Visas and Immigration

International @Campuslife offer comprehensive visa advice for students

Detail of passport and visa

Which visa do I need?

If you are an EU or EEA national coming to study in the UK, you will need to apply for the correct immigration permission to allow you to enter and study in the UK. Please look at the University information regarding EU students to see what you need to do. Do not assume you can make your visa application in the UK. If your course is more than 6 months in length you will need most likely to make your visa application from home.

If you are a visiting or exchange student you will also be able to find information on the University's Go Global web pages.


If you are of a nationality from outside the UK you may need immigration (a visa) to study in the UK. You can check whether you need a visa by entering your details in the Gov.UK website It is very easy to check as you just enter your Nationality, that you are studying and the length of your course. The site will then inform you whether you need a visa and if you do, which visa you need.

If you are a Hong Kong British National Overseas (HK BNO) then, after the 31st January 2021, you may be able to apply under the new HK BNO route.

If you are coming for a course of less than 6 months or for a short visit as part of a distance learning course then you will probably need only to apply for a Standard Visitor visa. If you are coming for an 11 month English Language course you will probably need to apply for a Short Term Student visa

If you need to apply for a Student Visa (previously the Tier 4 route) see our helpful guide to Making a visa application overseas or from within the UK. Please note: You cannot automatically make a Student Route visa from inside the UK, even if you have existing time on a visa you are holding. In particular, you cannot extend a Student visa where you studied previously at a different institution and you did not complete the course for which the visa was granted. If you are in doubt please check with University staff as part of the Admissions process and they will refer you to ICL if necessary.

If you are already in the UK on a Tier 4 or other visa (e.g. PBS dependant, Tier 1 or 2) you may already be eligible to study with us. If you would like help verifying your status, please send a copy of your visa to the International @Campuslife team via email and they will check your options with you. 

Information on part time study as an international applicant

Part-Time: Student Visa route

Although Student Visa route regulations do not prohibit students from studying part-time on a Masters degree course or equivalent (minimum of RQF Level 7) of more than 6 months. Students are only be able to study part-time on a UK course that has a designated validated part-time route.

Currently, Swansea University courses are only validated for Student Visa sponsorship, as standard, if they are studied full time. This means that if an international applicant needs a Student Visa to study at the University, a CAS will not normally be issued for study on a part time basis.

For those that might be thinking they would like to study part time in order to work for extended hours, it is important to understand that Part-Time Student Visa students are prohibited from all work (including work placements). In addition, Part-Time Student Visa holders cannot bring dependants to the UK with them and cannot extend their visa from within the UK.

The Student Route also has time caps on the amount of time you can study in the UK at Undergraduate degree level and below. Please see the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) for further information about eligibility and undergraduate time caps.

If you are hoping to bring dependants to the UK with you, please see our comprehensive Information for Families.

Part-Time: Alternative visa routes

If you are already resident in the UK under a different visa category (e.g. Tier 1, Tier 2, PBS Dependant, ILR etc.) then it may be possible for you study part time. As per the information above, there must be a validated part time route option for the course you are hoping to join.

You should also consider whether you have enough time within your current immigration leave to complete the course in its entirety. If you do not have enough time for the whole course, you will need to ensure that you are confident you will be able to extend your visa or switch into another visa category in order to complete. It is important to note that you would not normally be able to gain any subsequent Swansea University Student Visa sponsorship for a part time course and should not presume that switching to a part-time Student Visa would be a future option (though switching into the Student Route to continue your course on a full time basis may be possible).

If you would like help verifying your status, please send a copy of your visa to the International @Campuslife team via email and they will check your options with you. 

Please note that if you are coming as an academic visitor, researcher or for a short visit as part of an exchange then the University will tell you direct which is the correct visa to apply for. Though you may also like to look at our Visiting Academics and Researchers section.

Mistakes on your BRP or lost/stolen documents

If you have noticed a mistake on your BRP (visa card) or lost your essential documents, please read the comprehensive information regrading Incorrect, Lost or Stolen Documents.