Who needs a visa

This page explains who will need immigration permission to study in the UK.

Primary page content

Who can be exempt from applying for the Student visa

  • Full UK passport holders (this does not include British National (Overseas) passports)
  • Nationals of the Republic of Ireland
  • Indefinite Leave to Remain holders
  • Settled or Pre-Settled Status holders (in the EU Settlement Scheme)
  • Holders of other visa types which allow studying for the full length of the course

EU, EEA and Swiss nationals

If you hold an EU, EEA or Swiss passport, or are a relevant family member of a national of these countries, and you established residence in the UK before the end of the Brexit transition period (before 11pm on 31 December 2020) you do not require a visa to live, study or work in the UK. You must hold Settled or Pre-Settled Status granted through the EU Settlement Scheme. To find out more read UKCISA’s guidance on EU Settlement Scheme.

Otherwise, if you are a national of a European Economic Area (EEA) country, or Switzerland you will be subject to immigration control and will need to obtain the appropriate immigration permission in order to study in the UK.

Other acceptable types of UK visa or residence permit

If you already have immigration permission to stay in the UK for another purpose, except Student permission for another institution, you can normally study (full time or part time) at Goldsmiths without applying for new immigration permission. Please check this with the Immigration Advisory Service prior to enrolemnt,

You must make sure that you will continue to meet the requirements of your current immigration permission whilst you are studying and that your immigration permission does not prohibit you from studying at university.

If you are thinking about studying on your existing immigration permission, check that you will have enough time to complete your course before your current permission expires, or that your permission can be extended. Otherwise, you will need to make an application for the Student visa at some point during your studies.

Some examples of such immigration permits may include but are not limited to: British Nationals (Overseas), Dependant visa, Ancestry visa, Skilled Worker visa.

Please note that the Graduate Route cannot be used to study a programme where a CAS could normally be issued.

Visa nationals

If you only hold a passport or passports that state you are a national or citizen of one of the countries on the visa national list, you must always apply for immigration permission before travelling to the UK.

See the visa nationals list.

Non-visa nationals

If you have a passport or travel document issued by a country or not on the visa national list, then you are a non-visa national.

If you are coming to study on a course of longer than six months, you must apply for immigration permission before you travel. If you are a non-visa national who wishes to come to study on a course of up to six months, you can apply to enter as Visitor on arrival to the UK, but there are specific requirements you need to meet.

Check what visa you need

Use gov.uk/check-uk-visa to find out whether you need a visa by answering some quick questions.

You can also contact us if you are unsure.

How to apply for a visa

See our Student visa pages for more information about applying for your visa.