Applying for a visa from outside the UK

Information about how to apply for a visa in your home country

Information and advice

If you are a new student and you need to apply for a student visa, go through our information leaflet Applying for a Student Visa from outside UK .

The cost of application outside the UK is £348 (as of April 2018). 

Immigration Health Surcharge (new since 2015)

If you are applying for a Tier 4 visa for a course of more than 6 months, you may have to pay a fee to use the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) – this is called the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS). The amount you will have to pay for the Surcharge is calculated as follows: you will be charged £150 for each full year of your anticipated visa. If your visa includes part of a year that is less than 6 months, you will be charged £75 for that period. You will be charged for a whole year if your visa includes part of a year that is more than 6 months. Note that that the surcharge is based upon the length of your visa rather than the length of your course, and will be calculated to include any additional leave granted before the course starts and after the course has ended. If you are bringing any dependants, they will have to pay the same as you.

Registration and payment of the Surcharge are part of the online visa application process. This leaflet gives more details :  Immigration Health Surcharge - Customers Questions and Answers

Biometric Residence Permit Card (BRP Card)

UK Visas and Immigration has introduced a BRP card for all people issued with a visa for more than six months outside the UK.  Find out more about BRP cards. 

Tier 4 Dependants

You can find out more about bringing your family as Tier 4 dependants from our website and the UK Council for International Students Affairs website.

Find out more about the latest rules changes which may affect you.

Application forms

You will need to complete an online application form on unless you are in DPRK (North Korea).  For help completing the form, please see our video guide here.

What forms should my dependants use?

To find out who can come with you as your dependants (Tier 4), how to apply and what the requirements are for bringing your family as dependants, see the UKCISA website and our website

Visa applications must now be done online on this website

Can I come in as a Student Visitor?

If you are coming to Swansea University on a short exchange programme of LESS than six months, you might be able to enter as a Student Visitor. Click here to find out more.

If you are coming to study an English language course, you could enter as a Student Visitor for a maximum of 11 months.

If you need or want to extend your stay from within the UK after arrival, you should not apply as a Student Visitor.

Extending my visa in the UK

If you are already in the UK, we can help you to apply for your visa by checking your application and documents, and sending it for you to a special case-working unit in the UKVI

You must attend one of our workshops where we give you further information and help you to fill in the forms.

Click here for further details of how to apply and when the workshops are.

Please come to one of our International@CampusLife drop-in session (see main page for operating hours) so that one of our International Student Advisers can check your application and documentation before sending them to UKVI. 

Information on credibility interviews and time limits on studies

What are credibility interviews?

When you apply for a student visa to come to the UK as a Tier 4 student, you may be required to be interviewed as part of the visa application process. Please note the following advice:

· If you are from one of the low-risk countries, you will not be interviewed. You can find the list of low-risk countries here

· The aim of the interview is to find out whether you are a genuine student. This means that you will be asked questions about your past immigration history, your previous study, your future plans and your finances. See below for further advice on these questions.

· You will be told about your interview by email. The interview will normally be done at the same time as you attend for biometrics. After you apply for your visa, check your email regularly, including your spam/junk emails, for the invitation.

· You must attend the interview as requested. If you do not attend without a reasonable explanation, your visa can be refused for this reason

· The interview will be done by video-conference in English and you must answer in English, without the help of an interpreter. One of the aims of the interview is to find out whether your English is good enough to study the course you have chosen. The person carrying out the interview will write down your answers and send them to the Visa Officer dealing with your visa application. The Visa Officer will use the report of the interview when deciding whether you meet the requirements for a Tier 4 visa.

· If the Visa Officer wants more information from you or wants to check your answers, you may be asked to attend a face-to-face interview at the Visa Application Centre.

Advice on credibility interviews

1 Your Immigration history

· You will be asked questions about any previous visits you have made to the UK and to other countries. They will ask you why you went there, how long you stayed, whether you left before your visa ended.
· They may also ask what connections you have in other countries, such as family members or friends. You should give full answers to all these questions and be prepared to explain why, if you did stay anywhere beyond the end of your visa.

2 Your previous study, study and career plans

· They will ask you about your educational history up to date, and ask you how your course in the UK fits in with your plans for your career in the future.
· You need to be ready to answer questions about the content of the course, so use the university prospectus and web site to research about your course.
· You will be asked why you have to study with us rather than at another university or college, so you should use our web site to get information about us and about the city of Swansea.
· If you are returning to study after a long break, you will be asked to explain why.

3 Financing your studies and your life in the UK

· There will be questions about how you are going to fund your studies and your living costs. They may ask you where the money has come from. You need to give a clear answer to this question. Be clear about the amounts you have to show in the bank to meet the visa requirements. You must not assume that you can work part-time in the UK to support your studies.
· They may ask why you are going to the UK when it would be cheaper to study in your country or in another country. Be ready with an answer to this question.

Time limits on studies

There is a maximum time limit for international students who are studying at undergraduate and Masters level in the UK. In most cases, the time limit is 5 years for combined undergraduate and Masters level studies, but there are some exceptions to this rule. Your visa application may be refused if the total time you will spend on your studies exceeds this limit. To help the university assess your eligibility for further studies in the UK you must complete a Previous Study Questionnaire, details for which can be found at this page.

If you are applying to start a degree course at Swansea University

By Email: or send it by post to the following address:

Admissions Office,
Swansea University
Singleton Park
Swansea SA2 8PP

If you are already on a degree course at Swansea University

By Email: 

If you are applying to study or you are already studying English language

By Email: or send it by post to the following address

English Language Training Services
Swansea University
Singleton Park
Swansea SA2 8PP

Tier 4 Responsibilities

What are my and the University's responsibilities under the Tier 4 General (Student) visa?

To find out more about the University's and student's responsibilities under Tier 4 click on Tier 4 Duties & Responsibilities