Student visa - applying in UK

A Student's Journey


Check if you can apply for a Student visa in the UK. Most new students will need to apply for their Student visas before travelling to the UK. You will not be able to apply for a Student visa in the UK if you are currently here as a visitor. Please contact the International Student Adviser if you are not sure whether you can apply for your Student visa inside the UK.


Collect all your 'Supporting documents needed to apply for a 'Student visa'.

UK Visas & Immigration poster for applying for a UK student visa Supporting Documents

Complete a 'Student visa' application form by following the instructions on the visa tutorial. DO NOT go beyond the 'Declaration' page on the on-line form.

Presentation slide for tutorial on how to extend your student visa in country Visa Tutorial

Book a 'Check & Submit' appointment with the International Student Adviser.


The International Student Adviser will check your supporting documents and go through your visa application form.

Student listening during meeting

Once your application form has been checked, you will pay the Immigration Health Surcharge, calculated at £776 per 12 months, based on the length of leave that you are granted. To help you calculate how much you will have to pay please see the calculator.

Surcharge Calculator

Pay the Student visa application fee, currently the standard fee is £490.

Student writing with pen

Whilst Covid-19 measures are in place, it is likely that the Home Office will re-use the biometrics that you have already provided for your previous visa application. You will need to verify your identity via the UKVCAS IDV app.


Scan and upload your documents onto your visa application - the International Student Adviser will help you with this. Make sure that all your evidence shows that you met the requirements on the day on which you submitted your application.


Do not travel before you receive your new visa, if you decide to travel before your new visa is issued, your application will be withdrawn and you will need to make a new visa application to return to the UK.


You should receive a decision on your Student visa within 8 weeks from the date that you submitted the application.

Monthly calendar view for March 2019

Contact the International Student Adviser if you have any questions or need help with applying for your visa.

Hashtag we are international in black text on gold background. Email


How long can I study at Aberystwyth on a Study visa?

Recent changes to the immigration rules now mean that students are limited to spending 5 years on courses at degree level. There are no limits to postgraduate study.  There are some exceptions to these rules, so please consult the International Student Adviser if you are not sure whether a new visa application will take you over the time limit caps.

Also see:

How much money do I need to show for my visa application?

You need to show that you have enough money for your:

Tuition fees for your first period of study. You can deduct payments that have been made towards your tuition fees and that are noted on your CAS. 


Living expenses:

  • Students  have to show that they have £1,023 per month to cover their living costs, for a maximum of 9 months, i.e. £9,207 for a full academic year.  
  • Dependants £680 per month/per person, i.e. £6,120 for a full academic year. 
  • If you live in University accommodation, you can deduct money you have paid to the University from the total amount of living costs. A maximum of £1,265 can be deducted (even if you have paid more than this).
  • All funds must have been available to you for a minimum period of 28 continuous days on the date that you apply for your visa.

If you have been living in the UK for the last twelve months, and hold a valid visa, you do not need to meet this requirement. 

How do I prove I have enough money for my visa application?

The immigration rules are very strict about the financial documents you must show to prove you have enough money to support yourself (and your dependants if you have any) whilst you are studying in the UK .

You will need to provide evidence of one, or a combination of the following:

1.  Cash in a bank account.  Cash in your, or a parent or legal guardian’s, bank account for a 28 day period - see more information about bank statements you need to provide.

IMPORTANT:  If you are using your bank account or the bank account of your parents or legal guardian, the money must be held in cash and you must show that you have held the money in your, your parents', or your legal guardians' bank account for at least 28 continuous days.  Your balance must not have dropped below the required amount.  If the balance has dropped below the right amount even for just 1 day, you will not meet the financial requirements and your student visa will be rejected.

The date of the bank statement must not be more than 31 days old on the date that you submit your visa application.

The money must not be held in a bank or a financial institution which UKVI view as untrustworthy. 

2.  Loan.  A loan must be a student loan provided by: a government; or, a government sponsored student loan company; or, an officially regulated academic or educational loans scheme.

