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Overview of Student Visa application process

Last updated: 23 June 2021

Here, we aim to provide you with a clear overview of the Student Visa application process.

Please be aware that the University cannot be held responsible for any technical IT problems relating to the online Student Visa application process. You are therefore advised to ensure you prepare your application in plenty of time before your current visa expires to allow for any unforeseen circumstances.

The Student Visas section of our website provides detailed information about the specific requirements for making a Student Visa application. All applicants should read the relevant sections of the Student Visa Policy Guidance carefully before submitting their application.

Here we provide an overview of:

  • Application submitted in the UK - if you have used our 'Application checking service'
  • Application submitted in the UK - if you are applying by yourself
  • Application submitted overseas (entry clearance) - non-EU students
  • Application process for EU/EEA/Swiss students

You can check the visa processing time on the GOV website.

Applications submitted in the UK - if you have used our 'Application Checking Service':

  1. Create an online account to enable you to start the online Student Visa application. You should refer to the Student Visa online application guidance - student version we have produced to see how to do this, and use the 'document checklist' on the same webpage to help you prepare documents required for your Student Visa visa application.
  2. Once the account is created, you will receive an email from the UKVI which contains a link to your online application form - make sure you remember which email address you have used for your Student Visa application, the password for your account, and pin the email which contains the link to your application form so that you can find it back quickly.
  3. Complete as much of the Student Visa online application as possible, but do not submit it (Stop at the CAS number page). Again, the guidance notes we have produced provide detailed information on how to do this.
  4. Make an appointment to meet with an International Student Adviser who will check your application and will advise you on any additional requirements.
  5. If you are a continuing student, once you have met with an Adviser who is happy that you have all documents needed for a complete application, we will issue you with a CAS. If you are a new student, you should have the CAS assigned by Admissions readily available for your appointment.
  6. If your application is not complete at your first appointment, you will be advised to make a second appointment with an Adviser when your application is complete. Alternatively, the adviser may agree the date and time for your 2nd appointment before you finish the first appointment.
  7. When the Adviser is happy your application is complete, you will pay the Immigration Health Surcharge and application fee at your appointment. This will be made online by credit/debit card. The Adviser will then inform of the next steps, such as creating an account with UKVCAS (visa application centre for appointments) and uploading your supporting documents.
  8. From July 2020, the UKVI has started re-using biometric information and so you do not have the option to book an appointment once you register an account with the UKVCAS. Instead, the UKVI will first check if you are eligible for biometric re-use. This can take 1-2 weeks or longer if they are busy. If you have made a recent Student Visa visa application (usually within the last 5 years but depends on individual circumstances) and are eligible for this, you will receive an email from UKVCAS to confirm this, and a further email with information on how to download an app and send a facial image (photo). More information can be found on UKVCAS service update website. Watch this video which explains how the process works.
  9. If you are not eligible for biometric re-use, you will also receive an email giving information on how you can book an appointment.
  10. Occasionally, if you have not uploaded all the documents at the time of making your online application, you may receive an email from the UKVI (WandSContingencyCaseworkDocumentReturn@homeoffice.gov.uk) asking you to send your supporting documents by email. It is a genuine request and please provide the document accordingly.
  11. If you need to attend an appointment, when you attend the appointment, you will need to take your passport and all of your supporting documents (in case previous upload failed due to technical error). 
  12. Once you have provided your biometric data (including facial biometrics if you are eligible for biometric re-use) and uploaded all the required documents, your application will be considered by a caseworker.
  13. The decision will usually be made within the processing time, depending on which kind of service you paid for. Priority and Super Priority service is not currently available. For more information, Click here.
  14. Your new visa (on a BRP) will be returned to the address you provided on the Student Visa application form. It will be delivered by TNT, who will send a notification to the email address you provided on the application form approximately 48 hours prior to attempting delivery. If you have used our address, we will contact you to collect it (this service is suspended between March 2020 - October 2020 unless agreed beforehand).
  15. If your BRP is sent to you directly, you will usually need to bring it in to the Study Abroad & Immigration Service Student Reception (University House) as soon as it is received so that we can update your visa records in our system. Check our Opening Hours before you set off. Between March and October 2020, you can upload a scanned copy online.
  16. If you are required to register with the Police you should complete an online application with the police to update your new visa within 7 days of receiving it. You can then attend the appointment at a later date. Click here for more details.

