Visa, CAS and immigration support

In order to study in the UK you'll need to meet the various visa and immigration conditions outlined by the Home Office. Our team of specialist and experienced international student advisers can help you with guidance on all of these matters.

In this section you will find information on what to do before you start your visa application, how to apply for a visa, what to do when you arrive in the UK and a list of useful links.

Please note: You must ensure that you fully understand and comply with the condition set out in your visa, for example if you are planning to work while you study in the UKBreaching the visa rules could have serious consequences for your immigration status and could affect your right to study in the UK.

Important changes to the Student Visa Route from January 2024

Bringing dependants

For courses starting from 1 January 2024 onwards, international students on a UK student visa will no longer be able to bring dependants to the UK except for those that are:

  • Studying for a course of study which the provider has confirmed is a PhD, other doctoral qualification, or a research-based higher degree
  • Financially sponsored by the UK or an Overseas Government

Undergraduate students are not normally permitted to bring dependants, and this has not changed.

Please note that these changes will not affect dependants of overseas students where the student is already in the UK and has started their course in September 2023 or before.

Switching to work visas

From 17 July 2023 international students holding a UK student visa will no longer be able to switch out of the student route until they have successfully completed their course.

The only exception is for PhD students who will be permitted to switch into the Skilled Worker route after they have completed 24 months towards their PhD.

For more information please see the .

Please get in touch if you have any queries or need further support – we are here to help.

More information about bringing dependants

What about students who apply before 17 July 2023 to bring dependants on courses starting after 1 January 2024?

Their application will be dealt with under the rules in force at the time they submitted their application.

What do you mean by postgraduate research?

A research-based higher degree means a postgraduate programme comprising a research component (including a requirement to produce original work) that is larger than any accompanying taught component when measured by student effort.

Will students on professional doctorates be able to bring dependants?

Students who hold permission for a course of study which the provider has confirmed is a PhD, other doctoral qualification, or a research-based higher degree will be able to bring dependants.

What about two-year integrated programmes with an integrated pre-master and research master programme?

These students will still be able to bring dependants. The course level on the CAS must reflect the exit qualification.

Can dependants of students who have started their course in autumn 2023, come into the UK after January 2024?

The changes will affect students who are starting their courses from 1 January 2024 onwards.

These changes will not affect dependants of overseas students where the student is already in the UK on their course of study.

Those starting a taught postgraduate course in the autumn will still be able to have dependants join them after January 2024 (where the other requirements of the rules are met).

Can dependants extend their permission to stay in the UK if the student needs more time to complete their course, but the course is no longer eligible for dependants?

Dependants that are already in the UK can extend their permission if the main applicant is granted further leave to remain under the Student Route.

Can dependants still work?

The rules around dependant work rights have remained the same.

Family members of a student can work (in line with UK employment law) in the UK except when:

  • they are being granted leave as a dependant after previously being the student's dependant when the student had permission to study a full-time course of 6 months or longer and the student is now applying for permission to study a new full-time course that is less than 9 months in length (unless the student is continuing a course of study on which they had previously been granted at least 9 months permission for)
  • they are being granted leave as a dependant after previously being the student's dependant when the student had permission to study a full-time course of 6 months or longer and the student is now applying for permission to study a new full-time course below degree level

A person with leave as the dependant partner of a student cannot take employment as a professional sportsperson (including as a sports coach).

Is the Graduate Route impacted by these changes?

There is no change to the Graduate Route. Dependants already in the UK as a student dependant may apply as a dependant of a graduate at the same time as the applicant.

More information about switching to work visas

Why has UKVI stopped students switching to the Skilled Worker Route part way through their course?

The main purpose of the Student Route is to enable applicants to undertake a course of study within the UK. We want to ensure that applicants are coming to the UK to study rather than to work. There are other routes available for those whose primary focus is to work.

What if I have applied to switch before the rules change?

Applications made before the changes will be assessed under the rules in force at the date of application.

When can a student on a student visa switch into the Skilled Work Route?

Students must come to the end of their course before they are permitted to switch to the Skilled Worker Route. The start date on their Certificate of Sponsorship for the work route must be no earlier than their course completion date. They can, as now, apply to switch up to three months before their Certificate of Sponsorship start date.

PhD students will be permitted to switch into the Skilled Worker Route after they have completed 24 months towards their PhD.

Before you apply for a visa

Please read the information on the website before making your visa application.

Check if you need a visa

You may need a visa to study in the UK if you are an international or EU/EEA student coming to Ji8腦瞳厙.

Understand the new rules

On the 1 July 2021, the immigration rules changed for most EU, EEA and Swiss citizens studying in the UK. 

Request your CAS

Before you apply for a visa, you must request a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) and upload your documents to OSIS. 

If you study a science and engineering course, you may need an Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) certificate.

When you arrive in the UK

Collect your BRP

You must collect your Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) within ten days of arriving in the UK.

Comply with visa requirements

It is essential that you comply with the conditions of your visa. If you have any visa or immigration queries please get in touch.

Working in the UK

Work while you study

There are strict rules in place for students who wish to work while they study. You must follow the conditions set out in your visa.

Work on a course placement

You can choose an optional work placement with some of our postgraduate courses. Find out how the visa rules affect your placement.

Work when you graduate

Some international students are able to apply for a work based visa when they graduate from their course. 

We are here to help

You can speak to our team of friendly and experienced specialist immigration advisers if you have questions about visa requirements and immigration for students – we are here to help.

You can, for example, get advice on how to apply for a visa and find out if you are allowed to work in the UK or travel abroad while you study at Ji8腦瞳厙. 

We offer

  • email and telephone advice;
  • one-to-one appointments;
  • drop-ins;
  • visa workshops for enrolled students.
We are here to help

Useful links

Contact us

If you have any queries or need further support, please get in touch with the Visa and Immigration Team – we are here to help.