Do I need to apply for a visa?

A visa (also referred to as ‘entry clearance’) gives you permission to enter the UK. If you intend to travel to the UK to become a student you may need to apply for a visa. If your passport was issued by Switzerland or an EEA country (all the EU countries plus Norway, Liechtenstein and Iceland) then you are currently free to enter the UK and do not require a visa. If your passport was issued by any other country then you will need to apply for entry clearance to study here.

Whether you apply for entry clearance prior to travel or upon arrival in the UK will depend on the type of course you are going to study, its duration, and whether you are categorised as a visa national or non-visa national.

The Check if You Need a UK Visa page on the UK Visas and Immigration website will help you to identify whether you are a visa national or non-visa national. It also provides information about how to apply for a UK visa in your home country and has a list of visa application centres and their contact details.

The UK immigration system can be subject to change at very short notice. It is therefore vital that you keep yourself informed by checking the UK Visas and Immigration and UKCISA websites regularly.  If you have any questions about the above information please contact the International and Student Experience team at

How long will it take to get my visa?

You can find out more about Visa Processing Times on the GOV UK website.



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