Applying for a Student Visa (from outside UK)

International students chatting

If you have an offer to study one of our courses and are applying from overseas, this page will tell you how to get a Student Visa. 

Or, if you are applying for a visa from inside the UK, or are a returning student, you can find relevant information on our askUS pages instead. 

What type of visa do I need?

Most international students will require a Student Visa (formally called Tier 4 Visa) to study in the UK, including students from the EU if they have not applied to the EU settlement scheme by 30 June 2021.*  

You can find out more about Student Visas from the Home Office, and more information and a video further down this page. 

What do I need to apply for a Student visa?

To be eligible for a student visa, you will need the following: 

  • An unconditional offer. Make sure you have met all the conditions stated in your offer letter, before the specified deadlines.

  • A valid Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) from the University of Salford. This is a unique reference number that you receive from us to confirm we will be your immigration sponsor. Find out more below. 

  • Proof of your ability to pay your tuition fees and to support yourself in the UK, for example, bank statements. Find out more below. 

  • Proof of English Language ability for your chosen course (if required).

  • Proof of your academic certificates and transcripts.

How to get your CAS

  • STEP 1 - Check that all your personal information on your unconditional offer letter is correct e.g. your name, passport number. If any of your details have changed or are not correct, please email to let us know. You should include any evidence (e.g copy of a new passport) and use ‘CAS correction’ in the subject header.
  • STEP 2 - Watch the below video to find out how you can apply for your CAS and what you will need.

    Please note, you will only need to request your CAS and upload documents if you are from a country that requires you to show the Home Office proof that you can financially support yourself in the UK. 

    Remember, as soon as you have an unconditional offer, you are ready to apply for your CAS.

How to get your CAS - video
  • STEP 3 - Wait for us to email you with further instructions about how to obtain your CAS. You should also read this information from the Home Office about what documents you need to get your visa and prepare your documents accordingly.
  • STEP 4 - Read the email from our CAS Assessment Team with instructions on how to get your CAS.

    Depending on what country you are from, we may ask you to upload documents to show that you can support yourself financially whilst in the UK.  It is essential to make sure that, firstly, you upload the correct documentation when you request your CAS, and secondly, that your documents are clearly visible. Failure to do this will cause delays in us processing your CAS.

    You can find detailed information about how your documents should meet the financial requirement from the Home Office's Appendix Finance.

    Alternatively, if you are a ‘British national overseas’ or if you are from one of these countries or territories, then you will not be required to supply financial information to the CAS team, so you will not need to do anything else and can proceed to step 5. 

  • STEP 5 - Someone from our CAS Assessment Team (using the email will confirm when you will get your CAS, or if you need to send further information.

    If you were required to upload supporting documentation to request your CAS, you should expect to receive an automatic email to acknowledge your CAS request. Then someone from our CAS team (using email will confirm when you will get your CAS, or if you need to send any further information.

    If you were not asked to submit any documents to request your CAS, then you should get your CAS within one week.

    Once you get your CAS, you should apply for your visa immediately to avoid any delays. See the next section for more information on how to do this.

    You can find some frequently asked questions below which may help you. If you don't find what you need below you can also check our CAS and visa pages for more information.

CAS - Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

I have submitted my CAS request form, when will I get my CAS?

If you were required to upload financial documents to request your CAS, we will email you to confirm when you should expect to receive your CAS.

It is very important to check your unconditional offer letter to make sure that all your personal details are correct as this is the information we will use in your CAS. If there are any changes to your details, you must notify us by email to and put 'CAS correction’ in the subject header so we can amend this.

Also, it’s essential to ensure that your documentation is correct and fully visible and legible when you submit your CAS request, otherwise this will cause delays to you receiving your CAS.

How do I access the CAS request form?

We will email you when it is time to request your CAS with full instructions on what you need to do.

I have an unconditional offer, but I have not yet been contacted about getting my CAS?

It can take time for us to process your offer of admission including your study deposit. So please wait for us to email you about getting your CAS. 

I have made a mistake on my CAS request form, what can I do?

You can email us at to let us know and send any corrected documentation. You should include the details of what you submitted incorrectly on the CAS request form and what the correct information should be. Please use "CAS corrections" as the subject title for your email. 

Can my agent complete my CAS request form on my behalf?

No, you should complete your CAS request form yourself. 

How long is my CAS valid for?

It is valid for 6 months from the date the University of Salford completed it. It will expire if it is not used. However, we advise that you use your CAS in your visa application as soon as you have your CAS, so that the financial documents you used are still valid and do not expire. 

