Applying for a student visa

On 5 October 2020, the UK government changed the immigration route for students. What used to be the ‘Tier 4’ route has become the ‘Student’ route.

Use the following information to help you apply for your student visa. Before you apply for your visa, make sure you are confident that you can travel. 

If your school approves you beginning your studies remotely and delaying your travel to the UK, please also see our page on Remote Study and Your Student Visa

Step 1 - Accept your offer

Firmly accept your unconditional offer. 

Step 2 - Pay any tuition fee deposit required

Only taught postgraduate students are required to pay a fee deposit of £1,500. Find out how to pay a tuition fee deposit if you're a taught postgraduate.

Step 3 - Check your CAS details

Check all the information on your Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) to confirm it is correct. The CAS will be issued to you after you have accepted your offer. If you are a taught postgraduate student it will be issued after you have also paid your fee deposit.

If any details are incorrect on your CAS, please either contact us via the My Enquiries section of the applicant portal or email the Admissions Enquiries team at to request a change. Any tuition fees (including fee deposits) that you have paid prior to the CAS being issued will be shown on the CAS you receive.

You will receive an electronic version of your CAS, an original version is not required for your visa application. 

Your CAS may list the qualification title level as 'NQF'. When you complete your visa 4 application, the title you are asked to select is listed as 'RQF'. Please note that they are the same as each other so for example if your CAS states the qualification as 'NQF7', please select 'RQF7' on the visa application.

Step 4 - Prepare your visa application documents 

Depending on your situation, you will need some, or all, of the following documents:

  • Your current passport and any other passports that you hold with you.
  • Original sponsor/scholarship/bursary letter dated no more than six months old (if you are financially sponsored). Confirmation of sponsorships/scholarships/bursaries are not listed on your CAS therefore the original letter is required.
  • Original financial documents — including bank statements, bank letters and savings books. You need to hold the required funds for a minimum of 28 days and your bank statement must be no more than 31 days old on the date you submit your application online. Please use this financial document checklist before you make your visa application.
  • If you are relying on money held in your parents’ bank accounts you will need your original birth certificate with an official translation if not in English, your parents’ bank statements and an original letter in English from your parents confirming they're supporting you.
  • Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS).
  • Previous qualifications if mentioned in your CAS.
  • ATAS Certificate if applicable. These are valid for six months.
  • Check whether you need a tuberculosis test certificate. These are valid for six months.
  • Birth and marriage certificates for dependants (husband/wife, children) if applicable and only if they're applying as part of your immigration application.

Please ensure that you apply for a Student visa - applicants aged 16 and over can apply under Student visa. Please do not apply for the Child Student visa as the University only holds a Student visa UKVI sponsor licence. If you have a Child Student visa you will not be able to study at the University. 

Please note that under the Student visa guidance only personal bank statements in your name or your parents name can be submitted. You are not able to use company statements, even if the company is owned by your parent nor can you use a bank statement from another relative such as a grandparent, aunt or uncle. Only personal bank statements in yours or your parents names are permitted for use.

UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) has also confirmed it will accept funds that are frozen in a certificate of deposit.

The UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) have also published a useful blog on the financial requirements of Student visa money. Part 1 is about myths and misunderstandings of student visa money. Part 2 is about more myths about student visa money.

If you would like the International Student Advice team to check your financial evidence before you submit your Student visa application then please scan and email it to We will let you know if it meets the requirements.

All documents must be original and translated into English by a certified translator if they are not in English. Photocopies will not be accepted and will result in your application being refused.

Step 5 - Check your finances

In addition to demonstrating that you can pay the full first year tuition fee, you will need to show £1,023 per month for nine months (£9,207) to meet maintenance requirements (living expenses). If your course duration is less than nine months, then you need to show £1,023 per month for every month of the course.

You can find out more about Student visa financial requirements from UKCISA. If you're applying with dependants, you'll need to show a higher sum of money – the maintenance requirement for each dependant is £680 per month for nine months (£6,120).

If you receive financial sponsorship, a scholarship or a bursary please ensure that the funding you receive meets the above requirements. If not, you are required to submit a bank statement to supplement your funding. 

