Applying for a Student visa

Use the following information to help you apply for your Student visa (formerly known as Tier 4). Before you apply for your visa, make sure you are confident that you can travel and only book your flight when your visa has been granted.

For the latest information about Student visas, please check the UK Government website.

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 £3,000 or provide evidence of full funding before a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) can be issued. This includes students taking a summer pre-sessional English language course at the University of Leeds Language Centre before their taught postgraduate degree.

Find out how to pay a tuition fee deposit if you are a taught postgraduate student.

Step 3 – Check your CAS details

Your CAS will be emailed to you after you have accepted your offer. If you are a taught postgraduate student it will be emailed to you after you have also paid your fee deposit or provided acceptable evidence of full funding. You do not need to contact us to request a CAS. 

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

Check all the information on your CAS to confirm it is correct. In particular, please ensure that your passport number is for the passport you will use to travel to the UK.

If any details are incorrect, please let us know as soon as possible by emailing the CAS enquiries team at

Any tuition fees (including fee deposits) that you have paid prior to the CAS being issued will be shown on the CAS you receive. If you make any further payments towards your tuition fees before using your CAS to apply for a visa, we will email you an updated CAS summary automatically once the payment has been processed – you do not need to contact us to request this and your CAS number will not change. If you do not receive an updated CAS before you apply for your visa you can submit receipts for your payments with your visa application.

Your email provider may not display the CAS fee data correctly if they are not used to rendering the British pound sterling symbol. However, please be assured that UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) will receive the correct information in the electronic version of your CAS.

We cannot make any updates to your CAS once it has been used for a 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.
  • Sponsor/scholarship/bursary letter dated no more than six months old (if you are financially sponsored). Confirmation of sponsorships/scholarships/bursaries is not listed on your CAS therefore the original sponsor letter is required.
  • 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. For more information, please read our 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 birth certificate (with an official translation if not in English), your parents’ bank statements and a letter in English from your parents confirming they are supporting you.
  • Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS).
  • Previous qualifications if mentioned in your CAS.
  • Academic Technology Approval Scheme (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 are applying as part of your immigration application.
  • Supporting letter about gaps in study – this is not a mandatory document but if there are gaps in your previous study history, we recommend that you submit a letter explaining your circumstances, for example (but not limited to) if you have had domestic responsibilities, or if you have been working in a field related to your intended course.
  • 16/17 year olds – Please ensure that you apply for a Student visa – applicants aged 16 and over can apply under Student visa. Do not apply for the Child Student visa for study at Leeds.

Please note that under the Student visa guidance, only personal bank statements in your name or your parents’ names 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. 

UKVI has confirmed it will accept funds in a certificate of deposit if the certificate confirms that the money has been held for the required 28 day period and that the account holder can access the funds at any time.

If you would like the Student Visa Advice team to check your financial evidence before you submit your Student visa application please scan and email it as a PDF attachment to the Student Visa Advice team at We will let you know if it meets the requirements.

All documents must translated into English by a certified translator if they are not in English. If you are uploading copies of your documents please make sure that the copies are in colour, that the entire document is visible, and that all the text is legible.

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, you need to show £1,023 per month for every month of the course. 

Please read our financial document checklist before you make your visa application. You can also find out more about Student visa financial requirements from UKCISA.

If you're applying with dependants, you will 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 will receive official financial sponsorship, a scholarship or a bursary please ensure that this funding 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, they do not need to submit any financial or qualification evidence with their visa application. If this applies to you, you must still meet the requirements on the date of your application by having those 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 six months before your course start date.

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

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. This will enable you to collect your BRP from the University.

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. 

If you submit your visa application by using the UK Immigration: ID Check App to verify your identity without visiting a Visa Application Centre, you will receive a digital eVisa instead of a BRP and you will not be asked to enter any collection details.

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 – Pay the Immigration Health Surcharge and the Visa Application Fee

You will be required to make two payments to submit your visa application. You will need to pay an Immigration Health Surcharge and a Visa Application Fee.

The amounts listed below are in British pounds, but if you are applying from outside the UK you will be required to make the payments your local currency or, in some countries, US dollars. This means that the true cost may vary based on the currency exchange rate.

