International Students

Student visas

Student visa help and advice.

To study in the UK you will need a student visa and to help you with the process, we've answered some of the most commonly asked questions. We've also provided links to the most up-to-date UK visa information so that you can find everything you need to know. 

What type of visa do I need to study in the UK?

To study in the UK you will normally need a Tier 4 (General) student visa.

You can study on full-time courses and part-time Postgraduate (RQF Level 7 and above) on this visa.

The requirements for making a Tier 4 (General) visa application for part-time study are the same as for full-time study but the following restrictions apply: 

  • No employment (this includes work placements)
  • No dependents
  • No extending your Tier 4 visa in the UK, only in your home country
  • Not eligible for the Tier 4 Doctorate Extension Scheme

To check that it's the right visa for you, visit the UK Visa and Immigration website for more details. If you are a current student here and would like to know more about extending your visa, please visit visas for current students.

What do I need to apply for a Tier 4 student visa?

Before you apply you need to make sure that you meet the following criteria, which makes up 40 points:

● A Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) from the University. 30 points.

● Evidence of access to maintenance funds plus evidence of funds to pay tuition fees. If this money is held in your bank account, it will need to be held there for 28 days consecutive days. For more details visit the UKCISA Website10 points.

The University of Portsmouth is on the UK government's Register of Education and Training Providers and is on the UKVI's Register of Sponsors Licensed under the Points Based System. Our Sponsor Licence Number (SLN) on this register is 926WMQQ73. This number is needed to support a Tier 4 visa application. The application also requires the address of our Academic Registry, which is: Academic Registry, University of Portsmouth, University House, Winston Churchill Avenue, Portsmouth PO1 2UP.

Here is the Tier 4 Visa Extension document that will provide you with the information, advice and guidance you need to support you with your Tier 4 visa application. 
If you have any additional queries with the Tier 4 visa process please contact

What is a CAS and how can I get one?

A CAS is a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies. Once you have accepted an unconditional offer, completed the PBI questionnaire, paid the deposit (where needed) and obtained ATAS clearance (if required for your course), the University will provide you with a CAS number that you will need for your visa application. As a sponsor, we are bound by law to abide by the regulations set out under the Tier 4 Sponsor Guidance. We may have to make checks on academic progression, length of time spent studying in the UK and financial capabilities of students prior to issuing a CAS.

Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) Collection

When completing your visa application form, please state you wish to collect your visa from an ALTERNATIVE LOCATION.

You will need to enter this code: 2HE479

This will mean your BRP card will be available to collect during registration at the university and you will not need to make a separate trip to the Post Office.

How can I apply for a student visa?

For full details about applying for your visa, please visit the UK Visas and Immigration website. The earliest you can make a visa application is 3 months before your course starts.

Will the Immigration Health Surcharge apply to me?

The UK government has introduced an Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS). The IHS will be paid by non-EEA nationals who apply to come to the UK to study for a period of more than 6 months. It will also be paid by non-EEA nationals who are already in the UK and apply to extend their stay. The charge is currently £150 per student and per dependent (should there be any) per year of study, payable at the time of visa application. If the surcharge is required, but not paid, the application will be refused or treated as invalid and rejected. Guidance is available on

I am already in the UK, how can I get a visa?

If you're already in the UK and hold a student visa for a different institution you'll still need to apply for a new student visa. It will not be possible to register on to your new course until you have applied for a new visa. You can find out more about applying on the UK Visas and Immigration website. If you are already a student at Portsmouth and are looking to extend your visa, find out more at current international students.

I am an Erasmus+ or Exchange Student, which visa should I apply for?

Students studying for six months or less can apply for the Short-term Study visa.
For a Short-term Study visa, a supporting letter will be issued prior submitting a visa application.
In addition to the supporting letter, you will also need to show that you have enough money to support you during your stay in the UK. Further information about applying for a Short-term Study visa can be found at UKCISA.
Students attending for more than six months can only apply for a Tier 4 Visa

Where can I find out more about visas and applying?

The following organisations have all the current details about student visas:

You can find out more about applying to the University of Portsmouth here: -

Who can I contact at the University about visas?

If you have further questions please contact the International Student Advice team by email or one of our representatives in your country