Applying for a Student Visa from Outside the UK

You can find information below on how to make a Student visa application from outside the UK, the funds needed, FAQs, student visa responsibilities, dependants, and how the University can support you.

The application process

How do I apply for a visa?

UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) give an overview of the visa application process. Virtually all applications are made on-line via the UKVI website

UKVI also give detailed information on how it considers applications within its caseworker guidance; we recommend you read the parts relevant to your circumstances and use the links in our guide which provide more detail on specific issues.

When can I apply for a visa?

You will need a Confirmation of Acceptance of Studies (CAS) before you will be able to complete a visa application. If you are a new student applying for a postgraduate taught programme you will likely need to pay a compulsory CAS deposit before your CAS is issued. There are exemptions for some students, please see the postgraduate taught offer guidance.

You can be issued with a CAS up to six months before the start of your course. It is advisable to apply for your visa as early as you can to make sure you do not miss your course start date. CASs for continuing students, e.g. you are coming back to studies after a leave of absence, should be requested from Student Records & Operations online.

What documents do I need to prepare for my visa application?

Some Visa Application Centre document checklists give generic information about documents that could be required for any type of visa application. To avoid being misled please refer to the document checklist produced by your online application and the information in this guide. Other types of evidence that may appear on general visa document lists are not required, for example a Student visa application does not depend on evidence of employment or accommodation in the UK. 

The required documents will depend on your circumstances but could include:

  • Valid passport 
  • Financial evidence, e.g. a bank statement showing the required amount of money 
  • English language evidence, if required e.g. a degree taught in English* 
  • Certified professional translations of any documents that are not in English. 
  • ATAS clearance certificate if required for certain engineering and technology subjects. Your initial offer and CAS will indicate whether your course requires ATAS clearance. You can apply for an ATAS clearance certificate online.
  • TB certificate for students applying from certain countries. 

Where relevant there is information on the expected format of evidence in the caseworker guidanceguidance on financial evidencefinancial requirement caseworker guidance and English language assessment guidance

*If you meet the English language requirement by any of the following routes you should not need to include additional evidence of this within your visa application;

  • National of a majority English-speaking country 
  • Previously satisfying the requirement (at CEFR B2) in an earlier visa application e.g. Tier 4 
  • UKVI Secure English Language Test (SELT) as detailed on your CAS 
  • Your CAS confirms assessment by the University e.g.’ English language ability assessed and confirmed at CEFR Level B2 or higher in each of the four components of language learning ….  No documents are required to be submitted as evidence of this.’ 

For more details see the UKVI English language assessment guidance.

As the University is a Higher Education Provider with a track record of compliance, if your CAS is for study at bachelor’s degree level or above there should be no need for you to provide the academic evidence used to secure your offer or recorded on your CAS. 

If you are aged under 18 at the time you submit your application you will need to provide a parental letter of consent in support of the application and proof of relationship; details are provided in the caseworker guidance.

How much does it cost to apply for a visa?

The entry clearance (visa) application fee is £490 paid in local currency.  At some smaller/less busy locations a ‘user pay fee’ of £76.50 is also charged.  Depending on the location optional services may be available at additional cost eg ‘priority’ non-settlement processing (£500) or ‘super priority’ processing (£1,000).

If you are required to have a TB test a separate test fee is charged which depends on location. 

The Immigration Health Surcharge is payable for any visa longer than 6 months. The charge is based on the maximum length of visa that could be granted as follows:

  • For each year and each part year between 6 – 12 months - £776
  • For each part year less than 6 months - £388

Depending on the length and type of course, Student permission may be issued for up to one month before studies commence and 4 months beyond the end of studies, for example:

Type of course Length of studies on CAS Length of visa Health charge
BSc/BA 2 years 9 months 3 years 2 months (3 x £766) + £388 = £2,716
MSc/MA 12 months Up to 17 months £776 + £388 = £1,164
PhD 4 years 4 years 5 months (4 x £776) + £388 = £3,492

The same fees and charges will also have to be paid for each family member applying for a dependant’s visa.

Students in receipt of a UK scholarship under the Chevening, Marshall or Commonwealth schemes may not be charged IHS, if further details are required please check with your scholarship provider.

Funds Needed

What funds do I need to prepare for my visa application?

Certain nationalities may not have to provide evidence of finances. Although the online application will not request the evidence it is recommended to have it prepared and available in case it is later requested by the decision maker.

You should be prepared to show you have enough money for any outstanding tuition fees as stated on your CAS plus living expenses as explained in UKVI’s guidance on financial evidence. If you are self-funding you should keep at least the required amount in your account throughout a 28-day period which ends no earlier than 31 days before your visa application.

