Visas for study abroad

Check and obtain the necessary visa documentation for your host country as soon as possible, so that your arrival isn't delayed.

Visa application

 

Applying for your Visa

In order to study abroad legally you will need to apply for and obtain the relevant student visa or residence permit for your host country. However, if you hold an EU passport and wish to study in the EU, or if you hold a passport for the country you will study abroad in, you may be exempt from this requirement. If you’re not sure, contact us to confirm your individual situation. 

Every country sets its own immigration requirements, and no two countries are the same. You may also find that your own situation is different to that of a friend travelling to the same country. However, the majority of people will find themselves following some or all of these basic steps when preparing to apply for a student visa.

Do your own research!

How much will it cost? Do I have to show evidence of my funding? Will a criminal record stop my application from being successful? Do I need to hand in my passport over the summer when I apply?

Get your acceptance letter.

You can’t apply for your student visa before being accepted for studies at your host university: your formal acceptance letter should be sent to you in plenty of time for you to then make your visa application. You may also be sent other documents by your host university that you will need for your visa application, e.g. a DS-2019 for the USA, or a Confirmation of Enrolment for Australia. If hard copies of documents are sent to Leeds we will contact you to confirm your preferred address and forward them on via special delivery.

Prepare your application and book an appointment (if necessary).

If you need to book an appointment, you should do so as soon as you receive the necessary paperwork from your host university. Depending on the process for your destination, you may need to fill in an application form, pay any visa processing fees required by the consulate, prepare various supporting documents and pieces of evidence. Check the consulate’s estimated processing times if possible, and submit your application in plenty of time. 

Need help with your visa application? 

Immigration law is complex, it changes often, and is different for evey country. Therefore Leeds Study Abroad / Residence Abroad staff are not able to offer detailed visa advice. However, we can help with the following:

  • Directing you to consular websites showing details of how to apply, costs involved, and contact details for the consulate from which you can seek more detailed guidance.
  • Answering basic questions about obtaining and completing paperwork.
  • Directing you to the immigration information provided by your host university.
  • Assisting you in contacting the relevant staff at your host university for more detailed guidance.

Visa Processing Fees

Before you apply for a study abroad year, it’s important to know how much your visa application will cost, and what level of funding you may be required to prove access to in order for your visa to be approved.

The below figures are based on fees for UK citizens using standard (rather than express) visa services. If you do not hold a British passport, this information may not be relevant to you. 

The visa costs below may be subject to change without warning. They were last checked in July 2021. Confirm up-to-date figures on the relevant embassy or consulate websites.

European destinations:

  • Austria: €120 visa application fee, €20 grant fee and €20 personalization costs (acceptance of photo and signature)
  • Belgium: €207
  • Cyprus: 15-30 Cyprus Pounds
  • Czech Republic: £84
  • Denmark: 2,000DKK visa application fee, plus 595DKK service charge
  • Finland: £390 or £304 for electronic application
  • France: €99 for visa application, plus £31.89 service fee
  • Germany: €75 (the fee is fixed in Euro but payable in British Pounds only), plus £28.30 (€32.90) service fee
  • Greece: €90 for the visa application, plus €150 for the residence permit
  • Hungary:  €60 for residency permit
  • Iceland : 15,000 ISK. Application and all supporting documents must be received by the Directorate no later than June 1st, in order to process the application before the semester starts
  • Italy: €50 for visa administration
  • Netherlands: exempt from long stay visa but need to apply for a residency permit. The fee is €192 and the host university can submit the application for a residence permit for study
  • Norway: NOK 4,900 application fee, plus a service charge
  • Poland: £72
  • Portugal: €75 for a temporary stay visa (less than one year) or €90 for a residency visa (more than a year)
  • Slovenia: £71
  • Spain: £54.40 administration fee. Please note that this fee does not include other charges that might apply depending on the type of visa. Citizens of UK, Australia, Canada and USA will be applied with the Principle of Reciprocity and fees will vary between £73.25 and £350.05
  • Sweden: €60
  • Switzerland: £74 

Worldwide destinations:

  • Argentina: $250 consular fee, plus £55 ACRO Police Certificate and immigration tax
  • Australia: From A$620
  • Brazil: £465, plus £55 ACRO Police Certificate. Please note there will also be Federal Police fees for Foreign Registration and a Foreign ID card
  • Canada: C$150 for the Study Permit, C$85 biometrics fee, plus C$116 for the certificat d'acceptation du Québec (CAQ) if studying in Quebec
  • Chile: US$870 for the visa, plus £50-£100 for medical certificates and £55 ACRO Police Certificate
  • China: £150 for the visa, plus £35.25 application service fee
  • Hong Kong: HK$350 – HK$900 – this will vary depending on the university
  • Indonesia: £125
  • Israel: US$54
  • Japan: £44
  • Mexico: $32.87
  • Morocco: £27 postal order, plus £55 ACRO Police Certificate, then approximately £75 on arrival
  • New Zealand: NZ$330 (online application), £177 plus £19 service fee plus a courier fee (paper application)
  • Singapore: S$30 processing fee and S$60 issuance fee, and approximately S$80 for the required medical report. Please check if the issuance fee and the required medical report will be needed.
  • South Africa: £35 plus £40 service charge, plus £55 ACRO Police Certificate and £50-100 medical certificate plus cost of chest x-ray (speak to your doctor about this)
  • South Korea: £193 
  • Taiwan: £50 (resident visa), plus £55 ACRO Police Certificate
  • Thailand: £150
  • Turkey: £348
  • USA: $160 visa application fee, $220 SEVIS fee, plus trip to London for visa interview

