On this page you will find out how we can help you apply for/extend your Student Route visa (SR) and what you will need to do to be able to use our services. The information we have here is specific to studying at BU and is based on the UK Immigration Rules and published guidance as well as BU’s own policies and procedures. All information is correct at the time of publication.

If you are not able/do not wish to use our services, you can find the full set of rules and further guidance on the UK government website. For more student friendly and concise information, visit the UK Council for Student Affairs (UKCISA) website.

For help and guidance with your Student Route visa application, please use our online resources or contact AskBU for further information and advice from BU. We strongly advise you to take advantage of our services before you submit your visa application. Our advice is free and not prejudiced.

​Student Route visa introduced in 2020

On 5 October 2020, the UK Government introduced the Student Route visa which replaced the Tier 4 route for new student visa applications for non-EU/EEA nationals. If you currently have a Tier 4 visa, this will remain valid until the visa expiry date. If you need to apply to extend your visa to complete your studies or study another course, you will apply for a Student Route visa. The UKVI has published the Student Route guidance

If you are an EU/EEA/Swiss national and are already in the UK, or intending to study at BU this academic year, we would strongly advise that you apply for settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme in order to be eligible you need to be resident in the UK before 31 December 2020. If you are only intending to come to the UK after 1 January 2021 and you are going to be studying a course of at least 6 months duration then you will need to apply for this Student Route visa.

There are some differences between Tier 4 and the Student Route visa:

  • Maintenance

If you, your dependent partner, or dependent child have been living in the UK for 12 months or more at the time of your application in the UK, you will not need to submit any financial evidence with your application and automatically meet the financial requirements.

Students applying under the Student Route from either inside or outside the UK as Student Union Sabbatical Officers will also be exempt from meeting the financial requirements.

If you are a ‘low risk’ national and have been living in the UK for less than 12 months, you are not required to submit evidence to show that you meet the financial requirements or provide your academic qualifications used to obtain an offer of study. The Home Office however retain the right to request sight of these documents. Nationals from the EU, EEA and Switzerland have been added to the list of ‘low risk’ nationals.

  • Time limits on studying in the UK

Time limits for studying at postgraduate level have been removed. 

  • Definition of a partner

The definition of a ‘partner’ has been expanded for those permitted to bring dependent partners to the UK. A ‘partner’ now includes a fiancé, or proposed civil partner.

  • ATAS

Nationals from Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea and the USA, join nationals from the UK, EU, EEA and Switzerland who are exempt from obtaining ATAS clearance for postgraduate study in relevant subjects.

  • Application window

Students applying under the new Student Route from outside the UK, can now apply up to 6 months before the start of their course.

Next steps

Visa application via AskBU step-by-step