Information for those needing to apply for permission to stay under the Student Route from inside the UK.
The visa application
Can you apply in the UK?
There are additional requirements to meet when applying for a student visa from inside the UK.
Your current immigration permission
You can apply in the UK if you are not in the UK on immigration bail, and if you currently have any type of immigration permission except:
- short-term student
- parent of a child student
- seasonal worker
- domestic worker in a private household
- permission outside the Immigration Rules
It is extremely important that you do not apply in the UK if you hold one of the types of immigration permission listed above because the Home Office will treat your application as invalid. This means that they will not consider your application and you will have no right of appeal or administrative review against their decision.
Your new course start date cannot start any later than 28 days after your current visa expires.
COVID-19 concession: this requirement has been temporarily suspended for those who currently hold a Student visa, Child student visa or Tier 4 (General) student visa. Provided that your new course starts no later than 27 September 2021, the 28-day gap rule will not apply.
Time limit on study
The Home Office limits the time you can spend studying in the UK on a student visa at undergraduate degree level. This includes leave granted under a Tier 4 (General) student visa, and/or a student visa.
In general, you are limited to a maximum of five years in the UK studying at undergraduate degree level.
To calculate the time limit, the Home Office counts the proposed period of leave together with any current leave and any previous leave held on a student visa. This includes leave granted where the student has subsequently left the UK.
Time spent studying in the UK under the age of 18 is not counted towards the time-limit.
There is no maximum study requirement for applicants who are studying a course above undergraduate degree level.
You must have successfully completed the course for which your last Tier 4/student visa was granted. You will be asked to provide evidence of this as part of the admissions process.
If you have not successfully completed the course for which your last Tier 4/student visa was granted, including where you have been awarded a different qualification from that stated in your previous CAS, you will normally be required to apply for a new student visa from outside the UK. There are exceptions to this requirement so if you think this may apply to you, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The new course must demonstrate you are progressing academically in your studies in the UK. This means your new course must normally be above the level of the previous course studied on a Tier 4/student visa. If a new course is at the same level as the previous course, it can be considered to represent academic progression if the new course is related to the previous course OR the previous course and new course combined support your career aspirations.
If the University makes you an offer of admission and you have previously studied in the UK at the same level, your CAS will need to include a justification of how this represents academic progression in order for you to fulfil the academic progression requirement.
A new course at a lower level is not considered to represent academic progression and students would be required to apply for new student visa from outside the UK.
When, where and how should I make my application?
Once you are ready with all the required documents, you can submit an application to extend your stay under the Student route from 3 months before the start of your course. You must apply before your current visa expires and your new course must begin no later than 28 days after your current visa expires. You must also apply within 6 months of getting a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS).
You can make your application in the UK with an online application.
When you make an application in the UK, you will not be able to travel overseas until you have received the decision and your new Biometric Residence Permit (BRP). If you leave the UK whilst the decision is pending, UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) advises the application can be withdrawn.
You must firstly submit your application online, pay the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS), biometric enrolment fee (currently £19.20) and the visa application fee. The cost of a standard student visa application is currently £475. Priority and super priority services may be available at a higher cost.
After submitting your online application and paying the fee, you will be directed to the Sopra Steria website to book an appointment at either a UK Visa and Citizenship Application Services (UKVCAS) core service centre or at an enhanced service centre to provide your supporting documents and biometric information.
Attendance at a UKVCAS core service centre will be free of charge, attending an enhanced service centre will incur an additional charge.
You can scan and upload your documents prior to your appointment or with assistance at your appointment (there may be a charge). If you choose to scan and upload your documents prior to your appointment, we recommend taking a hard copy of all your original documents to your appointment in case there have been any issues uploading your documents.
You will be able to leave your appointment with all your original documents as you are no longer required to submit original documents with your application.
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. 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
- Evidence that you meet the English language requirement for your course.
- You will need to meet the financial requirement. You’ll need enough money for your course fees, living costs, the visa fee, and the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS).
- If you have been in the UK with a valid visa for at least 12 months on the date of your permission to stay application, you do not need to provide evidence of meeting the financial requirement. You must be applying in the UK. The Home Office advises that the requirement is to have held your current visa for at least 12 months at the point of application, rather than have been based in the UK for the full period. However, if you have been outside the UK for a significant part of the previous 12 months (3 months or more), you may be asked to provide evidence you meet the financial requirement during the application process.
- Tuberculosis (TB) screening
- Check on the UK Visas and Immigration website on 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.
Completing the application form and paying the fees
When you are ready to make your application, apply on the UKVI website.
Paying the visa application fee and Immigration Health Surcharge are required at the time of making your online visa application.
The UK application fee for a student visa is £475, 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
You will need to collect your Biometric Residence Permit (BRP). This 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.
Outcome and final steps
Receiving your BRP
If you send your BRP to the University, you will be able to collect it at enrolment.
Some students will be required to update their police registration certificate when they have received their BRP.
You will need to cut up and send your old BRP to the Home Office. Your decision letter will give instructions and an address to do this.
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
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.