Information for those needing to apply for entry clearance under the Student Route from outside the UK.
The visa application
When, where and how should I make my application?
An application could take several weeks to prepare for so it is best to familiarise yourself with the process as soon as possible.
Once you are ready with all the required documents, you can submit an application for Entry Clearance under the Student Route from 6 months before the start of your course. The Immigration Advice service have made an online visa application guide to help you with your application.
UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) advises that decisions on applications using the standard service aim to be made in 15 working days but the timeframe can vary depending on when and where you make your application, particularly in the peak period between July - September.
A priority service is available in most countries at additional cost and aims to make a decision on the application in 5 working days. Some countries also offer a super priority 24 hour service for a decision. Advertised decision timeframes start after you have submitted biometrics.
You should apply for your student visa in your country of nationality or country of residence (where you have permission to live other than as a visitor).
You will first complete an online application form which includes paying the fee. The cost of a standard student visa application is currently £348. Priority and super priority services may be available at a higher cost.
As part of the online application, you should upload any supporting documents and book an appointment to enrol your biometrics (have fingerprints and a facial image taken). The application provides instructions on how to do this.
In most countries your appointment will be at a Visa Application Centre (VAC) and you will submit your passport when you attend.
Preparing and gathering your documents
You will need:
- A valid passport – at least 6 months’ validity remaining, preferably longer. You also need a page in your passport that’s blank on both sides for your visa.
- A Confirmation of Acceptance of Studies (CAS) is an electronic document confirming your unconditional offer for a place of study at Bath Spa University. This will be emailed to you. You are not required to provide a physical copy of your CAS when you apply for your student visa. You must enter the CAS reference number in the relevant section of the online application form.
- Evidence of academic qualifications listed on your CAS. The documents will be listed in the ‘Evidence Text’ section of your CAS and you must have the originals of these documents.
- Evidence that you meet the English language requirement for your course.
- Evidence that you meet the financial requirement. You’ll need enough money for your course fees, living costs, the visa fee, and the immigration health surcharge.
- Tuberculosis (TB) screening
- Check on the UK Visas and Immigration website whether you need to undertake a tuberculosis screening. If you are required to submit this, you must be tested at a clinic that has been approved by UK Visas and Immigration. The test will involve having a chest x-ray and, if clear, you will be given a certificate which is valid for 6 months and must be uploaded as a supporting document to your visa application.
- Please note that the requirement to have this test, and provide evidence with your visa application, is dependent on where you are, or have been, resident and not on your nationality.
- You do not need a TB certificate if you have lived for at least 6 months in a country where TB screening is not required by the UK, and you have not been away from that country for more than 6 months.
- Apply for ATAS clearance if applicable (we'll notify you if you need to do this)
- Translations of any documents that are not in English or Welsh
If you're under 18 on the date that you apply for your visa you'll also need:
- A letter from your parent/legal guardian confirming their relationship to you and that they consent to your study, living and travel arrangements in and to the UK.
- Original evidence that demonstrates your parental relationship, such as a birth certificate clearly showing you and your parent’s names.
Differential evidence requirement for a student
If you are a ‘low risk’ national of a designated country then you are able to submit fewer supporting documents with your student visa application. You will not need to provide documentary evidence of meeting the financial requirement, English language requirement or the academic qualification used to obtain your offer of place, all of which are normally required as part of a student visa application.
You still need to meet the requirements and the Home Office could ask for evidence at any time but you will not be expected to submit these as part of your application when you apply.
The differential evidence requirement applies to you if you are applying for your visa from the country that you live in and you are a national (or citizen) of a country listed in Appendix Student ST 22 of the Immigration Rules.
Completing the application form and paying the fees
Please refer to our step-by-step online application guide when you‘re ready to make your application.
Paying the visa application fee and Immigration Health Surcharge are required at the time of making your online visa application.
The overseas application fee for a student visa is £348, or paid as an equivalent in your local currency. It is an online payment required at the time of making your application.
The Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) allows access to the free National Health Service (NHS) in the UK and is compulsory with all student visa applications. The amount you will need to pay depends on the length of visa you are applying for, not the length of the course.
