Applying for your visa outside the UK

You may need to make your visa application in your home country, particularly if you've had a break in your studies.

If you need to return to the UK to continue your studies, you need to apply for entry clearance (a visa) as you did when you first came to the UK. 

Step 1: When to apply

You can make your visa application up to (but not more than) six months before your course starts. Read the course dates on your Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) carefully before making your application. You should apply in good time to receive your visa before you need to return to the UK. More information about visa processing times is in the FAQ at the bottom of this page.

Step 2: Requesting a CAS – (existing students only)

Please note if you will be studying at the University of Leeds for the first time as a new student, you do not need to request a CAS via this method. Your CAS will be issued to you by the Admissions team, please read more about getting a CAS as a new student.

If you are returning to or resuming study at the University of Leeds, you need to request a new CAS as soon as you know that you will need one. You cannot use the CAS from your previous visa application.

You should send your CAS request form and documents to the e-mail address listed at the top of the CAS request form:

When you email the form, please save the form electronically with your surname (in capitals) first and your forename second.

You must submit evidence of your finances with your CAS request form. This should be a scanned copy of a bank statement or a letter of official financial sponsorship. A CAS request cannot be authorised until you demonstrate that you have the documents to meet the UK Visas and Immigration financial requirements.

Before submitting your financial evidence, you should check the official currency exchange rates on the Oanda currency converter website to ensure that your finances meet the financial requirements.

CAS are generally issued by the Operations teams within 5-10 working days of the request being approved.

Important information about your CAS:

Don't attempt to make a visa application without a CAS - you'll be refused and you'll need to pay for a new application.

A CAS can only be used for one application. If your application is refused or rejected, don't attempt to make another application using the same CAS. 

CAS are only valid for 6 months, if you do not use your CAS within 6 months you will need to request a new one.

Step 3: Prepare your supporting documents

It's your responsibility to collect all the documents that you need for your application.

All documents must be translated into English if they aren't in English already. You must use an independent translator and include a signed declaration from the translator with your application. The declaration includes details of the translator's credentials verifying that it’s an accurate translation of the original document.

Depending on your situation you might need different documents to your friends. The application form will help to tell you which documents you need. You will need some, or all, of the following documents:

  • Completed visa application form (online).
  • Your current passport and any other passports that you hold with you.
  • Payment for your application - you'll need a debit or credit card to pay for your application.
  • New Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS).
  • New Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) certificate (if applicable to your course). These are valid for six months. If you will need a new ATAS, it is recommended that you apply for this as soon as possible as this can take at least 30 working days (6 full weeks) to be processed.
  • Financial Sponsor letter (if you are financially sponsored or receiving a scholarship).
  • Financial documents – bank statements, bank letters, savings books etc. See Step 4 for more details.
  • If you’re relying on money held in your parents’ bank accounts, you’ll also need: your birth certificate with an official translation if not in English; your parents’ bank statements; a letter from your parents confirming they're supporting you.
  • Previous qualifications if mentioned in your CAS. If your CAS states that you are being ‘sponsored on the basis of progress to date’ you don't need to provide qualification evidence.
  • Supporting letter about gaps in study – If you have gaps in your study history, it is helpful to include a supporting letter explaining why you had a break in formal education (such as employment).
  • Your previous Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) (if you have one).
  • Birth and marriage certificates for dependants (husband / wife and children) if applicable and only if they're applying as part of your immigration application.
  • Tuberculosis medical certificate issued by an approved clinic (if you are applying from or have been living in a country where this is required for more than 6 months)

If you are uploading copies of your documents please make sure that the copies are in colour, that the entire document is visible, and that all the text is legible.

Step 4: Prepare your financial evidence

You need to have enough money to pay your course fees and UK living costs. There are strict rules about how much money you need to have access to.

Please read our financial document checklist before you make your visa application.

