Students that are studying full-time in the UK for more than six months must apply for a Student visa. You must apply on-line, unless you are from North Korea, in which case you must make a paper application.
If you will be under 18 at the start of your course at the RVC you should apply for a Student visa not a Child Student visa. You must include a letter from your parent(s) or legal guardian(s) to show that they support your application.
Full guidance on making a Student visa application can be found on the gov.uk website: Student route caseworker guidance.
You can apply at your nearest Visa Application Centre from the gov.uk website: Find a visa application centre.
You can also find guidance on the UKCISA website to help you through the application process: Student immigration: the basics.
Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies
A Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) is a unique reference number given to you by the RVC for you to study a specific course at the RVC. This is required for the Student visa process. The CAS will expire six months after it is issued and is only valid for one visa application. You will receive a CAS by email once you have met all other conditions of your offer. It is important that you check the information listed on your CAS is correct.
It is important to apply for your visa as soon as you receive your CAS and have met all the visa requirements to avoid delays.
If your visa is refused, you will need to contact the office which issued it to you (e.g. the Admissions Office). If you have applied to more than one institution in the UK, you may hold more than one CAS; please ensure you use the correct CAS in your visa application.
Maximum period of study
There is a limit on the time a student may spend studying at degree level in the UK. In most cases, this limit is five years, but courses in Veterinary Medicine are exempt from the cap. If you are applying to study a non-exempt course the Admissions Office will carry out a previous UK study assessment to determine if you can complete your studies inside the cap.
There is no time limit on postgraduate study above degree level.
Immigration Health Surcharge
An Immigration Health Surcharge (HIS) must be paid as part of Student visa applications; even where you have your own private medical insurance and do not intend to use the NHS.
The charge is £470* for each year or part-year over six months of the visa being applied for, or £235* for part of a year that is less than six months.
If you are making a visa application from within the UK, you will be required to pay the IHS even if the period applied for is less than six months. The charge is taken at the point of your Student visa application, however more details of how charging (and refunds) are administered can be found on the UKCISA website.
If you are receiving funding from a Chevening, Marshall or Commonwealth Scholarship you do not need to pay the IHS, but you must ensure you chose the relevant type of visa application at the beginning process. You will still have to complete the IHS section but your IHS payment will calculate as '£0.00'.
*Correct as of October 2020
Your eligibility to apply for a Student visa depends on you having the required finances to cover your first year's tuition fees plus nine months living costs in your bank account for at least 28 days.
- £1,334* per month (£12,006 in total) in London - Applies to courses starting on the Camden campus
- £1,023* per month (£9,207 in total) outside London - Applies to courses starting on the Hawkshead campus
*correct as 1 December 2020.
Nationals from certain countries are not required to show financial evidence as part of their application, see the gov.uk website: Financial evidence for Student and Child Student route applicants
for details. You should make sure you have the required funds. UKVI may still ask you to show that you have them.
If you are self-financed and will be using your own bank statement as proof of finances, you must prove that you have the total amount of money in cash funds in a bank account in your name. This amount must be kept for at least 28 days in your account before you complete your visa application. Your bank statement must also be dated within 30 days of your application and show your name, account number, date, financial institution's name and logo, amount of finances available and confirmation the funds have been held for at least 28 days.
You can use an online bank statement providing all of the details listed above are covered.
You can also use a parent's bank statement as proof of finances. The statement must meet the guidelines above and you will also need to provide a letter (in English) confirming that they agree to you using their finances for your study purposes.
If your money is held in a foreign currency it will be converted into pound sterling (£) using the spot exchange rate on OANDA for the date of the application.
If you paid any of your tuition fees, over and above the deposit, in advance of your visa application this amount can be shown on your CAS and reduce the amount of funds you are required to keep in your bank account for your tuition fees. Contact the office that issued your CAS to have it updated.
