Applying for a visa

You should apply for a Tier 4 (General) student visa after you've received an offer of a place on a course from us.

You should very carefully read the government's guidance on applying to a Tier 4 (General) student visa before making your application. This document will guide you through the process.

To be eligible for a student visa, you'll need to prove that you have:

  • a confirmation of acceptance for studies from us
  • enough money to cover your course fees and living costs

Apply for a student visa from the UK

If you're already in the UK and you've been accepted on a course, you should get in touch with our international support team.

They will be able to check your submission and submit it to the Home Office on your behalf.

If you use this service, we'll be able to answer any questions the Home Office may have, and check on your application's progress.

You can contact the international support team on:

When can I apply?

You must make an application to the Home Office before the expiry date of your current visa. If you don't, you'll no longer have legal permission to be in the UK.

If you submit your application after your visa has expired and it is then refused by the Home Office, you also lose the right to appeal the decision, so you must give yourself enough time to gather your documents for your application so you can submit an application on time.

We recommend that you start to put together your application at least four months before your visa expiry date.

If you existing permission to stay runs out more than 28 days before the start date of your proposed course, you will need to go overseas and apply for a visa from outside the UK.

What documents do I need?

  • Tier 4 student visa online application form
  • the appropriate fee that you will pay online by credit or debit card
  • your confirmation of acceptance to study (to be obtained from either Admissions or International Support)
  • passport- all that contain visas for the UK
  • your biometric residence permit (if you have been issued one)
  • two passport photos - refer to the Home Office photo guidance
  • Police Registration Certificate (if applicable)
  • evidence confirming you have the required maintenance funds (if not on the Home Office's list of low-risk nationalities)
    • If you're using a parent or guardian's bank statement as evidence of your finances, you'll also need to get a letter from them confirming their relationship to you and that they agree for you to use the funds for your studies in the UK. You'll also need to supply your original birth certificate, confirming your relationship to them. This must be the original legal document or a notarised copy. If you use an overseas account containing a foreign currency, you will also need to write on your application form the closing balance in pounds sterling. You should obtain this currency conversion from the OANDA website and include a print out of this with your application.
  • evidence of official financial sponsorship or consent to complete studies (if applicable)
  • certificate or transcript of previous studies (if stated on your CAS) (if not on the Home Office's list of low-risk nationalities)
  • a valid certificate of English language qualification (if stated on your CAS) (if not on the Home Office's list of low risk nationalities)
  • ATAS Certificate (if applicable)
  • if you have family members who wish to apply at the same time as you, they will be included with you in your application
  • marriage certificate (if your spouse is applying as your dependant at the same time and this has not been submitted with a previous application)
  • birth certificates (if you have children applying as your dependant at the same time and these have not been submitted with a previous application).


If any of your documents aren't in English or Welsh, you must get a fully certified translation from a professional translator or translation company.

This must include:

  • details of the translator or translation company's credentials
  • confirmation that it is an accurate translation of the original document
  • the translator or translation company's contact details

This document should be dated and include the original signature of the translator or an authorised official of the translation company.

Submit original documents

You must submit the first version of the document, not a copy.

  • Degree certificates or transcripts must be the actual documents given to you by the university.
  • Bank statements or letters, these must be printed on the official headed paper of the bank.

What happens next?

If you made your application through the international support team, we'll package and label your application in accordance with Home Office guidelines and post them using special delivery.

If you've made a valid application, you'll receive a letter asking you to provide your biometric data (your fingerprints and photo) at a designated post office.

Once you've done this, your application will be forwarded to a caseworker who will process your application. Your caseworker will decide whether to grant you a visa, and for how long.

Your documents will then be returned to us, and we'll notify you.

How long will my visa be valid for?

Read the Home Office guidance for student visas.

Applying from overseas

Follow the Home Office guidance on applying for a Tier 4 student visa.

You can't submit your application more than three months before your course is due to start.

Receiving your student visa Biometric Residence Permit

Once you make your application, you must book an appointment to enrol your biometrics at a visa application centre and submit your documents.

You'll be able to collect your documents after your application has been approved.

If you're coming to the UK for a period of study of more than six months, you will receive a sticker in your passport which will be valid for 30 days.

You will use this 30-day visa to enter the UK, enrol at the University and collect your Tier 4 student visa biometric residence permit (BRP) from a designated post office in Edinburgh. Our International Support Team will help make sure you know what to do.

Providing your address and travel dates to the Home Office

As part of your application, you must provide details of your address in Edinburgh. This will help the Home Office to ensure you can collect your BRP easily.

If you don’t know your address yet, you should provide the address for Edinburgh Napier University’s Merchiston Campus: 10 Colinton Road, Edinburgh, EH10 5DT, Scotland, UK.

You should also carefully consider the dates you intend to travel to the UK. You will need to provide a 30-day period of the dates you intend to travel to the UK at the time of your application.

If you are unable to travel within the 30-day period you provide, you will need to apply for a new short-term visa to enter the UK. Our International Support Team will help make sure you know what to do.

Immigration health surcharge

If you are a non-EEA national who applies to come to the UK to study or join family for a time-limited period of more than 6 months on or after 6 April 2015, you will have to pay a surcharge to access the National Health Service (NHS).

Non-EEA nationals who are already in the UK and apply to extend their stay also have to pay this surcharge.

After paying the surcharge, you will be able to access the NHS in the same way as a permanent UK resident.

Students have to pay a £150 surcharge per year. Dependents generally pay the same amount as the main applicant.

Paying this surcharge will be a mandatory requirement. You will pay as part of the immigration application process. It will apply to applications where payment is made on or after 6 April.

The amount you pay will cover the entire period of permission to stay. For example, if you are coming to the UK as an undergraduate student (Tier 4), you will be required to pay the charge in full for the three or four year period at the point of application for their visa.

If you are coming to study in the UK for four years, you will pay £600.

The surcharge will not apply to visitors, such as tourists or those coming to the UK for less than six months, or to EEA nationals residing in the UK.

Tier 2 visa applicants - intra-company transfer migrants and their dependents - are also exempt.

Credibility interview

As part of your application for a Tier 4 student visa, you'll probably be required to attend a “credibility interview”.

You might be sent an email from the Home Office asking you to attend an interview as part of the application process.

Regularly check your email, including the 'junk' folder. Your application is likely to be refused if you are asked to attend an interview and you fail to do so without providing a reasonable explanation.

Your interview will take place when you attend a visa application centre to give your biometric information. A Home Office member of staff will ask you about your course, where you want to study and your reasons for studying in the UK.

The report of the interview will be sent to the Entry Clearance Officer who makes the decision on your Tier 4 visa application. The Entry Clearance Officer must be satisfied that you are a genuine student, and that your English language ability is at the correct level, otherwise you might be called for a further interview or your entry clearance application may be refused.

Find out more about the credibility interview