Study Abroad Visa Advice
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Non-EU/EEA students who intend to study for 3 terms (1 full academic year) in the UK:
To study a full time course which is more than 6 months in the UK, you will require a Tier 4 Student visa.
The Study Abroad team will contact you from 3-4 months prior to your intended course start to advise how to obtain a CAS which is required for a Tier 4 visa.
Please also refer to our website about how to apply for a Tier 4 visa.
Non-EU/EEA students who intend to study for 1 to 2 terms (about 3 to 6 months) or less in the UK:
You will need to apply for a 'Short Term Study Visa (STSV)'.
Depending on your nationality, you may need to apply for this visa before you travel to the UK, or, on arrival when you go through UK Border.
In both cases, you will need to obtain a 'Short Term Study Visa' supporting letter from the Study Abroad team.
If you would like to have a Tier 4 visa instead, and have a good reason for requiring one, please get in touch with your Admissions team and outline your reasons.
Please be aware that your visa will be valid until your 'course end date' + 7 days if you apply for a Tier 4 vsia, which is much less than a Short Term Study visa (course end date + 30 days).
Non-EU/EEA students who do not need to apply for a visa before travelling to the UK (non-visa nationals):
Check the Home Office website to ascertain if you are a non-visa national.
After entering your nationality, purpose of visit and period of study, if you see the following information on the Home Office website, this indicates that you are a non-visa national.
If this is the case, you do not have to apply for a visa BEFORE coming to the UK as you are able to apply for a 'Short Term Study Visa' application on arrival at a UK airport.
You should recieve a STSV Support Letter from the Study Abroad Team, which confirms the course you have been accepted on, and provide proof that you can afford to follow the course - please see the informaton on the STSV pages.
You should then be given a visa stamp to enable you to study in the UK for up to 6 months.
Please ensure that you do NOT use the eGates when entering the UK.
If you use eGates, you will be granted entry as a general visitor which means you cannot study for more than 30 days.
Travelling to the UK via the Republic of Ireland
If you travel to the UK via the Republic of Ireland (RoI), please note that you will only be granted a 90-day visa.
This will mean you can only study for a period of 90 days or less.
If your study period is longer than 90 days, you should either:
- Apply for a 6-month Short Term Study visa before you travel and arrive in the UK or RoI within the validity of that visa
- If you enter via the RoI without first applying for a 6-month Short Term Study visa, you will need to leave the Common Travel Area (CTA) within 90 days, and return to the UK, visiting the immigration desk on your return to gain/activate your Short Term Study visa, which will then enable you to study for up to 6 months.
For information, the CTA is the UK, RoI, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands.
An example of this would be:
- If your passport allows you to, or, if you already hold a Schengen visa, you can make a day trip/ weekend trip to any EU country (for example, France).
- You can then visit the immigration desk at your port of entry when you return to the UK to receive a 6-month Short Term Study visa stamp.
Enrolment Information for non-visa nationals
Click here for enrolment information for non-visa nationals who intend to obtain a STSV on arrival.
Outbound Warwick Students
If you are:
- A current student at the University of Warwick, and
- You do not hold a UK/EU/EEA/Swiss passport, and
- You are heading out of the UK to do a Study Abroad year, please carefully read the information below.
Visas for other countries:
Student Immigration & Compliance team is unable to assist with any queries regarding immigration to other countries.
You should check to see what the immigration requirements are for your nationality in your host country.
If it is part of your Study Abroad year, our Student Mobility team will provide you with further information.
Your host institution should normally be able to provide you with further information and assistance.
If your current UK Tier 4 visa length covers your study abroad year and your final year:
There is no further action to take with regards to UK immigration as your visa already covers your Study Abroad period and any remaining aspects of your course. A report will be made to the UKVI when you go on your Study Abroad year to notify the UKVI of this change, and you will receive an automated email when this report is done. The report to the UKVI does not affect your visa.
If your current visa is not long enough to cover the study abroad year and remainder of your course:
If your current visa does not cover the whole length of your course, you will need to do the following:
1) Discuss adding a study abroad year on your course with your academic department.
2) If your academic department supports your Study Abroad Year request, they will need to submit a Change of Course request on your behalf from your current 3-year course to a 4-year course with a Study Abroad year (or intercalated year).
3) Once you have received confirmation that this request has been made, you will need to apply for a new Tier 4 visa.
You can either apply before starting your Study Abroad year
You can apply before the start of your final year and before your current visa expiry date.
4) Once you have applied for your visa, you must Visit Us in person as soon as possible so that your immigration records are updated.
Should I apply for my Tier 4 visa before or after my study abroad year?
This is completely up to you.
The main difference in the two of these options is a) the amount of financial evidence you must provide.
In both cases you are required to show next year's course fees + maintenance (living cost).
The maintenance is currently: 9 months x £1,015.00 = £9,135.
The course fees will be:
Before Study Abroad year = Study Abroad Fee
Before Final year = Final Year's Course Fee.
Most students opt to apply for their Tier 4 visa BEFORE the Study Abroad Year for the following reasons:
- The Study Abroad year fees are lower
- Peace of mind that the visa has been secured - UKVI change the visa rules on a regular basis and the rules might change before your return.