I have a conditional offer to study at Salford, where is my CAS?

You need to meet all the conditions of your offer first, including paying your study deposit, before we can issue you with a CAS. 

How to get your Student Visa

  • STEP 1 - Watch the below video to find out how to apply for your visa:
Applying for your student visa - video
  • STEP 2 - Check when you need to apply for your visa.

    You can apply up to 6 months before your course start date, provided you already have your CAS from the University of Salford. For example, if your course starts in September, you can apply from March. You should allow plenty of time, as it can take 3 weeks, or longer in busy periods, to get your visa from outside of the UK. 

    Check the application processing times, and make sure you apply early so that you get a decision with enough time to arrive in the UK before your course start date. Some countries may allow you to pay an extra fee to get a quicker service. 

  • STEP 3 - Before you make a visa application, it’s very important to refer to the most up-to-date Home Office rules and guidance.
  • STEP 4 Confirm what the process is for applying for a Student Visa from your country. 

    You may need to make an appointment or complete the form online or comply with other requirements specific to your country.

  • STEP 5 - Prepare your documents.

    Some of these are the same documents that we asked you to submit with your CAS request, and include: 

    • CAS number – you will need the 11-digit reference number from your CAS from the University of Salford to add to your visa application. You do not need to submit the CAS letter/statement to apply, only the reference number. You will be given a visa based on your CAS number from the university you will be studying at, so it must not be an old CAS from any previous universities you applied for. 

    • Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) – If you were asked to supply an ATAS when requesting your CAS (only certain courses require this), then you should submit this with your visa application. See a guide to ATAS
    • Certificates and transcripts – if you were asked for this information to get your CAS, you should send the Home Office your original documents as part of your visa application. 
    • Financial evidence to support study – if we asked you for evidence that you can support yourself financially during your studies at the CAS stage, you will be required to share the same documents with the Home Office. Or if you are a 'British national overseas' or from a country that does not require you to upload financial evidence during your visa application, you should still make sure you have the funds available in case you are asked by the Home Office to provide this at a later stage.

    • Tuberculosis (TB) screening – nationals from certain countries will need evidence of a TB test at a UKVI-approved clinic. There are some instances where this is not required, you can find out more information about TB testing

    • Translations – if any of your documents are not written in English or Welsh, you should provide original certified translations of each of these in English as part of your application. These documents must also meet specific criteria.

    • Passport - this should be valid and have a blank page available for your Student Visa.

Getting your CAS
  • STEP 6 -  Apply online for your visa at  

    As part of the application, you may be asked to attend your local visa application centre to provide biometric information. 

    You will also be required to pay some fees including: 

    • Application fee, which is £490 (correct as of October 2023) to apply for a Student visa from outside the UK* 

    • Immigration Health Surcharge, to ensure you get health care whilst you are in the UK.* 

The Immigration Health Surcharge students need to pay to access to the National Health Service in the UK is increasing to £776 from February 6 2024.

Any Student Visa application submitted after February 6 will be charged the increased Immigration Health Surcharge. 

We recommend encouraging your students to apply for their Student Visa as early as possible for our March intake.

*You may find that some visa application centres also charge a “User pays fee”. Find the latest information about fees for Student visas, including a tool to calculate how much your visa fees will cost

Remember to add details of what dependents (your partner or children) you would like to bring with you. 

Make sure you take your time and check everything on your form carefully before submitting it. 

Getting your Student Visa
  • STEP 7 - Check if you need to make an appointment to provide biometric information
  • STEP 8 - Prepare for your visa interview, if you are invited to one.

    You may be invited to attend a visa interview before you are granted a decision. If you are invited to an interview, it is essential that you prepare carefully for this. The Home Office want to know that you have a genuine interest in the course. 

    You should check our website and attend events to find out more information about your course. If you are using an agent, they can help you with this, or contact our team at who can support you further.

    Visa interview questions could include: 

    • Why do you want to study at the University of Salford?  

    • Why do you want to study in the UK?  
    • Why do you want to study your course?  
    • What modules will you study for your course and how will you be assessed? 

    • What other institutions have you looked at in addition to the University of Salford? 

    • What do you know about the location of the university and the city of Salford?

      You can watch this video from one of our international students about her visa interview experience. 

Getting your visa decision

How long it takes to get a decision on your visa, depends on which country you are coming from. Find out more about waiting times

My visa application was successful, what's next? 

