Visa requirements for Kingston University students

When you have accepted an unconditional offer to study with us, it is time to consider visa requirements. If you are coming to study at Kingston University, you may need one of the following:

Standard Visitor visa

You may need a Standard Visitor visa if you are coming to Kingston University to study for a shorter time (up to six months). Check if this applies to you.

Student Route visa

You may need a Student Route visa if you are coming to Kingston University to study a full-time degree-level course (for more than six months). Check if this applies to you.

The information below is a brief guide to the Student Route visa application process. For more detailed information, please visit UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) and the UK Home Office.

Apply for a Student Route visa

You should apply for your Student Route visa via the GOV.UK website

The Home Office has full guidance on how, when and where to apply for a Student Route visa, but here is a brief summary of the process:

  1. Apply for ATAS clearance (if you study on some science and engineering courses only)
  2. Request your Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS)
  3. Complete your Student Route visa application form online, (if you plan to apply from within the UK, check to make sure you are eligible)
  4. Pay immigration health surcharge and application fee
  5. Book biometrics appointment at a visa application centre (to get a biometric residence permit) as part of your application
  6. Attend biometrics appointment (remember to scan and upload your documents before appointment)
  7. Attend credibility interview (if asked to do so)
  8. Home Office will contact you with a decision (often within three weeks, but visa processing times vary by country)
  9. If your visa is refused, please upload your visa refusal letter onto OSIS and contact the CAS team (cas@kingston.ac.uk
  10. Collect your biometric residence permit (BRP) on arrival in the UK. If you applied within the UK, your BRP will be posted directly to your home address in the UK.

How to apply for a Student Route Visa overseas

Course fee and maintenance requirements

When making your Student Route visa application, you must show that you have enough money to pay the course fees and living costs for the first year of your course. The Home Office calls this the maintenance requirements.

Course fees

You must show enough funds to cover one year of tuition fees. Your course fees will be listed on your offer letter and on the relevant course page on our website.

You can deduct any fees you have paid towards your tuition fees from the total amount you need to show for your fees.

Maintenance

You must have enough money to support yourself while you are studying in the UK. The Home Office uses fixed amounts, which may or may not reflect your actual living costs. For Kingston University, you will need to show:

  • £12,006 to cover your living/maintenance cost (£1,334 per month for a maximum of 9 months).

Sponsored students

If you are fully funded by an official financial sponsor, as defined in the Student Route Policy Guidance, you will require an original letter from your sponsor confirming:

  • the duration of the sponsorship
  • how much they will cover towards your tuition fees
  • how much they will cover towards your living costs.

If your official financial sponsor is not covering all of your course fees and maintenance, you must show that you have the rest of the money required. You can use any combination of the forms of evidence listed above.

Immigration Health Surcharge

You will have to pay an Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) as part of your application. This is in addition to the Student Route visa application fee.

Before you complete your visa application, use the immigration health surcharge tool to calculate how much IHS you need to pay.

The IHS entitles you to use the National Health Service (NHS) if you become unwell or have an accident while studying in the UK.

The amount you have to pay for IHS depends on the length of your visa:

  • £470 for each year of study
  • £235 for periods of less than 6 months (e.g. additional four months of leave granted at the end of your studies)

Supporting documents

You will be required to submit supporting documents with your visa application. For more information on required documents for a Student Route visa, please read the full Home Office guidance and see the UKCISA evidence pages.

Required documents

  • Confirmation of Acceptance of Studies (CAS) – You can request your CAS within six months of your course start date, if you are applying from overseas, accepted your unconditional offer, and completed the fee assessment task in OSIS.
  • Passport or travel document – Must be the same document listed on your CAS.
  • Financial documents – You must show the full amount needed (course fees plus maintenance) for a 28-day period. A bank statement should be printed on the 29th day. Your bank statement closing balance must be no more than 31 days before the date you submit your Student Route visa application. If using parents' bank statements, they must be accompanied by a letter of consent from parents and proof of the relationship (e.g. birth certificate). The Immigration Rules Appendix Finance gives very precise instructions strictly to ensure you meet the financial requirements.
  • Academic and English qualifications – Must be the same qualifications you used to receive an offer to study with Kingston University and which are listed on your CAS.

