Making a visa application

Do I need a visa?

Depending on your nationality and your period of study, you may need a visa to study in the UK. You will not require one if you are a European Economic Area (EEA) national. However, non-EEA nationals wishing to study here will need to have a relevant visa allowing them to study.

There are different types of visas that may allow you to study, including a Tier 4 (General) visa and a Short Term Study Visa.  Please visit this link to find out whether you need a visa to study in the UK and which type you require.

If you have another UK visa (for example a student dependant or spouse visa), you may be allowed to study with this. Please, contact us to check whether you can study at the University on your current visa.

Tier 4 student

Tier 4 General Visa

If you are a non-EEA national wishing to study full-time at the University of Hull for more than 6 months, it is most likely that you will need to apply for a Tier 4 (General) visa from your home country (or from your country of residence).

If your current Tier 4 visa expires before the end of your current programme, you may be able to extend your stay in the UK. Please contact us to check whether you can apply inside the UK. If you are allowed by the UKVI to apply in the UK, please click here for more information.

If you completed a programme on a Tier 4 visa and would like to start a new course, you can only make your next visa application in the UK if you meet relevant academic and immigration requirements and if your new programme of study starts within 28 days of your visa expiry date. If the gap between your current visa expiry date and the start of your new programme is longer than 28 days, you are required to leave the UK before your visa expires and apply for your next Tier 4 visa from your home country or your country of residence.

If you are a non-EEA national and your main reason for coming or staying in the UK is full-time study at the University of Hull, you should be applying for a Tier 4 (General) visa. At present, the University of Hull does NOT support Tier 4 (Child) visa applications.

To qualify for a Tier 4 (General) visa, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Be aged 16 years or older.
  • Have an unconditional offer to study on one of our full-time programmes (or need more time to complete your existing programme).
  • Have enough money to pay your course fees and maintain yourself during your studies in the UK.
  • Meet other relevant UKVI requirements.

It is very important that you check current UKVI requirements and Tier 4 guidance and start your visa application well in advance to ensure that you have sufficient time to prepare relevant documentation.

Please check our Visa Application Process Section for more information on how to apply and what documents to prepare.

PBS dependant

Tier 4 (Dependant) visa

Whether or not you can bring your family to join you in the UK while you study with us, depends on where you are from, what visa you have, what type of course you are studying and whether or not you are a government sponsored student.

Who is your dependant?

According to the UKVI, the following family members are considered as your dependants:

Partners (aged 18 or over):

  • Your husband, wife or civil partner.
  • Unmarried or same-sex partner, who you have been living with in a relationship similar to marriage or civil partnership for at least two years. 

You must intend to live in the UK together. Your partner must also meet strict financial and other requirements and must not intend to stay in the UK longer than yourself.


  • Your children must be under 18 (unless they are already in the UK on a dependant visa and meet other requirements).
  • They are dependant on you.
  • Both parents intend to be in the UK, unless you have a sole parental responsibility for your children or there are exceptional circumstances for them to be in the UK with you and you have made suitable arrangements for your children’s care.  In this case, it is very important to include evidence in support of this.
  • Your children must not intend to stay in the UK longer than yourself.
  • They must meet current financial requirements.

Length and type of the course

If you have or are applying for a Tier 4 visa, your dependants should be able to join you in the UK if you are:

  • Studying or coming to study a post graduate programme that is at least 12 months long at the University of Hull;  OR
  • A government sponsored student on a programme of study that is longer than 6 months; OR
  • A Tier 4 DES (Doctorate Extension Scheme) student.

For further information on the requirements and how to apply, please check the guidance from UKCISA (UK Council for International Student Affairs),  UKVI or contact us for further information.   

If you have a non-Tier 4 visa and would like to know whether your family members can join you in the UK, please contact us and/or check further information on UKVI website.

Short-term study

Short-Term Study Visa

The Short-term study visa is suitable for students who are outside the UK, 18 years or older and would like to enter into the UK:

  • For up to 6 months to study a short course.
  • For up to 11 months to study an English language course.
  • For a short period of research that is part of your programme (up to 6 months) if you are studying overseas (at the level equivalent to at least UK bachelor’s degree).  
  • If you need to return to the UK to re-sit your exams or to undertake your viva and/or corrections for up to 6 months.
  • If you are enrolled on a distance learning programme and occasionally need to visit University  for less than 6 months to attend a module, to meet academic staff, etc.

Non-visa nationals

If you are a non-visa national intending to study in the UK for up to 6 months, you may decide to obtain your Short-Term Study visa upon entry to the UK. Please follow this link to check whether or not you are a non-visa national. However, you may decide to obtain your Short-Term Study Visa prior to arrival in the UK due to the following restrictions.

Short-term study visa conditions and restrictions 

  • If you apply for your Short-Term Study visa before you travel to the UK, your visa will be in a form of a sticker (vignette) in your passport. It will be a multi-entry visa valid for 6 months.
  • If you are a non-visa national and apply for your Short-Term Study visa upon entry to the UK, your permission to entry will be in the form of a stamp in your passport. This is a single-entry visa. This means that if you decide to leave UK briefly during your studies (for example: a weekend trip to Europe), you will need to apply for a short-term study visa when your return to the UK. 
  • UK Re-Entry: Please remember to carry in your hand luggage all the documents relating to your student status (student status letter, visa invitation letter, financial evidence, any other relevant documents). 
  • Other Conditions: the UKVI expects you to leave UK as soon as practical following the end of your programme (as per your visa letter). You will not be allowed to work or undertake a work placement during your period of stay. It is also not possible to extend or change into another visa while in the UK or to bring your family here as your dependants.

Documents in support of your short-term study visa

It is important to check current guidance and to prepare all the relevant documents before submitting your visa application:

  1. Short-term study visa letter issued by the University of Hull once your study period/acceptance have been confirmed.
  2. Financial evidence to show that you have sufficient funds for your intended period of stay in the UK.
  3. Your current passport and one passport size photograph that meets UKVI requirements.
  4. Other relevant evidence including details of your travel plans and your intended stay in the UK.
  5. Depending on where you are from and how long you intend to stay in the UK, you may also need to provide your Tuberculosis test results.

Please follow this link for more information on how to apply and what documents to prepare.

Travelling to the UK

When you travel to the UK, it is advisable to carry all of the documents that you used to make your visa application in your hand luggage. You may be interviewed by the Immigration Officer upon arrival in the UK and may need to provide evidence to confirm your purpose of travel and intended stay in the UK.

IMPORTANT NOTICE for non-visa nationals applying for Short-Term Study visa upon entry to the UK:

  • Please prepare all the necessary supporting documents as above and carry these in your hand luggage.
  • Please declare your intention to study in the UK for less than 6 months and ask for a Short-term study visa. You will need to show a letter from the University and other relevant evidence in support of this.  You may be interviewed if necessary. 
  • Please check your stamp before leaving the Border Control to ensure that you are admitted as a short-term student (NOT a general visitor). If the stamp does not indicate you are here as a short-term student, speak to a Border Control Officer immediately and ask for it to be corrected on the basis of your Short-term study letter. Otherwise you will not have permission to study in the UK, which means that you will not be able to register onto your programme at the University. 
  • Please avoid travelling to the UK through the Republic of Ireland, Jersey or Guernsey. These airports DO NOT issue the visa stamps and as such you will not be able to prove that you are in the UK as a short-term student. If you do travel through these airports, you must find an Immigration Officer to ensure that your passport is stamped and states ‘Visit: Student’ or ‘Short-Term Study/Student’. Without this stamp, you will not be able to register at the University of Hull and will have to travel out of the UK and return through another airport. This will lead to further expense and delay in starting your programme.

Please check the UKVI and the UKCISA websites or contact us for further information.

Standard visitor

Inviting family or friends to visit you in the UK

If you would like your family and/or friends to visit you in the UK during your studies or to attend your graduation ceremony here, please check whether they need to apply for an entry clearance (visa) with the British Embassy or High Commission in their home country before travelling. If they are visa nationals, they will probably need to apply for a Standard Visitors visa before they come here. More information can be found on the UKVI (UK Visas & Immigration) website.

Documents that you may need to provide in support of your family's visa application:

You may need to provide some or all of the following documents in support of your family/friends’ visa application:

  1. An invitation letter from yourself stating when you would like them to visit (including the length of their stay), the reasons for their visit, and the address of where they intend to stay during their time here. Please see our ‘Sample Invitation letter’ if you need more information.
  2. A Certificate of Status or Student Status letter from the University confirming that you are a registered full-time student at the University of Hull. This is available from the AskHU team, 2nd floor, Student Central.
  3. A copy of your current passport (personal details page) and a copy of your current UK visa (BRP card or the passport page with the visa vignette).
  4. If your family/friend is attending your graduation ceremony, you should also enclose a copy of your Graduation Ceremony invitation which can be requested from the Graduation Office.
  5. If you are acting as a financial sponsor of your family and/or friend, you will need to provide evidence of finance such as bank statements, to show you have sufficient funds to support your family and/or friends during their stay in the UK.

If your family/friends are successful with their Standard Visitor visa applications, they should be allowed to stay in the UK for up to a maximum of six months. Please note that it is not possible to extend a Visitor visa or to apply to change it to another visa category in the UK.

If you have already returned to your home country after completing your course successfully, you may need to apply for a Standard Visitors visa in order to return to the UK for your graduation ceremony.

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