If you are coming from outside the European Economic Area or Switzerland, you need to apply for a VISA prior to entry, unless stated otherwise. There are 2 types of student VISA:
Short-term study visa
This type of VISA only allows you to do a short course of study (preparatory courses/ English Language courses) or a short period of research as part of a degree course in the UK. Note that the short-term study VISA is not extendable and you are not allowed to work as well.
Applications for the Short-term study VISA will require you to provide the following documents:
1. Passport or other valid travel identification with minimum of 6 months validity as well as at least 1 page blank, on both sides, for your VISA.
2. Proof that you have been offered a place in the respective UK institutions (Letter of acceptance etc.)
3. Proof that you have sufficient money to support yourself (e.g. bank statements or pay slips for the past 6 months)
4. Details where you intend to stay and your travel plans (Note that you should not pay for these until you get your VISA)
5. Tuberculosis (TB) test results if you’re from a country where you have to take the test
6. You need to provide the original documents.
7. You also need to provide a certified translation of any documents that are not in English or Welsh.
Do visit the Short-term study visa page for more information!
General student visa (Tier 4)
Applicable when you are undertaking a course as a student in the UK (more than 6 months). The General Student VISA is extendable and you can obtain more information here. Applications should be done no later than 3 months before your course commences. It usually takes about 3 weeks for the authorities to process your application. You can check the VISA processing times for your country here!
The General Student VISA allows you to arrive up to
- 1 week before, if your course lasts 6 months or less
- 1 month before, if your course lasts more than 6 months
As of 2015, students studying in the UK for more than 6 months are required to pay for an Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS), and the cost would vary according to the length of study. You will need your IHS reference number in your VISA application.
When you apply, you have to provide the following documents:
- Proof of knowledge of the English Language (passing the Secure English Language Test, SELT)
- Passport or other valid travel identification with minimum of 6 months validity as well as at least 1 blank page (on both sides) for your VISA
- Proof that you have sufficient money to support yourself (e.g. bank statements and a letter from your bank to show that you have the means to support yourself and pay for your course - the amount varies from person to person, read this document for more information.)
- Proof of parental or other legal guardian consent if you are 18 years or younger
- Details where you intend to stay and your travel plans
- Tuberculosis (TB) test results if you’re from a country where you have to take the test
Do visit the General student visa (Tier 4) website for more information.
You will be invited to attend a biometric appointment to give a face scan and fingerprints after you submitted your application. Your documents will usually be returned to you within 14 days. Do also keep in mind that for the Tier 4 VISA, it is not required for you to have a UK address during your application. The date you can arrive in the UK will be shown on your VISA under the field “Valid from”.
You must collect your BRP (the full visa) within 10 days of your arrival (based on the date that you have indicated on your application form). You will receive more information about this from the UK VISA and Immigration (the Home Office) in your country of application. Collect your BRP promptly so that you can officially enrol, as your college will need to scan both your passport and the BRP.
For Outbound Singaporean students:
There is no need to apply for a visa if you are staying for 6 months or less. Upon arrival at the UK airport, a 6 months VISA will be granted without cost. However, do note that at the UK Border Control, you will be required to provide your original Official letter of Acceptance.
To apply for a VISA, you must first print and submit the form at http://www.vfsglobal.co.uk/singapore/. You will then be asked to make an appointment with VFS to submit your documents and take your biometric details.
135 Cecil Street, #08-01
Flying Chalks' tips:
- As many international students will be going for their appointments from June to September, make sure you book ahead of time so that you will be in time for departure.
- Do note that you cannot travel out of Singapore during the 3 weeks while your VISA is being processed as your passport will be surrendered for processing.
- If your passport tied to your VISA expires before your term of study ends, you can simply have both your old and new passports with you at border checks. However, the passport number with your “Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies” document has to be the same as the one as your VISA.