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Most students will need a visa to study at UWC Atlantic except for British and Irish nationals and those who have a (Pre)-settled status.  

You can check if you need a UK visa here.

There are two types of visas:

UWC Atlantic can sponsor students under both the Child Student and Student visa routes. For more information, please see read our student visa policy. 

Our Admissions team will be able to inform you which is the correct visa for you but if you are unsure of your visa requirements, the UK government website  has more detailed information. 

If you want to learn more about the process, here is a talk our Admissions Team gave on this topic and this is useful summary of the process.


If you have Pre-Settled/Settled Status

You will need to provide the following documents for the Right to Study check:

  • A copy of your valid passport (via Open Apply)
  • A government share code* (email admissions)

*Share codes are only valid for 90 days, so if you have obtained one more than 90 days ago, you will need to request a new one. You can request a share code on


How to apply for a UK student visa

The earliest you can apply for a visa is 6 months before you start your course. It can take up to 4 weeks for you to get a decision. 

Some countries have a fast track service, which is highly recommended if you apply late. Please note UWC Atlantic cannot expedite the process.

Before applying for it, you must send the following documents via Open Apply:

  • A scan of the photo page of your passport
  • A scan of your birth certificate (and its official translation - no exceptions)
  • A scan of your most recent school transcript (and its official translation - no exceptions). For the visa application, provisional results or mock Exams results are not accepted.
  • A scan of the parents’ consent letter (please download, print, sign, scan and send)
  • IF YOU ARE 18 YEARS OLD AT THE TIME OF APPLYING FOR YOUR VISA: A certificate of an approved English Language exam: you must sit an approved English test before you get the visa. For detailed information, please visit 



Once the Admissions team has received all the documents above and the deposit has been sent, you will receive a CAS number (Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies number) and a letter. The number is generated by the Home Office, is valid for 6 months and can only be used once. If an application is refused, a new CAS will be required. 

With this CAS number, you can start the application online.

Remember to choose the correct visa type:

General Student or Child Student (this will appear on the letter from the college). 



It costs £490 to apply for a Student visa from outside the UK.



If you are an EU/EEA/Swiss national and used the ‘UK Immigration: ID Check’ app. Alternatively, you can apply via an Application Visa Centre. Both ways can take up to 3 weeks and countries differ in terms of times, please be patient as delays are commonplace.

If you use the UK Immigration: ID Check’ app, you will get an electronic visa (also known as Digital visa). You will not be issued a visa vignette in your passport and will not be required to collect a Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) on arrival to the UK.

If you are applying with an EU/EEA passport, this document is very useful. You should check your visa grant email to be sure that your visa has been granted online, this should include the wording Evidence of your immigration status can be accessed online.

How to travel to the UK with a digital visa?

Check your visa “valid from” date via your online account: GOV.UK view/prove immigration status webpage to ensure that you arrange your travel during the validity of your Student visa. You must not travel to the UK before the "Valid from" date.
To enter the UK border, you will only be required to carry the passport you used to apply for your digital status visa. UK border officers will be able to access your digital status via their systems should they need to.

How can I prove my immigration status to UWC Atlantic?

The evidence you will need to provide is:

  • A share code generated via your online digital visa status account so that UWC Atlantic can verify your immigration status
  • Evidence of the date you entered the UK: this could be a copy of your flight boarding pass or your flight/train/ferry ticket confirming the date of your travel


TRANSLATIONS (highly important)

If any document you are required to submit is not in English, e.g. your birth certificate, school transcript/record you must have it translated officially by a legal translator. A lot of visas are rejected when this is ignored. 

Please read this if you have to translate these documents. (Please note Chinese birth certificates must be translated).



Depending on where you are from, you will have to show evidence of sufficient funds to pay for the course fees for the first academic year. This information can be found in the Financial Statement sent to your family.

Some countries do not have to meet this requirement: See list of countries which do not need to show this evidence.  Even if your country is not on this list, we still highly recommend that you pay the fees for the first year in advance. This will make the visa process go smoothly.

If you have a full scholarship, you will not need to show financial evidence. If you have a partial scholarship, you will have to show financial evidence of the portion not covered by the bursary.

If you choose to submit bank statements or certificate of deposit, there are many requirements to meet. Please read these 3 documents before considering this option: one, two, three.

IMPORTANT: If you are going to pay the first year fees in advance, please do so at the time of sending the documents to the college to avoid delays.



This applies to ALL STUDENTS. Please find more information here. Even if you are under 18 years old, you will need to pay for this in order to apply.

This will be entitled to free NHS hospital treatment in the UK on the same basis as an ordinarily resident person. This will apply from the date your visa is granted until it expires.

The fee is £776 per-person for every twelve months of visa. The IHS fee is calculated on the overall length of time of your visa.

Whilst issuing Student visas the Home Office usually adds an extra period at the end of your visa. This additional period varies between 7 days to 4 months, depending on the overall duration of the course.

You pay for a whole year if your application includes part of a year that is more than 6 months.

Your visa or immigration application won’t be granted if you don’t pay the healthcare surcharge or your application will be delayed if you don’t pay the right amount.

You can use the calculator on the Gov.UK website to find out how much you will need to pay:
Calculate your immigration health surcharge



Prior to making your visa application, students from certain countries are required to obtain a clear Tuberculosis Screening Test result. Please see the following website and follow information for your home country.

