The information on this page provides student visa and immigration information for international applicants. 

Current students can find information on the international advice pages or the Immigration and Compliance page.


Changes to Immigration policies

This information has been updated for the 2018/19 academic year and may be subject to further changes by UKVI (United Kingdom Visas and Immigration).

There are regular changes to Immigration policies, so we also strongly recommend that you visit the UKVI Studying in the UK website, where you will find the most up to date information regarding UK immigration. For advice and guidance on coming to the UK to study, including working and living in the UK, take a look at the UKCISA  (UK Council for International Student Affairs) website.

Student visas

If you are coming to the UK to study either an undergraduate or postgraduate course, then you may require a visa. There are different types of visas, however you will probably need a Tier 4 or Short Term student visa. Don’t worry, if you need any other type of visa we will let you know.

Take a look at the Check if you need a UK visa site, which allows you to enter some basic personal information. This will then give you guidance on the type of visa you need to apply for.

 It is your responsibility to make sure that you are applying for the correct visa to study, so make sure you understand all of the requirements.

How to apply

The earliest you can apply for your visa is 3 months before you start your course. If you are due to begin your studies in September you can start applying for your visa from June.

The visa processing times and cost of visas can be found on the UK Government website. 

There may be some additional fees you have to pay as part of your visa application, but these will be outlined in your application. These costs are only for a single student visa, so do not include costs you will need to pay if you plan to bring children or other family with you.


Apply online via the UK Government website for the relevant visa


You may be able to get a faster reply on your visa application for an additional cost and get a decision within 5 working days. 

If you are required to apply for a visa on an urgent service, then we may be able to reimburse part of this cost to you. If this applies to you, please email We will need evidence that you have used this service and for a valid reason relating to your studies.

For further advice and guidance on applying for a visa, take a look at UKCISA student immigration: the basics.

Once you have your visa, you are able to arrive in the UK up to 1 month before if you have a Tier 4 visa and up to 1 week before your course starts (if you are on a short term study visa). How long you can stay in the UK depends on the course you are studying and if you have previously studied in the UK or not.

Tier 4 (General) Student Visa 

You can read the full guidance from the UK Government online, however we have highlighted some of the key information you need to know.

Before you can apply for your visa, you will need to receive your Admissions Letter and CAS (Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies) from the University of Dundee. There are a few steps you will need to go through before we can issue you these documents:

  1. Hold an unconditional offer of entry to your chosen programme and have firmly accepted this offer
  2. Completed the Previous study in the UK form
  3. Prepaid your advance payment amount, or provided a scanned copy of your official sponsorship letter showing how your tuition fee will be sponsored. If you have made your deposit payment then we will need to see your proof of payment (card transaction receipt, copy of bank statement showing transaction, or copy of completed bank transfer)
  4. At this point, you can also consider contributing towards your University accommodation fees. This only applies if you have been allocated University of Dundee accommodation. You will need to pay a minimum of £300 deposit to secure your accommodation, however if you pay a minimum of £1,265 GBP then we can demonstrate this on your CAS
  5. Submitted a scanned copy of your passport, degree certificate or final transcript, and your English language certificate (or relevant equivalent).

Once you have completed the above steps, we will notify you through your Application Portal, for you to check all of the information is accurate. Once you have confirmed this information, then we will send you an Admissions Letter and CAS Statement, which will include the CAS number and all the relevant information we have sent to UKVI. All of our sponsor licence details are in this statement which you will need to copy into your visa application.

Although your CAS number is valid for six months, you cannot use your CAS to apply for your visa more than three months before the start date of your course. Your CAS number is also only valid for one application, so if your visa if refused and you need to apply again you will need to ask us to issue you with a new number.

If you are applying for your visa from out with the UK, then you will need to have your fingerprints and photograph taken at a visa application centre, which will allow you to get a biometric residence permit. A biometric residence permit confirms your identity, your right to study in the UK, and any rights to public services or benefits you are entitled too.