Additional supporting documents

Depending on your situation, you may also be required to submit:

  • Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) – If your course requires ATAS clearance, we will not issue a CAS until we have received a copy of the ATAS certificate. You can apply for an ATAS certificate up to 9 months before the starting date of your course.
  • Tuberculosis (TB) Medical Certificate – You'll need to have a TB test from a UKVI approved test centre if you are coming to the UK for more than 6 months and are resident in any of these listed countries.
  • Letter of Consent from parents – If you are under 18 years of age.
  • Official English translations – If any supporting documents are not in English.

Credibility interview

You may be required to attend a credibility interview. This will usually be conducted by video link with a UKVI officer in the UK, although some are face-to-face interviews at Home Office centres across the UK (if you are applying from inside the UK).

During your interview a member of Home Office staff may ask you:

  • about your course;
  • where you want to study;
  • your reasons for studying in the UK;
  • how you plan to finance your studies.

The UKVI officer must be satisfied that you are a genuine student, and that your English language ability is at the correct level, otherwise you might be called for a further interview or your application may be refused.

See the UKCISA website for more information.

Dependants

Some students can apply to have their family with them in the UK as dependants. The application will be reviewed against your Student Route visa immigration status and the type of degree you will be studying at Kingston University.

To find out who counts as a dependant, and how to apply, please see the UKCISA website.

You can apply for a dependant visa (for your spouse or child) on the Home Office website.

Protecting yourself from scams

Keep safe online

Read the frauds and scams guidance on the UKCISA website, for the latest information and advice.

Further guidance and FAQs

What is the Student Route visa application process?

This process applies globally except for EU/EEA or Swiss nationals whose passport has a biometric chip are advised to follow the digital application process.

1. Prepare your supporting documents

You should submit a completed Student Route visa application with the correct supporting documents. Your decision can take longer to be assessed if you do not do this.

You will need:

  • Current passport/travel documentation
  • CAS reference number

You may also need:

  • Proof of English language proficiency
  • Proof of finances (to fund your course fees and maintenance)
  • Parental consent letter if using your parents' bank account
  • Your birth certificate to prove your relationship
  • OANDA Conversion if your maintenance is in foreign currency
  • Proof of parental or guardian consent (for students under 18)
  • Education certificates
  • TB test certificate (if necessary)
  • ATAS certificate

2. Check the postcode for Biometric Resident Permit (BRP) delivery

At the end of your Student Route visa application, you will be asked to enter a post code of a post office where you can collect your BRP in the UK. Please enter KT1 1TP – this is Kingston upon Thames Post Office, Unit L7, Bentall Shopping Centre, Dolphin Street, Kingston upon Thames KT1 1TP.

If you wish to collect your BRP at another post office, you must enter the post code of that post office.

Do not enter the University post code as Kingston University is not an Alternative Collection Location for BRPs.

3. Submit your Student Route visa application

Do this on the Government website.

4. You will be invited to book and attend an appointment

This will be at a VFS or TLS Visa Application Centre (VAC) to submit your biometric information (fingerprints and digital photograph) and supporting documents.

5. Wait for your decision.

Your application will be sent to UKVI to assess. UKVI will complete biometric, criminal and travel history checks. You may be called for an interview.

UKVI is currently experiencing very high global demand and summer is peak period for student visa applications so there may be delays to receiving a decision. Please check the Government website for the latest information about global decision waiting times.

6. Collect your passport.

A visa vignette (sticker) will be stamped inside your passport with 90-day validity (from the start of your visa) to travel to the UK and you will be contacted when your passport is ready for collection. Please do not attend the VAC until you have been contacted.

7. Read more about entering the UK.

You will not be required to complete a PCR test before arrival into the UK however you should check with your airline if this is required for your flight. Read more on the UK government website about entering the UK.

