Applying for a student visa (outside the UK)

Applying for a Student visa should be fairly straight forward as long as you are prepared. This page is designed to answer your initial questions. 

This information relates to making an application outside of the UK.

If you plan to apply from within the UK because, for example, you have a valid UK visa that permits you to extend/switch to the Student visa category in the UK, or you are progressing to a higher level of study and your current Student visa expires less than 28 days before your course start date, please visit our Student Visa inside the UK application page.

  1. When to apply for your student visa

    The earliest you can submit an application to UKVI is 6 months before the start date of your programme if applying from outside the UK or 3 months if applying from inside the UK. If you submit an application earlier than this you will automatically be refused. The application date is the date you pay for your application.

    Do not travel to the UK before you have received the visa in your passport, or before your visa start date

  2. Biometrics

    As part of the application process you will be required to give biometric information.

    Most applicants must still physically attend a visa application centre for a biometrics appointment. The only exception is EEA nationals who have a biometric chip in their passport.

  3. Visa application fee

    Standard application: The visa application fee will be £490.00, equivalent in the local currency of the country where you will be applying from if applying outside the UK. The visa application usually takes a minimum of 3 weeks from the date of application

    Priority Service: You may be able to pay an additional £500.00 for the Priority service. Your visa application should then be processed within 5 working days from the date of application

    Super Priority Service: You may be able to pay an additional £1000.00 for the Super Priority service. Your application should then be processed by the end of the next working day from your date of application

  4. Healthcare charge (IHS surcharge)

    All Student Route visa applications made for a programme of study of more than 6 months in duration will be required to pay a fee for access to NHS healthcare in the UK. You must pay this Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) fee in advance and it is a mandatory requirement for a visa application. If you do not pay it your visa application will be refused.  

    From 6 February 2024, IHS is £776.00 per year, – calculate your total IHS payment.

  5. Credibility interviews (only relevant for entry clearance)

    As part of the application process students should be prepared to have a credibility interview. This will ordinarily take place at the Visa Centre at the same time as you go for your biometric appointment. Interviews should be done over Skype and you will talk to a UKVI member of staff based in the UK. The purpose of the interview is to check that you are a genuine student. For most students the interview will be quite short, no more than 5-10 minutes.

    The Entry Clearance Officer who deals with your application will be given a copy of the transcript of the interview and will use that to assess your credibility along with the other documents you provide with the application.

    If UKVI have concerns about your credibility they may contact you for a second interview that will take place face to face or by telephone.

  6. BRP Collection

    As part of your visa application you specify a correspondence address. We would usually advise you to use the university’s immigration compliance department address as this is a safe and secure place to have your BRP delivered to.

    If you are applying outside the UK, you must enter the following code in the Alternative Collection Location (ACL) section of the ‘Biometric Residence Permit Collection’ part of your visa application: 2HE487

    De Montfort University
    c/o Immigration Compliance
    The Gateway
    LE1 9BH

    If you do not enter our ACL code, this will automatically be delivered to the nearest Post Office to DMU and you will need to collect your BRP card from the address stated on your Home Office decision letter.

  7. What you need to make an application

    • Passport(s): You will need to provide your current passport and any previous passports needed as part of the application 

    • Proof of qualifications:  You will need to provide certificates or transcripts of the qualifications you used to obtain your unconditional offer. This includes your academic qualifications and any relevant English Language qualifications (such as your IELTS test). These documents will be listed on your CAS statement. You only need to provide the documents listed there.

    • Financial evidence:  You will need to provide the document(s) showing you meet the financial requirements. If these documents are not in English you will need to additionally supply an official verified translation. For information about what evidence you need to provide for your finances please see the guidance provided by UKCISA 

    • If using parents funds, you will need to include a letter of permission from the parent(s) and your birth certificate.
    • If you are financially sponsored by a government or international business for example, you will need to include an official financial sponsorship letter

    • Please see our Financial documents page for more information

    • ATAS certificate: You may be required to provide an ATAS certificate with your application if you are studying at advanced levels in certain subject areas.

    • Tuberculous (TB) test:  If you have been outside of the UK more than 6 months and you are applying from a country that requires a TB test

    • Translated documents (If any documents are not in English): 

      If your documents are not in English you will need to provide official verified translations in addition to the originals, each translation must contain:

      • confirmation from the translator / translation company that it is an accurate translation of the original document
      • the date of the translation
      • the full name and signature of the translator, or of an authorised official of the translation company
      • the contact details of the translator or translation company; and
      • certification by a qualified translator and details of the translator or translation company’s credentials
  8. Foreign currencies

    If your funds are not in Pound Sterling (GBP), then you will need to ensure that you check the currency conversion on the date of visa application to ensure your funds are high enough to cover any unpaid tuition fees plus maintenance when converted from the foreign currency into GBP.
  9. Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS)

    You will need to enter the new unique CAS number you have been issued into your visa application when requested in the application. You must ensure the CAS you use is for DMU with sponsor licence number ‘65WAU7E24’ and that it has not already expired. The expiry date will be confirmed on the first page of the CAS document.


How to make your application

You need to make your Student Route visa application from the application page, and choose applying outside the UK (entry clearance).

Go to visa application


Overstaying your visa 

If you are eligible to extend your student visa from within the UK, you must ensure that you submit your visa application before your current visa expires. If you do not submit your application in-time, you will become an overstayer. 

Overstaying means allowing your visa to expire and staying in the UK which is a criminal offence.  

If you have become an overstayer, you will need to depart the UK immediately. Any further visa application you make will need to be submitted from outside the UK. You may also be required to provide evidence to show that you have left the UK before the university considers assigning a new CAS and could also impact on your ability to get a new visa.