Please refer to the financial requirements for more details and how to calculate what you will need to pay.
Confirming your BRP collection point in your application
When you arrive in the UK, you will need to collect your Biometric Residence Permit (BRP).
The Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) will be your visa document and evidence of your immigration permission, which you will need to collect within 10 days of arriving in the UK.
We advise that you have your BRP delivered to the University.
We will store your BRP safely and check that the details are correct prior to you collecting it at enrolment. If there is an error on your BRP, we will notify you and arrange for the Home Office to correct it.
When making your online visa application, you can request to have your BRP delivered to the University. Enter the ‘Alternative Collection Location’ (ACL) code for Bath Spa University. The delivery address should then populate.
Alternative Collection Location (ACL) code: 2HE982
The following address should populate:
Bath Spa University
C/O International Advice
Newton Park Campus
Newton St Loe
All students or staff that are bringing either a partner or child to the UK and wish to use the University as an ACL for their BRP, must inform the University that they wish to do this.
If the University is not expecting a dependant’s BRP, it may be returned to the Home Office, or mistaken for a delivery error. Please e-mail email@example.com to let us know that you wish to use the University as an ACL for your dependant.
Submitting biometrics at a Visa Application Centre (VAC)
You will need to book and attend an appointment at a UK Visa Application Centre (VAC) to submit your biometric information and submit your documents.
You are advised to upload any supporting documents to your online application prior to attending your appointment. The Visa Application Centres offer a document scanning service but there is usually an additional fee to use this.
You may also need to attend an interview at this appointment. This interview will be done by video link to the UK. The interviewer will ask questions to determine whether you are a ‘genuine student’. These are likely to be about why have you chosen to study in the UK, your choice of Bath Spa University, how you'll get to university each day, your future plans, if you've studied in the UK before, your recent educational and immigration history, including any previous visa refusals from any country.
We recommend that while you should not worry too much about the interview, you should take some time to carefully prepare for the questions that may be asked.
NOTE: Check your email and phone often as UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) at the Home Office may contact you asking for additional documents and information. If you don’t respond to these emails/calls your application may be refused.
Outcome and final steps
Receiving your entry vignette
Once you've received your decision, your documents and passport will be returned to you by post, or you'll be instructed to collect them from the Visa Application Centre via email or text message.
If your student visa application is successful, you'll receive an entry clearance vignette. This is a sticker placed in your passport which will enable you to enter the UK.
You will also receive a decision letter which outlines the conditions of your immigration leave. It is very important that you keep the letter safe and bring it with you when you travel to the UK.
Check that the information on the entry clearance vignette and decision letter is correct. If you identify any errors, contact the Visa Application Centre before you travel. They will then issue instructions on how to correct the error.
The entry clearance vignette will be valid:
- from 7 days before your planned date of travel to the UK, as stated in your visa application form*; OR
- from the date of issue if granted after the intended date of travel as stated on the visa application form.
*The earliest the entry clearance vignette can be valid is one month prior to the start date of your course, in line with student visa policy.
The entry clearance vignette is normally issued for a 30 day period but owing to circumstances around the coronavirus outbreak, UK Visas and Immigration is currently issuing the entry clearance vignette for a period of 90 days.
Further sources of information
You are advised to read the information on the UK Visas and Immigration website, prior to applying for your visa. It is your responsibility to ensure you understand and meet the UK immigration requirements.
UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) provides information on applying for a student visa from outside the UK.
Arriving at Bath Spa University
You can travel to the UK on or after the ‘valid from date’ on your entry clearance vignette.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, you may need to take COVID-19 tests on particular days before you travel and provide the negative result on arrival. You may also need to allow for a period of quarantine after arrival in the UK depending on where you are coming from. Please read the information on the UK Government’s requirements on entering the UK and check it regularly for changes so that you are prepared.
Please refer to our Arriving page on getting to Bath, collecting your BRP card and enrolling at the University.
Contact the Immigration Advice Service
You can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll be happy to help.