Applications submitted in the UK - if you are applying by yourself

  1. Create an online account to enable you to start the online Student Visa application. You should refer to the Student Visa online application guidance - student version we have produced to see how to do this, and use the 'document checklist' on the same webpage to help you prepare documents required for your Student Visa visa application.
  2. Once the account is created, you will receive an email from the UKVI which contains a link to your online application form - make sure you remember which email address you have used for your Student Visa application, the password for your account, and pin the email which contains the link to your application form so that you can find it back quickly.
  3. Complete the online application form and enter the CAS reference number sent to you either by your Admissions team (if you are an offer holder at Warwick), or by Student Immigration (if you are a continuing or returning student).
  4. Once you are happy that the application form is completed correctly and that you have all the required documents in digital form, submit the application and follow the on-screen instructions to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge and visa application fees. Both payments should be made online by credit/debit card.
  5. Once you have paid the visa application fees, you can download a copy of your application form and the Application Cover Sheet. Download a copy of both documents and keep them safe; this is evidence of your application and you may need to provide this to the University as part of online course registration process (if you do not receive your new visa before your course start date).
  6. You will then need to click 'book an appointment'. Create an account with UKVCAS and upload your supporting documents.
  7. From July 2020, the UKVI has started re-using biometric information and so you do not have the option to book an appointment once you register an account with the UKVCAS. Instead, the UKVI will first check if you are eligible for biometric re-use. This can take 1-2 weeks or longer if they are busy. If you have made a recent Student Visa visa application (usually within the last 5 years but depends on individual circumstances) and are eligible for this, you will receive an email from UKVCAS to confirm this, and a further email with information on how to download an app and send a facial image (photo). More information can be found on UKVCAS Service update website. Watch this video which explains how the process works.
  8. If you are not eligible for biometric re-use, you will also receive an email giving information on how you can book an appointment.
  9. Occasionally, if you have not uploaded all the documents at the time of making your online application, you may receive an email from the UKVI (WandSContingencyCaseworkDocumentReturn@homeoffice.gov.uk) asking you to send your supporting documents by email. It is a genuine request and please provide the document accordingly.
  10. If you need to attend an appointment, when you attend the appointment, you will need to take your passport and all of your supporting documents (in case previous upload failed due to technical error). 
  11. Once you have provided your biometric data (including facial biometrics if you are eligible for biometric re-use) and uploaded all the required documents, your application will be considered by a caseworker.
  12. The decision will usually be made within the processing time, depending on which kind of service you paid for. Priority and Super Priority service is not currently available. For more information, Click here.
  13. Your new visa (on a BRP) will be returned to the address you provided on the Student Visa application form. It will be delivered by TNT, who will send an email to the email address you provided on the application form approximately 48 hours before attempting delivery. If you have used our address, we will contact you to collect it (this service is suspended between March 2020 - October 2020 unless agreed beforehand).
  14. If your BRP is sent to you directly, you will usually need to bring it in to the Study Abroad & Immigration Service Student Reception (University House) as soon as it is received so that we can update your visa records in our system. Check our Opening Hours before you set off. Between March and October 2020, you can upload a scanned copy online.
  15. If you are required to register with the Police you should complete an online application with the police to update your new visa within 7 days of receiving it. You can then attend the appointment at a later date. Click here for more details.

    Applications submitted overseas

    1. Look at the Home Office website for details of the application process in your country as this does vary. The University has staff members based in several countries around the world who may be able to help you if you have problems with your visa application. For information on whether your country has such a member of staff or representative, you should refer to the contacts page.
    2. Book a TB Test, if required.
    3. Complete the online application form which can be accessed from the following link: https://www.gov.uk/apply-uk-visa. If you are a national of North Korea, you will not be able to submit this application form online. You must print a copy and take it with you to your visa appointment.
    4. Once you have submitted the online application form, you will need to click on the 'Biometric Residence Permit Collection' section on the application portal. We recommend that you use the Alternative Location Collection code provided to you on your CAS to ensure your BRP gets sent directly to the University for your collection.
    5. You will then need to make payment of the Immigration Health Surcharge and your Student Visa visa application fee online. Remember the date of payment for your Student Visa visa is the 'date of application' (your funds must have been held for 28 consecutive days on the 'date of application', unless the bank statement is produced earlier, in which case the 28-day period ends on the closing balance date of the bank statement).
    6. You will then need to click 'book appointment' webpage. Select an appointment date which is convenient for you.
    7. Gather your supporting documents which will accompany your application. For Low Risk Nationals, refer to this webpage.
    8. Attend your appointment with the documents (in some countries, you will be able to pre-upload documents before attending the appointment) and provide your biometric data (fingerprints and photo). A small number of students may be asked to attend a short credibility interview as well.
    9. A visa decision maker will consider your application.
    10. Your documents and visa/temporary travel visa are returned to you either by post or you arrange collection of them. In 2020, you will receive a 90-day travel visa to enable you to travel to the UK.
    11. You must collect your BRP within 10 days of arriving in the UK. If you included the Alternative Location Collection code on your Student Visa application form, your BRP card should be sent directly to the University, and you will be sent information by email as to when and where to collect them.

    Application process for EU/EEA/Swiss students

    • EU, EEA and Swiss nationals making a Student visa application are able to use the new ‘UK Immigration: ID Check’ app which will use a chip in your passport to verify your identity. If the chip is broken, or if you are unable to use the app then you will be directed to a Visa Application Centre to register biometrics instead.
    • Those able to use the UK Immigration ID check app when applying will receive electronic notification of UKVI’s decision (via email). This will set out the full conditions of your immigration status.
    • You will also be able to check your immigration status and its conditions at any time using the 'View and Prove service' on GOV.UK. This online service will provide a secure record of your immigration status which is held digitally by the Home Office and is available to you at all times.
    • The 'View and Prove service' can also be used to share and evidence of your rights in the UK – such as the right to work or study – by giving organisations or people, such as employers or universities access to the relevant information about your immigration status.
    • You will not receive a BRP card.
    • If you are starting a new course at Warwick from January 2021, you will be asked to give a 'share code' when the course registration process so that we can verify your status digitally.