EU, EEA and Swiss Students

EU, EEA and Swiss students coming to live in the UK on or after 1 January 2021 will need to apply for and secure a Student visa before arrival. EU, EEA and Swiss nationals already residing in the UK by 31 December 2020 should not need to do this but will need to apply for the EU Settlement Scheme by the relevant deadline in order to regularise their status. Please see our Brexit, EU, EEA and Swiss Students webpage for further information. 

Apply for a Student visa from outside the UK

If you are coming to the UK to study on a Student visa for the first time, you must apply for your visa in your home country before you travel.

If you are already studying in the UK, you may be able to apply for your Student visa from inside the UK. If you do not meet the conditions for applying from inside the UK, you must apply from outside the UK.

How to apply for your Student visa

  • Please familiarise yourself with the list of required supporting documents before you start the visa application process
  • You will need to have a passport that is valid for the whole duration of your stay. Please visit this webpage for further information 
  • You can submit your visa application up to 6 months before the start of your course; if you submit your visa application more than 6 months before the start date of your course it will be refused
  • You must have received your Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) number by email before you apply. Please note that each CAS can be used to apply once.
  • If you are starting a new course at Bristol, a relevant admissions team will issue your CAS once you have met all the conditions of your offer. If you have already started a course and need another new visa to complete it, you will need to request a new CAS from Student Visas
  • Have a tuberculosis (TB) test if required. See UKVI tuberculosis tests for visa applicants information for more details
  • Follow the UKVI apply for a Student visa instructions and fill in the online application form
  • As part of the process you will be required to pay the visa application fee, which is currently £363 for Standard service. You will also need to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge, which is set at £470 per each year of visa and is calculated in 6-month blocks. Please visit this webpage for information on how the UKVI calculate the IHS payments. Wrap-up time awarded after the CAS end date will be counted as well, so a student taking a 4-year PhD programme for example will be liable for 4.5 years of IHS payments upfront
  • If you are not a EU, EEA or Swiss national and are coming to the UK for longer than 6 months, you will be expected to enrol biometric information and will have to collect a Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) on arrival. This will be delivered to a post office that you choose in the last stages of your application or to the University, please see our Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) information for details on how to collect it from the University. If you have previously had a BRP, please be aware that your new BRP replaces your old BRP, so even if you have time left on your old BRP it will no longer be valid and cannot be used for travel.
  • EU, EEA and Swiss nationals should not need to enrol biometric information and should be able to use the new ‘UK Immigration: ID Check’ app which will use a chip in their passport to verify an applicant’s identity. If the chip is broken, or someone is unable to use the app, then they will be directed to a Visa Application Centre to enrol biometrics instead. See Using the 'UK Immigration: ID Check' app for information about how to use the app on your phone
  • EU, EEA and Swiss nationals will receive electronic notification of UKVI’s decision and will be able to check their immigration status and its conditions at any time using the ‘view and prove’ service on the GOV.UK portal. This function will also allow them to prove their immigration status to the University and employers
  • Read our Student visa essential information carefully to ensure that you understand your obligations as a Student visa holder

Student Visa Policy Guidance and information

Read the UKVI Student visa Policy Guidance here

For more advice and guidance, please see the Study UK: British Council website.

Contact us

Find out how to contact us

Travelling to the UK before Student visa start date

If you are a non-visa national and you plan to travel to the UK before the start date of your Student visa, you will most likely be admitted as Visitor on that occasion. Please note that you will then be required to leave and re-enter the UK during your one-month vignette validity dates in order to activate your Student visa leave. To be able to register you the University will need to see a stamp on the vignette or other proof of travel. 

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