Applicants: How to apply for a Student visa if you are inside the UK

Who is this page for?

This guidance page is for applicants for a Student visa whilst inside the UK.

There are different guidance pages for:

Can I apply from inside the UK?

To apply for a new Student visa whilst inside the UK, you must:

  • have valid immigration permission
  • be in the UK
  • have an unconditional offer of a place on a course at the University of Kent or affiliate
  • obtain a Confirmation for Acceptance for Studies (CAS) by the University of Kent
  • depending on your current immigration permission, you may be assessed for academic progression (see page 49 of the government's caseworker guidance)

If you’ve been in the UK with a valid visa for less than 12 months, you’ll need to prove you have enough money pay full tuition fees and support yourself while in the UK.

Read the UK government's full information on extending your Student visa.

You may need to apply for further leave to remain* if:

  • You are applying to Kent to start a new course
    • You may receive your CAS and apply for the new Student visa from within the UK before your current visa expires
    • If your current visa expires before you receive your CAS and if the start date of your new course of study (as stated on your CAS) is no more than 28 days after your current visa expires, you may be able to make an application for a Student visa from inside of the UK
    • If the gap between the end of your current leave and the start of your new course is longer than 28 days, you must leave the UK and apply from your home country

*It is important that you first check that you are eligible to apply and that any time limits on study in the UK do not affect your application. Kent Union Advice Centre may be able to advise you on eligibility requirements and completing the application.

Important points to note

You must meet the financial requirements to qualify for a Student visa, have sufficient funds for your tuition fees and meet the maintenance costs specified in the Home Office's guidance. It is extremely important to read through this to fully understand the financial requirements for a student visa.

You will have to pay the healthcare surcharge as part of your application. More information is listed below under step 4.

As part of your application you may need to have your fingerprints and photograph taken at a visa application centre.

While your application is pending, and until you receive a decision, you will not be able to travel outside of the UK as this will cancel any pending application.

We highly recommend you look at resources about how to apply and check KentVision for requests from the CAS team so as to avoid any unnecessary delays.  

1. CAS assessment

The University's CAS team will assess you for a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) and advise you of the appropriate procedure. 

For applicants applying from inside of the UK, this will be issued between three and six months prior to your course start date.

The CAS team will check to see if you are eligible to apply for a Student visa.  

What is included in our requirements?

You can only apply for a CAS after you have accepted an unconditional offer to study at Kent. This includes:

  • having paid an international deposit fee
  • providing the correct supporting documents, for example, financial evidence
  • proving your knowledge of the English language
  • getting ATAS approval (see step 2)

More information can be found on the UKCISA website.

2. Apply for an ATAS certificate (if applicable)

Check to see if need an Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) certificate as part of your Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) and, if necessary, apply for an ATAS certificate. This will take at least 20 working days to process by UKVI's ATAS team and will take longer in peak periods.

3. Prepare your documentation and finances

You should have the following documents ready to make your visa application:

  • Your unique Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) number
  • Entry qualifications used as part of your offer
  • English language qualification and/or supporting documentation
  • Evidence of finances, if required
  • Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) certificate, if required
  • Tuberculosis certificate, if required
  • Translations of any of the above documents, if required

Evidence of finances

We strongly advise you to read the full and official guidance on financial requirements, which can be found in the Government's financial requirement guidance, which explains Appendix Finance of the Immigration Rules. A general overview can be found below; this is not intended to replace the policy guidance provided by UKVI.

  • You must show supporting financial evidence that covers course fees for your first year of study (or the whole course if it lasts less than a year)
  • You must also be able to show UKVI that you hold a minimum amount to cover living costs. This is currently at £1,015 per month of leave granted, up to a maximum of 9 months (£9,135)
  • If you are using a currency other than GBP you must convert amounts into GBP for your visa application - we recommend As currency values fluctuate, UKVI will use the value from the day your application is submitted
  • If you are showing funds that are not in GBP, we will ask for proof of an additional £500 to account for currency fluctuations

4. Apply for your Student visa

Ensure that you have all of the documentation that you need and apply online for your Student visa and attend your Biometric appointment once invited.

This will include submitting the correct fee to UK Visas & Immigration as advised within your application. Other charges include the immigration health surcharge (IHS) and any priority services you may opt for.

Kent Union has created a helpful guide to completing an application inside of the UK with screenshots of each step.  

5. Visa decision

If you are successful and your visa is issued, check your Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) carefully to make sure all the information and conditions are correct.  

Bring your visa to the Central Student Administration Office reception in Rutherford College (Canterbury campus) or the Gillingham building (Medway campus) in order for it to be scanned to your student record. Please refer to the University responsibilities section of your visa responsibilities for a list of documents you must present.

Please see our guidance on what to do if your visa is refused.  

What to do if there is an error on your Biometric Residence Permit (BRP)

If there is an error on your BRP, you must report it as soon as possible. Please read the UKCISA's guide on correcting a visa error. You can also get advice from the Kent Union Advice Centre.

Full information can be found on our BRP webpage.

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