3.  Letter from an official financial or government sponsor. The UKVI define only the following institutions as "official financial sponsors":

  • your country’s national government or the UK government
  • the British Council
  • an international organisation
  • an international company
  • a University

See more information about what documents you need to provide if you have an official sponsor.

If I am using a bank account, what evidence do I need to provide?

If you are using your own personal bank account, you need to provide your original bank statement in your name covering a 28 day period.

The date of the bank statement must be no more than 1 month old at the time you submit your student visa application.

Your original personal bank statement must show:

  • your name
  • account number
  • the date of statement
  • the name and logo of the bank
  • bank's contact details
  • that the balance has not fallen below the required amount for the full 28 day period.

If you use electronic statements, they must include all the standard information above.  You cannot use mini-statements from automatic teller machines (ATMs).

Cash in a parent or legal guardian's account If you are using cash in a bank account in your parent or legal guardian’s name then you must include your parents’ or legal guardian’s original bank statement including all the same information as on the personal bank statement.  Your parents must write a letter saying that they will support you financially for the duration of your course.

If your parents or legal guardians are providing your tuition fees and living costs, you must also prove that they are your parents or legal guardians.

You do this by providing one of the following:

  • your original birth certificate, showing the name of your parents
  • certificate of adoption showing your name
  • original court documents stating the name of your legal guardian

Overseas Banks Statements

You can use an overseas bank account. However, if your funds are not in pounds sterling (£), you should convert the closing balance and write this sum on the document that you are using as evidence of your finances. The Home Office uses to convert currencies into pounds sterling, so you must use this exchange rate too.

Funds will not be considered if they are held in a financial institution where any of the following apply:

  • the Home Office is unable to make satisfactory verification checks; or
  • the financial institution is not regulated by the appropriate regulatory body for the country in which that institution is operating; or
  • the financial institution does not use electronic record keeping.


What evidence do I need if I have an official sponsor?

You will need confirmation from your official sponsor that you are allowed to extend your stay in the UK.

UKVI define an official sponsor as one of the following:

  • your country's national government or the UK government
  • the British Council
  • an international organisation
  • an international company
  • a University
  • a UK Independent School

If your official financial sponsor is paying all your tuition fees and living expenses, you do not have to provide separate evidence of your savings. However, you must provide a letter from your official financial sponsor confirming that your sponsor will pay all your tuition fees and living expenses. This letter must be on official letterhead paper showing:

  • Your name
  • The name and contact details of the official financial sponsor
  • The date of the letter
  • The length of the sponsorship – start and end date
  • The amount of money the sponsor is giving you or confirmation that they will pay all your tuition fees and living expenses
  • The official stamp of the organisation

If your sponsor only pays some of your costs, you will need a letter from them and proof that you have enough money yourself to meet the rest of the maintenance requirements (e.g. personal bank statements).

Can I make deductions if I have paid some fees?

Yes, you can deduct the following from the total amount of money you need:

the amount you have paid towards course fees


up to a maximum of £1,265 you have paid towards your Aberystwyth University accommodation fees

You cannot deduct anything for accommodation fees if you arranged the accommodation yourself (in other words, private accommodation).

If you pay all, or some of your tuition fees, you will need to check that the amount you have paid towards your tuition fees is recorded in the CAS email.

We do not recommend that you pay any fees between receiving your CAS email and applying for your visa.

When can I apply for my Student visa?

You can apply for your visa up to 3 months before the start date of your course, but your course cannot start more than 28 days after your current leave expires, if it does, you will need to return home to apply to extend your visa.

The time required to process your visa will vary, depending on the time of year that you are making your application, but it should not take longer than 8 weeks.  

You should not make any travel arrangements until you have received your new visa and the UKVI has returned all your supporting documents.

