Visa information

Do I need a student visa?

In order to study in the UK at the University of Surrey International Study Centre, you will need a Tier 4 (General) student visa.

Will I be eligible for a student visa?

Student visa applications work via a points-based system; if you score 40 points you will be granted a visa. The application process is as follows:

  • Apply for your chosen course at the University of Surrey International Study Centre.
  • Receive an offer of a place on the course. 
  • Send the requested documents to be checked at the International Study Centre. This will include a tuberculosis certificate, your IELTS scores, financial statements and exam results if you have them. 
  • Pay a deposit and CAS payment to the International Study Centre.
  • Receive a Certificate of Acceptance for Studies (CAS). This is worth 30 points.
  • Apply for your visa, attaching financial statements which prove that you have the funds to cover the course and your living costs. This will get you a further 10 points.
  • You may also be required to attend a credibility interview.
  • You will be contacted to let you know whether or not your visa application has been granted.

When should I apply for a visa?

You may apply for a visa up to three months before the start date of your course at the International Study Centre. How long it will take depends on which country you are applying from. Make sure there is enough time for your application to be processed, by applying early.

How long can I stay in the UK on a student visa?

If you have a Tier 4 (General) student visa, you can arrive in the UK up to one month before your course starts. You are allowed to stay in the UK for an extra four months after your course ends. 

Visa credibility interviews

What is a credibility interview?

A credibility interview is carried out by an Entry Clearance Officer (ECO) to establish that you are a genuine student, and not planning to use a student visa for holiday or work. The interview is nothing to worry about; you just need to show that you have done your research and are coming to the UK for the right reasons.

Where will my credibility interview take place?

You will normally be interviewed at the visa application centre in your country when you submit your visa application documents. This interview is carried out via a secure video system and you will be interviewed by a UKVI member of staff in the UK.

How should I prepare for my credibility interview?

Make sure you have researched the International Study Centre and your chosen course. Avoid yes and no answers, and try and go into more detail. The Entry Clearance Officer may be suspicious if they think you are repeating rehearsed answers. 

What questions will I be asked in a credibility interview?

Below are some questions you may be asked during your credibility interview:

How will you fund your time in the UK?

Show that you have made plans for paying your tuition fees and living costs.

How did you choose your course?

Share your knowledge of the course content, why it interests you, and how it will help you in the future.

Why do you want to study at the University of Surrey?

Share your knowledge of the University and the surrounding area, and explain why you have chosen it over other universities.

What if my student visa is refused?

If your visa application is refused by the UKVI, you have 28 days to submit an Administrative Review to the UKVI and challenge the decision made by the ECO. You will need to respond in writing to each of the points raised in the refusal.