Applying for your visa

 

Applying for a visa can be an overwhelming prospect, but we are here to guide you through every step of the process. We can provide specialist immigration advice on applying for a new Student visa or renewing an existing visa.

Do you need a visa to study in the UK?

  • Students from the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland – if you are not already a resident in the UK or do not have settled/pre-settled status, you will need a Student visa to enter the UK for studies lasting longer than six months.
  • Students from non-European Union (EU) countries – all non-EU nationals must have a Student visa to enter the country before travelling to the UK, if coming for a course lasting more than six months.

What is the right visa for you?

  • If you are coming to the UK to study for more than six months, it is likely you will need to apply for a Student visa. A Student visa will also allow you to undertake work as part of your studies, look for a part-time job or bring your family to the UK as dependants.

    Points-based assessment

    The UK operates a points-based immigration system. In order to be granted a Student visa, you must pass a points-based assessment and score 70 points. The points are broken down like this:

    Points required: 70
    You must have a valid Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) and meet the following:
    • course requirement
    • approved qualification requirement
    • level of study requirement
    • place of study requirement
    50 points
    English language requirement 10 points
    You must have enough money to cover course fees and monthly living costs (also known as maintenance or funds) 10 points

    Applying for your Student visa from outside the UK

    You can apply for a Student visa to study in the UK once you have received your CAS letter and you have prepared your supporting documents*.

    Fees

    Read the latest government information on the fees you can expect to pay.

    How long will it take?

    The earliest you can apply for a visa is 6 months before you start your course. You’ll usually get a decision on your visa within 3 weeks.

    Immigration health surcharge (IHS)

    You may need to pay a fee towards the cost of healthcare in the UK as part of your immigration application. Once you have paid this, you will be able to use the National Health Service (NHS), which provides medical care in the UK.

    Read the latest government information on the IHS fee you can expect to pay.

    Arranging Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) collection from Coventry University

    If your visa application is approved, you will be issued with a temporary entrance vignette (sticker) in your passport. This will be valid for 90 days, allowing time for you to enter the UK and collect your BRP. This is a secure card that is proof of your right to be in the UK as a student. You do not have to apply separately for a BRP. It is part of the visa process.

    To ensure that you can collect your BRP from Coventry University, you will need to request an Alternative Collection Location (ACL) when you complete your online visa form and enter the appropriate ACL when asked. The ACL for Coventry University is 2HE452.

    *Check your offer to see if you need to submit financial evidence to the university as a condition to receive your CAS.

    Apply for a Student visa


    Applying for your Student visa in the UK

    To apply for a Student visa within the UK, you must not have, or have last been, granted permission:

    • as a visitor; or
    • as a short-term student; or
    • as a parent of a child student; or
    • as a seasonal worker; or
    • as a domestic worker in a private household; or outside the immigration rules.

    If you have current leave that allows you to apply from within the UK, this can only be done if there are less than 28 days between your current leave expiring and your Coventry
    University course beginning. If you have a current Tier 4 (general) or Student visa and you have not successfully completed the course it was given for, you will not be able to apply within the UK.

    If you need a new visa to complete a course you have already started with Coventry University, you will not be able to apply from within the UK unless:

    • your visa extension is to undertake a work placement; or
    • you need to extend due to resits/retakes and your visa has not been reported to the Home Office by the International Student Compliance Team due to a gap in your
      studies.

    If you are not sure if this applies to you, please contact visahelp.io@coventry.ac.uk.

    If you do not qualify based on the above, you must be outside the UK to apply for your Student visa.

    Once you’ve applied, you can stay in the UK until you’ve been given a decision, as long as you applied before your last visa expired. If your previous leave was under a Tier 4 or Student visa, you will be allowed to enrol onto your new course before your previous visa expires. You will need evidence that you have applied for a new Student visa with a CAS from Coventry University.

    If you currently hold a Tier 2 visa and you are switching to a Student visa, you must be granted your new Student visa before you will be allowed to enrol on your course.

    Fees

    Read the latest government information on the fees you can expect to pay.

    How long will it take?

    The earliest you can apply is 3 months before your course starts. You must apply before your current visa expires. Your new course must begin within 28 days of your current visa expiring. You’ll usually get a decision within 8 weeks.

    Immigration health surcharge (IHS)

    You may need to pay a fee towards the cost of healthcare in the UK as part of your immigration application. Once you have paid this, you will be able to use the National Health Service (NHS), which provides medical care in the UK.

    Read the latest government information on the IHS fee you can expect to pay.

    Apply for a Student visa

  • The Short-term study visa is only for students who want to study an English language course in the UK lasting longer than 6 months and up to 11 months.

    If you are applying to study a Pre-sessional English course, you should apply for a Student visa. For study under six months, you need to apply for a Standard Visitor visa.

