Visas and immigration

Applying for a visa

All overseas students need to apply for a visa
All overseas students need to apply for a visa

If you are a national of a country in the European Union (EU), European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland, you do not need a visa to study at University of West London.

All other international students need to make an immigration application to enter the UK.

If you are unsure whether you need to apply for a visa, see the gov.uk website.

Applying for a visa from outside the UK

If you are not an EEA or Swiss national, and you want to come to the UK as a student, it is compulsory for you to make an immigration application to enter the UK, known as entry clearance. This will be under 'Tier 4'.

The Home Office has introduced Biometric Residence Permits for applicants applying for entry clearance to come to the UK for more than six months. Read our Biometric Residence Permits page for information.

If you are unsure whether you need a visa to study in the UK, see the gov.uk website.

For a detailed description on how to make a visa application please download our visa guide (pdf, 1.5 mb).

In some instances, it may be more appropriate for you to apply for entry clearance as a prospective student.

If you wish to bring your spouse and / or children with you, they will also need to apply for entry clearance as your dependants. Information on bringing family member is available on the UK Council For International Student Affairs (UKCISA) website:

When applying for entry clearance, make sure you allow enough time for your application to be processed before you need to come to the UK.

You are strongly advised to consult the latest information available before making your plans to come to the UK.

Check the UKCISA (UK Council for International Student Affairs) website and the UK Visas and Immigration  website (for people outside the UK) for the most up-to-date information available at the time you are applying.

See applying for entry clearance.

Coming to the UK for a short visit (six months or less) to study

If someone wants to come to the UK for a short visit (six months or less) and also wants to study during that time (full-time or part-time), they can apply instead to come as a 'student visitor' or 'child visitor' (if under 18 years old).

In most cases, it is not recommended that you apply to come to the UK as a 'student visitor' or 'child visitor'. This type of visa is only suitable for people who want to study a course lasting no longer than six months and who definitely will not want to stay longer in the UK.

If you come to the UK as a 'student visitor' or 'child visitor' you cannot apply to extend your stay in the UK as a Tier 4 student (eg if you need longer to complete your studies or if you want to go on to another course). You will have to return home and apply for entry clearance as a Tier 4 student (and then come back to the UK).

Also, as a 'student visitor' or 'child visitor' you will not be permitted to work (paid or unpaid or as part of a course).

More information is available on the UKCISA website.