Applying for a Student Visa from outside the UK

If you want to apply for a Student Visa from outside the UK, follow the steps below.


Latest updates 

Where possible we would advise you not to book flights to the UK that cannot be rescheduled or refunded until you have received your passport and vignette (visa). UKVI's processing times for visa applications are only a guide and they can vary, especially at busy times. UKVI are unlikely to expedite applications on the basis that you have travel to the UK already booked.

Up-to-date information on visa processing times

COVID-19 update

The information on this webpage is affected by new temporary guidance that has been released by UKVI in light of the situation with COVID-19. 

See below for a summary of how this affects usual procedures: 

Step 1: Request a CAS

New students

  • When you receive your unconditional offer, follow the instructions given to you by our Admissions Service. 
  • CAS for new students

Continuing students

  • Request your CAS from International Student Support using the email below, including your full name and registration number.

Step 2: Check your details

Once your CAS has been issued, check it carefully to ensure that:

  • All of your personal and course details are correct
  • Your CAS shows any fee payments to the University
  • Your CAS has a note to confirm details of any scholarships you receive from the University. Scholarships you receive from elsewhere will not be included on your CAS
  • Your CAS shows any accommodation payments you have made to the University (if applicable)

Step 3: Prepare financial and supporting documents

Once you have checked your details, you need to prepare your financial and supporting documents.

  • To meet the financial requirements you must have had the required minimum balance in your bank account for at least 28 days before you submit your application.
  • You must submit the visa application within 31 days of your bank document being issued.
  • The submission date for your visa application is the date that you pay your application fee online.
  • Any dependents applying with you must also meet the financial requirements: Dependants and Student Visas overseas

Step 4: Complete visa application form

Any dependants (spouse/partner and or children) applying with you will need to complete a separate application form and pay the application fees separately. You cannot add dependants to your application form when applying for the Student visa outside the UK.

Once you have prepared your documents, you must register and complete the visa application form below. Use the guide that you can download at the bottom of this page to help you. The guide covers many common questions asked about the application form and will help you to avoid making mistakes.

To complete the visa application form you must:

  • Pay the visa fees AND the Immigration Health Surcharge.
  • Book an appointment at a visa application centre.

If applying for a Student visa outside the UK, you must apply either:

  • In your country of nationality, or
  • In the country in which you are living (this means a country where you are there lawfully for a reason other than a short-term visit)

Step 5: Attend appointment at visa application centre (for some applications)

You will either be required to book an appointment at a visa application centre, or you will be invited to use the ‘UK Immigration: ID Check’ app to scan your identity document and upload a photograph of yourself. 

After you confirm your nationality, the first few screens of the online form advise you whether you will need to attend a biometric appointment, or if you can use the app.

If you need to attend an appointment, you will be invited to book an appointment after submitting your visa application online.

You may also be asked to attend a credibility interview.

Step 6: Check the results of your application

Where your application is successful:

  • When you attend a biometric appointment at a Visa Application Centre, you will be issued with a visa vignette valid for one journey to the UK. You must travel to the UK before the vignette expires and you will collect a Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) after you arrive in the UK.
  • If you have used the ‘UK Immigration: ID Check’ app, you will be given a digital immigration status which you can view and prove online.
  • Where the visa you have been granted is less than 6 months in length, and you did not use ID: check app to confirm your identity, you will just receive a vignette for covering the whole duration of your visa. You will not get a BRP.

Where your visa application has been granted, check the length and conditions of your visa are correct.

Where anything on your visa vignette, digital status or your visa decision letter is incorrect, contact your visa application centre.

Where your application has been refused, complete the form below.

Where you encounter any further problems, visit the page below.

For any further questions, contact:

University of Sheffield International College (USIC) students

If you're a USIC student progressing to the University of Sheffield, the page below provides specific information about your visa application and when each step of the process will take place. 

See also:

CAS Frequently Asked Questions

Contact UK Visas and Immigration

Biometric Residence Permits (BRP)

Application guide for visa application form (PDF, 1.28MB)