SOAS University of London

International Students

Applying for a Student Visa

To apply for a Student visa

  • You must have an unconditional offer to study at SOAS.
  • You must have been issued with a CAS number from SOAS.
  • In addition to the CAS number, we will email you a copy of the details that have been submitted to UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI). You should use this information to complete your visa application.
Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS)

Before you can apply for a Student visa, you must have been issued with a CAS reference number (Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies) from SOAS. A CAS is a unique 14 digit reference number issued to each applicant. The CAS number is valid for 6 months only and can be used to apply for a visa up to 6 months before the start of the course as listed on the CAS. If the CAS is not used within 6 months from the date it was issued, it will automatically expire and become invalid. You can only use a CAS number once. If your application is refused, you must obtain a new CAS before you apply again, you cannot re-use the CAS that was refused.

Other documentation
  • You may need to submit additional documentation (eg, degree certificates/transcripts/approved UKVI Standard English Language Test (SELT)) that have been used by SOAS as the basis of the offer of a place (Details of the documents used will be included on your CAS).
  • Show you have enough money to pay your tuition fees, maintenance costs for your course/programme or that you have already paid them.
  • Show you have the required amount to cover your living expenses for the first 9 months of your course (or the entire duration of your course if it is less than 9 months long) and the required amount for any dependant if applicable.
  • Funds can come from an official sponsor such as your government, SOAS, or the UK government and/or must have been held in a bank account in your name for at least 28 days before you apply for the visa.
  • Depending on which country you are coming from, you may be asked to show proof of vaccinations, a chest x-ray or a health certificate before you can enter Britain. If you are not sure if you need a health certificate, ask at the British Embassy or High Commission in your home country.

How to apply for a Student Visa

Applying outside the UK

Please read the following guide for details of the Student visa requirements and application process outside the UK.

Making a Student visa application outside the UK (pdf; 325kb)  

Please use the guide below to help submit your Student visa application through the outside of UK online application form.

Outside the UK online application guide (pdf; 1059kb)  

Applying inside the UK

Please read the following guide for details of the Student visa requirements and application process in the UK.

Making a Student visa application inside the UK (pdf; 215kb)

Please use the guide below to help submit your Student visa application through the inside of UK online application form.

Inside the UK online application guide (pdf; 895kb)

The Immigration Health Surcharge

Please read the following guidance to find out how to pay the surcharge. This guidance is for those applying inside and outside the UK.

Immigration Health Surcharge guidance (pdf; 140kb)

Have you lost your passport or BRP?

Please read this UKCISA guidance.

Returning students

If you are a student returning to SOAS to retake a failed or deferred exam or to submit a dissertation without the need to engage in any other teaching/support activities, then SOAS is not able to sponsor you for a Student visa for any of these purposes. We advise that you return to the UK as a Standard Visitor. In these circumstances SOAS cannot provide a CAS for a Student visa application but we will be happy to supply you with a letter to include with your Standard Visitor visa application. This letter will confirm the dates and reason for your visit to the UK. If you would like such a letter, please send your request to

More information about obtaining a Standard Visitor visa can be found on our Applying for a Standard Visitor visa page.