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The University of Southampton
The Student HubVisa and immigration

Making your application

We offer Student visa application support to current and prospective students at the University of Southampton. We have a dedicated BlackBoard e-learning module 'Applying for a Student visa'. The module provides a step-by-step guide to applying for a Student visa, including links to the live presentations we offer at certain times of year. Please note that you will need to subscribe to your University IT account in order to self-enrol onto the BlackBoard module.

Please click on the button below to enrol on the BlackBoard module.

If you are already in the UK, it is important to realise that not all students can apply to extend their visa inside the UK. Some students may need to leave the UK to apply for their new visa.  Please refer to the information within the 'Inside the UK' section for further information and contact us if you are still unsure.

 

 

Not all students are eligible to apply from within the UK to switch into or extend their Student visa.

You can usually apply inside the UK if you are extending to:

  • Complete your current course of study due to an extension of candidature (Postgraduate Research students)
  • Complete your current course with an internal repeat year, or following a previous internal repeat year
  • Complete your course because you have added a placement year (as long as the placement year is an integral and assessed part of your course) or a year of study abroad
  • Complete your course following an intercalated course
  • To start a new programme of study following successful completion of a previous course of study

If you have a current UK visa which is not a Student Visa, you can find out which visa types are eligible to switch into a Student Visa inside the UK on the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) webpage

The UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) provides detailed information on the eligibility requirements for applying from within the UK.

When can I apply?

New programme of study - If your current visa will expire soon and there is more than 28 days between your visa expiry date and the start of your new course, you will not be eligible to apply inside the UK and will have to return to your home country to make the application.

If you are eligible to apply in the UK, the earliest date you can apply to extend your visa is 3 months before the start date of your new course, as stated on your CAS. 

If you have completed a course at another institution, you must apply for your new visa before you can start your course here at the University of Southampton, even if your current visa is still valid. 

Current University of Southampton students that are starting a new programme of study with us must apply for their new Student visa no later than 6 weeks after the new programme start date and before their visa expires (whichever is sooner).

To complete your current programme of study - you must apply before your current visa expires.

Please note that you must have a visa that is still valid at the time that you make your visa application. If you are not able to apply before your current visa expires, you must leave the UK before the expiry date of your current visa and apply for a Student visa from your country of residence or country of nationality.

 

How to apply

Before you apply, ensure that you have:

You need to have a bank/credit card to pay for the visa application and Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS).

When you have everything ready, apply online by going to extend your visa, or if you are switching from another visa type go to switch your visa

Before you can start the online application form, you will be asked to download the 'UK Immigration: ID Check app' and take a photo of either your current BRP card or your passport - it will ask you for the document that is required. This will be submission of your biometrics and if you are able to complete this process, it will mean that it is not necessary for you to attend an in-person biometric appointment.

However, if you cannot download the app or experience problems, please see the guidance on the UKVI website. If you are unable to complete this process you will need to book an appointment at a UKVCAS centre and you will be re-directed to the UKVCAS website, following submission of your online application.

At certain times of the year, the VISAS Team can support you with making your application inside the UK and we can check your application and documents before you submit them. Contact the Visas Team to book an appointment. Before your appointment please complete sections 1 & 2 of the application form and save your application before you complete the 'Declaration' section. A Student Visa & Immigration Advisor can then check your answers on the application and advise you of any necessary changes that may need to be made. 

If you choose to apply without seeking the assistance of the Visas Team, you must provide proof of your in-time application, please contact the Visas Team to clarify what you need to provide.

 

What happens after I submit my application?

Although you will be able to keep your passport whilst you are waiting for the decision on your visa application, you must not leave the UK as this will automatically withdraw your visa application.  You should receive a visa decision to the email account you entered on your application, within 8 weeks of providing your biometric information.

If you will be receiving a Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) it will be delivered by courier to the 'Contact Address' or 'Postal Address' that you entered on your visa application. Therefore, if you will be moving accommodation within the 8 weeks after applying for your visa, we recommend that you enter the following University address on your application:

VISAS Team M23, Building 37,

University of Southampton,

University Road, Highfield,

Southampton SO17 1BJ

If you choose to have your BRP delivered to your 'living address' or 'term-time address' then you will need to be present at the address to receive it on the day it is delivered. The courier cannot deliver your BRP to a different person or a different address, they will only deliver to the address on your visa application.

If you will be receiving a digital immigration status you will receive this by email. You will then need to share your status with the University by generating a share code on the UKVI website. Please note that you are unlikely to receive a BRP if you have a digital status.

 

Contact us

Contact us

You can contact us by email and through online chat. We also offer online 1 to 1 appointments.

UKCISA

UKCISA

The UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) - further information on visas for study.

The information contained on this website is believed to be correct at the time of publication.

Please note: The University of Southampton is not responsible for the content of any external websites.

International students aged 16 or over who will study a programme longer than six months usually require a Student visa. 

You do not require a Student visa if you have a visa or immigration permission for the UK in another category, which has no restriction on study and your permission will be valid for the length of your programme. 

It is your responsibility to ensure you have the correct visa type for your studies. 

You can check if you need a visa for study in the UK on the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) website: https://www.gov.uk/check-uk-visa

If you are not sure if you need a visa or which type of visa you need to study in the UK, contact us

When and where can I apply?

Applications made outside the UK can be made up to six months before the start date of your programme of study in the UK.

You should allow plenty of time for your visa application to be processed. You can find information about visa processing times on the UKVI website.

If you are a continuing student and you are not eligible to apply in the UK for your Student Visa, you can find out when to apply by contacting the University VISAS team.

You must apply for your visa in your country of residence or your country of nationality. If there is not a Visa Application Centre (VAC) which offers the visa type you require in your country of residence or nationality, you will be asked during the online application to confirm you can attend an appointment at a VAC in an alternative location.

How to apply

Before you apply, ensure that you have:

You need to have a bank/credit card to pay for the visa application and Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS).

When you have everything prepared, apply online by going to Apply.  Once you have completed your online application, you will pay for the visa application fee and the IHS. 

Programmes shorter than six months

You may be eligible for a Standard Visitor visa if you will be studying:

  • as a visiting student on a short course or period of study which will be completed in less than six months
  • an exam only
  • a distance learning programme

We recommend that students who will study on a Pre-Sessional English language programme apply for a Student visa. This is because it is not possible to switch from a Standard Visitor visa to a Student visa inside the UK. If you have a Standard Visitor visa, you will have to leave the UK after your Pre-sessional course has finished and apply for a Student visa from your country of residence or country of nationality, in order to start your degree programme here.

You can find more information on our Short visit webpage.

What happens after I submit my application?

Decisions on visa applications made outside the UK typically take 15 days to be processed, although there may be an option to apply for a faster application service such as 'Priority' or 'Super Priority' service. You might be given this option at the payment stage of your online application.

At the Visa Application Centre (VAC)

You may need to book an appointment to attend the Visa Application Centre (VAC) in order to submit your biometrics. Or you may be able to use the 'UK Immigration: ID Check App' instead to submit your biometrics (this will depend on your nationality) and in this case you will not need to attend an appointment at the VAC.

If you are required to attend an appointment at the VAC you will need to:

  • Take your documents with you (even if you have already uploaded them)
  • Give your fingerprints and have a photo taken of your face (biometrics)
  • Give your signature

You may also have an interview.

After your application has been decided

If you attended a VAC to give your biometrics and your application was successful, you will collect your passport from the VAC in your home country and you will receive a visa vignette (visa sticker) in your passport, that will allow you to travel to the UK.

It is very important that you do not travel before the start date of this visa. You must also ensure you arrive before the end date of the visa vignette. However, it is important to note that there will be a separate deadline for you to arrive in time for your course. 

If your application was refused please contact us

Biometric Residence Permit (BRP)

If your programme is longer than six months, your Student visa vignette will be valid for 90 days to allow you to enter the UK. You will collect your visa for the full length of your stay when you arrive in the UK. The visa you collect when you arrive is called a Biometric Residence Permit card (BRP). Your BRP is your visa card and it contains your biometric information. Click here for further information on BRP cards.

You will be asked to select the location where you would like to collect your BRP during the online visa application process. You can collect your BRP from the University of Southampton by entering the Alternative Collection Location (ACL) code: 2HE382

If you choose to collect your BRP from the University, you will receive your visa when you attend your 'Right to Study Check' appointment. 

If you choose to collect your BRP from a Post Office, you must collect it before you can attend the 'Right to Study Check' or enrol at the University. 

Digital Student visa

If you used the 'UK Immigration: ID Check App' for your visa application, you will receive the visa decision by email to the email address you entered on your online application form. The email will contain important information about the conditions attached to your visa. You will not need to have a physical visa to travel to the UK, you will only need your passport. You should have the option to download a copy of your digital Student visa and if you prefer you can print this and carry it with you. You can also create a share code to 'view or prove your immigration status' - please see the UKVI website.

Police Registration

Please note that students on a programme of study for more than 6 months in length who are from certain countries, must register with the police. Please see the UKVI website to see further information. There are instructions on how to register with Hampshire Police on our webpage.

Arriving in the UK

We hope your experience in the UK is happy and rewarding. You can find helpful information for international students on the following University webpage.

 

Contact us

Contact us

You can contact us by email and through online chat. We also offer online 1 to 1 appointments.

UKCISA

UKCISA

The UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) - further information on visas for study.

The information contained on this website is believed to be correct at the time of publication.

Please note: The University of Southampton is not responsible for the content of any external websites.

Once you have received your visa decision and your visa vignette (visa sticker inside your passport) or digital status, you should check that all of the information is correct. After arriving in the UK you will need to complete the 'Right to Study Check' before you can be fully enrolled on your course. Follow the guidance below for further information.

Check your decision – your BRP, decision letter and all dates are correct

When you receive your decision it is very important you check that all the details are correct. 

If you are issued a visa vignette please check that the information on the visa matches your accompanying letter and is correct. These details should match the information that is printed on the Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) that you will collect in the UK after you arrive: 

  • your name 
  • date of birth
  • your gender/sex
  • that you have permission under the Student route
  • the Sponsor Licence Number (SLN) M1WT5XVQ0 for the University of Southampton 
  • the start and end dates are correct
  • work conditions (the amount of hours you can work)
  • the condition to register with the police is on your vignette (if this applies to you)

If you have been granted a digital immigration status, you will also need to check that all the above details are correct.

If you find an error before travelling to the UK, please report the error to the Visa Application Centre (VAC) that you attended or if you used the 'UK Immigration: ID Check app' you may need to contact UKVI directly

If you find an error after you travel and have already arrived in the UK, please Contact Us for further advice.

You should also check the information is correct when you collect your BRP card from either the University or the Post Office that you selected on your visa application form.

What do I need to do to enrol for my course & collect my BRP?

The University is required to keep a copy of your current passport or travel document and your current immigration permission. 

If you have a Student visa and are starting a new programme in September or January, you will be invited to attend an appointment to complete your in-person Right to Study Check.  If you are starting your course or returning to your studies at another time during the year, please Contact Us

You will also need to attend the Right to Study Check if you have a Student visa and are returning after a period of suspension, you are returning after having repeated your studies externally, or you are collecting a new visa from the University. 

If you selected your BRP card to go to a Post Office, you must collect your BRP card before you attend the in-person Right to Study Check.

If you do not have a Student visa and have another visa type or immigration permission, you will need to upload a copy of your current visa or permission and a copy of your passport for us to check. If you have a digital status then you will need to send us your share code. Please see instructions on the weblink below:


https://www.southampton.ac.uk/studentservices/visa-and-immigration/during-your-studies/enrolment-registration.page

My visa has been refused what do I do?

If your application was refused, Contact Us for futher advice.

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