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Making a student visa application inside the UK

Find out when and how to apply for a student visa within the UK and what application documents you need.

Coronavirus latest

UKVI has introduced various temporary concessions which can be used in specific circumstances. You can also read about Covid-19 concessions on the UKCISA website.

If you are considering whether you’re eligible to make an application using one of these concessions, contact us directly so we can discuss your situation in more detail.


Your eligibility

You might be able to apply for a student visa inside the UK if you’re:

  • currently studying at Sussex and need to extend your visa (such as starting a new course), or
  • repeating a year, adding a work placement or year abroad, getting an extension to your course, or
  • planning to study at Sussex and are yet to start your course.

However, you cannot apply inside the UK if you have:

In any of these cases, you must return to your home country to get a new visa.

Contact us for advice.

Important: Student visas are only valid for use on the course of study at the institution they were issued for. If you have a student visa that was issued for study at another institution (such as another university or the International Study Centre), you must apply to extend your visa before you can enrol at Sussex.

How to apply

To make a student visa application inside the UK, you’ll need:

  • current immigration permission in an eligible category
  • your new course of studies to start no more than 28 days after your current visa ends (as stated on your CAS)
  • to have been awarded the qualification you have been studying, and for which your current student visa was issued in the first place.

Tip: Apply as soon as you’re eligible to. If you’re starting a course at Sussex, the earliest you can apply is three months before your course start date. If you’re continuing at Sussex as a result of extending your current course, you can start the process of getting a new visa by asking for a CAS when you are within six months of your current visa expiry date.

Apply online

You must apply online for your visa.

Your application date is when you submit the application online. You must apply on or before your current visa expiry date.

Cost

The standard cost is £475, plus £19.20 to have your biometric information (fingerprints and a photo) taken.

You should receive a decision (by email) within eight weeks.

You also have to pay a healthcare surcharge of £470 for each year of your course.

This also applies for any dependants. You can calculate how much you’ll have to pay before you apply.

Submitting biometrics

Important: At the end of the application form, you will be directed to the Sopra Steria website. You must register with Sopra Steria so UKVI can tell you how to submit your biometrics.

You’ll either:

  • give your fingerprints and a photograph (biometric information) at a UKVCAS service point
  • use the UK Immigration: ID Check app to scan your identity document – you will also create or sign in to your UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) account.

You’ll be told what to do when you apply.

Important: You cannot leave the UK or Common Travel Area while your application is being processed. Don’t make any travel plans until you get your new visa.

If your application is successful, you’ll get either a:

Priority service

If you need your visa quickly, you can pay more money to get it sooner.

The cost is an extra £500. You should receive an email decision within five working days of giving your biometrics.

You can pay even more money for “super priority service”. This costs an extra £800 and gets you an email decision the next working day after giving your biometrics.

In both priority cases, if you need to attend a UKVCAS centre to give biometrics, you can’t check the availability of appointments until you have paid for the service. You may have to wait or travel to a centre that’s farther away.

Your BRP should follow within 10 days.

You’ll get deadlines for submitting documents and giving biometrics after you submit the online application. Stick to them to make sure your application is valid.

Your application will be invalid if you do not give biometrics within the required timeframe. You will become an overstayer if your current visa expires.

Documents you need

You need to supply several documents when making an application. See what you need to provide.

Proof of funds

Check what documents you need to supply to prove you have the money to do your course.

Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies

Find out how you get a CAS and why you need one.

Submitting proof of your application to us

You must show us a photocopy of your current visa and the cover sheet from your online visa application as proof that you have applied in time (on or before your visa expiry date).

We cannot register you for a new course, or keep you on your current course, without this.

Contact us if you think you have applied after your visa expiry date.

Credibility interview

You may need to do a credibility interview with UKVI (using a video link) as part of your visa application.

If you don’t attend your interview, your visa application may be refused.

Find out how to prepare for your credibility interview.

Collecting your biometric residence permit (BRP)

Find out how to collect your BRP as part of the Sussex registration process.

Dependants

Your partner and children may be able to apply to extend their stay with you as dependants.

See immigration issues for families.

See more from Applying for a student visa