Applying for a Student Visa Inside the UK

Students can follow the steps below to apply for a Student Visa inside the UK.


Step 1: Request a CAS

New students

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

Continuing students

  • Please request your CAS from International Student Support using the email below, including your full name and registration number:

Step 2: Check switching, 28 day rule and academic progression requirements 


You can’t apply for a Student Visa inside the UK if you have a visa in any of the following categories:

  • Visitor
  • Short-term Student
  • Parent of a Child Student
  • Seasonal Worker
  • Domestic Worker in a Private Household
  • Outside the Immigration Rules

If your current visa is in any of the categories above, you will need to apply for your Student Visa in your home country.

If your current visa is not in one of the categories above, you can apply for a Student Visa in the UK providing that you meet all of the other requirements. 

28 Day Rule

To be able to successfully apply for a Student Visa inside the UK, the course start date stated on your CAS must be no more than 28 days after the date your current visa expires.

Once your CAS has been issued, you must also check that your course meets the following academic progression requirements:

  • Your new course must be at a higher academic level than your current course.
  • You can only apply to study a course at the same level as your previous course (e.g. a second masters) if both courses are related, deemed to support your career goals by the Admissions Service, or you have exited an integrated Masters or PhD course with the lower level award that formed part of that integrated course (e.g your previous CAS was issued to study an MEng but you exited the course with a BEng).
  • You can only apply in the UK if you have successfully completed your previous course, or if you can provide official evidence that you will successfully complete this.
  • Where you are applying to study a course at a lower level (e.g. you have changed course from a MEng to a BEng), you must apply from outside the UK instead.
  • Where you are extending your Student Visa to continue a course, please visit the page below to determine whether you can apply inside the UK:

Academic Progression for Continuing Students

Academic Progression

Step 3: Check your details

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

  • All of your details and your 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
  • Your CAS shows any accommodation payments you have made to the University (if applicable)

Step 4: Prepare financial and supporting documents

Once you have confirmed your eligibility you need to prepare your financial and supporting documents:

You only need to provide financial documents with your visa application if you have been in the UK for less than 12 months on the date you submit your visa application, unless you submit your visa application after your visa expires. 

We strongly advise that all visa applications are submitted in time, and that you contact International Student Support if you don't think it will be possible for you to submit your visa application before your current visa expires.

Contact International Student Support

  • To meet the financial requirements you must have held 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.

Step 5: Complete visa application form

Once you have prepared your documents you must complete the visa application form.

  • You must pay the visa fees and the Immigration Health Surcharge.

There are two different Student visa application forms you can use and you can access both of them via the link above. 

You will answer a series of questions that will assess whether you can use the UKVI ID check app to confirm your identity. If your answers to the questions mean that you cannot use the app you will be directed to a Student visa application form where you will be invited to book a separate appointment with UKVCAS (UKVI’s Commercial Partner) to give your biometrics at the end of the process. 

After answering these questions, on the UKVI screen entitled ‘Check you can use the app’ you can also select the option ‘I cannot use the app’. You may choose this option, for example:

  • if your phone does not meet the specification for using the app;
  • if your identity document does not have a chip, or 
  • if you are close to the date your visa expires and you are still awaiting a required document. (If the latter scenario applies to you, we would advise you to contact the ISSAC Team). 

If you confirm that you cannot use the app, you will be redirected to the Student visa application form where you will be invited to book a separate appointment with UKVCAS to give your biometrics at the end of the process. The Visa Application form guide at the bottom of the page may help you answer the questions.

After you complete the application form and pay the application fees, you must follow the instructions on screen to set up an account with UKVCAS in order to give your biometrics. The application will be rejected as invalid if you do not book an appointment within 45 days of submitting the visa application.

If you can use the app and click ‘continue’, you will be invited to set up a ‘UKVI Account’. After you have done this, you will be automatically directed to the UKVI ID check app, where you will:

  • Take a picture your identity document (BRP or passport)
  • Scan the chip in your identity document
  • Scan your face
  • Take a photo of your face

If you complete these steps successfully using the app, you have confirmed your identity, and you do not need to book an appointment with UKVCAS to provide your biometrics after you submit the payment for your visa application.

Step 6: Submitting supporting documents

If you used the UKVI ID Check app before you started completing the visa application form:

You will automatically be directed to part 4 of the application form in your UKVI account: “Provide evidence”.

We are aware that the application form may contain errors in the list of documents it asks you to provide. For example, we are aware of cases where the list of documents in this section have not asked for documents such as passports, BRPs and ATAS certificates, when students have actually been required to provide them.

We would advise you to use our webpage on supporting documents to confirm the documents you will need to provide and then ensure you upload all the documents you need to in the “Provide evidence” section of the form, even if this means that you are uploading some documents under a category that states it is for another document. You can upload more than one document under each category that is listed.

Student visa supporting documents
If you did not use the UKVI ID Check app before you completed the visa application form:

Once you have completed the visa application form, you will be invited to create an account on the UKVCAS website. This is run by UKVI's commercial partner, Sopra Steria. You should upload your supporting documents to your UKVCAS online account.

Documents such as:

  • Passports
  • BRPs
  • Police Registration certificates 

These documents will be listed in the ‘Mandatory’ documents section and you should upload these documents in the correct place. However, please note that there may be other important documents that are vital for your visa application that are not listed here because they need to be uploaded in the ‘Other’ documents section. For some students these could include:

  • ATAS certificates
  • Bank documents
  • Financial sponsors’ letters

We would advise you to use our webpage on supporting documents to confirm the documents you will need to provide and then ensure you upload all the documents you need for your application in the ‘Document Upload’ section of your UKVCAS account.

Student visa supporting documents

You will be able to keep your passport and other evidence and take this to your appointment at the UKVCAS centre.

However, your application will be treated as withdrawn if you travel outside the Common Travel Area (UK, Republic of Ireland, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man) after you have made an immigration application. To return, you must make another application outside the UK.

Step 7: Enrol your biometrics (only if you did not use the UKVI ID Check App before completing the visa application form)

If you confirmed your identity using the UK ID check app before you completed the Student visa application form, you do not need to book a separate appointment with UKVCAS to give biometrics.

Otherwise, you must set up an account with UKVCAS after submitting your visa application and book an appointment with them.

You will enrol your biometrics on the date and time that you have booked to attend at a UKVCAS centre. You must take your passport(s) to this appointment, and you should take all other supporting documents for your visa application as well.

Step 8: Check for errors

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

If anything on your visa vignette or your visa decision letter is incorrect, please contact your Visa Application Centre.

If your application has been refused, please complete the form below.

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

For any further questions, please 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 For Continuing Students

New Students Applying for a CAS

Visa Application Form Guide  (Only If you did not use the UKVI ID check app) (PDF, 1.97MB)

UKVI website - Applying for a Student Visa inside the UK