Immigration Health Surcharge

If your visa will be valid for more than six months, you will be required to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS).

Payment of the IHS will allow you to use the NHS free of charge while you have your visa.

The annual IHS rate for students is £776 per year, and £388 for any additional period that is less than 6 months.

The total amount you will need to pay will depend on the length of the visa you are applying for. If you are studying a course that is longer than 12 months your visa will be granted with an additional 4 months after your course end date, and these additional 4 months are included in the IHS calculation.

Calculate how much you will need to pay for the IHS using the calculator on Use the course start and and end dates that are on your CAS to get an accurate answer. For example:

  • The IHS for three-year undergraduate course will normally be £2,716.
  • The IHS for a one-year Masters course will normally be £1,164.
  • The IHS for a three-year PhD with additional overtime year will normally be £3,492.

The full amount for the IHS must be paid up-front. It cannot be paid in instalments. The IHS must also be paid for any dependant that is applying to join you in the UK.

You will receive an IHS refund if your visa application is refused or if you withdraw your visa application before UKVI makes a decision. You will not receive a refund if you decide not to come to the UK after your visa is granted, or if you leave the UK early (including if this is to take a suspension from your studies). Find more information about IHS refunds on

If you are a full-time student from the EU, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein or Switzerland you may be eligible to request a full or partial reimbursement of the IHS. You must have a valid EHIC and you must not work or intend to work in the UK. Find out more about the IHS reimbursement scheme for EU and Swiss students.

If your visa covers a duration of less than six months, you should buy health insurance in advance of your travel to cover you for using medical services while you are in the UK. In particular this advice is relevant to students who have a visa that just covers the ten week or six week pre-sessional course in the first instance.

Visa Application Fee

After you have paid the IHS you will need to pay the visa application fee. The standard visa application fee is £490 per applicant. UKVI aim to process standard applications within 15 working days.

In many countries applicants are given the option of also purchasing the Priority Visa Service which costs an additional £500 for a decision within 5 working days, or the Super Priority Visa Service which costs an additional £1000 for a decision by the end of the next working day.

These processing times are not guaranteed and it can take longer to get a decision if, for example, UKVI needs to ask you for more documents or check your details with other government departments or third parties.

Step 8 – Submit your documents

Once you have paid the visa application fee and IHS your application will be submitted. You will then need to you will need to book an appointment to attend in person to submit your documents and give your biometrics. Some visa application centres have additional charges when booking the appointment.

Find a visa application centre.

If you have a biometric EU, EEA or Swiss passport, you will not need to attend an appointment to submit your application as you will be eligible to apply using the 'UK Immigration: ID Check App'.

Credibility interviews

Anyone applying for a Student visa from outside the UK can be interviewed as part of their visa application. The purpose of the interview is to check if you are a genuine student and that your English ability is at the correct level.

If UKVI decide to interview you they will contact you after you have submitted your application and ask you to be available tor a telephone interview on a particuly date and time, or they may ask you to attend an interview in-person at a designated time and location.  You must make sure that you check your email regularly, including your junk folder, in case you are contacted with an interview invitation or a request for further evidence.  At your interview a UKVI caseworker may ask you about the information in your application form, 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 will need to collect your BRP in the UK. You need to travel to the UK within the 90 day visa.

If you chose to collect your BRP from the University, you will first need to complete the online ID check form after arriving in the UK. The University will then email you once your BRP is available for collection.

Find out how to collect your BRP.

In 2024 the UK Government will replace BRPs with digital eVisas. This means that your BRP may not cover the full duration of your course and you will be required to get access to an eVisa before the end of the year. Find more information about changing your BRP to an eVisa.

If you enter the UK via an electronic ePassport gate or the Republic of Ireland you will not pass through UK immigration control so will not receive an entry stamp in your passport you must retain your boarding pass and/or flight details to prove the date you entered.

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 that 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.

Find out more about identifying and correcting visa errors.

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 your visa. Please email the Student Visa Advice team at if you require any further guidance.

What if my visa application is refused?

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