How To Get Student Visa In Scotland | Step To Step Procedures

Wondering how to get a student visa in Scotland? You should know that Scotland is home to some of the best universities in the world including the University of Glasgow, the University of St. Andrews, and the University of Edinburgh.

Universities in Scotland are known to produce some of the best talents in the world. Over the years, they have produced some of the reputable successful students in the United Kingdom and the world, and graduates from Scottish universities enjoy the availability of employment or further study in the United Kingdom and the world at large.

Scotland has consistently committed to excellence in education for many centuries. That is why it is no surprise when a lot of international students from all over the world want to study in Scotland every year.

This article will guide the Scotland student visa application process for any international student, anyone interested in studying in Scotland, and the process of a student visa in Scotland. 

Types of student visas in Scotland

There are four different types of study visas for international students that want to study in Scotland. They are:

  1. Student visa (Tier 4)
  2. Child visitor visa
  3. Standard visitor visa
  4. Short term study visa

#1. Student visa (Tier 4):

This type of student visa covers most international students who want to study in Scotland. It is for international students who are going for undergraduate or postgraduate studies in any of the universities in Scotland.

This visa allows international students to work for 20 hours or less so long as it doesn’t interfere with their education, participate in volunteer work and extend their study period at the University beyond 6 months.

#2. Child student visa:

International students under the age of 18 who intend to study in Scotland for as much as 6 months can apply as child students.

If they have gotten this visa and intend to expand to a Tier 4/Student visa, they will have to leave the United Kingdom and apply to Scotland.

You can read this: Study in Scotland: Tuition Fees, Cost of Living, Visa and Admission Requirements

#3. Standard visitor visa

International students above 18 years who wish to study in Scotland for as much as 6 months can apply as student visitors as they do not need a student visa.

Also, students with a valid student visitor visa type who wish to expand to the Tier 4 visa type will have to leave Scotland and apply again from their home country.

#4. Short term study visa:

This visa allows international students to apply to study courses related to the English language only at any approved university in Scotland.

Requirements or Eligibility Criteria for Student Visa in Scotland

International students are required to have a Confirmation of Acceptance of Studies (CAS) number from the institution they wish to study.

The CAS is a special online reference number that a Scottish university issues to international students as their Visa licensed sponsor.

After the international student is accepted into a university in Scotland, they will be emailed details on how to request a CAS number.

It is important to know that international students cannot apply for a student visa more than 3 months before the beginning of their course date and the CAS number will not be produced more than 3 months in advance of a course beginning.

Below is a list of other important requirements that international students need to provide for a student visa in Scotland:

  1. A passport photo
  2. International passport.
  3. Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) certificate (Here, some science courses require ATAS clearance from the UK Foreign and Commonwealth office to study the course. The offer letter and the CAS will tell if the student needs an ATAS certificate).
  4. Proof of English Language proficiency
  5. Recent tuberculosis certificate
  6. Police registration certificate
  7. Proof of qualifications to study in the university of choice
  8. Proof of paid tuition fees at your university of choice in Scotland
  9. Evidence of payment for the visa application fee
  10. Evidence of payment of healthcare surcharge
  11. A printed copy of the visa application form filled online
  12. Evidence that you can support yourself while studying in Scotland (bank statement, proof of source of income)
  13. Letter from your sponsor (which will include sponsor’s recent bank statement, proof of sponsor’s identity, proof of relationship with the sponsor)
  14. Flight itinerary that shows the dates you intend to enter and exit Scotland
  15. Additional documents like birth certificate, letter of consent from parent/guardian, and proof of relationship with a parent or guardian

How long is the Scotland student visa valid?

The student visa in Scotland is valid so long as your education in an approved university in Scotland is still active. If you have to spend more years than expected, you need to apply to extend your student visa in Scotland.

Fees and cost of student visa in Scotland

It costs 348 pounds (~$400) to apply for a student visa in Scotland for international students outside the United Kingdom while international students who want to extend or switch to a student visa from within the United Kingdom will have to pay 475 pounds ( ~$500 ).

It is important to know that the day you pay for your visa application will be your official “date of application”.

