Immigration and Visas

Who may require a visa to enter the UK?

A visa is required if you (or your family members) are nationals of a country that is outside the UK.  When you apply from outside the UK for a visa application, this is referred to as "Entry Clearance". This gives you permission to enter the UK once you have been cleared as meeting the immigration requirements. Entry Clearance is used by UKVI Entry Clearance Officers (ECOs) to verify, before an individual is permitted to arrive in the United Kingdom, that this person qualifies under the Immigration Rules for allowing the entry. 

If you are a national of the EEA or Switzerland, you may not need immigration permission to enter the UK provided you have applied, been granted and retained their pre-settled status (limited leave to remain) / settled status (Indefinite leave to remain) under the EU Settlement Scheme. With permission under the scheme there will be no restrictions on study (where you study or what you study). Please note, if you have not travelled to the UK before 30 June 2021 or have other eligiblity under this EU SS Scheme where this deadline doesn't apply.  If you do not have eligiblity under the EU Settlement Scheme you will need to consider the Student Route visa or other visa routes to enter the UK for your studies. 

Getting a visa to study

To study in the UK on a full time course that is longer than 6 months duration, you will need to apply for a Student Route visa.

For other types of courses that are less than 6 months duration; English Language courses that are 6-11 months duration; Distance Learning courses of any length, you will need to consider these short term visa options.

You may need a Visitor Visa (visit to include study) to be able to study on course that has a duration of less than 6 months and this also can be for certain study activities (e.g. re-sit exams externally). UKCISA has further information about the Standard Visitor route. 

You can also apply for a Short-Term Study visa to study an English language course in the UK. This particular visa route is only for English language courses with a duration from 6 months - 11 months maximum. If your course is different to this then you must consider another type of visa.

If you already have a Student visa and want to start a new course

If you already have a current student visa that you want to use for your new course, you must first check if your visa can be accepted by the University of Birmingham to enable you to complete your registration to start your studies.

Getting a visa for your family

Family members who are coming to live in the UK as your dependants will need a dependant visa if they are eligible or your visa route allows for this. Only some family members may be able to meet the eligiblity criteria for a dependant visa under the Student Route.

Visas to attend graduation

You or your family may want to apply or enter under the Standard Visitor visa to attend a graduation ceremony in the UK. You can only apply for this type of visa from outside the UK and it is usually for a maximum of 6 months duration only. 

Need further help?

You can check for the relevant information by checking the UKCISA website. The UKVI also has helpful webpages that can give basic guidance on what type of visa you may need or about the general visa application process.

If the above linked pages do not answer your immigration query, you can contact the University's International Student Team. You must be a prospective or current student of the University of Birmingham to use this IST service on the University intranet.