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Frequently asked questions

Getting a visa can seem like a complex task, but there is nothing to fear. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about getting your visa, and helpful answers to make your application a little simpler.

Do I need a Student visa?

All international students studying a full-time, on-campus course need a Student visa to study in the UK. You will also need this visa if you are on a part-time postgraduate course, but the following restrictions apply:

  • No employment (including work placements)
  • No dependants
If you have a passport from the European Economic Area, or a different visa which allows you to study in the UK, you may be exempt. If you are unsure, contact us to check.

How do I get a Student visa?

You can apply for your Student visa online.

You will need a CAS (Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies) and the unique number it contains. The Immigration Compliance team will issue this once you have met all the academic and non-academic conditions of your offer.

More about Student visas

When will I receive my CAS?

Your CAS will be sent to you automatically by email once you:

  • Hold an unconditional firm offer with the University of Portsmouth
  • Pay your tuition fee deposit of £3,500 or provide evidence of financial sponsorship
  • Complete your Visa Eligibility Assessment

If your course requires Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) clearance, you must also email this to ukvi-student-compliance@port.ac.uk before we can issue your CAS.

More about CAS numbers

What is ATAS clearance?

The Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) clearance is an extra check made by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office on students studying courses in certain Science and Technology subject areas.

If your course requires ATAS clearance, we'll send you information on how to apply with your offer.

More about ATAS clearance

What is the Student visa Eligibility Assessment?

The Student visa Eligibility Assessment assesses your immigration history. This information is important as it can affect your visa application.

Without a completed assessment, we can not issue you with a CAS as we will not be able to make the necessary checks on your immigration status.

Do I have to apply for a new visa with the University of Portsmouth if I already have a Tier 4 visa from somewhere else?

Yes, you will need a new visa because both Tier 4 and Student visas are only valid for study at the institution that is named on the visa.

When you complete your Registration, we will ask you to provide ID and your University of Portsmouth visa, or proof that you have submitted an application for a University of Portsmouth visa.

Please email student-visa@port.ac.uk for help applying for a new Student visa.

I have a different visa type. Can I study with this?

You may be allowed to study if you have another visa type, since some allow for study as well.

Send us a scanned copy of your visa to ukvi-student-compliance@port.ac.uk to check whether your current visa is eligible for study at the University of Portsmouth.

What is a Biometric Residence Permit?

You will get a biometric residence permit (BRP) as part of your visa application.

This will include your name, date and place of birth, fingerprints, a photo, your immigration status and any conditions of your stay.

When you complete your visa application form, please state you wish to collect your visa from an 'Alternative Collection Location' (ACL) and enter this ACL code: 2HE479. This will let you collect your BRP card during registration at the university.

Due to Covid restrictions BRP cards will be sent to your UK home address after you arrive. 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.

Does the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) apply to me?

The Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) was introduced by the UK Government to help cover any medical needs you might have while you are here in the UK. You will need to pay this if you are a non-EEA national studying in the UK for more than six months, or if you are already in the UK and apply to extend your stay.

The charge will be £470 (from 15 October 2020) per student and per dependent (if relevant) per year of study, payable at the time of visa application.

If you do not pay the surcharge if it is required, your visa application will be refused or treated as invalid and rejected. 

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

If you are already in the UK and hold a student visa for a different institution you will still need to apply for a new student visa.

You will not be able to register on to your new course until you have applied for a new visa.

Please email student-visa@port.ac.uk for help applying for a new Student visa.

I am an Erasmus+ or exchange student, which visa should I apply for?

If you are only studying in the UK for 6 months or less, you can apply for the Short-term Study visa. You will need a supporting letter, which will be issued to you be 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.

If you are from Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea or the United States of America and are coming to study on a Short-term Study visa (up to 6 months) you must not use the eGates at the airport and will need to see a Border Force officer so that you can receive a stamp in your passport. This stamp gives you the permission you need to study and to complete your registration with the University.

Students attending for more than 6 months can only apply for a Student visa.

Where can I find out more about the application process for visas?

You can find supporting information about student visas from:

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

My visa has been refused – what should I do?

Please send a scanned copy of the visa refusal document to ukvi-student-compliance@port.ac.uk.

We may be able to send you a new CAS, depending on the reason for refusal.

You can also email student-visa@port.ac.uk for further advice and information about making an Administrative Review application. Unfortunately, we are unable to advise if you have already submitted an Administrative Review application. 

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