Using a loan letter
You can use a loan letter as proof of finances but only from a regulated financial institution, the loan letter must confirm you have a loan that is provided by the national government, the state or regional government, or a government-sponsored Student Loan Company. This could also be part of an academic or educational loans scheme. The loan needs to be in your own name and the letter must be dated no more than 6 months before you commence your application. The loan must be available to you before you travel to the UK if you are applying from overseas. An exception is made if the loan is an academic/student loan from your country's national government and will be otherwise released to you by your national government or your education provider upon arrival in the UK.
Official Financial Sponsorship
If you are sponsored by your government, an international company or another scholarship agency, you will need to provide a letter from the sponsor confirming details of the sponsorship, including the amount you will receive. This should be an official document, stamped and dated by the sponsor within the last six months.
If you are sponsored by the RVC, your CAS will show this, including the amount.
If your sponsorship covers all your tuition fees and the required amount of maintenance detailed above, you will not need to show a bank statement.
If your sponsorship only covers your tuition fees, you will have to provide your bank statement to show the required amount of maintenance.
English Language Ability
You will need to hold an acceptable English Language qualification or take a Secure English Language Test (SELT) to provide evidence your English Language ability at level B2 or above on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) scale to study at Degree level or above.
If you are a national of a majority English speaking country or you hold a degree from a majority English speaking country you will not be required to provide evidence your English Language ability.
If you have met the English Language requirement in a previous successful student visa application you will not be required to provide evidence your English Language ability.
Documents used to obtain an offer
Because the RVC is a sponsor with a Track-Record of compliance you will not be required to submit evidence of the qualifications listed on your CAS when you make your visa application.
You should make sure you have the documents. UKVI may still ask you to show that you have them.
Academic Technology Approval Scheme
Nationals from certain countries studying research degrees in certain subjects at the RVC will require Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) clearance. You will be advised by the Graduate School if you need to apply for an ATAS certificate when you receive your offer. You can apply for an ATAS certificate up to 9 months before the start date of your course. You will need to get this certificate before applying for a visa.
No taught courses at the RVC require ATAS clearance.
See: Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) on the gov.uk website for further information
Nationals from certain countries are required to show that they have been screened for Tuberculosis (TB).
Please check: Tuberculosis tests for visa applicants on the gov.uk website to confirm if you need to obtain a TB test certificate before you apply for a visa.
From 1 December 2020 the Home Office is more likely to refuse your immigration application if you have a criminal conviction.
Your visa application will be refused if you have been convicted of a criminal offence in the UK or overseas for which you have received a custodial sentence of 12 months or more.
Your visa application may be refused if you have been convicted of a criminal offence in the UK or overseas for which you have received a custodial sentence of less than 12 months or a non-custodial sentence.
Please declare any relevant convictions to the issuing office.
You may be selected to attend a short credibility interview when you attend your appointment or shortly after you have attended your appointment. The interview is to check that you are a genuine student.
During the interview you will be asked questions about:
- your background,
- immigration history,
- the studies you are planning to undertake in the UK,
- why you chose the RVC and your course,
- how you intend to fund your studies in the UK and,
- how this fits into your career aspirations.
As part of the application process you will be required to provide biometric information (fingerprints and a photo of your face) and your signature.
This has to be done in person at a Visa Application Centre.
You will need to book an appointment to do this on-line after you submit and pay for your visa application.
Biometric Residence Permit
Your biometrics will be used to produce your Biometric Residence Permit (BRP). Your BRP is a credit cards sized immigration document that contains a chip with digital copies of your fingerprint and photo, with your picture and signature on. Your BRP can be used to prove your identity, your right to study in the UK and your right to any public services or benefits you’re entitled to.
Your BRP will need to be collected in person once you enter the UK; you can collect your BRP from the College by using our Alternative Collection Location (ACL) code which you will receive with your CAS.
EU/EEA and Swiss nationals applying to the Student from 1 Jan 2021 will not get a BRP, instead you will be issued with a digital immigration status. You will be able to prove your status using a digital share code.
Nationals from the following countries:
- EU member states
- New Zealand
- South Korea
with an immigration permission and a biometric passport can use ePassport Gates to enter the UK.
This means your passport will not be stamped at the border and you need to bring proof of the date you entered the UK, in the form of a boarding pass, travel ticket or booking confirmation, with you when collect your BRP.