Will I need a visa to study in the UK?
You will not need entry clearance (a visa) if you hold a UK passport or one issued by another country in the European Union (EU), European Economic Area (EEA), or Switzerland and enter the UK using this passport.
If this does not apply to you, then you will need to decide which visa is suitable for your study abroad programme and apply for one in good time:
- Tier 4 Student Visa
- Short Term Student Visitor Visa
You can use the UK government site to check if you need a visa.
Before booking your flight to the UK, make sure that you have a passport which is valid for a least six months beyond your intended stay in the UK.
- Tier 4 Visa: 348 GBP. UKVI will also require proof that you have the necessary funds for the cost of your Study Abroad Programme, accommodation and living expenses - at least 1015 GBP per month (correct as of December 2019)
- Short-Term Student Visitor (before travelling): 97 GBP (correct as of December 2019)
- Short-Term Student Visitor (on arrival at a UK airport - only possible as a non-visa national): free
Tier 4 student visa
If your programme is longer than six months you will require a Tier 4 student visa. You will need to obtain a Certificate of Acceptance (CAS) from the University of Leicester before you make your Tier 4 Visa application.
How do I receive a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS)?
You will first have to request a CAS number via My Student Record. Once we have received this and we have all the information we need we will request a CAS number from the UKVI for you. We will send you an email with your CAS number as soon as we receive it from the UKVI.
If you have to apply for a Tier 4 Visa, allow plenty of time and request your CAS as soon as possible. You can apply for your visa up to 3 months prior to arrival in the UK
Short term student visitor visa
If your programme at Leicester is less than six months you can enter as a short term student visitor.
A visa national is a person who is a national or citizen of certain countries and will always require a visa to enter the UK. To find out whether you are a Visa National please check Appendix 2 of the UKVI immigration rules website.
You must obtain entry clearance as a short term student visitor before leaving your home country. You will need to complete an online application at and then provide our fingerprints at a visa application centre.
Non visa nationals
The option to apply for entry clearance as a short term student visitor in advance, or upon arrival at a UK border. If you choose to apply for entry clearance on arrival, please make sure that you have documentary evidence available in your hand luggage - including your University of Leicester Study Offer email. You will also require evidence in English showing that you are financially able to support yourself. You may be required to show all this information to the Immigration Officer on arrival.
Restrictions of short term student visitor visa
You cannot undertake work, voluntary or paid, and you will not be granted an extension to your stay. You cannot change to a Tier 4 Visa once you are here.
Advantages of short term student visitor visa
If you are eligible to enter as a short term student visitor the process may be simpler, quicker and cheaper.
Study Abroad students who travel to countries in Europe (other than Great Britain) whilst studying abroad may require a Schengen visa. For more information please see the visas website.