed application (PDF)’ and email the form and your documents to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you go beyond this point it may not be possible to make any changes or corrections to the form. DO NOT MAKE ANY PAYMENTS or finish the application.
- You will receive an email with a link, which allows you to return to the form using the password you set up.
- After you have paid the Immigration Health Surcharge and the visa application fee, you will be redirected to the UKVCAS/Sopra Steria website to book your biometric appointment at a service point. You can upload copies of your supporting documents to this website. The closest centre is Reading library, which is an Enhanced service point.
- You will retain your documents (including your passport) whilst your application is being processed, but you must not leave the UK before a decision has been made on your application. If you do, UK Visas and Immigration will treat your application as being withdrawn. If you must leave the UK due to an emergency, please contact the International Student Advisory Team.
What happens next?
You should provide the University with evidence that you have made a visa application to ensure that your student record is updated. This is important, because as your Student sponsor the University needs to have up-to-date records of your immigration status.
After you have attended your appointment to provide your biometrics and supporting documents the next correspondence you receive should be from UK Visas and Immigration with your visa application decision. Your BRP will arrive shortly after. If your BRP card is delivered to you directly you will need to provide a copy of your BRP to the University by sending a colour photo/copy to email@example.com. You should check the details on the BRP card are correct and update the police records (if applicable).
If your visa application is refused, make sure you contact the International Student Advisory Team and supply a copy of the visa refusal notice.
Need more help?
If clarification is needed on any aspect of the Rules or you have questions about your visa application, please email the International Student Advisory Team at firstname.lastname@example.org where we will respond to you as soon as possible, alternatively telephone +44(0)118 378 8038.