    The Short-term study visa cannot be extended, and you cannot switch to another visa category from this visa in the UK. You must leave the UK when this visa expires.

    You can only apply for this type of visa from outside the UK.

    How long will it take?

    You can apply for this visa up to 3 months before your date of travel to the UK, and you should get a decision on your visa within 3 weeks.

    Apply for a Short-term study visa

  • A Graduate visa gives you permission to stay in the UK for at least 2 years after successfully completing a course in the UK. You must be in the UK when you apply.

    Sponsorship from an employer is not required (as some points-based system visas require). There is no restriction on the kind of work you can do and no minimum salary. You can spend time looking for work and you are able to switch jobs without any effect on your visa. Your partner and any children under 18 can extend their permission to join you on this visa should they already have permission to stay in the UK as your dependant, however new dependants are not permitted on this route.

    You cannot extend your Graduate visa. However, you may be able to switch to a different visa, for example a Skilled Worker visa.

    You can apply for a Graduate visa if all of the following are true:

    • you’re in the UK
    • your current visa is a Student visa or Tier 4 (General) student visa
    • you studied a UK bachelor’s degree, postgraduate degree or other eligible course for a minimum period of time with your Student visa or Tier 4 (General) student visa
    • your education provider has told the Home Office you’ve successfully completed your course.

    Apply for a Graduate visa

  • You can apply for a Start-up visa if you want to set up an innovative business in the UK - it must be something that’s different from anything else on the market.

    To be eligible, you must be endorsed by an authorised body that is either:

    • a UK higher education institution
    • a business organisation with a history of supporting UK entrepreneurs

    You must be able to show that your business idea is:

    • a new idea - you cannot join in a business that is already trading
    • innovative - you must have an original business idea which is different from anything else on the market
    • viable - it has potential for growth

    If you want to stay longer in the UK

    You cannot apply to extend this visa.

    You may be able to switch to an Innovator visa if you set up a business while on a Start-up visa and:

    • your endorsing body assessed and agreed it
    • it is active, trading and sustainable
    • you have day to day involvement in it

    If your endorsement is withdrawn

    Your visa may be cut short if your endorsement is withdrawn by the endorsing body. If you want to stay longer, you must re-apply with a new endorsement before your current visa expires.

    You can only stay for a total of 2 years even if you’re granted a new visa with a new endorsement.

    How long will it take?

    As part of your application, you’ll need to prove your identity and provide your documents. You may need to allow extra time if you need an appointment to do this. You’ll find out if you need one when you start your application.

    Once you’ve applied online, proved your identity and provided your documents, you’ll usually get a decision on your visa within:

    • 3 weeks, if you’re outside the UK
    • 8 weeks, if you’re inside the UK

    Apply for a Start-up visa

  • You may need to extend your visa because you need to:

    • resit exams or repeat modules
    • apply after working as a Students' Union sabbatical officer to complete a qualification you started studying under your last Student visa (including a Tier 4 (General) student visa)
    • complete a PhD or other doctorate that you started studying under your last Student visa (including a Tier 4 (General) student visa)
    • complete your studies because you’ve done (or want to do) a work placement or study abroad programme

    We can help you download your supporting documents as part of the application process. Once your application has been submitted, the visa compliance team will monitor the progress of your application, and you will be required to produce all ongoing documentation received from the Home Office to this team, until you are in receipt of your new student visa.

    Extend your visa

    To extend your visa you must:

    • be in the UK on a Student visa or a Tier 4 (General) student visa
    • have an unconditional offer of a place on a course with a licensed student sponsor - shown by your Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS)

    If you’ve been in the UK with a valid visa for less than 12 months, you’ll need to prove you have enough money to support yourself in the UK. If you have been in the UK with a valid visa for at least 12 months, you do not need to prove you have the required funds when you apply for your extension.

    If you have dependents with you in the UK, your partner or children will need to apply separately to extend their visa. They can either apply at the same time as you, or at any time before their current visa expires.

    How do I request a CAS letter?

    You will need to complete a CAS and Standard Visitor Visa request online form in full along with uploading the requested documents.

    When to apply

    The earliest you can apply is 3 months before your course starts.

    You must apply before your current visa expires. Your new course must begin within 28 days of your current visa expiring. For example, if your visa expires on 1 December, you must apply for a new visa before 1 December. Your new course must begin by 29 December.

    You must also apply within 6 months of getting a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS).

    You can stay in the UK until you get your decision.

    If you applied for an administrative review because your application was refused, you can stay in the UK until you get your review decision.

    Fees

    For each person, you’ll need to pay:

    You’ll need to have your biometric information (fingerprints and a photo) taken - there’s no fee for this.

    Apply to extend your Student visa

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