You should only submit your visa application if you are able to prove that you have the required funds in place, or your visa application may be refused.

If your visa is refused due to inadequate financial evidence, the University does not guarantee to issue a new CAS – the office that issued your CAS will require proof that you have put sufficient measures in place to ensure that your subsequent visa application will be successful.

  • The visa decision will be based on what tuition fees are still to be paid according to the information on your CAS. Standard tuition fees can be found within the programme information on the University's main website.
  • The CAS only needs to state the tuition fees that are due within the first year of your studies. If your course is longer than one year, you do not need to show you have the funds for the second or subsequent years.
  • If you have been awarded a fees scholarship or bursary, this will be deducted from the tuition fees before they are specified on your CAS. Otherwise a sponsor note can be added to the CAS to confirm the details.
  • If you have already paid some or all of your tuition fees (including a CAS deposit), this can be noted on your CAS. If you pay some or all of your tuition fees after receiving your CAS please let the office that issued your CAS know and ask for the CAS to be updated. You do not need a new CAS.
  • The money you need to prepare for your living expenses depends on where you are studying and the length of your course but you never need to show more than 9 months living expenses. Most students studying at the main Loughborough campus will need to prepare £1,023 per month for up to 9 months (£9,207). If your main degree is to be taken at Loughborough University London, you will need to prepare £1,334 per month for up to 9 months (£12,006)
  • If you have paid the University some or all of your accommodation charges, this can reduce the amount you need to show for your living expenses. UKVI rules only allow £1,334 to be recorded on your CAS and taken into account, even if you have paid more.

Some examples of how to calculate the Student ‘maintenance’ requirement (if you receive a tuition fee discount and/or paid a CAS deposit the total will be reduced by those amounts):

Your course Tuition fee You will need
MSc Management £24,500 £24,500 + (9 x £1,023) = £33,707
MSc Digital Marketing at Loughborough University London £27,950 £27,950 + (9 x £1,334) = £39,956
BSc Computer Science £27,250 £27,250 + (9 x £1,023) = £36,457

How do I demonstrate that I have the required funds?

Most self–funding students will rely on providing a bank statement which includes the following information:

  • The name of the account holder
  • The date of the statement
  • The bank’s name
  • The required balance throughout at least a 28-day period

If you are relying on funds in your parents’ bank account(s), you must supply your birth certificate or other acceptable evidence that you are related, plus a letter from your parent(s) to confirm your relationship and that the money can be used to fund your studies.

If you are funded through an educational loan, UKVI will only take into account the following types of provider:

  • a government
  • a government sponsored student loan company
  • an academic or educational loans scheme which is provided by a financial institution regulated for the purpose of issuing student loans by either the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) or the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) or, in the case of an overseas loan, the official regulatory body for purpose of issuing student loans in the country in which the financial institution is located and where the money is held

Further details on educational loans are given in the financial requirement caseworker guidance and the guidance on financial evidence.

You can rely on funds held in the name of a partner (e.g. spouse, civil partner or someone you have lived with for at least 2 years) provided your partner is also applying with you as your dependant or they already hold immigration permission to be in the UK.

You can rely on funds held overseas and in other currencies. UKVI check the sterling value of other currencies using the exchange rate at the date of the application on the OANDA website.

If you are funded by an ‘official financial sponsor’ as explained in the financial requirement caseworker guidance, you will need to provide a letter from your sponsor in the expected format. However, any official financial sponsorship from the University should be recorded on your CAS. If your sponsor is only paying for part of your costs, you may still need to prepare bank statements to show you have the necessary funds for any outstanding fees and/or living expenses.

UKVI document verification: As UKVI may seek to verify your financial evidence you must ensure it includes appropriate contact details e.g., email and telephone.  It would be wise to ask the provider of your evidence to include a sentence to confirm how they may be contacted if any further information is required and that you have consented to this being provided.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take to obtain a visa?

In general a decision should be made within 3 weeks of attending your visa appointment. During the summer the visa processing times can take longer.

In some countries a Visa Application Centre may offer services to ‘fast track’ the processing of your application for which there is an additional charge.

Will I have to attend a visa interview? (Genuine student checks)

UKVI no longer frequently interview students to check that they are genuine and not using the study visa route for some other purpose e.g. to work or join family.  In some cases you may receive an email request to provide extra evidence to satisfy UKVI you are a genuine student, for example this could be where there has been a significant gap in education history and/or it is not apparent why you would undertake the studies in question.  It is important to respond to such requests thoroughly and convincingly so that UKVI can be satisfied of your genuine study intentions.  The caseworker guidance gives further explanation of the genuine student requirement, please contact us for individual advice if required.

If you are invited to interview it would be wise to prepare in advance, so you are confident in answering questions about your plans to study in the UK. The questions might include:

  • What is the name of your university?
  • What is the name of your course of study? Do you know what modules/topics you will be studying as part of this course?
  • What are your reasons for wanting to study in the UK?
  • What are your reasons for choosing Loughborough University and the course?
  • What are your future career plans?
  • What are your accommodation arrangements in the UK?
  • How you can afford to pay for your studies?
  • Do you intend to work in the UK during your studies? If so, do you know how many hours you are permitted to work as a Student?
  • Have you ever studied in the UK or overseas before? If so, what did you study, did you complete the course; did you leave the country before your visa expired?

What visa permission can I expect?

You should be granted Student visa permission for your course at Loughborough University (Sponsor Licence Number G9M4TDXV1)

Check the dates of permission:

  • Student permission can start up to 1 month before the course start date
  • For courses at least 1 year long (eg a post graduate Masters) the permission should run for 4 months after the course end date
  • For courses between 6-12 months the visa permission should run for 2 months beyond the course end date
  • A Student  visa for a pre-sessional course under 6 months should run for 1 month beyond the course end date
  • If you are issued an initial vignette sticker in your passport this should run for 90 days and allow you to arrive on time

Check that your work conditions appear correct, typical work conditions are summarised in the student handbook, e.g. for degree level study the visa should allow 20 hours work per week in term-time.

If you are going to be issued a biometric residence permit (BRP) the decision details should confirm this and collection details. All BRPs will expire by 31 December 2024, you can find more information our BRP Issues page.

If you notice an error check the decision details on how this can be corrected.  Contact Student Advice if required.

Where can I collect my Biometric Residence Permit (BRP)?

EEA and Swiss nationals who are coming to the UK from 1 January 2021 under the Student route will be able to apply using the ID Check app. If you have a biometric passport and can use the app your immigration permission will be issued electronically, and your status can be checked on-line. You will not be issued a visa vignette in your passport or a BRP and must retain the UKVI decision e-mail as a record of the institution and programme for which your visa has been issued. You will be required to provide a copy of the e-mail to Student Records and Operations, the Doctoral College Office, or London Student Services so that your right to study at Loughborough can be confirmed.

Biometric Residence Permits are issued to anyone else coming to the UK for more than 6 months. Your initial Student visa will be issued for 90 days to allow you to travel (a visa sticker or ‘vignette’ is placed in your passport for this purpose). After arriving in the UK you must collect your BRP which confirms your full permission to stay longer. The visa application will ask if you have any contact details in the UK and details of where you are studying, a UK address is not necessary for a visa application but if you wish you can give the relevant University address below.

Towards the end of the visa application you will be asked where you wish to collect your BRP from, the suggestions are based on the contact details you have given. You can choose to have your BRP delivered to Student Records and Operations at the Loughborough campus by selecting the ‘alternative location’ and entering the ACL code ‘2HE857’ – this option is available to students and their dependants at the Loughborough campus only (including all pre-sessional students), it is not possible to collect BRPs at the London campus. Otherwise BRPs may be collected from participating Post Offices, the details of the nearest to each University campus are as follows:

Campus address Nearest Post Office for BRP collection
Loughborough University, Epinal Way, Loughborough, Leicestershire, LE11 3TU Loughborough Post Office, 10 High Street, Loughborough, Leicestershire, LE11 2PY
Loughborough University London, 3 Lesney Avenue, The Broadcast Centre, Here East Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park Stratford, London, E20 3BS Stratford Post Office, 26 – 28 The Broadway, Stratford. London, E15 4QS

Please refer to details about when and how to collect your BRP from Student Records and Operations.

When can I travel to the UK?

You must travel to the UK after your Student visa permission begins so that it is activated on your first entry to the country.  If you travel to the UK prior to the Student visa e.g. as a visitor (with or without a visa) you will not be able to enrol or study.  You cannot switch from visitor to Student in the UK and will need to leave the UK and re-enter from anywhere outside the Common Travel Area using your Student permission.

Other resources

How can the University support you?

You can find guidance on various visa topics on the University’s webpages. These webpages include the most common visa related topics, questions and issues. If you require advice or guidance beyond what is covered on the webpages you can contact the Student Advice and Support Service. 

Last Updated: 18th April 2024