Visa information

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.

Please note that for January 2022 applications where a visa is required to study your course, your deposit must be paid by Friday 3 December 2021.

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.

However, EU/EEA and Swiss students resident in the UK by 31 December 2020 should apply to the EU Settlement Scheme by 30 June 2021.

EU/EEA and Swiss students coming to the UK on or after 1 January 2021 will need to apply for a Student visa, ahead of arriving in the UK. This includes those who begin their course remotely in autumn 2020. 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.

Further guidance for EU/EEA and Swiss students

Apply for a visa

Find out more about applying for a Student visa

Information for rest of world students (non EU/EEA/Swiss)

The Student visa is available to international students.

Tuberculosis tests for visa applicants

You’ll need to have a tuberculosis (TB) test if you’re coming to the UK for more than 6 months and are resident in certain countries.

Apply for a visa

Find out more about applying for a Student visa

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.

Start-up visa

The Start-up visa scheme is designed to support early-stage and high potential entrepreneurs to start a business in the UK for the first time. The University of Stirling is an endorsing body and will accept applications for this scheme from University of Stirling graduates.

Students aiming to move onto this visa following completion of their studies must evidence a minimum engagement threshold of three unique instances of participation with our Enterprise Programme (e.g., attendance at workshops, meetings with the Business Advisor, participation in the SEED accelerator scheme, etc) during the six months prior to an application being developed.

Endorsement Panels are normally held in September and December each year.

To find out more information about the endorsement process, or to register your interest, please email innovationandenterprise@stir.ac.uk.

Visa specific enquiries should be sent to internationaladvisor@stir.ac.uk.

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). We may ask you to pay a commitment fee before the CAS is issued.

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.

ATAS clearance

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.

Graduate Immigration Route

The Graduate Immigration Route is a new UK post-study work visa. It is set to be introduced for international students completing a UK degree from 01 July 2021.

You will normally be expected to undertake your studies in the UK to be eligible for the Graduate Immigration Route. However, the Government has confirmed that existing international students who have been studying by distance or blended learning will remain eligible to apply for the Graduate route provided they are in the UK by 21 June 2021 and meet the other requirements of the route.

This is applicable for the 2020/21 academic year only. This route is not available for current EU students who have started their course before 2020-21.

In addition, students who commence a one-year Master’s programme in January 2021 will also remain eligible for the Graduate route, even if they are studying remotely, provided they enter the UK before 27 September 2021 and complete the final semester of their studies in the UK.

Find out more information from the UK Home Office's Graduation Route fact sheet.

Visas and Covid-19

The Home Office recognises that the coronavirus pandemic is an exceptional situation. Home Office Minsters have been very clear that no one will have a negative outcome through the immigration system due to circumstances beyond their control.

Find out more about how visas and Covid-19.

Help and important information

Latest information

Find the best and most up-to-date visa advice on the UK Visas and Immigration website.

Visa application centres

Find the opening times and contact details for UK visa application centres near you.

Need advice?

We're here to help you with your visa application. Email us with a question or to set up an appointment.

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.

How can we help you?

Our Student Immigration Team specialises in student immigration to the UK and we are here to help you with advice and support for your visa application.

You should contact us if your application has taken longer than 15 working days to process and you are going to miss your expected start date.

To ask a question or request an appointment with an advisor please email internationaladvisor@stir.ac.uk.