The amount of Immigration Health Surcharge you will need to pay may be different too.
If you choose to apply for your Tier 4 visa from outside of the UK, you will need to pay for the overlapping period of your Tier 4 visa (typically the 3rd year).
How to apply for a Tier 4 visa:
You must decide if you wish to apply before or after your Study Abroad year.
Once you have decided this, you must ensure you can meet the application requirements.
- You must hold a valid Passport
- You must hold a valid BRP/ Visa
- You must hold, if applicable, an up to date Police Registration Certificate
- Financial Evidence - This must meet the evidence requirements.
- Financial Sponsor's unconditional consent letter: if fully sponsored by a government or international scholarship agency over the last 12 months.
- ATAS Certificate if your course is subject to ATAS approval
- TB Certificate - if you leave the UK for more than 6 months and spend that time in country that requires TB clearance.
- Other documents: please refer to our Apply for a Tier 4 visa page for full information.
Please also note:
If you are a Low-risk national, please click here for more information about your application requirements.
Once you can meet these requirements, you must decide if you want to make the application in or outside of the UK.
Applying from outside of the UK (entry clearance):
- You must leave the UK Before you make your online application.
- You must then request a CAS from Student Immigration & Compliance team - Do not make your application without a CAS.
- Once you are in your country of residence, you can make your application - We highly recommend that you read our webpage and use the Entry Clearance Application Guide to make your application to avoid any errors in completing your application.
- Once you have made you application, if successful, you will then receive a decision letter.
- You will receive a 30-day, multi-entry Temporary Travel Vignette in your passport.
- You will then need to travel to the UK and pick up your BRP.
- If you did not use the ACL code to collect your BRP card at the University, you will need to visit a post office to collect your BRP card and present to us.
- You will need to request a CAS from Student Immigration & Compliance by booking an appointment with an adviser.
- We highly recommend that you read our webpage to understand the application requirement.
- You must then attend your appointment with an International Student Adviser, who will check your application materials, and if satisfied that they meet the criteria, they will issue you with a CAS and help you submit your application, including uploading mandatory documents.
- You will then need to visit a UKVCAS centre and submit your biometric data.
- Once you have done this, you will receive your decision within the timeframe of the service you paid for.
- If you did not use our address in your application, you will need to present your BRP to us before you engage in your Study Abroad/ final year.
Students from the European Union (EU) or European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland:
If you are from an EU/EEA country (including Switzerland), you will not require a visa to study in the UK.
If you hold a type of British passport which does not state your nationality as 'British citizen', please check the Home Office website.
Following the UK's vote to leave the European Union, we have created a dedicated webpage for EEA nationals if you wish to obtain more information.
Study Abroad Immigration FAQs
Is the 'Short-term Study visa' a multiple-entry visa?
If you apply for this visa before you travel, that is you applied for it in your country of residence, then you will receive a 'Short Term Study Visa' Vignette in your passport that is valid for 6 months.
This is a multiple-entry visa - Click here to see a sample image.
If you are a non-visa national and you decide to apply for this visa on arrival in the UK, you will receive a 'Short Term Study visa' stamp on your passport.
This is a single-entry visa. - Click here to see a sample image.
This means if you will leave the UK during your period of 'study abroad' at Warwick, for example, for a weekend trip to France, you need to apply for this visa again on re-entry to the UK.
If you do not apply on re-entry, you will be entering as a visitor, and will no longer have the Right to Study.
You must, therefore, remember to bring all the documents you will need to make the applcaiton, including your STSV Support Letter', information leaflet and financial evidence in your hand luggage when you return to the UK.
What are the benefits of applying for a Tier 4 visa?
A Tier 4 visa entitles you to work in the UK.
Therefore, if there is a possibility you may want to gain some work experience or volunteer experience whilst at Warwick, then a Tier 4 visa would be most appropriate.
Our dedicated Tier 4 web pages provide details of how to apply for this type of visa.
With a Tier 4 visa you will be given some additional time to travel in the UK after your course end date.
Therefore, if you intend to remain in the UK and travel for a short period after your study abroad period has ended, you may wish to apply for a Tier 4 visa.
What are the benefits of applying for a 'Short Term Study Visa'?
It is cheaper than a Tier 4 visa.
Apply for this visa if you do not intend to work in the UK and will leave the UK within 30 days of the course end date.
If you wish to come to the UK for a short holiday prior to commencing your studies, this is not prohibited but it may raise doubt about your genuine intention to study in the UK when applying for this visa.
If you decide to do so, make sure that you put on your visa application form that you intend to arrive in the UK before your course start date, why and what you intend to do during these a few days.
Our dedicated 'Short Term Study Visa' web page gives details of how to apply for this type of visa.
What are the restrictions of a 'Short Term Study Visa'?
Should you decide to study for longer in the UK it is not possible to switch to a Tier 4 visa within the UK.
You are also unable to work in any capacity, including unpaid work or take a work placement in the UK.
