Two male international students walking down steps with others behind them

Important information about your student visa

Eligibility, finance and how to apply

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.

If you are joining a full-time, on-campus undergraduate or postgraduate course, you must apply for a Student Route visa to study in the UK. 

You will also need this visa if you are joining a part-time postgraduate course, but you cannot work (including work placements) or have dependants. 

Applying in the UK

If you are already in the UK on a Student Route visa or another visa category you may be able to extend your visa or switch into the Student Route in the UK.

You cannot switch into the Student Route if you are in the UK on a Standard Visitor or Short-term Student visa.

If the start date of your new course of studies (as stated on your CAS) is more than 28 days after the end of your current visa you must leave the UK and apply from your home country.

If you are eligible to apply in the UK you must apply before your current visa expires.

If you hold a Graduate Route visa you will need to be granted your Student Route visa before you can complete your registration with the University.

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 cannot show funds in the account of any other relatives such as grandparents or aunts and uncles or friends.

Official Financial Sponsorship

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 £9,207, you will need to show the remaining funds in your bank account.

See the UKCISA Website for more details.

How to apply for a Student Route Visa

You must apply online for a Student Route 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 £490 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.

The prices are £990 for Priority service and £1,490 for the Super Priority service.

You cannot use these services if you have previously been refused a visa.

You will also need to pay the compulsory Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) to access the NHS (National Health Service). This will be £470 per person per year, or £235 for 6 months. 

The IHS fee is due to increase in January 2024 and will cost £776 per year or £388 for 6 months. For example, if you are studying a 3-year course, you will need to pay £2,716 to cover the 3 years of study and the additional 4 months at the end of your visa. If you are studying a course that is 12 months in duration you will need to pay £1,164 to cover the course plus 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 provide clear scanned copies of the required documents.

  • A valid passport
  • Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS)
  • Your International English Language Test System (IELTS) certificate (if stated on your CAS)
  • Your original qualification certificates and transcripts - you will not require the original qualifications/transcripts as stated on your CAS if you are studying at Bachelor degree level and above as the University is a Higher Education Provider with a Track Record of Compliance – we recommend that you have this information available if UKVI ask you to supply it
  • 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 from both parents or legal guardians (or one parent if they have sole responsibility) which includes their consent for your visa application, your living and care arrangements in the UK and your travel to the UK
  • Academic Technology 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 you can collect your BRP card from the University. If you do not input this, you will need to collect your BRP from a local post office.

If you have given the ACL Code: You will be able to collect your BRP card at the International ID check which is part of your registration with the University.

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 Research course for 9 months or more

If you need to apply for a new visa in your home country to continue your current course after an interruption, and are on a taught postgraduate course that started before 1 January 2024, you will be permitted to apply for a visa for your dependants to accompany you from your home country if your course re-starts after 1 January 2024.

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.

 

Your spouse or partner will need to apply on the government website.

Each child will need to apply on the government website.

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.

  • From the Post Office named in your decision letter: 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)
  • You will be able to collect your BRP card when you attend your in-person ID Check appointment, if you selected the University (ACL)
  • If you receive an email from UKVI confirming your BRP card has been delivered to the University and is ready for collection please disregard this as your BRP card will only be available for collection at your ID Check
  • There can sometimes be delays in the production of BRP cards, please try not to worry if this happens to you. If you are collecting your BRP card from the University we will email you when it arrives if it is not available at your ID Check appointment. If you are collecting from the Post Office and there is a delay they will let you know what your next steps should be

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

If you are an EEA national who used the UK Immigration ID check app you do not collect a BRP. Your visa is issued as an online digital status.

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 University is a Higher Education Provider with a track record of compliance.

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

MyPort Information Hub

c/o UKVI Student Compliance

University of Portsmouth

University House

Winston Churchill Avenue

Portsmouth

PO1 2UP

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.