Two male international students walking down steps with others behind them

Important information about your student visa

If you're an international student and need a visa to study in the UK, here's what you need to know

The UK Government introduced a new points-based immigration system on 5 October 2020. The system includes a new ‘Student Route’ for international students wanting to apply for a student visa to study in the UK. This route replaces Tier 4 student visas. The Government has published guidance for this Student Route

If you are joining a full-time, on-campus undergraduate or postgraduate course, you must apply for a Student visa to study in the UK. You will also need this visa if you are joining a part-time postgraduate course, but you cannot take on employment (including work placements) or have dependants.

Main changes to the Student Route

Many things about the new route will be the same as Tier 4, but there are a few key changes.

1. You now have 6 months to apply from your home country

If you are applying from outside the UK, you can now apply up to 6 months before the start of your course, rather than 3 months under Tier 4.

2. No time limits for postgraduate courses

Time limits for postgraduate level courses have been removed. This means that the cap on studies will not apply to courses at postgraduate level. Time limits will continue to apply to undergraduate level courses.

3. Financial requirements

If you or your dependant have been living in the UK for 12 months or more at the time of your visa extension application in the UK, you will satisfy the Student Route financial requirements. This means that you will not need to submit any financial evidence with your application.

4. More countries do not require ATAS clearance

Nationals from Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea and the USA will join nationals from the UK, EU, EEA and Switzerland who are exempt from obtaining clearance under the Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) for postgraduate study in relevant subjects. 

5. Increase in living cost requirement from 1 December 2020

You will need to show £1,023 per month up to a maximum of 9 months (£9,207) to cover your living costs for your visa application.

If you have any queries, please contact the International Student Advice team by emailing student-visa@port.ac.uk.

Applying in your own country

Eligibility

To be eligible for a student visa via the new Student Route, you must:

  • have been offered a place on a course
  • speak, read, write and understand English
  • have a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) from the University
  • have enough money to support yourself and pay for your course (the amount will vary depending on your circumstances) 
  • meet any other eligibility requirements

You will get a CAS from the University's Student Life CAS team once you have met all the academic and non-academic conditions of your offer. This will contain a unique number that you'll need to input on your visa application.

Check all the details on your CAS are correct as soon as you can. These include your name, date of birth, nationality and course details. If anything is incorrect, please email cascorrections@port.ac.uk to get your details corrected.

Finance

You will also need to show evidence that you have access to maintenance funds and evidence of funds to pay your tuition fees.

If this money is held in your bank account, it will need to be held there for 28 days consecutive days, and you will need to provide your most recent bank statement (no older than 1 month old).

This must be an original (not photocopied) statement in English (or supplied with an official translation), supplied and stamped by your bank.

If your course lasts 9 months or less, you'll need to show that you have £1,023 per month. If your course lasts longer than 9 months, you will need to show that you have a total of at least £9,207.

You do not need to have the funds listed in £GBP. The statement can show your funds in your home currency, but please use a currency converter to check the amount in £GBP.

Using your parents' funds

If you are using your parents' funds, you must provide:

  • Your parents’ bank statement showing the required funds
  • Your original Birth Certificate, showing yours and your parents' names
  • A letter from your parents signed and dated confirming they are sponsoring you.

You can only use your parent's bank account – you can not show funds in the account of any other relatives such as grandparents or aunts and uncles or friends.

If your home government, the UK government, your university or officially recognised international company are sponsoring you, you can show an Official Financial Sponsorship Letter to cover some of your funds. If you are not being sponsored for the full amount of £9,135 (£9,207 from 1 December 2020), you will need to show the remaining funds in your bank account.

If you are bringing dependants with you, you will also need to show that they have £680 for each month to cover their living costs. So for courses of 9 months, you will need £6,120.

See the UKCISA Website for more details.

How to apply for a Student Visa

You must apply online for a Student Visa.

You will need to have your fingerprints and photograph taken at a visa application centre as part of your application, in order to get a (to get a biometric residence permit).

You may be able to get your visa faster or other services depending on what country you are in – check with your visa application centre.

You may need to attend a short credibility interview as part of your application.

Learn more about our UKVI Compliance procedures.

Cost

It costs £348 for a standard application. This will take around 15 working days to process, but may take longer during the peak periods of June to September.

In some cases, you can pay an additional £212 if you want to use the Priority Visa Service, which will process your application in 5 working days. You can not use this service if you have previously been refused a visa.

You will also need to pay a National Health Service (NHS) Immigration Health Surcharge. This will be £470 per person per year, or £235 for 6 months. For example, if you are studying a 3-year course, you will need to pay £1,645 to cover the 3 years of study and the additional 4 months at the end of your visa.

Documents

You will need the following documents and items to submit your Student Visa application. You must send original documents, not photocopies or scans.

