Applying for a student visa

If you are studying a full-time on-campus programme, you will be required to apply via the Student Visa Route unless you hold a full British passport, if you hold settled or pre-settled status (EU/EEA/Swiss nationals) or you already have a different type of visa that allows you to study for the full length of your programme. 

If you are studying a part-time online programme and are visiting the UK for any on-campus elements of your programme and require a visa to visit the UK, you will need to apply for a Standard Visitor Visa. You can find out more about Standard Visitor Visas here.

It is important that you prepare carefully so that you don’t experience any problems with your application.  

Imperial has a team of dedicated immigration advisers based in the International Student Support Service who can provide advice to guide you through the visa application process. It is essential that you read their online guidance carefully and contact international@imperial.ac.uk if you have any questions. 

The earliest you can make your visa application is from six months before the start date of your programme. The process from receiving an offer to applying for your visa is shown below. 

  • Receive your offer of admission 

  • Upload a copy of your passport and current visa (if applicable) to My Imperial in the 'My passport, visa and CAS' section 

  • Complete the conditions of your offer 

  • Offer becomes unconditional and your CAS number is generated 

  • Use your CAS number to make your visa application for Imperial 

It is very important that you understand how to meet the financial requirements of a Student Route application, as it can be very easy for your visa application to be refused if you get it wrong. Do not assume that just because you have a lot of money in a bank account that this will be acceptable – the money needs to be held for a set period of time and the documents need to be in a very specific format. 

Please read this guidance carefully and contact international@imperial.ac.uk if there is anything you are not sure about. 

If you prepare carefully for your application, you shouldn’t have any problems. However, if for any reason your visa application is refused, please send a copy of the refusal notice to international@imperial.ac.uk as soon as possible. Our International Student Support Team will advise on appropriate next steps. 

For help and assistance at any stage during the process, please contact International Student Support directly on international@imperial.ac.uk.  

If you are from an EU national country, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein and you are coming to study in the UK or are currently a student in the UK, please read this guidance carefully.