Do I need to attend an interview as part of the application

Credibility Interviews

If you are not from a Am I a low risk national and if so what does this mean?, then as part of your visa application you may be required to attend a short interview at an UKVI office. The interview will focus on your reasons for applying for new leave, this is known as a credibility interview. An UKVI staff member may ask you questions about your immigration history, your previous education, the course you are planning to study at Aberystwyth University, your post study plans and your financial circumstances.

If you do not attend this interview without a good reason, your application will be refused.

You should be able to answer the questions at the interview without the assistance of an interpreter and to a standard that matches the English Language requirements that are stated on your CAS.

It is important to prepare for the interview and to help you, here are some examples of the types of questions that you may be asked:

Why you need to extend your Tier 4 visa?

  • how studying this course will help with your future plans;
  • how this course fits in with any previous courses you have done.

You should know the following details of your course at Aberystwyth University:

  • how long your course is;
  • what modules you will be studying;how many students will there be on your course;
  • how you will be assessed;
  • what qualification you will receive at the end of your course;
  • whether the course offers any professional qualifications/recognition;
  • why you have chosen not to study this course in your home country.

You should know some details about Aberystwyth University, for example you may be asked:

  • where Aberystwyth is in the UK;
  • how big the University is;
  • why you chose to study at Aberystwyth;
  • what other places you considered.

You should not be asked about your academic ability to follow the course, as Aberystwyth University has already assessed this.

Here are some examples of things you may be asked about your finances:

  • if the money you have shown for your application is genuinely available to you;
  • who is financing your studies;
  • the profession of your financial sponsor and what relationship they are to you;
  • whether you have evidence of the financial status of your financial sponsor; e.g. current bank statements
  • if you have a loan, you may be asked how you plan to pay this back.

You should know some details about the cost of living and studying in the UK, for example, you may be asked:how much your tuition fees are and when you are paying them;

  • where you are planning to live and how much it will cost;
  • what your anticipated annual living expenses will be while you are studying at Aberystwyth;
  • if you are planning on working, whether you know how many hours you are allowed to work, and how much you are likely to be paid;
  • how reliant you are on being able to work.

Am I a low risk national and if so what does this mean?

You are considered to be a low risk national by UK immigration officials (UKVI) if you are from one of the following countries:

  • Australia
  • Bahrain
  • Barbados
  • Brazil
  • Botswana
  • British National Overseas
  • Brunei
  • Cambodia
  • Canada
  • Chile
  • China
  • The Dominican Republic
  • EU and EEA countries
  • Indonesia
  • Hong Kong
  • Japan
  • Kazakhstan
  • Kuwait
  • Malaysia
  • Mauritius
  • Mexico
  • New Zealand
  • Oman
  • Peru
  • Qatar
  • Serbia
  • Singapore
  • South Korea
  • Switzerland
  • Thailand
  • Taiwan (those who hold a passport issued by Taiwan that includes the number of the identification card issued by the competent authority in Taiwan)
  • Tunisia
  • United Arab Emirates
  • United States of America

If you are a national of one of these countries you will not need to provide your qualifications or evidence of your maintenance funds with your supporting documents.

However, the UKVI reserves the right to request the full range of documents in all cases. Therefore you MUST prepare these documents just in case. UKVI change the list of low risk nationals regularly, so please check to country is still on the list.  Further advice is available from

How long will it take to get my visa?

It can take up to 8 weeks to get your visa. 

You should not make any travel arrangements until you have received your new visa and the UKVI has returned all your supporting documents.

Can I apply for my dependants to extend their visas?

A "dependant" is your partner/husband/wife and any dependant children you may have. As of 1 January 2024, dependants can normally only stay with you in the UK if:

  • you are studying a full-time research-based higher degree, a PhD or other doctoral qualification of nine months or longer, or,
  • you are in receipt of a scholarship or sponsorship from a Government and the course is full-time and at least six months long

There are different rules if your dependant already has Student dependant immigration permission (or it expired no more than three months before this application), or your dependant is your child who was born since you were last granted your immigration permission. Please contact the International Student Adviser if these circumstances apply to you.

More information on bringing your dependants with you is available from the UKCISA website