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The University of Southampton
Student ServicesVisa and immigration

Applying from inside the UK

Highfield Campus
Information about applying for a Student visa inside the UK.

The information on this webpage is about applying for a Student Visa inside the UK, including:

 

1. Who can apply inside the UK?

2. When can I apply?

3. What do I need to prepare before I apply?

4. How do I apply?

5. What happens after I apply?

Preparing for your visa application

If you have a University IT account you can find further details about preparing for your Student Visa application by self-enrolling on the 'Applying for a Student Visa' Blackboard module

1. Who can apply in the UK?

Not all students are eligible to extend or switch to a Student Visa inside the UK.

If you are not eligible to extend your Student Visa inside the UK, you can find information on our webpage for applying outside the UK.

 

Extend Student Visa

To extend your Student Visa inside the UK, you must meet or be exempt from academic progression requirements. There may also be a limit to the amount of time you can study in the UK using a Student Visa, depending on the level of your programme. You can find general information about who is eligible to extend their Student Visa inside the UK on the UKCISA website

Extend after current Southampton course is completed

If you are going to start a new programme at Southampton after you have successfully completed your current programme at Southampton, you may be eligible to extend your Student Visa in the UK. If you are not sure if you are eligible to extend your Student Visa in the UK, contact us at least 3 months before your current visa expires.

Extend before current Southampton course is completed: continuing students

Contact us if you are:

  • returning to your studies after suspension - at least 6 months before you return
  • continuing your studies after repeating externally - at least 6 months before you return
  • continuing your studies after repeating internally - at least 3 months before your current visa expires
  • continuing your PhD programme - at least 3 months before your current visa expires
  • thinking about changing your programme - as soon as possible

If you are considering changing your programme, you must contact us before your programme is changed. The study conditions of your current Student Visa may not allow you to change your programme without applying for a new visa, even if the change will not require you to extend your time in the UK. A change of programme includes:

  • Change of subject, e.g. MA Fashion Management to MA Fine Art
  • Change of level, e.g. BEng Mechanical Engineering to MEng Mechanical Engineering
  • Change to mode of study, e.g. full-time to distance learning
  • Adding or removing a placement, or a period of study abroad

Extend after course at another institution is completed

This information is for students who currently have a Student Visa which is not for study at University of Southampton.

If you are currently studying at another UK institution and you have been accepted on a programme at Southampton, you may be eligible to extend your Student Visa in the UK. You can find information about who is eligible to extend their visa in the UK on the UKCISA website

If you are not sure if you are eligible to extend your Student Visa in the UK, contact us.

You must have applied for your new Student Visa for the University of Southampton before you start your programme of study here.

Switch to a Student Visa

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

 

2. When can I apply?

You must apply before your current visa expires. 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.

The earliest date you can apply to extend your visa in the UK is 3 months before the start date stated on your CAS and when you have prepared all the required documents for your application. You can find more information about what you need to prepare in the next section.

If you are considering changing your programme of study, contact us before your programme is changed, even if the change will not require you to extend your time in the UK.

3. What do I need to prepare?

To apply for a Student Visa you will need:

  • Confirmation of Acceptance of Studies (CAS)
  • Documents
  • Money to pay the visa application fee and the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS)

CAS

Your Confirmation of Acceptance of Studies (CAS) statement is information about you and your programme of study which is shared between the University and UKVI. Your CAS number appears in your CAS statement and must be entered in your online visa application. You must have a CAS before you apply for your Student Visa.

If you are starting a new programme of study at Southampton or you are coming to the UK for the first time during your studies, you will be sent a CAS questionnaire when you have been unconditionally accepted for your programme. You will not receive a CAS until you complete and return the CAS questionnaire.

If you are a continuing student, you must complete a continuing student CAS request form and return this to your Faculty Office. You can find the continuing student CAS request form in the 'Useful Downloads' section at the end of this webpage.

You are a continuing student if you are:

  • returning to your studies after suspension
  • continuing your studies after repeating
  • applying for a new visa to change your programme before you have completed your current programme of study
  • continuing your PhD programme

Documents

  • Current and previous passport(s) or travel document(s)
  • You will need the academic qualifications which are listed on your CAS if you are applying for a course below degree level
  • You may need financial evidence to show that you have enough money to pay tuition fees and living costs. This depends on how long you have been studying here in the UK on a Student Visa. Find more information on our Maintenance webpage
  • ATAS certificate, if you are studying a programme for which this is required
  • Police registration certificate, if your current visa required you to register with the police
  • Consent of current or previous financial sponsor to continue your studies, if in the 12 months before the date of application, you have completed a course of study in the UK for which you have been awarded a scholarship or sponsorship by a Government or international sponsorship agency covering both fees and living costs, you must provide written consent in relation to the application from that Government or agency 
  • If you are under 18 years old, a letter of consent from your parent(s)/guardian(s) and evidence of your relationship to them

If any of your documents are not in English, you must provide a certified translation which includes:

  • confirmation from the translator/translation company that it is an "accurate translation of the original document"
  • the date of the translation
  • the translator's full name
  • the translator's signature
  • the translator/translation company's credentials (qualification or registration as a translator)
  • the translator/translation company's contact details

Read the UKCISA guide to evidence for further information about documents to prepare for your Student Visa application.

