International studentsStudent visa - applying outside the UK

This webpage provides information for international students applying for a Student visa from outside the UK, either to begin a new course of study at the University of Strathclyde or to resume their studies after a period of time outside of the UK.

The visa application process may vary depending on your nationality and country of application. 

Important note: The Student visa application process and questions can change frequently. While this information is intended to be helpful, we recommend you always refer to the official UK government website for the most up-to-date guidance.

Applying for Student visa from outside UK overview

Student smiling

Before you apply

Student visa applications must be submitted from your home country or your country of residence.

How you apply may differ:

  • EU/EEA/Swiss nationals can apply with the UK Immigration: ID Check app
  • non-EU/EEA/Swiss nationals complete an online application form and attend an in-person appointment

Some nationalities may require additional documents before applying, such as:

You'll also need to meet Student visa finance requirements, so start gathering your required documents as early as possible. 

Some important points:

  • do not travel to the UK until you receive your Student visa, which will be either a visa vignette sticker in your passport or a digital visa status accessible online
  • regularly check your inbox, including spam folders, for potential communication from UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) regarding your application
  • as part of the application, you'll need to pay the Immigration Healthcare Surcharge (IHS). The IHS must be paid in full upfront and cannot be paid in installments
  • for application enquiries, contact the International Student Support Team before making any payments
Abacus and calculator

Fees and costs

Student visa application fee outside the UK: 490GBP (also applies to dependants)

For faster decisions:

  • Priority Service: 500GBP (added to standard fee, decision within 5 working days)
  • Super Priority Service (next working day): 1000GBP (added to standard fee)
  • Super Priority Service not available if you apply with UK Immigration: ID Check App

Check with your UK visa application centre if these services are available.

Immigration Health Surcharge - This is calculated on your overall Student visa length, not course dates. Use the Immigration Health Surcharge calculator with your CAS to calculate the cost.

If you are a Chevening, Marshall or Commonwealth Scholarship receipient, you will be asked to select the relevant application at the start of the Student visa application form. You will not have to pay the visa application fee, but you will need to pay additional fees for optional services.


Student visa validity period

When your visa will start and end will depend on the type of course you will study.

Type of Course

Period Before Course Start

Period After Course End

Course of 12 months or longer

1 Month

4 Months

Course of 6 months or longer (but shorter than 12 months e.g. PGDE, PG Diploma courses)

1 Month

2 Months

Pre-sessional course of less than 6 months

1 Month

1 Month

Course shorter than 6 months (not a pre-sessional course)

7 Days

7 Days

How to apply

Campus in evening

About CAS

Before applying for your Student visa, you must obtain a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS). The CAS is an electronic document containing a unique number required for your visa application.

New students
  • Admissions will email CAS to students starting a new course
Students returning to studies

When completing your CAS Request Form, ensure all required documents are attached.

After receiving your CAS

Verify all details are accurate before submitting your Student visa application. It's important that errors on your CAS are corrected before you apply for your Student visa.

Student using a computer

Check the application process

The Student visa application process will depend on your nationality.

Non-EU/EEA/Swiss nationals

Visit the GOV.UK Student visa webpage and answer the initial questions accurately. You'll be directed to the online application form. Contact the International Student Support Team (ISST) if you have any questions at this stage.

EU/EEA/Swiss nationals

If you have a passport with a biometric chip, use the UK Immigration: ID Check app to apply. If you can't use the app, you'll need to apply using the online application form.

Hand typing on a keyboard

Step-by-step guide

This guide outlines the general steps involved in applying for a Student visa to study in the UK for non-EU/EEA/Swiss nationals or if you can't use the UK Immigration: ID Check app. 

Although the processes differ, questions on the form for applicants who used the app will be similar.

For guidance on how to answer questions on the visa application form, see step 3. EU/EEA/Swiss nationals don't need to attend an in-person appointment.

Step 1 - Eligibility and requirements

Step 2 - Prepare documents

  • gather the necessary supporting documents for your visa application
  • prepare financial documents demonstrating that you possess sufficient funds to cover your living expenses and tuition fees

Step 3 - Start application

Step 4 - Submit your visa application

  • carefully review and confirm all answers within your application
  • pay the required fees, including the Student visa application fee, Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) and any additional charges for priority services (if applicable)

Step 5 - Book appointment at visa application centre and upload supporting documents

  • visit the UK visa application centre's website to confirm their specific process
  • schedule an appointment for biometric enrolment (fingerprints and photograph)
  • scan and upload your supporting documents to the visa application centre's online portal
Important note

It is your responsibility to ensure you have all the required supporting documents available at the time of application. You must submit all documents requested by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) for your application to be assessed. UKVI caseworkers will assess your visa application based on the documents you have provided.

After you submit your Student visa application

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What to do next

Following your Student visa application submission, you'll enter a waiting period for a decision. This typically takes up to 3 weeks, unless you selected a faster service with an additional fee.

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

Waiting for your decision

  • regularly check your email, including your spam/junk folder, for communication from UKVI
  • UKVI will notify you via email when a decision is made
  • the email will inform you if you've received:
    • an electronic digital visa status with instructions to access your visa.
    • a Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) to be sent to the University of Strathclyde or your chosen Post Office

Collecting your BRP (if applicable)

If you requested for BRP collection at the University of Strathclyde, contact the Visa Compliance Team to arrange for collection of your BRP.

Verifying your visa

  • upon receiving your visa (digital or physical), carefully review the details for accuracy
  • check your name, visa conditions and expiry date to ensure it covers your entire study period

Reporting errors

  • the process for reporting errors depends on whether you have a digital immigration status (eVisa) or BRP
  • contact ISST with your details for assistance navigating the error reporting process