 

 

SUPPORTING DOCUMENTS FOR VISA APPLICATIONS

What you are required to provide and when you are required to provide it will depend on which country you intend to study in. Common documents that you may need to provide include:

  • Acceptance letter, or certificate proving your student status at the university abroad: this will usually be posted or emailed to you by your host university in good time for you to submit your visa application. You should not book a visa appointment (if applicable) without this.
  • Police certificate: police certificates for immigration purposes, showing your UK police record, can be ordered online. There is a charge for this service.
  • Medical certificate: some countries require you to complete specific medical checks, or to submit a letter confirming your general good health. You should expect to pay for any certificates or letters, even if they are completed by your own GP. Certain health checks, e.g. chest x-rays, can be quite expensive. GP surgeries can quote long turnaround times for completing certificates and letters, so request these well in advance.
  • Evidence of your UK student status: Leeds can provide you with a letter or certificate confirming that your study abroad is a recognised part of your Leeds degree.
  • Legalising documents: sometimes referred to as the ‘Hague Apostille’, you may find you need to have your UK-produced documents ‘legalised’ to confirm their authenticity. There is a charge for this service.
  • Evidence of your finances: you will usually have to prove you have access to sufficient funds to last you for the duration of your study abroad period. See below for more information on this process.

Financial evidence

FINANCIAL EVIDENCE FOR VISA APPLICATIONS

The majority of countries expect you to show evidence of your financial support at the point of applying for the student visa, which can be anywhere between May and September. 

However, students selected to study in the USA, Hong Kong, and at some Japanese universities will be asked to provide evidence of financial support at the point of formal application to the host university between January and March. If you are selected to study abroad at any of these destinations should be aware that you cannot usually use your student loan as evidence of funds as you cannot usually apply to Student Finance early enough to receive your loan statement in time for the host university’s application period. This does not mean that you can't use your student loan to pay for your study abroad year; it just means that you can't use it as evidence that you can afford your study abroad year.

The figure you are asked to evidence will be advertised on your host country’s embassy website or will be communicated to you by your host university directly. The figures given are a minimum amount - you should try and show access to as much money as you are able, as exchange rates can change on a daily basis.

The amounts listed below are based on the information provided by embassies or by our partner universities for immigration purposes only. While the amounts listed here are not necessarily an exact reflection of how much you will spend on a year abroad, you should expect to spend at least the amount shown here and should budget accordingly. A breakdown of expected costs is sometimes available on the host university’s website or fact sheet.

 

STUDY OVERSEAS: FINANCIAL EVIDENCE 

 

The countries detailed require UK nationals to show evidence that they have enough money to cover the cost of living for one year in the host country. 

Please note that these figures are subject to changes made to immigration laws introduced by each country. Please make sure you check relevant embassies' websites for most updated information. The amounts below were last checked in July 2021.

  • Argentina: evidence of enough funds to cover air tickets and expenses - contact the consulate for details
  • Brazil: US$1000 per month
  • Canada: Quebec: C$917 per month; other provinces: C$833 per month 
  • Chile: contact the consulate for details 
  • Hong Kong: evidence of enough funds to cover air tickets and expenses - contact host university for guidance 
  • Israel: contact the consulate for details
  • Japan: around 120,000 Yen per month 
  • Mexico: £511 
  • New Zealand: NZ$15,000 
  • South Africa: There is no fixed amount that students need to prove but students will need to demonstrate that they are financially sound and that they able to maintain themselves financially support themselves throughout their time in the country. Previously students have been expected to show ZAR8500 per month
  • South Korea: approximately £9,500 – to be confirmed with your certificate of acceptance
  • Thailand: 20,000 Baht
  • Turkey: at least £3000 for 6 months stay 
  • USA: see "Estimated living expenses: USA" below

STUDY IN THE EU/EEA: COUNTRY-SPECIFIC FINANCIAL EVIDENCE

The countries detailed require UK nationals to show evidence that they have enough money to cover the cost of living for one year in the host country.

Please note that these figures are subject to changes made to immigration laws introduced by each country. Please make sure you check relevant embassies' websites for most updated information. The amounts below were last checked in July 2021.