When you apply for your visa, you will need to provide the following documentation:

  • Current passport, which must be valid for a minimum of 1 year after you arrive in Dundee
  • One new passport photograph which meets the UKVI guidance
  • The CAS number issued to you by the University of Dundee
  • Evidence of living expenses – you must show that you have kept a minimum of £9,135 GBP for living expenses, plus your first year’s tuition fees in your bank account for at least 28 consecutive days before you apply. If you have paid your tuition fees in advance, then this will show on your CAS. The remainder of your tuition fees is payable upon matriculation/enrolment at the University and these must be paid.
  • Original qualification documents that are listed in your CAS. If these documents are not in English, then you will need to have them translated
  • Bank statement (if you are self-funded) or sponsorship letter (if you are being financially sponsored)
  • ATAS Certificate (if you require one- we will tell you if you need this). If you need a visa to study at the University of Dundee and are planning for a PhD/masters level course in a science/technology subject listed in Appendix 6 of the Immigration Rules you will need to obtain Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) clearance from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO). If your studies fall into one of the specific postgraduate research STEM areas, or is one of a number of taught master’s programmes then you must obtain an ATAS certificate before you apply for your visa. Further guidance is available to access on the FCO website.

Your offer letter will clearly state ‘YES’ or ‘NO’ as to whether an ATAS certificate is required. If you do need an ATAS certificate we will provide you with the JACS Code for the area of research/study to be undertaken. Once you receive firmly accept an Unconditional Offer of study, the University will issue you with an ATAS statement which will provide the information required for you to apply to the FCO for your official ATAS clearance. ATAS Applications are completed online and are free of charge. 

You need to allow at least 20 working days in order to receive your ATAS Certificate (this time is longer at busy months in the year). We strongly advise you to apply for your ATAS Certificate as soon as you receive the ATAS statement from the University. 

You cannot apply for your Tier 4 Student Visa if you are not in receipt of the FCO ATAS Certificate, and if you do apply without providing your FCO ATAS Certificate your visa will be automatically refused. During your time at the University, if there are any changes to the course content (or research proposal) the FCO will require you to apply for a new ATAS clearance certificate.

  • If you are using your parents bank statements, then they will need to provide a letter of consent along with your original birth certificate

The most common reason that Tier 4 visa applications are refused is due to incorrect documents being submitted, or having insufficient funds in your bank account.

Visa refusals

For all visa refusals, it is essential that you seek advice and let us know so that we can help you in any way we can.

Your visa can be refused for a number of reasons and we understand this can be upsetting and stressful, especially as you have spent time and money on the process. If you use your CAS (Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies) reference and your visa is refused out with the UK, you will be sent a standard notification to tell you that your application has been refused. This notification will detail the reason your application has been refused. The University is able to review your eligibility for a second CAS reference based on the information in your refusal letter from UKVI, and you will need to send this in to In this email, you can summarise the details of your application and include your visa refusal letter along with your student ID. If we are able to issue you a second CAS then we will also require proof that you can meet the criteria on which your first visa application was refused.

We can only issue a second CAS for the same programme of study, but there are some exceptions – for example if your visa was refused due to a credibility interview then we would not issue a second CAS. If you receive two visa refusals for the same programme of study, then we will not issue a third CAS.


If your application is refused and you are already in the UK, then your decision letter will be sent with your application from UKVI.

You should read this carefully as it will explain why your visa has been refused and whether or not you can submit a review. If this happens to you, we are here to help – if you send us an email with a copy of the refusal notice, our Admissions team will review and notify you if you are eligible for support from our International Support Team in re-applying for a visa.

If your visa is refused, you may be entitled to a refund of your Advance Payment. We will need to see a scanned copy of your Refusal of Entry Clearance document (all pages) issued by the British Embassy which details the reason for their decision. This will then be reviewed and a decision communicated. You will not be entitled to an Advance Payment refund if your Visa has been refused due to an error within your control.

If your visa has been refused for any of the following reasons, we will deduct an administration fee of £1000 from the refund amount:

  • not eligible to claim Qualification CAS 30 Points
  • not eligible to claim Maintenance 10 Points

Bringing your family with you to the UK

You are not able to bring your family with you to the UK if you are studying an undergraduate programme.

You can bring dependants to the UK if you are studying a postgraduate course of at least 12 months in duration or you are studying a course of at least six months in duration and you are sponsored by your Government. 

If you would like to bring your family with you when you come to the UK to study, it is better for you all to apply at the same time. Your spouse, civil partner, same-sex partner, unmarried partner or children's dependant applications are more likely to be successful that way. 

If your partner will not be joining you in the UK for the duration of your studies, and you do not have sole custody of your children, then your children will not be able to come with you as dependants. They will need to apply as visitors. If you, your partner and your children are all travelling together, then your children can apply as dependants.

There is further information about dependants on UKCISA and on our International Advice factsheets 4 and 9.