  • In addition to having enough money to pay your tuition fees for the next academic year, you will need to show £1,023 per month for up to nine months (£9,207) to meet the maintenance requirements (living expenses). If your course duration is less than nine months, you need to show £1,023 per month for every month of the course. 
  • If you're applying with dependants, you'll need to show a higher sum of money - the maintenance requirement for each dependant is £680 per month for the remainder of your course or 9 months, whichever is shorter.
  • You must hold the money in an account in your name, or a parent’s name, for a minimum period of 28 days before submitting your online visa application form.
  • You'll need to provide a bank statement or letter from your bank confirming that the money has been held for a minimum of 28 days. This letter or statement must be no more than 31 days old on the date that you submit your application.
  • If you are relying on your parent’s money, then you will also need to provide a letter from them giving you permission to use their money and proof that they are your parent (this must be a birth certificate or another official document such as a household register).
  • If you will receive official financial sponsorship, a scholarship or a bursary please ensure that this funding meets UKVI's requirements. If not, you are required to submit a bank statement to supplement your funding.
  • UKVI conduct verification checks when considering financial evidence and will refuse the application if your bank does not verify the statements.  If your bank is not willing to verify financial statements for data protection reasons, or charges for the service, UKVI will refuse the application.  If you are concerned about this then please consult your bank directly regarding their policies.

Please check our financial document checklist for more information about the financial requirement. You can also find out more about the financial requirement on the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) website and on the website.

Please note: 

Under the Student visa guidance you can only use a personal bank statement in your name, your parent’s name or your partner’s name. You can only use your partner’s accounts if they’re already inside the UK or applying at the same time as you. You can’t use a bank statement in a company name, even if it’s your parent’s company and you can’t use another relative’s bank statement such as a grandparent, aunt or uncle, only yours, your parent’s or your partner’s personal statements are permitted for use.

If your nationality is listed under the ‘differential evidence requirement’ you do not need to submit any financial documents with your visa application. However, you must still prepare your documents and make sure you meet the financial requirements as of the date you submit your online visa application form. UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) still have the right to contact you to request copies of your financial documents when they process your application, so it is still important to prepare the funds and documents in advance.

If you would like the Student Visa Advice team to check your financial evidence before you submit your Student visa application, please scan and email it as a PDF attachment to the Student Visa Advice team at We will let you know if it meets the requirements.

Step 5: Where to apply

Applications for Student visas should be made in your home country if you're applying from outside the UK. If you don’t live in your home country, you should make your application in your country of normal residence. You will need to submit a copy of a valid residence permit if your country of application does not match your country of nationality.

All applicants must submit an online application form and provide biometrics information. 

Step 6: Complete your Student visa application form and submit your documents

You can start and complete the online visa application form here: Student visa : Apply online - GOV.UK (

If you are not an EU, EEA or Swiss national: after submitting the online form you will be required to book and attend an appointment to submit your biometrics at your nearest UK Visa Application Centre. Some visa application centres have additional charges when booking the appointment. You will be able to upload copies of your documents before attending your appointment.

If you are an EU, EEA or Swiss national: you will not need to attend an appointment a visa application centre. Instead you can verify your identity online as part of the online application form using the UK Immigration: ID Check app. You will be able to upload copies of your documents at the end of your application form.


How much will the visa application cost?

You will be required to make two payments to submit your visa application. You will need to pay an Immigration Health Surcharge and a Visa Application Fee. There may also be an additional fee to book your appointment at certain visa application centres.

The amounts listed below are in British pounds, but you will be required to make the payments in your local currency or, in some countries, US dollars. This means that the actual cost will vary based on the currency exchange rate.

Immigration Health Surcharge

If your visa will be valid for more than six months, you will be required to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS). Payment of the IHS will allow you to use the NHS free of charge while you have your visa. You will need to pay the IHS again even if you previously applied for a visa that covers the same period.

The annual IHS rate for students is £776 per year, and £388 for any additional period that is less than 6 months.

The total amount you will need to pay will depend on the length of the visa you are applying for. If you are studying a course that is longer than 12 months your visa will be granted with an additional 4 months after your course end date, and these additional 4 months are included in the IHS calculation.

For example, the IHS for a visa that covers a single academic year (e.g. September 2024 to July 2025) will be £1,164.

