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Applying for a Student Visa

A globe in a girl's hand

You must apply for a student visa in your home country before traveling to the UK unless:


Apply for a student visa from outside the UK (permission to enter)

You can apply for a student visa up to 6 months before the start of your course and as soon as you have received your Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS). Your CAS will be valid for 6 months from the date it is issued.

If your application is successful, you'll be issued with a UK Entry Visa (vignette) which will be stuck inside your passport and will allow you to travel to the UK up to one month before the start of your course. On arrival in the UK you can collect your Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) from a chosen location. Your BRP gives you permission to stay in the UK for the duration of your study plus an additional 'wrap-up period'.

Apply for a student visa in the UK (permission to stay)

You can apply for a student visa up to 3 months before the start of your course and as soon as you have received your CAS (valid for 6 months from the date it is issued).

Your new course must start no later than 28 days after your current visa expires and you must apply for a visa online before both of those dates.

Once you have applied for a student visa, you can remain in the UK and register on your course at Durham, even if you have not received a decision on your application.

Please note:

  • You must apply online before your current visa expires
  • The date you apply is the date you complete the online application and pay the application fee
  • You can stay in the UK under the conditions of your previous visa, until your new visa is granted
  • It is important not to make any travel plans until you receive your new visa (BRP)

Prepare your application & apply online

Durham University is a higher education provider with a track record of compliance and you’ll be asked to confirm this in your application. This means that financial requirements and other evidence are not always required. Follow the steps below to help you apply:

  1. Receive your CAS
  2. Make sure you meet any financial requirements and prepare any evidence you may need
  3. Take a TB test (only required in certain countries and applications outside the UK)
  4. Apply online outside the UK or apply online from inside the UK
  5. Choose where to collect your Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) (see below)
  6. Pay the Immigration Healthcare Surcharge (IHS) and the application fee during your online application
  7. Book a biometric enrolment appointment

Collecting or receiving your Biometric Residence Permit (BRP)

During your application you'll be asked to choose where you’d prefer to collect your BRP when you arrive in the UK, or where you would like it delivered to if you're applying from inside the UK.

If you're applying outside the UK, you can choose to collect your BRP from:

  • The University’s Student Immigration Service, during the registration process. Enter the Alternative Collection Location (ACL) code 2HE632 in your application; or
  • Durham Post Office (the nearest Post Office to the University)

If you're applying in the UK:

  • You can choose to have your BRP delivered to the address where you live or a different correspondence address of your choice, including the University’s Student Immigration Service. If you’d prefer to do this, enter the following address in your application and your BRP should be ready to collect when you arrive at Durham:

Student Immigration Service
Palatine Centre
Stockton Road

Once you’ve chosen your collection location you won’t be able to change it. 


If you've been granted an eVisa (you applied for a visa using the UK Immigration: ID Check app), you won't receive a BRP or any physical documentation. Instead, you'll receive an email from UKVI with details of your immigration permission. 

eVisa holders and eGate users

You should only travel to the UK once you have received your eVisa and on or after the date it is valid from. You cannot register at the University if you don’t have a valid visa that allows you to study, when you travel to the UK. If you arrive in the UK before your eVisa starts you will be classed as a visitor and you will be required to leave the Common travel area and re-enter the UK with your valid eVisa. You cannot apply for a Student visa in the UK when you have entered as a visitor.

How long will you be allowed to stay in the UK? 

Your BRP will tell you how long you’re allowed to stay in the UK. Whether you apply in the UK or at home, you should be given permission to stay for the duration of your course plus an additional 'wrap-up period', the length of which depends on the length of your course:  

  • Courses 12 months or longer: 4-month wrap up period 
  • Courses over 6 months but less than 12 months: 2-month wrap up period 
  • Pre-sessional courses less than 6 months: 1-month wrap up period  

The wrap-up period gives you extra time to complete your study if you need it, travel, work or look for work or apply for another visa (if eligible) if you intend to stay longer. 


Durham University makes every effort to ensure that the information published on this page is accurate. However, the University cannot guarantee the information may not be altered owing to circumstances beyond the University’s reasonable control. Such circumstances include (but are not limited to) change in Government policy, or change of law. Any changes will be incorporated into the University’s website as early as possible.