Your documents used as proof of funds must have been issued no more than 31 days before the official “date of application.”

How to apply for a student visa in Scotland

Below is a step-by-step process for applying for a student visa in Scotland :

#1. Gain admission

International students who want to apply for a student visa to study in Scotland need to apply to a university in Scotland to gain admission first.

#2. Gather required documents

After you have been admitted to study at a university in Scotland, you will be sent a CAS letter. You need to gather the required documents and prepare for the online application.

#3. Complete the application form

The online application requires you to fill in important information in the visa application form on the United Kingdom Immigration Service (UKIS) website.

#4. Pay the Immigration Health Surcharge and student visa application fee

Pay these fees and get the receipts that will be used as evidence of payment later. The student visa application fee for international students outside Scotland is 348 pounds while that of students within Scotland is 475 pounds.

#5. Make an appointment date

The next step is to choose your appointment date with the nearest visa application center in your area.

#6. Go for the appointment with the required documents

On the day of your appointment, you are to go with the required documents although some countries will require you to upload the required documents before attending the appointment.

#7. Submit passport and biometric information

After the appointment, your biometric data will be collected and be submitted along with your passport and documents.

#8. Wait for a response

This is the last stage in the process. All you need to do here is to be patient and wait for a response regarding your visa application status.

For international students applying from within Scotland, it is important not to travel outside the Common travel area during this visa application process as it will result in the withdrawal of the application.

Special criteria for applying for a student visa for international students in Scotland:

  As an International student in Scotland who wants to apply for a student visa, you have to meet the following criteria:

  1. Have a valid visa that allows you to extend or switch to a student route
  2. Your new program will start no more than 28 days after your current visa expires
  3. You have completed the course you studied in Scotland
  4. Your new course is at a higher academic level than the previous course
  5. You have enough time to complete your studies within your student route limits

Student visa process time in Scotland

Usually, the processing time for a student visa in Scotland is 3 weeks. Although in some situations, it can take up to 3 months.

International students who wish to avoid delays in the process can begin their visa application process 3 months before the resumption of their university of choice.

Also, you can check this: How to Study Without IELTS Study Visa in Europe | 2022 Complete Guide

Can I get a student visa in Scotland without IELTS?

Scotland is an English-speaking country and International students who intend to study in Scotland need to show proof of their proficiency in the English language. This is necessary because most of the courses in Scottish universities are taught in English.

Internationally recognized certificates like IELTS and TOEFL are a must to study in Scotland since they prove that an international student is proficient in English.

Working while studying in Scotland

Whether you can work or not with your student visa in Scotland depends on your educational level.

International students at degree level can work up to 20 hours per week while going to school, while students below degree level can work only for 10 hours per week.

During the course, vacation students are allowed to work full time. Violation of any of these restrictions can result in the cancellation of a student’s visa, fines, or a ban on entry to Scotland.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much is a student visa in Scotland?

For students outside Scotland, it costs 348 pounds (~$400) while for students already in Scotland looking to switch to a tier 4 visa type it costs 475 pounds (~$500).

Which visa do I need to pursue a degree program in Scotland?

The Student visa is for international students who intend to study in Scotland for more than 6 months.

My program is less than 6 months, so do I need a student visa?

No. International students coming to Scotland to study for less than 6 months and do not wish to work or extend their studies need the standard visitor visa.

Is it hard to get a student visa in Scotland?

Yes but it’s not so hard if you check all the requirements. Also, sometimes it depends on your nationality.

I want to study an English language course. Do I need a student visa in Scotland?

It depends on the duration of your course. If it is up to 11 months, then you can study in Scotland as a Short term student.

Can I extend my standard visa to the student visa in Scotland?

No. You need to leave Scotland first then, apply for a student visa from your country.

Can I work in Scotland with a short-term study visa?

No. You are not permitted to take both paid or unpaid employment with a short-term study visa.


International students who intend to study a degree program in Scotland need to get a student visa (Tier). The student visa in Scotland allows them to work while studying in Scotland.

The student visa application process is straightforward and less complicated, you just need to have the requirements ready.



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