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International students

Making a Student Visa application from outside the UK

Information to help you through the immigration and visa application process

The Curve

When should I start my visa application?

If you are applying from outside the UK, you can apply online for a Student Visa. This category is for students coming to the UK for post-16 education with an unconditional offer of a place on a course with a licensed sponsor.

You must ensure you apply with enough time to arrive in the UK before your course begins and be available to attend the International Welcome and Orientation Programme for all new international and EU students.

Please note that you must not make your Student visa application more than six months before the start date of your course as specified on your CAS, before you are issued with a CAS from the International Compliance Team, or before you meet the other immigration requirements and you must have all of the required supporting documents in your possession.

You will usually get a decision on your visa within 3 weeks of attending your appointment at the visa application centre or 3 weeks of submitting your application if you are using the UK Immigration: ID Check app. Some countries offer a priority visa service for an additional fee. You will need to check your visa application centre website for information on available priority services in your country.

Can I bring my dependants to the UK?

Recent government changes announced 17 July 2023 now mean that many courses no longer allow you to bring dependants with you to the UK.  For example, if you are applying for permission to study a new postgraduate level course of 9 months or more at Teesside University, if the course start date is on or after 1 January 2024, the course must be a PhD or other doctoral qualification, or a research-based higher degree* unless you meet the eligibility requirements at ST31.1 (a) or STS31.1 (d) Immigration Rules.

A 'Research-based higher degree' is defined in the Immigration Rules and refers to a postgraduate programme which comprises a research component (including a requirement to produce original work), that is larger than any accompanying taught component when measured by student effort. 

The immigration rules that set out when a Student is permitted to have dependants in the UK can be found at Appendix Student ST28.1- ST39.3 Immigration Rules

How should I start my visa application?

In most cases, you must complete the Student Visa application form online. You must first set up an account online and complete the application form in English.

You should enter the name of the country in which you are making your application and confirm that you are able to attend an appointment at one of the visa application centres listed. You will then be invited to begin the online application process.

What will I need for my visa application?

You should prepare the following documents to submit with your visa application:

  • A valid CAS (please see your offer details for more information and check for any outstanding actions required on your Applicant Portal).
  • A completed online application form.
  • Your/ your dependants (if applicable) passport and any previous passports used to travel to the UK.
  • Your/ your dependants (if applicable) BRP card/s and any previous BRP card/s.
  • TB Certificate (if applicable)
  • Financial documents that prove you have the required funds available to you. You will need to demonstrate maintenance for living costs PLUS any unpaid course tuition fees listed on your new CAS for the required period and in the required format. For more details see the 'Maintenance' section.
  • A valid ATAS certificate (if applicable). Students applying for postgraduate study in certain sensitive subjects, knowledge of which could be used in programmes to develop weapons of mass destruction or their means of delivery will need to apply for an ATAS certificate. You need to apply for this before you receive your CAS (if required) and you should allow at least 20 working days.
  • If a document is not in English, you must provide a fully certified translation from a professional translator or translation company that can be independently verified by the Home Office.
  • The translation must include all of the following information:

  • confirmation that it is an accurate translation of the document
  • the date of translation
  • the full name and signature of the translator or an official from the translation company
  • the translator or translation company's contact details.

If you are applying with dependants, you may wish to contact the International Advice Service to seek further advice:

See the UKVI Student Visa Guidance.

You will need to be in a position to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) for yourself and for any dependants. The Immigration Health Surcharge is currently £776.00 per year, per person and is charged for the length of leave that you will be granted.


You must show that you have money for living costs for each month (£1,023 per month) of your course up to a maximum of 9 months. The total living costs you must demonstrate should be based on the course dates listed on your new CAS, and be up to a maximum of 9 months (£9,207). You must also show any unpaid course tuition fees listed on your new CAS for the required period and in the required format.

If you are permitted to have dependants with you to the UK, each dependant must show that they have £680 for each month of immigration permission they will be granted. This is up to a maximum of 9 months (£6120). If you are unsure if you can include a dependant in your application, please contact:

Acceptable evidence:

You can show you have enough money using:

  • an official financial or government sponsorship or grant
  • a student loan from a government, government sponsored loan company, or a regulated student loans scheme
  • your own money
  • your parent's money (if they provide a letter confirming they agree to you using it this way)
  • your partner's money if your partner is present in the UK or applying at the same time

Non-acceptable evidence:

The following are not accepted as evidence to show you have the required amount of money:

  • overdrafts
  • bitcoin savings
  • stocks and shares
  • pensions
  • bank accounts that don't use electronic record keeping

Evidence you need to provide

If you are using official financial sponsorship:

