Student Visa Process for Scotland
Non-U.S. citizens, click here to check if you need a visa to enter the UK.
For U.S. citizens, entry requirements fall into two categories:
- Students studying for 6 months or less and doing courses only (see below)
- Students studying for more than 6 months and/or participating in an internship (jump to the next section here)
Students studying for 6 months or less and doing courses only (i.e. no internship): You will not need a visa to go to the UK.
You can stay in the UK as a student for up to 6 months without a visa. You will need to carry certain documentation with you in case you need to show immigration officials proof of your student status when you land. You will receive a Standard Visitor visa stamp in your passport when you enter the country.
If you have a criminal record or you’ve previously been refused entry into the UK, you may want to apply in advance for a Standard Visitor visa. Otherwise, most people will not apply in advance and receive the stamp upon entry.
What you can and cannot do under this type of entry:
You can visit the UK to study at an accredited institution for up to 6 months, this includes English language courses.
- enroll in a course that lasts longer than 6 months (except if you’re completing a distance learning course)
- do paid or unpaid work (this includes work experience or work placements, unless it is an eligible medical, veterinary or dentistry placement)
- live in the UK for long periods of time through frequent or successive visits
- get public funds (benefits)
What you need at the UK border:
You must provide a valid passport or travel document. Your passport must be valid for the whole of your stay in the UK.
You may also be asked to prove the following and should have the corresponding documentation available in your carry-on luggage as you travel:
|UK Immigration Requirement||Documentation Recommended|
|You’ve been accepted on to a course by an accredited institution, for example a letter of acceptance on official headed paper stating the course name, duration and cost||API and the host university will provide acceptance letter(s) including this information.|
|Your research or training is relevant to the course you’re studying overseas, for example a letter from your home education institution describing how it’s relevant||Request a letter from your home university.|
|You’re able to support yourself and your dependents during your trip (or have funding from someone else to support you)||Provide a current bank statement. API recommends that students studying in London show evidence of available funds equivalent to £1265 for living costs for each calendar month of the course. Students studying in Leeds should show evidence of available funds equivalent to £1015 for living costs for each calendar month of the course. Alternatively, if your parents/guardians are supporting you, they may provide a current bank statement along with a notarized letter stating that they will be responsible for “any expenses incurred by you during your stay in England.”|
|You’re able to pay for your return or onward journey (or have funding from someone else)||Provide the itinerary and booking details for your return flight.|
|You’ve arranged accommodation for your stay||If you are using API housing, we will provide a letter stating that we have arranged housing on your behalf.|
|You’ll leave the UK at the end of your visit||Provide the itinerary and booking details for your return flight.|
Students studying for more than 6 months and/or participating in an internship: you must apply prior to departure for a student visa.
- When to apply: The earliest you can apply for a visa is 6 months before you start your course. You’ll usually get a decision on your visa within 3 weeks.
- How to apply: Se application process at this link — https://www.gov.uk/standard-visitor-visa/apply
- How long you can stay: How long you can stay depends on the length of your course and what study you’ve already completed.
If you’re 18 or over and your course is at degree level, you can usually stay in the UK for up to 5 years. If it’s below degree level, you can usually stay in the UK for up to 2 years.
Staying longer in the UK
You may be able to:
- extend your visa if you’re eligible, for example to continue your studies in the UK
- switch to a Student visa from another visa if you’re already in the UK
When you can travel to the UK:
You can arrive in the UK before your course starts. This can be either:
- up to 1 week before, if your course lasts 6 months or less
- up to 1 month before, if your course lasts more than 6 months
- £348 to apply for a student visa from outside the UK
- £475 to extend or switch to a student visa from inside the UK
*Fees are subject to change.
You must pay the visa fee for each person that joins you.
Healthcare surcharge: You’ll also have to pay the healthcare surcharge as part of your application.
Check how much you’ll have to pay before you apply.
What you can and cannot do: If your application is successful, you’ll be told what you can and cannot do on a student visa. Typically:
- work as a student union sabbatical officer
- You may also be able to work – how much depends on what you’re studying and whether you’re working in or out of term-time.
- claim public funds (benefits) and pensions
- work in certain jobs, for example as a professional sportsperson or sports coach
- be self-employed
- study at an academy or a local authority-funded school (also known as a maintained school)