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VISA, Immigration and ATAS

How to apply

Immigration & VISA information for prospective students

If you are planning to study at UWS including nationals of the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland, then you may need to apply for a visa before travelling to the UK.

The type of visa you require depends on the course of study that you have chosen:

  • International students undertaking a full-time course that is longer than 6 months generally need a Student visa
  • International students undertaking a period of study between 6-11 months can enter as a Short-term student which applies to English Language courses only (from 1 December 2020)
  • International students studying up to 6 months can apply for a Visitor visa (from 1 December 2020).

Applying from outside the UK

The earliest you can apply for a visa is 6 months before you start your course.

You’ll usually get a decision on your visa within 3 weeks.

Applying from inside the UK

The earliest you can apply is 3 months before your course starts.

You must apply before your current visa expires. Your new course must begin within 28 days of your current visa expiring.

Useful links

If you are an EU student, please see our Immigration and Visa Guide for EU students.

UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) also provides easy-to-read information on eligibility and requirements for Student visas.

Please read our guide below on how to prepare for a successful student visa application. However, the information provided here by the University is just guidance. Immigration laws change frequently, so for the most up-to-date visa information, we recommend that you visit the UK Government website.

Credibility interview

Credibility interviews are now part of the Tier 4 visa application process, they have been introduced by UK Visas & Immigration (UKVI) to try and make sure that only genuine students are studying in the UK.

Watch or read our Guide for more information.

Play Video

Download and read our Guide for more information.

Pre-arrival information for students

Biometric Residence Permit

A Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) is a document in the shape of a credit card issued by the Home Office and provides evidence of your immigration permission (also known as permission to enter or remain). If you arrive in the UK with a 30 or 90 day vignette (sticker) in your passport, you will need to collect your Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) card from the designated Post Office listed on your letter within 10 days of arrival. If you are not able to collect your BRP within 10 days (for example, you are required to self-isolate for 10 days on arrival in the UK), your BRP will be kept at the Post Office for you to collect as soon as permits.

For information on collecting your BRP once in the UK, please download our BRP guide.

Police Registration

The condition to register with the police is given to people of certain nationalities who come to the UK for more than 6 months as outlined in Appendix 2 of the Immigration Rules. If you need to register with the police, the condition will be printed on your 30-day vignette, or if you have been granted leave to remain following an application made in the UK, it will be on your BRP.

If you need to register, you must go to the police within 7 days of you:

  • arriving in the UK if you applied for a visa from outside the UK
  • getting your biometric residence permit if you applied to stay for longer from inside the UK

After you register

The police will give you a registration certificate. Keep it while your visa or permission to stay in the UK lasts so that you can:

  • prove that you’re registered with the police
  • tell the police if your details change
  • return to the UK if you travel
  • apply to stay for longer in the UK

Further information on registering with the police can be found in our registering with the police guide.

Students within the UK

On 5 October 2020, the Tier 4 (general) student visa was replaced with the Student visa route. You can find comprehensive information on applying for a student visa from within the UK at the UKCISA website.

In addition, you can find details about applying for a Student visa from within the UK by downloading our step by step guide here.

Graduate route

The Graduate route is a new work visa which allows new graduates to stay and work in the UK for 2 years (3 years for PhD graduates). Applications for the visa for international students open on 1 July 2021. 

Watch a training session on the new Graduate route below to find out who is eligible, how to apply, and what it allows you to do. You can also find out more about the Graduate route on the UK government website.

(ATAS) Academic Technology Approval Scheme

International students undertaking certain courses of study may also need an Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) certificate in addition to their Student visa in order to study in the UK.

The UK Government website provides comprehensive information about when an ATAS certificate is required along with application guidelines.

Bringing family back to the UK

If you are bringing family and dependents to the UK, you may need to apply for a dependent visa.

The UKCISA website provides comprehensive advice on bringing your dependents to live with you in the UK.

Asylum Seekers

It’s important that you understand how your asylum seeker status affects your financial situation before you accept an offer of study at UWS.

The UK Government website provides comprehensive guidance on this matter.

The UKCISA website has information on tuition fees and student support for asylum seekers. You can also find out more in our Tuition Fee Status section.

Financial advice

The international student calculator will help you work out how to manage your money and build a budget for living and studying in the UK.

Further advice on money management is available in Money, Fees & Funding.

Our team of International Student Advisers (ISAs) can help with specific financial queries from international students. However, it is important to note that we do not have funding to assist students in financial hardship, although we may refer students to other appropriate agencies.

The UKCISA website has further advice on dealing with financial hardship as an international student.

International Student Advisors

UWS’s team of International Student Advisers (ISAs) are authorised by the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC) to provide Level 1 immigration advice to our international students.

Table of Contents

Application guide

Information to explain how you can apply and make your UWS application as smooth as possible for all our courses.




Enquire with us

We are here to help and to make your journey to UWS London as smooth as possible. Please use the relevant button below to enquiry about a course you would like to apply, to clarify any doubt you may have about us and our admission’s process, to send us a complaint or suggestion. After you submit your enquiry, one of our advisers will get back to you as soon as possible.

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