Financial sponsorship is where an applicant is given money to cover some or all of their course fees or living costs, or both.
If your official financial sponsorship is not recorded on your CAS you'll need to show a letter of confirmation from the official financial sponsor. If you are not sure ask your sponsor. The letter must show:

  • the date of the letter
  • the name and contact details of the financial sponsor
  • the length of time the official financial sponsorship will cover
  • the amount of money that is being given or confirmation that all of your fees and living costs will be covered

If you are using a student loan:

A student loan can be provided by:

  1. a government;
  2. a government sponsored student loan company; or
  3. an academic or educational loans scheme which is provided by a financial institution regulated for the purpose of issuing student loans by either the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) or, in the case of overseas accounts, the official regulatory body for the country the institution is in and where the money is held.

Your student loan letter should:

  • be dated no more than 6 months before the date of application
  • confirm the loan is a student loan provided by either the relevant government or a government sponsored student loan company or an academic or educational loans scheme (as above)
  • confirm there are no conditions on release of the loan funds other than a successful application to study
  • confirm the amount of the loan
  • confirm the loan is for you
  • be on official stationery
  • confirm the funds will be available to you before you travel to the UK, or paid directly to the sponsor before you travel to the UK, with the living cost portion of the loan being made available to you by the time you arrive in the UK.

If you are using your own money (or that of a parent or partner):

Cash can be held in a:

  • current account
  • deposit account
  • savings account
  • pension savings
  • investment account

Cash must be in an account that allows you immediate access.

Funds must have been acquired legally and if you were in the UK you must not have earned them when working illegally.

If you're using your own money, or that of a parent or partner you'll need to show you have the required amount of money in an account. You can provide:

  • bank statements
  • building society passbooks
  • certificates of deposit
  • a letter from your bank or building society

Your evidence should:

  • be on official stationery
  • be printed or electronic
  • include the account holder(s) names
  • include the account number
  • include the date of the statement
  • include the name of the bank or building society
  • include information about the bank, such as contact details or a branch code
  • show transactions and amount held over time
  • show the closing balance on the account

The evidence you provide must demonstrate that the required funds have been held for a period of consecutive 28 days.

The bank statement must not be more than 31 days old on the day you submit your visa application.

The UKVI may conduct verification checks with your bank. If they are unable to verify the funds your application may be refused.

You, or the account holder (such as your parents or partner), must have control of the funds you are relying on.

Using money held by parent(s)/legal guardian(s):

If you are relying on money held by your parents(s)/legal guardian(s), you will need to provide one of the following official documents:

  • your birth certificate showing the names of your parent(s)/legal guardian(s); or
  • your certificate of adoption showing the names of both parents(s) or legal guardian(s); or
  • a Court document naming your legal guardian(s). The copy used must be the original legal document or a notarised copy.

Please note, UKVI cannot accept an affidavit to evidence legal guardianship as these are only evidence that someone has made a sworn statement regarding a claimed relationship, and not evidence of that relationship by themselves.

If you are relying on money held by your parents(s)/legal guardian, you must also show that your parent(s)/legal guardian have given their permission for you to use this money. You will need to provide: a letter from your parent(s) or legal guardian(s) which confirms:

  • the relationship between you and your parent(s) or legal guardian(s); and
  • that your parent(s) or legal guardian(s) have given their consent to you using their funds to study in the UK.

Money in other currencies

If your money is held in a foreign currency this will be converted into pound sterling (£) using the spot exchange rate on OANDA for the date of the application.

Full details can be found using the links below:

UKVI Student and Child Route guidance
UKVI Financial evidence for Student and Child Student route applicants
UKVI Immigration Rules Appendix Finance

What happens next?

  • You should complete the application form in English and sign the declaration
  • You should print the application form/ supporting document checklist.
  • You will need to arrange a suitable BRP collection location in the UK within 10 days of your arrival. The closest BRP collection location to Teesside University is: Middlesbrough Post Office, 17 - 19 Centre Mall, Cleveland Centre, Middlesbrough. TS1 2NR.
  • You will need to prove your identity to UKVI. How you do this depends on where you are from and what type of passport you have.

You will either:

  • give your fingerprints and a photograph (biometric information) at a visa application centre, or
  • use the 'UK Immigration: ID Check' app to scan your identity document - you'll also create or sign into your UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) account

You will be told what you need to do when you apply.

  • You will need to pay your Immigration Health Surcharge fee online.
  • You should pay your application fee for the service you require.
  • You will need to prepare your supporting documents and any translations to take with you to your appointment.
  • You should read the UKVI Student and Child Route guidance before you make your application
  • Once you receive a decision on your application, you should upload evidence of this to your Applicant Portal.
  • Check visa processing times
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