Applying outside the UK

Information about how to make a Student visa application in your country of residence, outlining the application process, what you need to prepare and what you need to be aware of.

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Visa processing times

Please note that UK Visas and Immigration is prioritising Ukraine Visa Scheme applications, therefore applications for study visas may take longer to process.  Further information can be found on the UKVI website

On this page you will find information about: 

The application process

Find out more about:

How and where is an application made?

A Student Visa application is made online, unless you are from North Korea, in which case you must make a paper application.

You need to make the application from the country that you are ordinarily resident in. Normally this means your country of nationality. However if you hold a residence permit in a country other than your nationality you may be able to apply from there. You will need to check with the local embassy first though.

Your application will be processed through the nearest Visa Centre in the country you are applying. You will need to travel to this visa centre as part of the application process. You can find out where this is by using the application centre finder on the UKVI website. Some countries do not have visa centres so you may be expected to travel to a neighbouring country.

EU Nationals will be able to make their visa applications via the ID Check App. This means you will not need to attend an appointment at a Visa Application Centre as you will be able to submit your biometrics and upload your documents via the ID Check App. Further information on the process can be found in the following government publication which you can download at this link.

When to make an application

The earliest you can submit an application is 6 months before the start date of your programme listed on your CAS. If you submit an application earlier than this you will automatically be refused. The application date is the date you pay for your application (whether this is online or at a visa application centre). This means the date shown on your payment receipt.  

Biometrics appointment

As part of the application process you will be required to give biometric information. This means fingerprints and facial image. This has to be done in person at a Visa Centre. You book an appointment to do this online after you submit and pay for your application.

Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS)

All Student 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 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. For further information see our Heathcare fee page (within the Student visa page).

BRP Collection

We will soon start to receive delivery of Biometric Residence Permits (BRPs) to UCL campus and so if you have used UCL's ACL code (2HE484) in your visa application, you will be contacted with further details on how to collect your BRP.  Alternatively, you can choose for your BRP to be delivered to either your UK address or the Post Office.

If you have chosen for your BRP will be sent to a designated Post Office. You will receive a decision letter from UKVI along with your 30 day travel visa (vignette) which will confirm details of the Post Office where you will need to collect your BRP. Please note UCL will not contact you when your BRP is available for collection from the Post Office. You will need to make arrangements to collect this yourself within 10 days of your arrival in the UK (except where there are covid-19 measures in place). You will need to take your passport and UKVI decision letter with you to collect this. It may be that there are long queuing times at Post Offices so please ensure that you leave yourself plenty of time to do this and that you bring everything you need with you.

Please visit the BRP webpage for further information. 


As part of your Student visa application, you will be required to provide a UK address and post code.

If you have applied for UCL accommodation, you should enter the UCL Student Residences address below:

UCL Student Residences
University College London
117 Gower Street

Otherwise, you should enter the address of the hostel or other temporary accommodation where you will stay while you find somewhere to live, or alternatively you can put the main UCL address below:

University College London
Gower Street

Credibility interviews

You may be asked to attend a credibility interview as part of your visa application. If you need to have an interview you will be notified of this by e-mail (check your junk mail).

Find out more about:

Where and when will I have an interview?

This will take place at the Visa Centre at the same time as you go for your biometric appointment. Interviews will be done over Skype and you will talk to a Home Office 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.

What will they ask?

Questions may be asked about your background and immigration history; about your previous education; about why you chose to study at UCL in London, details of the studies you are planning to take including details of modules. They may also ask about your financial circumstances.

How will the interview affect my application?

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

What happens if my visa is refused?

If they have concerns about your credibility then they can still refuse your application even if you meet all of the other requirements.

If you have your visa refused please contact the Student Immigration Advice Team by using the contact form for further help. You should also contact UCL Visa Compliance to let them know of your refusal.

What do you need to make an application?

  • Application form: You can start your application via this link. You should download a copy of your online application for your own record. See our guidance on how to make this application below 
  • Application fee: You will need to pay a fee the equivalent of £490 in local currency
  • Immigration Health Surcharge: You will need to pay the immigration health surcharge fee as part of your application. You can calculate the surcharge fee using the calculator on the IHS website
  • Passport(s): You will need to provide your current passport and any previous passports needed as part of the application
  • CAS statement: You will need a CAS from UCL. Please see information on what a CAS is and how to obtain one on the the "CAS" tab in our Student visa page.
  • Financial evidence: For information about what evidence you need to provide for your finances please see the "Money" tab in our Student Visa page. If your documents are not in English you will need to supply an official verified translation.
  • ATAS certificate: You may be required to provide an ATAS certificate with your application if you are not from the European Economic Area or Switzerland and are planning to study in the areas of Science, Engineering and Technology. To find out whether you need an ATAS certificate please see the "Academic Technology Approval Scheme" tab in our Student visa page. If you need an ATAS certificate for your programme, you will be required to submit it with your application documents.
  • English language: You do not need to provide English language evidence if you are studying a UCL degree. Your CAS will state that UCL (higher education institution) has made its own assessment, and therefore you are exempted from providing English evidence in your visa application.
  • TB screening: in some countries you must show that you have been screened for Tuberculosis (TB). Please check with your local visa centre to see if you need to obtain a certificate confirming you are free from TB before you apply for a visa. More information can be found on the UKVI website.
  • Translation of documents: 1) Confirmation that the translation is an accurate translation of the original document. 2) The date of the translation. 3) The full name and signature of the translator or of an authorised official of the translation company. 4) The contact details of the translator or translation company.  5) The translation must be verifiable by the Home Office

How to make your application

Please use our guidance document below for information about how to make an entry clearance visa application.

If you have any further questions or require any additional support please contact the Student Immigration Advice Team by using the contact form.

When your visa is granted

For visa duration of more than 6 months, you will receive a decision letter that states your full visa duration, an entry vignette on your passport that gives you a limited period to enter the UK. Upon arrival, you can collect your biometric residence permit.

EEA nationals who have used the UK Immigration: ID check app receive their visa in the form of an online digital status. This can be shared with anyone who needs to check your visa status. More details can be found in the following guidance document which you can download here.

Entry clearance vignette (temporary visa)

Once your application has been processed and approved you will receive a temporary visa sticker (vignette) in your passport. 

Please check that the details on this vignette are correct. You will need to pay attention to the following:

  • The end and start dates of your vignette
  • Your working rights
  • The UCL licence number
  • Your name and details

If there are any errors it is advisable to have these amended before entering the UK.

Biometric Residence Permit (BRP)

The vignette in your passport is valid for 90 days only from the date you wish to enter the UK. Once you enter the UK you will be required to collect your full visa, called a Biometric Residence Permit (identity card) within 10 days of arrival (except where there are covid-19 measures in place). You can find more information about this on the UKVI website.

Please visit the BRP webpage for further information.