If you wish to study for more than 6 months and are eligible for our immigration sponsorship, you will be issued with a CAS and will be able to apply for immigration permission under the Student route. The Student Immigration Rules also apply to EEA/Swiss nationals who do not have UK settlement rights.
If you will be studying at the University of Essex International College and your CAS is issued by the college or by Kaplan, the guidance in these pages does not apply to you. Please contact the college.
If you’re coming from overseas to study for less than 6 months you may be able to apply as a Visitor.
Before you can submit a Student route application, you will need your CAS (Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies) from the University. Once you have it:
If anything needs amending or you’ve changed your mind about where you would like to make your application or the course you would like to study since requesting your CAS, contact the team that issued it as soon as possible. We will need to do some additional checks and if necessary, make amendments to your CAS before you can apply.
You will be required to confirm this to the Home Office when you submit the application. Read the Home Office guidance, information below and the UKCISA guidance again to make sure there have been no changes and that you understand all the requirements. We recommend you leave it no later than 2 months before you intend to apply so you have time to put your finances in place and gather all the required evidence.
The Home Office has issued a simple guide to the Student visa application process, you can download the guide here.
There are additional requirements for applying in the UK and it is not always possible to do so. Read the UKCISA guidance ‘Can you apply in the UK?' and read our guidance below.
You are government sponsored and on a full-time course that is longer than 6 months or, you are studying a full-time postgraduate course of 9 months or longer.
The UK government has announced that there will be some changes to which students will be eligible to bring dependants to the UK expected to take effect from January 2024. The UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) has published a response to the statement and a detailed summary of the changes proposed on their webpages. We await further details of these changes and will provide more information on our website when more detailed guidance is released.
For more information about and for dependants based on rules in place at the current time, read the UKCISA guidance, including if you have a baby whilst you are studying in the UK.
UKCISA has clear and useful guidance that we recommend you read, do not wait until you are about to make your application to find out what you need as it is likely you will not have what you need to apply in time. The most common reason for the caseworker to refuse a Student route application is on financial grounds or because the evidence supplied does not meet the requirements.
Appendix Finance and Appendix Student lists the information that must be included in any financial document that you use to support your application.
You are exempt from the financial requirements if:
Please refer to Appendix Student of the Immigration Rules for further details. If you are exempt you will not need to meet the financial requirements or provide any financial documents.
We have covered the information that applies if you are studying at one of our UK campuses, as well as the most common queries we receive on this topic below. However, this is not exhaustive, and it is imperative you read the guidance and Immigration Rules.
After you have submitted your Student route application online, the Home Office may require you to attend a short credibility interview. This is intended to help satisfy the Home Office that you are a genuine student and that your English language ability is as stated on your CAS.
You are highly likely to be interviewed if you are overseas especially if you are from countries where the Home Office believe there is a high level of fraudulent activity. Interviews are usually via Skype (or similar) but could also be in-person.
During your interview a member of Home Office staff will ask you several questions including about your course, your reasons for studying in the UK and in particular, what made you decide to study with us rather than another institution offering similar courses. They may also ask questions about the area you are going to be living in.
You may be asked to attend further interview(s) with a caseworker. If the Home Office caseworker isn’t satisfied that you are a genuine student, your application would be refused on credibility grounds.
We recommend you take time to prepare for your interview and have put together some guidance that we hope will help you.
Once you have read the UKCISA guidance, gathered all the evidence and are sure you are eligible to apply and your CAS is correct, you can get ready to submit your Student route application online.
We will have asked you where you were intending to make your Student route application as part of our CAS process. If you have changed your mind about where you would like to apply, you must contact us before you submit your application, we will need to make sure you can apply where you would like to and make amendments to your CAS if necessary.
When you have received your passport containing your entry clearance vignette (visa sticker) or, if applicable, you have been issued with digital immigration status, you’ll be able to arrange your travel to the UK. The Home Office advise against booking non-refundable travel until you receive the outcome to your Student route application.
Do not travel before your Student visa is issued and valid. You can check the valid from date on your entry clearance sticker or digital immigration status, do not arrive in the UK before this date. If you arrive before your Student permission is valid, you may be refused entry or may be entered as a visitor and won’t be allowed to study.
Once you have received the UKVI decision, you will have things to do; read our Student route outcome page to find out what you should do next.
Read our Coming to the UK page to find out what you should do before you travel and upon arriving in the UK.