  • Austria: Up to 24 years of age: €6,630.36 per year. Over 24 years of age: €12,005.76 per year. This amount must be available on the account after fixed costs are deducted (rent, health insurance etc.)
  • Belgium: €679 per month of stay
  • Cyprus: €670 per month of stay
  • Czech Republic: At least 15x 2,490 CZK. This amount increases by 2,490 CZK per each full month = 37,350 CZK + 2,490 for each full month
  • Denmark: DKK 6,321 per month for a maximum of 12 months
  • Finland: €6,720
  • France: minimum €615 per month of stay
  • Germany: minimum €861 per month of stay
  • Iceland: ISK 212,694 per month of stay
  • Italy: at least €6000 per year
  • Netherlands: €950 per month / €11,400 for one year
  • Norway: minimum NOK 126,357 per year
  • Portugal: €665 per month of stay
  • Slovenia: the amount equal to the minimum income in Slovenia
  • Spain: €564,90 per month of stay, unless it is duly proven that the accommodation has been paid in advance for the entire duration of the stay
  • Sweden: SEK 8,568 per month of stay
  • Switzerland: 21,000 CHF or €19,200 at the beginning of each year of studies

STUDY IN THE USA: COUNTRY-SPECIFIC FINANCIAL EVIDENCE 

If you are placed at a US institution, you must demonstrate to your host university that you are able to afford the cost of living for the year you will spend there. Your host university is responsible for issuing your visa documents and evidence of your finances must be provided to them with your formal application for admission, usually in February, March or April. Your host university is bound by US immigration law and exceptions cannot be made to financial evidence requirements. 

 

Amounts listed were given for the 2020/21 application period (full academic year) and may be subject to change for later applicants. 

  • Arizona State University: $23,513 
  • Bentley University: $19,779 – 26,579
  • California State University at Monterey Bay: $18,500 
  • California State University at San Marcos: $19,200
  • Colorado School of Mines: $18,900 
  • Drexel University: $19,280 
  • Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University: $13,810
  • Florida International University: $21,160
  • George Washington University:$25,315
  • Georgia Institute of Technology: $18,695 
  • Juniata College: $15,900 
  • North Carolina State University: $18,410 
  • Northern Arizona University: $16,361 
  • Purdue University: $14,370 
  • Penn State University, Pennsylvania: $21,300 
  • Rensselear Polytechnic Institute: $19,400
  • Sonoma State University: $21,436  
  • State University of New York – Stony Brook: $28,882 
  • State University of New York – Brockport: $18,000 
  • Towson University: $18,300
  • University of Hawaii: $20,042
  • University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign: $17,800
  • University of Kansas: $13,542 
  • University of Kentucky: $16,503
  • University of Louisville: $13,000 
  • University of Massachusetts: $20,000 
  • University of Minnesota: $18, 970 
  • University of Mississippi: $13,420 
  • University of Nebraska: $19,947 
  • University of New Mexico: $13,250 
  • University of North Texas: $16,648 
  • University of Rochester: $20,894 
  • University of Vermont: $16,000 
  • University of South Carolina: $18,455 
  • University of Wisconsin-Madison: $15,800  
  • Western New England University: $18,690

How do I show access to funds? 

 

Bank statements

The most straightforward way to evidence your finances is to provide an original bank statement in your own name, showing access to the correct amount of funding. Points to bear in mind, and to check with your host university immigration adviser if applicable, are:

  • You may be able to show statements from multiple bank accounts to meet the total required (e.g. current account, savings account, ISA, etc.).
  • You may be able to use bank statements in other peoples’ names (e.g. parent, relative), but these may need to be accompanied by evidence of your relationship and/or a letter from the account holder confirming that they will make these funds available to you.
  • Bank accounts must usually be ‘instant access’ and statements must usually be originals.
  • Online statements are sometimes accepted, but they must be full statements with the account number, account holder's name, bank logo, and the date. A simple screenshot of transactions is not normally acceptable.
  • Bank statements will usually need to be less than three months old at the time of your application. If your bank only issues annual or quarterly statements, you may need to request additional statements or letters from them. Make sure to leave enough time for your request to be processed (this can sometimes be a week or two) before any deadlines you are given.
  • Sometimes the funds must have been in your account for a specified length of time. Check instructions on this topic carefully.

Letter from your bank

Letters must be on headed paper, with a logo and stamp if possible. If you are providing a bank letter, it is usually acceptable for the bank to include an indemnifying clause to indicate that they can't guarantee the funds beyond the date the letter is written. 

Student Loans

Some countries will accept your student loan statement as evidence of your funds for your study abroad year. If using your loan statement, you should ensure it is for the correct academic year, i.e. the year you will be abroad. We therefore recommend that you re-apply for your student loan as soon as the application becomes available, usually in early March. This will ensure you have a loan statement in good time ready for your visa application. Please note that if applying to the USA, Hong Kong, or some Japanese universities, you may not be able to use a student loan statement as evidence of your funding. This is because these universities will require evidence of your funds before student finance has processed your application and sent out your student loan statement for the academic year you’ll study abroad in.