Low risk nationalities

Nationalities categorised by the United Kingdom (UK) Home Office as low risk will have a simplified Tier 4 (General) student visa application process for studying in the UK. Find out if you qualify and what documents you will need.

Low risk requirements

If you meet the requirements below, your visa application process will be simplified and you will submit less documentary evidence to support your application.

You must:

  • be sponsored by an institution with a Tier 4 Sponsor Licence (Edinburgh Napier University has this licence).
  • apply for entry clearance from your country of nationality/residence or from the UK.
  • be a national of one of the following countries:
    • Australia
    • Bahrain
    • Barbados
    • Botswana
    • Brazil
    • Brunei
    • Cambodia
    • Canada
    • Chile
    • China
    • The Dominican Republic
    • Indonesia
    • Japan
    • Kazakhstan
    • Kuwait
    • Malaysia
    • Mauritius
    • Mexico
    • New Zealand
    • Oman
    • Peru
    • Qatar
    • Serbia
    • Singapore
    • South Korea
    • Thailand
    • Tunisia
    • United Arab Emirates
    • United States of America

Where an applicant is a dual national, and only one of their nationalities is listed above, they will be able to apply using the different documentary requirements that apply to these nationals, provided they are applying either for entry clearance in the country or territory where the applicant is living or for leave to remain in the UK.

An applicant will be subject to different documentary requirements under Tier 4 of the Points Based System where they are the rightful holder of a passport, which has been issued by one of the relevant competent authorities listed below, and where the applicant is applying either for entry clearance in the country or territory where they are living or for leave to remain in the UK.

o British National (Overseas)
o Hong Kong
o Macau SAR
o Taiwan (those who hold a passport issued by Taiwan that includes the number of the identification card issued by the official authority in Taiwan).

Where an applicant is the rightful holder of a passport issued by a relevant competent authority listed above and also holds another passport or is the national of a country not listed above, they will be able to apply using the different documentary requirements that apply to rightful holders of those passports listed in this Appendix provided they are applying either for entry clearance in the country or territory where the applicant is living or for leave to remain in the UK.

The list of low risk nationalities is reviewed on an annual basis.

Documentation 

If you meet the requirements above, you are exempt from supplying the following documents with you Tier 4 application:

  • Financial evidence
  • Academic qualifications
  • English Language certificate (SELT)
  • Evidence of academic progression (successful completion of a previous course in the UK while holding a Tier 4 visa)

Confirmation of requirements

You are required to confirm on the visa application form that you meet the requirements set out in the policy guidance and that you hold the specified documents in the format required.  You will also have to be able to provide these documents to the Home Office should they request them as part of the visa decision process.  They will usually give you 7-10 working days to provide these documents. Failure to provide this evidence will result in refusal of your visa application.

Submitting your documents to us

If you submit your documents through us, we will ask you to provide all documents required, including the ones in the list of exemptions above, before we issue your Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS).

Visa support

Contact our Visa and International Support team to get qualified advice on the visa process, or support with immigration questions while you're here. Get in touch by email or call +44 (0)131 455 2272.

About the differentiation arrangements

The United Kingdom Home Office introduced differentiation arrangements on 4 July 2011, which was updated on 6 July 2018. 

Find out more