Apply for a Tier 4 student visa from outside the UK

If you are coming to the UK to study on a Tier 4 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 Tier 4 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 Tier 4 student visa

  • Please familiarise yourself with the list of required supporting documents before you start the visa application process
  • You can submit your visa application up to 3 months before the start of your course; if you submit your visa application more than 3 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 Visa Services
  • Have a tuberculosis (TB) test if required. See UKVI tuberculosis tests for visa applicants information for more details
  • Follow the UKVI apply for a Tier 4 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 £348 for Standard service. You will also need to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge, which is set at £300 per each year of visa and is calculated in 6-month blocks. 
  • If you are coming to the UK for longer than 6 months, you will have to collect a Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) on arrival. We recommend that you request for it to be delivered to the Unversity. To find out how to arrange this please visit our Biometric Residence Permit webpage
  • Read our Tier 4 visa essential information carefully to ensure that you understand your obligations as a Tier 4 visa holder

UKVI Tier 4 Policy Guidance

Read the UKVI Tier 4 Policy Guidance here

Contact us

Find out how to contact us

Visa question?

Travelling to the UK before Tier 4 visa start date

If you are a non-visa national and you plan to travel to the UK before the start date of your Tier 4 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 Tier 4 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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