You may be able to do some volunteer work but only in very restricted circumstances, for example:
- You can only volunteer to help a charity or voluntary or public sector organisation
- You cannot have a contract of employment
- You cannot take the place of an employee
- You cannot receive payment except for travel reimbursement or subsistence allowance
With this visa you will be expected to leave the UK within 30 days of the end date of your course, or by the visa expiry date, whichever is first.
Your course end date is stated on your Short Term Study Visa Support Letter you received from the Student Mobility team.
What is the difference in healthcare provision in the UK if I apply for a 'Tier 4 visa' or a 'Short term Study Visa'?
If your course is longer than 6 months, then you will need to pay for the 'Immigration Health Surcharge' as part of your Tier 4 visa application process.
For most students it will be £150 if your course is between 6-10 months long.
You will be able to use the National Health Service (NHS) and be entitled to free hospital treatment.
If your course is shorter than 6 months, you do not need to pay the 'Immigration Health Surcharge' regardless of whether you apply for a Short-term Student visa or Tier 4.
However, you will have limited access to healthcare provision in the UK and may consider arranging private medical insurance before coming to the UK.
What if I already hold a valid immigration permission (UK residence document)?
All non-UK, non-EU/EEA/Swiss nationals must have hold an immigration permission that allows them to study in the UK.
Not all visa types allow for outright study, for example:
- General Visitor Visas
- Business Visitor Visas
These visas usually only allow for incidental study of up to 30 days.
If you visa allows you to study, then you can use this for your Right to Study Check.
If you visa does not allow for study, you will need to get a STSV or a Tier 4 visa.
When and how do I complete online enrolment with Warwick?
Online enrolment is usually open about 2-4 weeks before the start of your course at Warwick.
Once you have accepted your unconditional offer, you will be contacted by email automatically when enrolment is open and you will be given a link to the online enrolment portal.
If you need any help completing the online enrolment form, check the 'Permission to Enrol' webpage in the first instance.
What is a 'latest course start date' and what does it mean?
Students applying for a Tier 4 visa will notice that their CAS includes a latest course start date; this information will also be included in the visa support letter issued to students applying for a short-term study.
The latest course start date is the date by which students are required to have arrived in the UK, completed online enrolment and presented a valid visa at an in-person 'right to study' event.
If you are unclear about your latest course start date or envisage that you will be unable to arive before then, please contact the Study Abroad team for further advice.
Visiting Research Students (non-EEA)
IF YOU ARE:
Currently enrolled on a research course (such as a PhD course) in your home country, or, in a different UK institution,
Your institution does not have a formal 'exchange' or 'partnership' agreement with the University of Warwick,
The research you intend to conduct at Warwick is part of/ related to your overseas research course:
Your contact will be the Postgraduate Admissions Team
They will provide you with information as to how to make an application, how to meet offer conditions and how to request a CAS or a Short Term Study Visa supporting letter.
You can find more information on the Postgraduate Admissions ''Visiting Research Student'' webpage.
If your period of visit is less than 6 months, and you wish to apply for a Short Term Study Visa, once you have accepted an unconditional offer, you will need to ask your academic department/ Warwick research supervisor to make an online letter request on your behalf.
If they are unsure on how to do this, please ask them to visit this page.
IF YOU ARE:
Currently enrolled on an undergraduate course (for example, a Bachelor's degree course), or, a postgraduate Master's course in your home country,
You would like to come to Warwick to learn how to conduct research (this includes take an active role in a research project)' - some institutions also use terms such as 'internship' or 'placement' or 'Erasmus+',
The research you intend to conduct at Warwick is part of/ related to your overseas course:
Your institution does not have a formal 'exchange' or 'partnership' agreement with the University of Warwick:
Please contact the Immigration Service team who will ascertain who is the best contact for you.
IF YOU ARE:
Currently enrolled on an undergraduate or postgraduate course in your home country, or,
Your institution have a formal 'exchange' or 'partnership' agreement with the University of Warwick (such as Erasmus),
The research you intend to conduct at Warwick is part of/ related to your overseas course:
You will usually be nominated by your institution and our Study Abroad team would contact you directly with information on how to make an application to study at Warwick.
If you are unsure, please contact our Study Abroad team who will guide you on the application process and provide you with a CAS if you are coming to Warwick for more than 6 months, or, a 'Short Term Study Visa' supporting letter if you are coming to Warwick for less than 6 months.
IF YOU ARE:
Currently enrolled on a Doctoral Research course (such as a PhD) in an overseas institution, or, have just graduated from your PhD,
The research you intend to conduct at Warwick is NOT part of/ related to your overseas course,
You will receive a salary (this can be paid either by Warwick or an independent organisation) at a minimum of UK national living wage
You intend to conduct research for a period of up to 2 years at a minimum skill level of RQF Level 3:
IF YOU ARE:
Employed at an overseas institution
Will remain paid and employed overseas but wish to carry out activities incidental to your job overseas.
Are highly qualified within your field of expertise and working in that area before coming to the UK (generally holding a PhD or higher)
Your contact will be Warwick H.R. immigration team
You may require a Tier 5 Sponsored Researcher (GAE) visa sponsored by Warwick, or, Academic visitor visa (part of Standard Visitor Visa).
Visiting/Exchange Student For Undergraduate Courses
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