UKVI consider nationals from some countries to be 'low risk' and as such, do not need to submit any financial or qualification evidence with their visa application. You must still meet the requirements, on the date of your application by having your documents prepared, as UKVI can and do request these documents at any time. Please check if your country is on UKVI's list before submitting your application.

Step 6 - Complete your Student visa application online

Complete your application on the UKVI website, the earliest date you can submit your application is no more than 6 months before your course start date.

Please use this visa application guide (PDF) when completing the online form.

The application should be made in your home country, or the country where you are normally resident.  

If your school has agreed to you starting your studies online, and delaying coming to the UK, please read the information about how studying remotely may affect your Student visa application

Your CAS may list the qualification title level as 'NQF'. When you complete your visa application, the title you are asked to select is listed as 'RQF'. Please note that they are the same as each other so for example if your CAS states the qualification as 'NQF7', please select 'RQF7' on the visa application.

The University of Leeds is a Higher Education Provider with a track record of compliance

On the 'Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) Collection' section of the visa application you should enter the University's Alternative Collection Location (ACL) Code, which is 2HE422. The University will email you once your BRP is available, with instructions on how to collect it.

If you are under the age of 18 and you choose to collect your BRP from a Post Office or library and if you are travelling to the UK with an adult, please ensure that the adult completes a UKVI nomination form in advance of their travel. This will enable the adult to collect the BRP on your behalf. Nomination is not required if you choose to collect your BRP from the University. 

The application costs £348 for both main applicants and dependants. If your visa will be valid for more than 6 months, payment of a mandatory Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) must also be made at a cost of £470 for each year of the visa you will be issued. 

If your visa covers a duration of less than 6 months, you should buy health insurance in advance of your travel to cover you for using medical services while you're in the UK. This advice also applies to students with a Student visa for less than 6 months, including students that have a visa which just covers the 10 week or 6 week pre-sessional course in the first instance. 

Please note that your visa application will be decided by UKVI on the basis of the information and documents you provide to them. The issue of a CAS does not guarantee a successful application. 

Step 7 - Submit your Student visa application online

Submit your visa application online and then pay the visa application fee and the Immigration Health Surcharge. As part of the process you will need to book an appointment to attend in person to submit your original documents and give your biometrics.

Find a visa application centre.

Credibility interviews

Anyone applying for a Student visa from outside the UK, including nationals of a low risk country, is likely to be interviewed as part of their visa application. Interviews take place when you attend a visa application centre to give your biometric information and submit your documents.

The purpose of the interview is to check whether you are a genuine student and have an adequate level of English. A UKVI member of staff will ask you about your course, why you want to study in the UK and at the University of Leeds, your education and employment history, your future plans and any other relevant information. 

What will happen next?

If your course duration is less than six months, you will be issued a vignette (visa sticker) that covers the full length of your course and you do not need to collect a BRP in the UK.

If your course is more than six months, you will be issued a vignette for 90 days and you need collect your BRP in the UK. You need to travel to the UK within the 90 day visa. Your BRP will cover the full duration of your course.

Find out how to collect your BRP.

When you enter the UK please ensure that you do not use the electronic ePassport gates as you will not receive an entry stamp on your visa vignette if you do this.

Booking flights

Please do not book your flight to the UK until you have received your visa. Most visa applications are decided within 15 working days of your visa appointment, however on occasion there can be delays and we advise against booking a flight in advance which may need to be cancelled or rescheduled. 

Vignette transfer/visa error

If there is an error on your vignette, please contact the Visa Application Centre where you made your application to  correct it before you travel.

If the passport containing your vignette has been lost or stolen, you should apply online for a Vignette transfer at a cost of £189 after you receive your new passport. When making the application select the following route - Reason for visit: Other; Visa Type: Others; Visa sub-type: Vignette transfer.

You can also apply for a Vignette transfer if you will be starting your course later than expected. However, if you are a PhD student, please check with your academic school first if your course end date will remain the same otherwise you may not be able to apply to transfer for your visa. Please email if you require any further guidance.

What if my application is refused?

If your application is refused or rejected, please email a copy of the refusal letter to Please wait for our advice before making a new visa application.

Further information on making a student immigration application overseas is available from UKCISA