Visa information for applicants and new students
Everything you need to know about visa and other related information for studying at the University of Stirling.
We’re an international research-led university and, as a licensed student visa sponsor, we welcome students from all over the world to come and study at Stirling.
Student visa and other visas
The UK's Student visa, which falls under the UK's new points based immigration system, is now open for applications to international students.
You will need to demonstrate that you meet the required 70 points by:
- having an offer from an approved educational institution such as the University of Stirling
- speaking English
- being able to support yourself during your studies in the UK
You will also need to pay the immigration health surcharge as part of your application, which gives you access to the UK’s National Health Service.
Information for EU, EEA and Swiss students
The Student visa is available to EU/EEA and Swiss students as well as international students.
EU/EEA and Swiss students coming to the UK who do not have permission to study in another immigration category will need to apply for a Student visa, ahead of arriving in the UK. You can apply up to 6 months in advance of your course starting.
EU/EEA and Swiss students can continue to visit the UK for up to 6 months, without applying for a visa and may participate in short term study.
Information for rest of world students (non EU/EEA/Swiss)
Students coming to Stirling for less than six months
If you’re planning to study in the UK for less than six months then you should apply for a standard visit visa before you travel OR if you do not need a visa you can seek leave to enter at the airport in the UK as a visitor.
You can check if you need to apply for a visa before travelling. If you do need a visa follow the application advice on the UK Government website.
If you don’t need a visa, then you can travel to the UK and seek permission to enter at the port of entry. You should carry with you:
- your offer letter from Stirling
- evidence of your funding. This could be:
- bank statements from your accounts or your parents’ accounts
- confirmation of government or private loan funding
- other financial documents to show that you can support yourself in the UK without working
When you arrive in the UK it’s important that you explain to the Border Force Officer that you are coming to the UK for a short course of study so that they grant you leave to enter as a 'Standard Visitor'.
If you are permitted to use the eGates when you arrive through the airport, please make sure that you keep a copy of your boarding pass and/or flight ticket showing your date of arrival in the UK. We will ask for this information as part of the enrolment process.
If your study period is less than six months and you have a specific reason for applying for a student visa instead of entering as a standard visitor (for example if your course includes a work placement and you need to have permission to work), you must contact the Admissions Team as soon as we offer you a place.
The UKVI has recently changed visa routes for entrepreneurs, including ending the Start-up visa route. For international students and alumni interested in self-employment or starting a business in the UK, please visit UKVI’s website for detailed information or contact the University of Stirling’s Student Immigration and Visa Services Team to inquire about the Graduate visa route.
Information for pre-sessional courses
If you’re a pre-sessional applicant holding an unconditional offer for a main course of study at degree level we can issue you with a joint CAS (Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies) which allows you to obtain one student visa to cover both courses.
If the only condition of your main course offer is that you must reach CFR B2 level English on completion of your pre-sessional English language course then we can also issue you with a joint CAS which allows you to obtain one student visa to cover both courses.
See the How to apply for a visa section for more information about your CAS.
How to apply for a visa
To apply for a Student visa, you will need your CAS (Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies) number.
When you’ve accepted your offer of a place at Stirling the admissions team will send you your CAS, number (which is different to your UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service) number).
The university requires a tuition fee deposit to be paid before a Certificate of Acceptance (CAS) can be issued to self-funding students requiring a Student Visa. This deposit will be regarded as an advance payment towards the overall cost of your tuition fees.
You must check that all personal and course information on your CAS is accurate and that any tuition, accommodation or other fees you’ve paid us have been included. If you’re receiving any bursary or a scholarship from us this should be included in the CAS. Please let us know of any such awards so that we can include them on your CAS.
You can apply for your visa up to three months if you're in the UK, and six months if you're outside the UK, before the start of your course and once you have your CAS. You should make arrangements to travel to the UK only when UKVI have returned your passport and issued your Student visa.
Please refer to the guidance before submitting your application. Mistakes with funds and your documents are the most common reason for refusal. We can help check your documents and funds before you submit your application.
If your visa application is refused let us know immediately so we can advise you on what to do next. If you are refused you cannot apply for another student visa using the same CAS number.
You may need an ATAS certificate to study on degree courses of a sensitive nature such as science or technology. Students who need to apply for ATAS clearance must do so before a CAS can be assigned. ATAS details will then be included on the CAS.
Help and important information
Arriving via Dublin?
There is no routine passport control between Dublin and the UK. This means that you may not pass through passport control in the UK if you arrive from Dublin. If you arrive from Dublin with a student visa you should keep your flight confirmation emails/papers about the Dublin-UK flight and carry them with you the next time you travel. You will have to leave the UK and re-enter within three months of arrival so that your student visa can be activated. This can obviously be costly so any savings made arriving in Dublin initially may be lost.