Visas and Residence Permits: United Kingdom

Before you come to study in the UK it is important that you find out about UK immigration procedures and how they will affect you. You should do this as far in advance of your arrival in the UK as possible.

Since the introduction of the Points-Based Systems in 2009, Non EU/EEA Nationals wishing to come to the UK to study a course for longer than 6 months are required to apply for immigration permissions under Tier 4 (General). The UK Border Agency (UKBA) publishes a Quick Guide for Students with details about the eligibility criteria and application process.

Due to the volume of applicants submitted at certain times of year there may be delays in the visa process in your home country so it is very important that you apply for your visa as soon as possible. You can apply for a visa up to 3 months before your course start date. You need to score 40 points. You will score 30 points for having a CAS (Confirmation of Acceptance of Studies). You will score the other 10 points for meeting the maintenance requirement. Maintenance means the amount of money that you have to show to prove that you can pay your tuition fees and living costs whilst you are studying in the UK. You will be required to provide all this evidence, including your academic documents when you apply for a visa in your home country. For further information about CAS, please check the list of CAS Frequently Asked Questions.

If you have any queries regarding your immigration status please contact the Visa Guidance Team.

If you have a Tier 4 visa you will therefore need to attend a Visa, Passport and Identity ‘Check-in’ with Student Services as soon as you arrive in Southampton (or if you are already in Southampton and are renewing your visa, as soon as you receive your renewal visa). This is in addition to the identity check your Faculty will carry out. For instructions about how to ‘Check-in’ please click here.

If your visa requires you to do so, you must register with the police within 7 days of arrival in the UK. If you do not, you will be breaking the law. The Visa Guidance Team can provide more details on this.

Further information on immigration and visa application procedures: