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The University of Southampton
Student ServicesVisa and immigration

Making your application

We offer Student visa application support to current and prospective student of the University of Southampton. We have a dedicated BlackBoard e-learning module on '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. Please note that you will need to subscribe to University email to self-enrol on the BlackBoard module.

Please click on the link 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 on Inside the UK for further information, contact us if you are still unsure.

 

 

Not all students are eligible to apply from within the UK to switch to 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) or following an 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
  • Complete your course following intercallation
  • 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 to 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 - the earliest date you can apply to extend your visa in the UK 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 visa before you start your course at the University of Southampton even if your current visa is still valid.  University of Southampton students that are starting a new programme of study with us must apply no later than 6 weeks after the new programme start date and before their visa expires (whichever is sooner).

To complete 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 visa from outside the UK.

 

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.

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

The VISAS Team can support you with making your application inside the UK and check your application before you submit it. Contact the Visas Team to book an appointment. Before your appointment please complete section 1 & 2 of the application form and then choose to return to the application later so the adviser can check your application during your appointment.

Once you have completed your online application and paid for the Immigration Health Surcharge, you may need to make an appointment to provide your biometrics at a UK Visa and Citizenship Application Services (UKVCAS) service point.

If you choose to apply without seeking the assistance of the Visas Team you must provide proof of 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 with you 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 decision on your visa application within 8 weeks of providing your biometrics with your BRP being delivered to you approximately 10 days later. 

The visa application decision will be sent to you by email.

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 get 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 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 Visa Application Centre 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.

When you have everything prepared, apply online by going to apply.  Once you have completed your online application and paid for the Immigration Health Surcharge, you may need to make an appointment to provide your biometrics at a visa application centre.

Programmes shorter than six months

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

  • study as a visiting student which will be completed in less than six months
  • an exam only
  • a distance learning programme

We recommend that students who will study a Pre-Sessional English language programme apply for a Student Visa. It is not possible to switch from a Standard visit visa to a Student Visa in the UK. 

You can find more information for pre-sessional students about extending your Student Visa in the UK on our Pre-Sessional English language students visa renewal webpage.

 

You can find more information on our short-term study visa webpage.

What happens after I submit my application

Decisions on applications made outside the UK typically take 15 days though there may be an option to apply for a faster application service. You will get a visa vignette temporary travel visa (sticker) in your passport that allows you to travel to the UK.  When you arrive in the UK, you will collect your Biometric Residence Permit card.

At the Visa Applicatoin Centre

At the Visa Application Centre, you will:

  • Provide your documents
  • 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

When your application has been decided, you will collect your documents from the Visa Application Centre.

If your application was successful, when you collect your passport from the visa application centre in your home country, your Student Visa will be a vignette (sticker) in your passport.

If your application was refused, contact us

Biometric Residence Permit (BRP)


If your programme is longer than six months, your Student Visa vignette will only be valid for 30 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 BRP (Biometric Residence Permit). BRPs are credit card sized and contain your biometric information embedded within them. 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 code: 2HE382

If you choose to collect your BRP from the University, you will receive your visa when you enrol. You will either enrol at the International Registration event or at the Student Services Centre, depending on when your programme of study begins. 

If you choose to collect your BRP from another location, you must collect it before you can enrol at the University. If you applied for your Student Visa outside the UK, you cannot enrol without your BRP. 

Please note that students on a programme of study more than 6 months in length who are from certain countries need to register with the police. Please see here for more information.

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.

When you have received the outcome of your visa application you should check the information is correct and attend registration to complete enrolment for your programme when you arrive in the UK. 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 important you check that all the details are correct. 


If you are issued a vignette please check that the information 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 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 (How many hours can you work?)
  • the condition to register with the police is on your vignette (if that applies to you)

If find an error before travel to the UK please report the error to the Visa application centre that you attended.

If you find an error after you travel / are already in the UK please Contact Us for further advice.

You should also check the information is correct when you collect your BRP card from the University or the Post Office.

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 are starting a new programme in September or January, you will be invited to attend an International Registration appointment to complete your 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 International Registration if you 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 International Registration


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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