How long will my Student Route visa take?

Student visa applications are currently taking up to five weeks to process. UKVI is currently experiencing very high global demand and summer is peak period for student visa applications so there may be delays to receiving a decision.

The latest global decision waiting times can be found on the Government website

Priority and Super Priority services are currently temporarily suspended for student applications. This is due to extended delays across the visa system following the prioritisation of Ukraine Scheme applications in response to the humanitarian crisis.

UKVI continually monitor application volumes and will make customers aware once these services are available.

How long can we expect this situation to continue/last?

UKVI are working to reduce the current processing time as quickly as possible and apologise for any inconvenience caused.

The latest information on the decision waiting times can be found on the Government website.

Will I be able to get a refund if UKVI take too long?

UKVI will process all applications as soon as possible and apologise for any delay customers experience. They are unable to offer refunds for visa fees once you have visited the Visa Application Centre and submitted your biometrics. Please note: if your student visa is granted but it is too late to travel the money your paid for your visa application fee and the immigration health surcharge will not be refunded.

What happens if I have an urgent/ important/ compassionate reason to travel?

We recommend students apply in July if able to do so rather than waiting until August if they need to travel in time for their September course start date.

Where there are extremely compassionate or compelling circumstances, UKVI may consider expediting specific cases. However, the bar for this is very high and will be assessed on a case-by-case basis. Customers should make these circumstances known at the visa application centre or by contacting UKVI.

What can I do to help speed up my Student Route visa application?

There are a few steps you can take to make your application journey smoother and help avoid delays:

  • Read and follow our Guide on our website to complete your Student Route visa application. It has important information relating to supporting documents, post code for your BRP delivery in the UK, and answers to general questions on the student visa application.
  • Before you start your application check that you have all the documents you need. This will mean UKVI won't need to contact you for further documentation.
  • Make sure you have your documents ready and try not to rush your application. Check the information you have provided is correct.
  • Make sure the funds (proof to show you have enough money to pay for your course and support yourself in the UK) are stored in your (or your parent's/legal guardian's) bank account for at least 28 consecutive days before you apply for your visa. We also advise you add a little extra money to the account to allow for currency fluctuations.

Can I pay to have my application done faster after submitting my biometrics?

UKVI Priority and Super Priority services are currently temporarily suspended for student applications. This is due to extended delays across the visa system following the prioritisation of Ukraine Scheme applications in response to the humanitarian crisis.

UKVI continually monitor application volumes and will make customers aware once PV/SPV services are available.

Dependants - can I bring my partner and children with me?

A student's partner, or children aged under 18 may be able to come to the UK providing the student is studying an eligible course. You can choose to apply for their visa at the same time as you apply for yours or after you have received yours. You must provide proof of your relationship and proof of finances to fund their maintenance. This is in addition to the proof of finances that you will show as part of your own application.

For further information, visit the Government website and the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA)

The University hasn't issued my CAS reference number yet; can I apply for my visa?

In order to apply for a Student Route visa, you must have received the CAS reference number from us. If you have not yet requested a CAS, you should apply for this as soon as you have accepted an unconditional offer with us. You can find lots of information and advice about requesting a CAS on our web pages but if you cannot find the answer to your question, please get in touch with the CAS team and they will be able advise what you need to do.

There are no visa appointments to book; what should I do?

For updates to the status of VACs in your country check with:

  • TLS Contact if you are in Europe, Africa and parts of the Middle East
  • VFS Global for all other countries

Appointments are continually being released so if you are not able to get an appointment time to suit you, please keep checking back on the VFS or TLS website.

Some locations have more than one appointment centre so if you are not able to find a suitable appointment at your preferred location, you may wish to check availability at other locations near you.

You should consider applying as early as you can so that you have plenty of time to attend your appointment and receive your visa before your course is due to start. Applications overseas can be made up to six months before the course start date.

Pre-settled or settled status

You don't need a visa to study in the UK if you have been granted pre-settled or settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme.