International students Student visa - applying outside the UK

Important Update: On 6 February 2024, the Immigration Health Surcharge increased from £470 per year to £776 per year for students and their dependants.  

Student visa information and eligibility

This page offers information for international students applying for a Student visa who are outside the UK and will be starting a new course of study at the University of Strathclyde or returning to complete their studies after a period of time outside of the UK.

Please note the Student visa application process may be different depending on your nationality and/or from what country where you are applying. You can find out more from the drop-down windows below.

Students from the following countries may apply for a Student visa with the UK Immigration: ID Check app. If you experience issues with using the app, you may be asked to give your biometric information (fingerprints and photograph) at a UK visa application centre.

You will receive information on what to do when you apply.

Area Country

EU countries

Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden

European Economic Area (EEA)Countries

Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway
  Switzerland

EU Settlement Scheme

If you are a student with Pre-Settled Status or Settled Status through the EU Settlement Scheme, then you do not have to apply for a Student visa if your status covers the duration of your studies. Having Pre-Settled Status or Settled Status permits you to travel to the UK and to live, study or work in the UK.

You will be asked to provide evidence of your EUSS status to the University.

More information:

The healthcare surcharge (also known as "Immigration Health Surcharge") will have to be paid as part of your visa application.

How much you pay will depend on how long your visa will be granted. If you have your CAS, you can calculate your healthcare surcharge using the calculator link below.

The surcharge must be paid in full as part of the visa application process. It cannot be paid in instalments.

On 6 February 2024, the Immigration Health Surcharge will increase from £470 per year to £776 per year for students and their dependants. 

More information:

Who can be a Dependant?

Some students may wish to bring their family to join them in the UK during their studies. From a visa perspective, they are often referred to as "Dependants."

Dependants of a Student visa applicant must meet eligibility and financial requirements in Appendix Student

A Dependant can be one of the following:

  • Your husband, wife or civil partner
  • Your unmarried partner
  • Your child under 18 years old

To bring a Dependant, the main Student visa holder must be one of the following:

  • If your course starts before 1 January 2024: a full-time student on a postgraduate level course* that lasts 9 months or longer or
  • If your course starts on or after 1 January 2024: a full-time student on a PhD or doctoral level course or research-based higher degree
  • You are a government-sponsored student on a full-time course that lasts longer than 6 months

Additional evidence of your relationship to your dependants will have to be provided when they apply. Please see our Supporting documents guidance for details.

*UK Visas and Immigration define "postgraduate level study" as a course that is level 11 or above of the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF) or level 7 or above of the Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF). Please check with our Admissions team for your course level.

Financial requirements for Dependants

For details on the financial requirements for Dependants, please see our Supporting documents guidance.

More information:

Student visa application information and overview

  • You must apply in your country of nationality or the country where you are living with permission
  • There are two ways to complete your application:
    • For EU/EEA/Swiss nationals - Use the UK Immigration: ID Check app
    • For Non-EU/EEA/Swiss nationals - Complete the Student visa application online and attend an in-person appointment
  • Do not travel to the UK before receiving your Student visa
    • Wait until you have received your Student visa, which will either be a vignette (visa sticker) in your passport or your digital visa status online
  • Check your email regularly (including junk and spam folders) in case UKVI try to contact you about your application
  • If you have questions about your application, please contact and ask the International Student Support Team before you make any payment

Type of Course

Period granted before course start date

Period granted after course end date

A course of 12 months or longer

1 Month

4 Months

A course of 6 months or longer but shorter than 12 months e.g. PGDE, PG Diploma courses

1 Month

2 Months

A pre-sessional course of less than 6 months

1 Month

1 Month

A course of less than 6 months in length which is not a pre-sessional course

7 Days

7 Days

 

Application fee

The cost is:

  • £490 to apply for a Student visa from outside the UK

The above application fee is the same for Dependants. Each applicant must pay the visa fee.

Additional costs for a faster decision

Depending on where you are applying, what visa you are applying for and if you prove your identity in person at a visa application centre or through using the UK Immigration: ID Check app, you may be able to get a quicker decision on your visa application.

The costs are:

  • £500 for 'Priority service' to get a decision within 5 working days
  • £1000 for 'Super priority service' to get a decision by the end of the next working day

Find out more about when you can receive a decision if you pay for a faster decision. 

Please note that not all UK visa application centres offer faster decisions. You cannot get a decision by the end of the next working day if you use the UK Immigration: ID Check app to apply.

You can find out whether your visa application centre offers faster decisions by contacting the centre in your country of application.

Immigration Healthcare Surcharge

You will also have to pay a healthcare surcharge. The healthcare surcharge is calculated based on how long your visa will be granted and not on your course dates. It cannot be paid in instalments. 

Find out how much you have to pay from the immigration health surcharge calculator. You will require your CAS for this.

If your studies are funded by the Chevening, Marshall or Commonwealth Scholarship

You will be asked to select the relevant type of application at the start of your Student visa application form where you will not have to pay the visa application fee. You may still need to pay additional fees for optional services.

More information:

Before applying for your Student visa, you will first need a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS). A CAS is an electronic document with a number known as the CAS number which you require when completing your Student visa application.

New students

Students starting a new course at the University of Strathclyde will receive a CAS from Admissions by email.

Students returning to their studies

If you will be returning to your studies in the UK, you will require a CAS to apply for a Student visa. 

Students must first apply for a CAS through the appropriate CAS Request Form:

When completing your CAS Request Form, check the form carefully and make sure that any necessary documents are attached.  

After you receive your CAS

Check that the details and information in your CAS are correct before you make your Student visa application. If you find any errors, it is important that these are corrected before you submit your Student visa application. 

When you apply for your Student visa, the application process will vary depending on your nationality.

Application link for outside the UK

Visit the GOV.UK Student visa application website where you will begin by answering a few questions:

Completing these questions accurately will direct you to the correct application form.  Please contact us if you have any questions at this stage. 

If you are an EU/EEA/Swiss national and your passport has a biometric chip, you should be able to use the UK Immigration: ID Check app to make your visa application.

If you are unable to use the app for any reason, please refer to the steps below for "If you are a non-EU/EEA/Swiss national".  

A. How to apply if you are an EU/EEA/Swiss national

The information in this section is applicable to EU/EEA/Swiss passport holders only.

Step 1 - Understand requirements and receive CAS
  • Understand the Student visa requirements and check your eligibility
  • Receive your CAS and check details on CAS are correct before continuing
Step 2 - Prepare documents
Step 3 - Start application
  • Download and confirm your identity with the UK Immigration: ID Check app
  • Scan your passport and upload a photo of yourself
  • Start your application - you can refer to our Student visa application form guidance
  • If you have questions about the application, contact the International Student Support team before submitting your application or making any payments
Step 4 - Submit your visa application
  • Confirm your application answers and upload the required supporting documents
  • Pay the Student visa application fee, Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) and any priority services requested
Step 5 - Wait for a decision on your application
  • Wait for a decision on your Student visa application

It is your responsibility to ensure that you have all of your supporting documents available at the point of application, and that you provide all supporting documents requested by UKVI for your application.  UKVI caseworkers (UKVI staff who process visa applications) will assess your visa application based on the documents you have provided.

B. How to apply if you are a non-EU/EEA/Swiss national or cannot use the app

Step 1 - Understand requirements and receive CAS
  • Understand the Student visa requirements and check your eligibility
  • Check if you need a Tuberculosis (TB) test
  • If required, apply for and receive your ATAS certificate
  • Receive your CAS and check details on CAS are correct before continuing
 
Step 2 - Prepare documents
 
Step 3 - Start application
  • Start your application - you can refer to our Student visa application form guidance
  • If you have questions about the application, contact the International Student Support team before submitting your application or making any payments
 
Step 4 - Submit your visa application
Step 5 - Book appointment at visa application centre and upload your documents
  • Check with your UK visa application centre for their process
  • Book an appointment for your biometric enrolment (photograph and fingerprints)
  • Scan and upload your supporting documents to visa application centre's website

It is your responsibility to ensure that you have all of your supporting documents available at the point of application, and that you provide all supporting documents requested by UKVI for your application.  UKVI caseworkers (UKVI staff who process visa applications) will assess your visa application based on the documents you have provided. 

If you need guidance on completing your Student visa application form, please see our page on the Student visa application form guidance for applying outside the UK.

Depending on how you apply, some of the questions may be worded differently.

Questions about your application

If there is a question on the application where you are not sure, you can:

  • Send us a list with the questions you are not sure about (by copy/pasting question from the application) or
  • You can use Adobe Acrobat to highlight/comment questions where you are not sure, then sending us the PDF of the application
  • Before requesting application advice from our team please review our Code of Practice and Privacy Notice

When emailing questions about your Student visa application, please use your University of Strathclyde email address.

If you do not yet have a University of Strathclyde email address, then please include your Strathclyde application number and/or registration number.

After you submit your Student visa application, you will have to wait for a decision on your application. This can be up to 3 weeks, unless you paid to get a faster decision.

UKVI has guidance on when the application processing time starts, ends and current processing times.

It is important that you check your emails in case you receive communication from UKVI. Please be sure to check your spam/junk folders also. 

Receiving your decision

When a decision has been made on your application, you will receive an email from UKVI.

The email will also tell you:

  • If you have received an electronic digital visa status with instructions on how to access your share code or
  • If you will receive a BRP - this will be sent to either the University or your selected Post Office

If you chose to collect your BRP from the University, you will have to make an appointment for BRP collection.

Check your online digital status or your BRP

When you receive your new visa, it is important to check the details and information are correct. Check details such as your name, visa conditions and that the end date on your visa provides you enough time to complete your studies.

How to report an error will depend if you have an online digital status or BRP. Please contact us with your details and we can help advise how to report errors.

Before you arrive, find helpful information and tips on preparing for your arrival to the UK.

Our Pre-arrival guide for international students offers guidance before your travel to the UK. 

The Arrivals checklist explains what you will need to do when arriving at Strathclyde to support your transition to university life, such as registering for your course, how to access the library and your IT account, opening a bank account and more.

Frequently asked questions

UKVI advise on their Student visa page that it normally takes 3 weeks to receive a decision. However it may depend on whether you have paid for a quicker processing service. Processing times may be longer during particularly busy periods.

We recommend for Student visa applicants to wait for a decision on their visa application and have received all their documents before making travel arrangements and before travelling.

More information:

The application fee is £490 for the main Student visa applicant applying outside the UK.

If you are applying with Dependants, it will cost £490 for each Dependant applicant.

More information:

For students who have already applied for their Student visa, we strongly advise for students to wait for a decision on their Student visa and have received their entry clearance vignette (visa sticker in passport) before making arrangements and travelling to the UK.

If you have booked your flights before receiving a decision on your visa application, there is a risk you may have to reschedule flights or lose out on money paid.

Travelling to the UK before having your Student visa may also cause issues with being able to register to start your course.

Therefore we recommend for students to wait to receive their Student visa in hand before booking flights and travelling to the UK.

During the application process, you will be asked where you want to collect your BRP.  You can opt for this to be sent to the University or you can collect it from a local post office.

The Post Office nearest to the University is at Glassford Street G1 1UG.

If you do choose to collect your BRP from the University, you will need to use the ACL code: 2HE582. You will not be able to collect your BRP immediately and will need an appointment to collect your BRP from the University.  The Post Office remains the quickest option for collection of your BRP.

If your Student visa application is successful, students will receive their decision either by email or with a letter explaining the conditions of your new Student visa. Please check the letter carefully, as it will contain instructions on where to collect your BRP.