If you need this test, you must get it from a clinic which is on the UK Visas and Immigration Authority’s list of approved TB Testing Clinics.

Please see the following website and follow information for your home country.



As part of your visa application, you are required to provide your biometric information (fingerprints and facial image). Your visa application will not be processed until you have provided the necessary biometric information.

EU/EEA students can download an application to complete this. Search ‘UK Immigration: ID Check’ in your App store. Please notice the app will not work until you have started an application on GOV.UK.

Nationals of certain countries can do this online. You will be told what you need to do when you apply. You may have to go to the nearest visa application centre for this.



As part of your visa application, you may be requested to attend a short video interview with the Home Office. The purpose of the interview is to check that the applicant is a genuine student, so they may ask you some questions about your course, why you chose to study it, etc. These are some examples of questions and appropriate answers.



You will be contacted if your application is complex and will take longer, for example because:

  • your supporting documents need to be verified (always have translations ready)
  • you need to attend an interview
  • of your personal circumstances (for example if you have a criminal conviction)

If you need to change something in your application after you’ve sent it, please contact UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI).

HIGHLY IMPORTANT: always check your junk inbox as Home Office emails may end up there. Many visas have been rejected because of lack of response.

You can ask to withdraw your application by contacting UKVI. Your fee will only be refunded if UKVI has not started processing your application.



EU/EEA students: if you used the ‘UK Immigration- ID Check’ app, you will get a digital immigration status which you can view and prove online . Please send it to [email protected] as soon as possible.

Students from the rest of the world: you will get your passport back with a vignette (sticker) and a letter which you will need to have at arrival.

Please note the vignette is only valid for 3 months and it is what lets you get in the country.

Once at the college, you will get your biometric residence permit, also known as the BRP . This is a card that you will use for getting in and out of the UK.

How do you get your BRP?

It will not be sent to your address, it will be sent to the College.

Please use the code we give you in your visa application to send it the College.

Towards the end of the application, you will be asked for the BRP Collection Location, please select ALTERNATIVE COLLECTION POINT and be sure to type in the following ACL Code - 2SC682.  This will save you a trip to Cardiff!


You are 18 years old you must apply for a Student Visa (not Child Visa). In this case, you must be able to demonstrate a certain level of English language ability. Those studying below degree level need to prove a level of B1. Also, those from majority English-speaking countries will not need to fulfil the English language requirements.

The most common way of demonstrating your English ability is to take a SELT English language test. The four approved SELT test providers are Trinity College London, ITELTS SELT Consortium, LanguageCert and Pearson Education Ltd. You can take a test at test centres throughout the world.

Nationals of the following countries are exempt:

  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Australia
  • the Bahamas
  • Barbados
  • Belize
  • Canada
  • Dominica
  • Grenada
  • Guyana
  • Ireland
  • Jamaica
  • Malta
  • New Zealand
  • St Kitts and Nevis
  • St Lucia
  • St Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • UK
  • USA

Missing Documentation
Failure to upload specific documents like a letter of consent from parents if you’re under 18, your birth certificate, etc. You may need to provide extra documents like tuberculosis test, guardian information and/or official translations. 
Insufficient Proof of Financial Support
If you are not on a full scholarship, you have to prove that you have the funds to cover the 1st year of studying in the UK. We recommend you pay the first year in advance. If not possible, you will need to submit bank statements (and translations). The necessary funds must be in your account for 28 days. Within these days, the funds can’t slip below the specified amount you need to have.
Missing Emails and Calls
The Home Office may try to get in touch with you to follow up on your application. You may need to verify your supporting documents or attend an interview. If you fail to respond to calls or emails, your application will be rejected. ALWAYS check your Spam inbox!
Provide inaccurate information
Often, candidates provide inaccurate information in the Application Form. The visa application form can be a complex document, candidates may be tempted to misinterpret questions.

Child students who are under 16 years old are not allowed to work. 

If you are a Child student aged 16 or older and your sponsor is an independent school, like UWC Atlantic ,you can work:

The situation is different if you have Student (not Child student) permission. You can work only if your independent school is a "Sponsor with a track record". Check the Status column of the register of Student sponsors. For details of your permitted hours of work, see Student sponsor with a track record

Always check any limits on work that your school imposes or recommends. It is important that you do not exceed them.

If your school does not have a track record, you are not allowed to work in or outside term time. But you might be able to take a work placement as part of your course.

The date your student visa ends depends on the length of your course. Make sure you know when your visa is due to expire so you can plan your next steps accordingly.

You may be able to extend your student visa if you’re eligible, for example, to continue your studies in the UK. You may also be able to switch to another type of visa if you want to stay and work in the UK.


If you arrive at an airport, you pass through immigration control first (before collecting your luggage). There are usually two main queues: one for European Economic Area and Swiss nationals, and one for everyone else.

If you have an electronic visa, you do not need to show any documents, all your details will be in the Home Office system.

EEA and Swiss citizens as well as citizens of Australia, Canada,  Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea and the USA can also use the eGates otherwise you will see a border force officer who will look at your passport and check your visa/entry clearance. 

If you have a normal visa, you should have your passport with the vignette and documents relating to:

  • your studies (letter from the college, including your Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies number if you are coming to the UK as a Student)
  • where you are going to stay

Before leaving immigration control, check that the border force officer has put a date stamp (if you had a visa or entry clearance) in your passport. After immigration control, you will be able to collect your baggage.