Calculate how much you will need to pay for the IHS using the calculator on If you are extending or returning to an existing course with a new CAS, enter the date you will return to the UK as your course start date and answer ‘Yes’ when it asks if you are applying to continue on the same course.

The full amount for the IHS must be paid up-front. It cannot be paid in instalments. The IHS must also be paid for any dependant that is applying to join you in the UK.

You will receive an IHS refund if your visa application is refused or if you withdraw your visa application before UKVI makes a decision. You will not receive a refund if you decide not to come to the UK after your visa is granted, or if you leave the UK early (including if this is to take a suspension from your studies). Find more information about IHS refunds on

If you are a full-time student from the EU, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein or Switzerland you may be eligible to request a full or partial reimbursement of the IHS. You must have a valid EHIC and you must not work or intend to work in the UK. Find out more about the IHS reimbursement scheme for EU and Swiss students.

Visa Application Fee

After you have paid the IHS you will need to pay the visa application fee. The standard visa application fee is £490 per applicant. 

How long will my Student visa take?

Standard applications usually take 15 working days to be processed.

In many countries applicants are given the option of also purchasing the Priority Visa Service which costs an additional £500 for a decision within 5 working days, or the Super Priority Visa Service which costs an additional £1000 for a decision by the end of the next working day.

You can check the latest visa processing times on the website.

These processing times are not guaranteed and it can take longer to get a decision if, for example, UKVI needs to ask you for more documents or check your details with other government departments or third parties. Please don’t book any flights until after you’ve received your visa to avoid the risk of needing to cancel your bookings.

Will I be interviewed?

Anyone applying for a Student visa from outside the UK can be interviewed as part of their visa application.

UKVI can arrange and conduct interviews in a variety of ways.  If they decide to interview youm they will contact you after you have submitted your application and ask you to be available for a telephone interview at a particular date and time, or they may ask you to attend an interview in-person at a designated time and location.  You must make sure that you check your email regularly, including your junk folder, in case you are contacted with an interview invitation or a request for further evidence.  At your interview UKVI will ask you about your course, where you want to study and your reasons for studying in the UK. The purpose of the interview is to check you are a genuine student and that your English ability is at the correct level. The report of the interview will be sent to the caseworker who makes the decision on your visa application.

What if my application is refused?

If your application is refused, please email a copy of the refusal letter to Wait for our advice before making a new visa application.

What will happen if my visa is granted?

If your new visa duration is less than six months, you will be issued an entry vignette (visa sticker) that covers the full length of your course and you do not need to collect a BRP in the UK.

If your new visa is longer than six months, you will be issued an entry vignette for 90 days and will need to collect your BRP in the UK. You must travel to the UK within the 90 day validity of the entry vignette.

If you are an EU, EEA or Swiss national and applied using the UK Immigration: ID Check App, your new visa will be granted in the form of a digital eVisa instead of a physical document. You will not receive an entry vignette and you will not need to collect a BRP.

DO NOT travel to the UK before the start date of your visa.

Please check your new visa carefully for any errors before travelling to the UK. Find more information about how to check your visa and correct any errors here.

At the end of 2024 the UK Government will replace BRPs with digital eVisas. This means that your BRP may not cover the full duration of your course and you will be required to get access to an eVisa before the end of the year. Find more information about changing your BRP to an eVisa.

If you enter the UK via an electronic ePassport gate or the Republic of Ireland you will not pass through UK immigration control and will not receive an entry stamp in your passport, therefore you must keep a copy of evidence proving your date of entry to the UK (e.g. boarding pass, flight ticket).

Key points to remember

Read the guidance information carefully before completing your application.

Your visa application will be decided by UKVI on the basis of the information and documents you provide to them. The issue of a CAS does not guarantee a successful application. 

Check whether you need a tuberculosis test.

Email the team at if you have any questions of if you would like us to check your application form, financial evidence or other supporting documents.

Further information on making a student immigration application overseas is available from UKCISA.  You can also use UKCISA’s application checklist to check if you have missed anything.