Money for the visa application fee and IHS

The visa application fee will depend on which application service you select. Each applicant must pay an application fee. You can find more information about Student Visa application fees on the UKVI webpage

The Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) is a payment to use National Health Services while you are in the UK. You can find out who needs to pay and how much you should expect to pay on the UKVI pay for healthcare website.

4. How do I apply?

1. Prepare your CAS, documents and money for fees. You can find more information in the previous section of this webpage.

2. Prepare your online visa application form If you will apply with the help of the University VISAS team, do not sign the declaration or pay for your application before you book your visa advice appointment.

3. Book a visa advice appointment with the University VISAS team so that a visa advisor can check your documents and online application form and help you complete your application. If you do not apply at a visa advice appointment, you must send your proof of application to visa@soton.ac.uk

Proof of application includes the following documents:

  • A copy of your Document Checklist and completed visa application form; or
  • A Student Visa decision letter/email from the Home Office

4. Enter University of Southampton as your postal address
The University must have a record of your current visa or immigration permission for your student record. If you do not enter the University of Southampton as your postal address, you must inform us once you have received your BRP by contacting visa@soton.ac.uk. This is very important as we must have a record of your new visa to comply with UK Visas & Immigration.

The postal address for visa applications is:

M23 VISAS Team

University of Southampton

Highfield Campus

University Road

Southampton

SO17 1BJ

 

 

5. What happens after I apply?

Biometric Reuse

If you have provided your fingerprints for a previous visa application within the last 5 years, you may be contacted by UKVI to inform you that they will re-use your fingerprints for your new visa application.

You will then be sent a link to download the IDV app. The IDV app is available to download on the following smart phones:

  • Android: IDV app works on devices having a camera with minimum 5 megapixels and running Android 7.0 and above.
  • iOS: IDV app works on iPhone 6 and above and having version iOS 12 and above.
  • The IDV app is currently not compatible with tablets/iPads.

Please see the IDV app FAQs for further information.

There is also a video available to help you navigate the app.

You can either upload your documents onto the UKVCAS website, after you have submitted and paid for your application, or you can upload your documents onto the app. Once you have submitted on the app, UKVI will start to process your application. You will not need to book an appointment at a UKVCAS centre. Your application will be invalid if you do not complete the final submission on the app. 

If UKVI cannot reuse your biometrics, then you will be invited to book an appointment at a UKVCAS centre.

Book an appointment at a UKVCAS Centre

Log in to your UKVCAS account to book your appointment.

Appointments at 'Core' centres, such as Croydon, are free during regular opening hours, but there will be a fee to pay for an appointment outside of these hours.

For appointments at 'Enhanced' centres such as Southampton, you will have to pay a fee during regular opening hours, and an increased fee for an appointment outside of these hours. 

You must ensure that you upload all of the mandatory documents, which are required for your application (and for all of your dependents if applicable) to the UKVCAS website, before you attend your appointment. If you plan to apply with the University VISAS team at a visa advice appointment, we can help you with this step. If you do not plan to apply with the University VISAS team, you must book and attend a UKVCAS appointment yourself.

When you attend your appointment, you must take with you the following documents:

  • Appointment booking confirmation
  • Your current passport (and current passports for all of your dependents, if applicable)
  • Documents required for your application (you will have already uploaded these to the UKVCAS website, but it is recommended to take these to your appointment in case there is a technical error and your document scans are not showing)

At your appointment, you will:

  • Provide your passport (and for each of your dependents, if applicable) 
  • Give your fingerprints and have a photo taken of your face (and for each of your dependents, if applicable)
  • Give your signature (and for each of your dependents, if applicable)
  • You may also have an interview

Your application will be invalid if you do not attend a UKVCAS appointment to enrol your biometrics.

Receive application decision

You will usually receive an email from the Home Office GOV.UK to inform you of your application decision.

If you do not receive a decision email before you receive your BRP, contact us.

Receive your BRP

If your application is successful and the University is your postal address, VISAS will email you to collect your BRP when it has been delivered. This is usually 5 - 10 working days after you receive your application decision. 

If your application is successful and the University is not your correspondence address, you must contact us to let us know you have received your BRP.

Check your BRP and decision letter or email

You must check that all of the following information is correct on your new Student Visa - your BRP card:

  • Your personal details, including your name, date of birth and nationality
  • Expiry date. If your course is longer than 12 months, your BRP should expire 4 months after the end date of your course
  • Work conditions. Your work conditions will be written on the front of your BRP. You can find more information about what your work conditions should be on our working in the UK webpage.
  • Police registration. Your decision letter or email will confirm if you and your Dependants (if applicable) are required to register with the police. If it is not written in your decision letter or email, it is not a requirement of your visa. You can find out how to register with the police or update your existing registration on our police registration webpage.

Useful Downloads

Need the software?PDF Reader

Useful external links

Please note: The University of Southampton cannot accept responsibility for the content of external websites.

 

 

UKVI – Extend your Student VisaUKVI – Switch to a Student VisaUKVI – Immigration Health Surcharge
UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office – ATASUKCISA – Guidance for applying inside the UKUKVCAS – locations

Useful internal links

Visa drop-in and appointments

Visa drop-in and appointments

We offer a drop-in service for quick questions regarding your visa or you can book an appointment to speak, in depth, with one of our Visa Advisors.

Enquiry form

Enquiry form

You can contact us through our online Enquiry Form. We strongly encourage people to contact us through the online Enquiry Form rather than to directly email us.

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