Immigration & visas
If you live outside of the European Economic Area and want to study in the UK, you will need to apply for permission from the UK government. You should apply to the UK authorities in your home country before making any travel arrangements.
You will either need to apply for a Visa, if you meet the UK Border Agency restrictions, or for Entry Clearance via the Points Based System, if you live outside the EEA but don't need a Visa. If you are coming from inside the EU / EEA you don't need any type of entry clearance - you are entitled to enter the UK freely.
Although it is possible to enter the UK without Entry Clearance if your course lasts less than six months, we strongly recommend that you apply for permission to enter the country regardless of how long your course lasts, as you may experience difficulties with the immigration authorities otherwise.
When you enter the UK, airport officials will validate your visa. You are likely to be asked to show supporting documents so keep your offer letter, evidence of qualifications, English language ability and financial documents in your carry-on luggage.
IMPORTANT: Do NOT enter the UK via Dublin as this is not part of the UK and therefore you will not pass through border control to have your visa validated. This means that you are not legally permitted to be in the UK, and will cause problems when you leave the UK and try to re-enter.
How long can I stay?
If you are allowed to enter the UK for study, you should receive permission to remain in the UK for the length of your course of study, plus extra time depending on the length of your course:
- Seven days if your course lasts less than 6 months.
- Two months if your course lasts more than 6 months but less than 12 months
- Four months if your course lasts 12 months or more
You will be allowed to travel in and out of the UK as you wish, and you will also be permitted to work part-time or as an intern. After you have completed your studies, you can remain in the UK for up to four months. If you are offered a graduate-level job, with an annual salary of £20,000 or more, you may apply for a UK work visa. Many businesses can sponsor work visa applications. Alternatively, if you wish to start your own businesses in the UK after graduating, you can apply for a student entrepreneur’s visa.
Postgraduate students on courses longer than 12 months and government-sponsored students taking courses longer than six months are permitted to bring family members with you to Scotland. Family members are permitted to work and have unrestricted access to the UK labour market.
If you would like to visit Edinburgh Napier to see what the University is like before you accept a place, you can apply for entry as a prospective student if you meet the requirements of the Immigration Rules (paragraphs 82-87).
How to apply to enter the UK
You can make a Visa or Entry Clearance application at your nearest British High Commission / Consulate.
You will pay a £3,500 deposit to secure your place at Edinburgh Napier University. Once you have done this, we will send you a Certificate of Acceptance for Study (CAS) number. If you are from India or China, your CAS statement will be sent to our offices there. You must submit the CAS number with your Visa application and other supporting documents to obtain permission to enter the UK. If your visa application is denied, you will receive a full refund of your deposit.
For September applicants we will issue CAS numbers from June onwards, and for January applicants we will issue CAS numbers from October.
You should allow at least a month for your Visa application to be processed, so ensure that you pay the deposit and get your letter in time.
If your Visa application is rejected you cannot use the same CAS number or statement - it is valid for one application only. If this happens, please send your Refusal Notice to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will do our best to issue a new CAS statement to you. If you don't send your Refusal Notice we cannot issue a new CAS number for you.
It is extremely important that you:
- read and understand the UKBA Tier 4 policy guidance
- check that you meet all the requirements before you apply
- provide evidence in the format required by the UKBA (this is explained in the guidance and on the application form)
- complete all sections of the form correctly
- allow plenty of time to gather documents and make your application.
If you do not meet all of the requirements, or if you can't provide the exact evidence that the UKBA ask for, it is likely that your application will be refused.
Otherwise, we will be very happy to speak to you if you can't find what you're looking for.
Find out everything you need to know about Visas at the UK Visas website.
For the latest up to date information on the Points Based System, please see the UK Border Agency website.
UK Council for International Student Affairs
Foreign & Commonwealth Office
Talent Scotland also provide some useful information on preparing yourself to come to Scotland.
Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur
The Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) route opened on 6 April 2012 for those graduates identified by their University as having developed a world class innovative idea or entrepreneurial skill but who are not yet able to apply for a Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa. Edinburgh Napier University is currently considering being part of this scheme, however are not yet in a position to take applications. We expect to be able to update our position shortly. Once an update is available information will be published on this website.