Visa Requirements


International students joining Wadham College of Science (WCS) must apply for a visa to study in the UK. We understand visas can be complicated and daunting. WCS and our partners can help/advise or recommend a UK Immigration Specialist Consultant or Solicitor depending on your budget.

Before that, the below is for guidance only and should be read in conjunction with

UK study visas

International students must apply for a Child Student or Student visa to study in the UK. International students also include those from the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein and coming to the UK from 1 January 2021.

If you are 16 or 17 and wish to study at an independent school in the UK, you can apply for a Child Student visa. If you are 18 or over, you must apply for a Student visa.

Students applying from outside the UK can apply for this visa up to six months before the start of the course. It costs £348 to apply for a Child Student or Student visa.

Students applying from inside the UK can apply for this visa up to three months before the start of the course. It costs £475 to extend or switch to a Child Student or Student visa.

Application process

WCS will issue students a CAS (Certificate of Acceptance for Studies) once they have settled their school fees and the college has checked that all application documents meet UKVI requirements. The CAS is a unique reference number that the student must have to submit their application, which can be done online.

After submitting the application form online, students must pay for the mandatory Immigration Healthcare Surcharge and book an appointment at a VFS Global centre in their country of residence to submit their biometric details and application documents.

EEA and Swiss students can use the ‘UK Immigration: ID Check’ app to apply rather than attending an appointment at a visa centre. Using the app, students must scan their passport with a biometric chip and upload a photo of themselves.

It usually takes three weeks (15 working days) to receive a decision. VFS Global centres in some countries offer a priority service where an application is processed in five working days at an additional cost.

If the application is successful, students will get a biometric residence permit that they collect after arriving in the UK. They will be issued a temporary visa vignette in their passport to travel to the UK, usually valid for 30 days. EEA and Swiss nationals will receive a digital immigration status, which they can view and prove online.

Important things to note

Students should check and double-check their applications very thoroughly. If the student’s application is incorrect or incomplete, it will be rejected. The most common reasons for visa rejection are:

  • Insufficient required funds
  • Funds not maintained for a 28-day consecutive period
  • Application documents not translated or verified
  • Incorrect documents submitted
  • Application submitted too early

Students are required to abide by the conditions of their student visa. Their sponsor is legally required to inform UKVI if the student is not keeping to the conditions of their visa, which include:

  • Not claiming any state benefits (also known as ‘public funds)
  • Registering with the police if required
  • Working restrictions
  • Informing the college and UKVI of any change in circumstances
  • Attending classes and being in regular contact with the college in case of any absences

Students should remember that their visa has been issued for study. If they are not attending classes or engaging in activities that prevent them from studying, their sponsor must report the student to UKVI, and the visa will be withdrawn.

Application documents

Financial evidence

Students must provide financial documents proving they have had the required funds in either their own or their parent’s bank account for a consecutive period of 28 days ending no more than 31 days before the date of application. The required funds are the maintenance funds plus any outstanding tuition fees.

Parental consent

Students under 18 must provide written consent from their parent(s)/legal guardian(s) to travel to and from the UK, use their funds and confirm their living arrangements in the UK as part of their application. They must also provide evidence of their relationship with their parent(s) or legal guardian. Acceptable evidence includes a birth certificate, adoption certificate, and a court document naming the legal guardian.

English language

Applicants on the Student route must have passed a Secure English Language Test (SELT) from an approved provider: IELTS for UKVI or Pearson PTE Academic UKVI. For a course below degree level, students must obtain a minimum CEFR level B1, equivalent to an overall IELTS score of 4.5.
Exemptions apply for nationals of certain countries. Students also only need to prove their knowledge of English if they have proved their level of English in a previous visa application. EEA and Swiss students are not required to provide evidence of their English language ability.

TB testing

UKVI requires a tuberculosis certificate for applicants from certain countries. A list of these countries can be found here. The test must occur at an approved clinic, and UKVI will not accept a certificate from any other clinic. A certificate will usually be issued on the same day and must be submitted as a supporting document for the visa application.

Evidence used to obtain CAS

Each student must submit all evidence they used to obtain their place at WCS, such as school reports, personal statement or original certificates of any qualifications completed. Please note that no evidence is required for the admissions test, interview or any artwork that was submitted to us.

Any documents not in English must be translated by a professional translator or translation company that the Home Office can independently verify.

EEA and Swiss nationals qualify for differentiation arrangements when they apply for their visa. Most students will not need to provide evidence to support the application except for the passport, which will be used to verify their identity via the app. Nevertheless, UKVI reserve the right to request to review the application documents, so they must be prepared for this possibility.

Time limits

The maximum period from 18 years of age that a student can get permission to study in the UK below degree level (i.e. A levels) is two years.

Secure English Language Test (SELT) providers

Applicants for a Student visa must meet a required level of English language ability depending on their course level. For an A-level course, the applicant must have the equivalent of level B1 of the Common European Framework of References for the English language, equivalent to an IELTS score of 5.0. You can only take a SELT with one of the following providers:

  • LanguageCert
  • Pearson
  • PSI Services (UK) Ltd
  • IELTS SELT Consortium