Switch to this visa
You may be able to switch to a Student visa if you already have permission to be in the UK.
You cannot switch to this visa if you have one of the following visas:
- a visit visa
- a short-term student visa
- a Parent of a Child Student visa
- a seasonal worker visa
- a domestic worker in a private household visa
- leave outside the immigration rules
If you have settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme, you do not need to apply for a visa.
To switch to a Student visa you must:
- be in the UK
- have an unconditional offer of a place on a course with a licensed student sponsor - shown by your Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS)
If you’ve been in the UK with a valid visa for less than 12 months, you’ll need to prove you have enough money to support yourself in the UK.
Your partner or children will need to apply separately to switch their visa. They can either apply at the same time as you, or at any time before their current visa expires.
When to apply
The earliest you can apply is 3 months before your course starts.
You must apply before your current visa expires. Your new course must begin within 28 days of your current visa expiring.
For example, if your visa expires on 1 December, you must apply for a new visa before 1 December. Your new course must begin by 29 December.
You must also apply within 6 months of getting a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS).
You can stay in the UK until you get your decision.
If you applied for an administrative review because your application was refused, you can stay in the UK until you get your review decision.
For each person, you’ll need to pay:
- £490 to extend this visa
- the healthcare surcharge - check how much you’ll have to pay
You’ll need to have your biometric information (fingerprints and a photo) taken - there’s no fee for this.
You must apply online.
As part of your application you’ll need to prove your identity.
How you do this depends on where you’re from and the type of passport you have.
- give your fingerprints and a photograph (biometric information) at a UK Visa and Citizenship Application Services (UKVCAS) service point
- use the ‘UK Immigration: ID Check’ app to scan your identity document (you’ll also create or sign in to your UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) account)
You’ll be told what you need to do when you apply.
You must not travel outside of the UK, Ireland, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man until you get a decision. Your application will be withdrawn if you do.
How long it takes to get a decision
A decision will usually be made within 8 weeks.
You may be able to pay to get a faster decision - you’ll be told if you can when you apply.
After you apply
You’ll be contacted if your application is complex and will take longer, for example because:
- your supporting documents need to be verified
- you need to attend an interview
- of your personal circumstances (for example if you have a criminal conviction)
If you need to change something in your application after you’ve sent it contact UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI).
You can ask to withdraw your application by contacting UKVI. Your fee will only be refunded if UKVI has not started processing your application.
If your application is successful
If your application is successful, you’ll get either:
- a biometric residence permit - if you gave your biometric information at a UKVCAS centre
- a digital immigration status which you can view and prove online - if you used the ‘UK Immigration: ID Check’ app