  • A valid passport
  • Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS)
  • Your International English Language Test System (IELTS) certificate
  • Your original qualification certificates and transcripts
  • Documents to prove you have the correct funds to cover living costs and tuition fees available in your or your parents' bank account
  • An Official Financial Sponsor letter if you're sponsored by your Government or University
  • Parental/guardian consent if you are under 18
  • Academic Tech Approval Scheme (ATAS) clearance certificate if your course requires this
  • Tuberculosis (TB) test results certificate, if you're from a country that requires this

You might be asked for an institution code or Alternative Collection Location (ACL) code. Enter 2HE479 when you are asked for it, so the University can arrange for the BRP card to be sent to your UK home address. If you do not input this, you will need to collect your BRP from a local post office.

In order to receive your BRP card when you arrive in the UK you will need to complete the ID submission form as part of your registration once you have arrived in the UK as you will need to upload your UK visa with an entry stamp to confirm you have arrived in the country. The form will ask you to confirm your term time address. It is important to include your permanent UK address so that your BRP card can be posted to you, at this address.

You might be asked for an official Sponsor Licence Number (SLN). This is 926WMQQ73.

If any of the required documents have not been produced in English, you will also need to provide an official translation.

Once you have submitted your visa application online you will receive email confirmation from UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI). 

Dependants

As a student, you can only bring your family as dependants if you are:

A student sponsored by your government, on a full-time course for 6 months or more
A student studying a full-time postgraduate level course for 9 months or more

 

They will need:

• A valid passport
• Financial documents
• Marriage certificate or equivalent for spouse or partner
• Birth certificate for dependent children
• Tuberculosis (TB) test results certificate, if you're from a country that requires this

Your dependant(s) may also be asked for an institution code or ACL code when making their application: enter 2HE479 when asked for it, so the biometric residence permit (BRP) can be sent to the UK home address you have given to us as part of the ID Check.

If you want to bring your dependants, you must show the following financial evidence:
Each dependent will need £680 for every month of the main applicant's immigration permission (course end date + 4 months), up to a maximum of 9 months
If your official financial sponsor is also sponsoring your dependants, you will need an official letter from your sponsor stating that they will cover the full maintenance cost for each dependant
The evidence of funds can be shown in your bank account or your dependant's bank account. If the dependant is your child then the funds can be held by the other parent, but only if they are applying at the same time
The money must be held for 28 consecutive days and you will need to provide your most recent bank statement (the last transaction on the statement must be no older than 1 month old)

See more information on this on the UKCISA website. If any of the required documents are not in English, you will also need to provide an official translation.

 

Unfortunately, your dependants cannot apply to live in the University’s Halls of Residence, and the same applies if your family visits you when you are studying.

You will have to find private accommodation instead, but our Housing Support team is on hand to help you find the right place.

 

Your dependants will be able to work if you are either:
A student sponsored by your government, on a full-time course for 6 months or more
A student studying a full-time postgraduate level course for 9 months or more

Just to be on the safe side, we also advise your dependants to check their visa for any specific conditions. Immigration rules change frequently, so it is important to make sure that you keep up to date with the latest regulations.

For an up-to-date immigration policy, please refer to the UKCISA website.

 

Biometric Residence Permit (BRP)

You need a biometric residence permit (BRP) when you apply to stay in the UK for more than 6 months. You don't need to apply for a BRP as well as your visa – you will get one automatically once your visa application is approved.

You can use your BRP to confirm your identity, your right to study in the UK, and your right to any public services or benefits.

If you have applied for your Student Visa outside of the UK, you must collect your BRP.

Obtaining your BRP:

  • From the Post Office: Take your passport and Entry Clearance Office decision letter with you to the Post Office. The Post Office is open Monday to Saturday 9.00am–5.30pm (Tuesdays 9.30am–5.30pm).
  • If you have given the ACL Code:

If you are planning to join us for the start of term you will need to complete the ID submission form once you have arrived in the UK as you will need to upload your UK visa with an entry stamp to confirm you have arrived in the country. The form will ask you to confirm your term time address. It is important to include your permanent UK address so that your BRP card can be posted to you, at this address.

If you will be studying remotely for a period before travelling to the UK, you still need to complete the ID submission form and you should do so as soon as you receive it. You will only be required to upload a copy of your passport at this time.

For more information please visit gov.uk.

If you fail to produce the requested documentation, you are at risk of exclusion.

Other information

The University of Portsmouth is on the UK government's Register of Education and Training Providers and is on the UK Visa and Immigration service's Register of Sponsors Licensed under the Points Based System. Our Sponsor Licence Number (SLN) on this register is 926WMQQ73.

The application also needs the address of our Information Hub, which is:

MyPort Information Hub

c/o UKVI Student Route Compliance

University of Portsmouth

Nuffield Centre

St Michael's Road

Portsmouth

PO1 2ED

Further information

If you have any queries about making a Student visa application please contact the International Student Advice team by emailing student-visa@port.ac.uk.

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