Congratulations! What you do next depends on how you applied for your visa: 

  • I applied using a visa application centre to confirm my identity:

    The visa application centre will notify you when you can collect your documents. Your visa will be printed as a sticker (vignette) in your passport.

    It is important not to arrive in the UK until the date shown on your Visa. If you arrive earlier than the date shown on your visa, you may be refused entry to the UK or the university.

    You will need to collect your Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) once you are in the UK. If your course requires you to be in the UK for longer than 6 months, you should collect your BRP within 10 days of arriving in the UK, or before the vignette sticker in your passport expires, whichever option is later. 

    Find more information about collecting your BRP

  • I applied using the UK Immigration: ID Check app:

    If you used the UK Immigration: ID Check app, and if your visa decision is successful, you will not need a biometric residence permit (BRP), and your immigration status will be fully online

    It is important not to arrive in the UK until the date shown on your Visa. If you arrive earlier than the date shown on your visa, you may be refused entry to the UK or the university.

My visa application was unsuccessful, what should I do? 

You should contact the CAS team at to discuss your next steps. 

If you think the evidence you submitted with your visa application was sufficient and should not have been rejected, you can request an administrative review. You can find more information about this on our askUS pages under “Home Office Decision”. 

Your Student Visa responsibilities

Your visa comes with responsibilities, which you will be personally accountable for. You should read the information from our Home Office Compliance team about your responsibilities.

As we are your immigration sponsor, you will need to undertake a Right to Study Check as part of Registration to verify your immigration status to us. 

You can find some frequently asked questions about Student Visas below.

Student Visa - Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

How much does a Student Visa cost?

Find the latest information about fees for Student visas, including a tool to calculate your visa fees

How soon will I get a visa decision?

Visa processing times vary, depending on which country you are coming from. Read about visa waiting times

What are the financial requirements for getting a Student Visa?

Students are required to demonstrate that they can financially maintain themselves while studying in the UK. You must demonstrate to the Home Office that you have held the balance of any unpaid tuition fees plus the required maintenance fees in an account for at least 28 consecutive days (or that your financial sponsor will cover these costs). 

You can read the Home Office's guidance for details concerning the required format of your documents, and more detail within the Immigration Rules Appendix Finance.

What is the current maintenance amount required?

The current level of funds required to prove you can maintain yourself whilst in the UK is £1,023 per month for yourself and £680 per month (each) for your dependant(s), up to a maximum of 9 months.*

If your course duration isn’t given in whole months, the number of months’ maintenance costs you are required to show will be rounded up a month (so, if your course is 3 months and 1 week long, you’ll need to show 4 months’ maintenance costs). 

*Costs correct as of October 2023. You should check on the Home Office website for the latest information.

My visa application was unsuccessful. What should I do next?

Please send us scanned copies of your refusal documentation to so we can discuss your options with you. 

What are the latest changes to visas?

Updates for international students considering studying in the UK

The UK government recently announced some changes regarding immigration and visa rules.

  1. Changes to immigration and visa rules:

On 4 December 2023, the Home Secretary announced changes to immigration and visa rules. On 21 December 2023, further details were published related to changes that might affect individuals already in the UK. The most relevant to international students looking to bring dependants to the UK, and those wanting to stay in the UK after successful completion of their studies through the graduate route visa.

You can read the changes announced on 4 December, and see more information in the Home Office’s new factsheet for further clarification on the changes.

Until the immigration rules are officially updated, current thresholds and policies remain in place.

  1. Updates to student visa routes:

Starting from 1 January 2024, new restrictions for student visa routes are in effect.

As previously announced by the Home Office, students starting courses from 1 January 2024 onwards will only be eligible to bring dependants on the student route if their course is a PhD, other doctoral qualification, or a research-based higher degree, unless they meet the criteria of another category of student eligible to bring dependants, for example courses with government-funded scholarships. Visit the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) website for more detail on which students are eligible to bring dependents.

  1. Recent changes to immigration rules (7 December 2023):

The Home Office introduced several changes to the immigration rules on 7 December 2023 including to the EU Settlement Scheme and visitor rules, as well as minor changes including to temporary work routes and Part 5 – working in the UK and the appendix for the innovator founder route.

A summary of these changes affecting students and their family members can be found in a news item on the UKCISA website -  ‘Student update: changes to the Immigration Rules, December 2023’.

You can also find a detailed explanation in the Explanatory Memorandum and the Home Secretary's Written Statement.

Need more support?

We hope you found this information useful. If you have any questions about your CAS, you can get in touch with us at, or if you have any questions about your visa, contact us at or call +44 (0)161 295 0023