How to Apply for a Student Route Visa

Key downloads:

Presentation on applying for your Student Route visa application

‌‌ Guide to completing the UKVI Student visa online application form

You should also refer to the Student route visa page on the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) website and the UKCISA website.

You can apply for your Student route visa from the country that you normally live in as long as you are living there lawfully and not living there as a short term visitor. You can also apply from any country that you hold a passport for. You need to apply online through the UKVI website.

The visa application process varies from country to country so you need to familiarise yourself with the process in your country of application and confirm whether any documentation, including your passport need to be sent in addition to attending a biometric appointment at a Visa Application Centre. 

Students applying from the US - please read this information on the UKVI website about the visa process

Overseas student and dependant applications cost £490. Fees for the priority service are an additional £500 and an additional £1000 for the super priority service.

Some students will be eligible to use the new UKVI immigration ID check app on a smart phone instead of attending a biometric appointment and will receive digital student immigration status. 

  • You must use:

    • your biometric passport from an EU country, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland
    • your biometric British national (overseas) (BNO), Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) or European Economic Area (EEA) passport if you’re applying for a BNO visa
    • your Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) if you have previously studied in the UK and your BRP card is still valid

Digital student status

If you are eligible to use the UKVI immigration ID app on your phone to apply for your student visa you will be issued with digital student status and you can upload your documents digitally through the app. 

The UKVI Visa Application Centre (VAC) web page contains contact details and further information on procedures specific to your country. This may include details of priority services where you can pay an extra fee to have your application processed quicker. You’ll need to have your fingerprints and photograph (known as ‘biometric information’) taken at a VAC as part of your application, and then submit your supporting documents either in-person (when you have your biometric appointment) or by post.

Make sure you have all your supporting documents ready before completing the online application and booking your appointment - these could include ATAS clearance and / or a tuberculosis (TB) test certificate either of which can take several weeks to obtain.

Make sure you apply in plenty of time as certain VACs get very busy prior to the start of the academic year and you may miss the start of term if you have to wait for your application to be processed. You can submit the application up to 6 months before the course start date on your CAS. UKVI provide a guide to visa processing times so you can find out how long it will normally take to process your application. 

You must take your original documents to your appointment at the Visa Application Centre where they will be scanned and returned to you. You need to check the documents section of this website for the documents you will need to provide.

If you are bringing your family with you, each family member needs to make their own visa application at the same time to be your dependant. Please also see the dependants section of this website for more detailed information about whether you can bring dependants and how to apply.