Visa & Immigration

In order to study in the UK, you’ll need to meet the various visa and immigration conditions outlined by the Home Office. Our team of specialist and experienced student advisers can help you with guidance on all of these matters. If you have further questions on how to apply for your UK Student Visa, download the Guide.

You must ensure that you fully understand and comply with the condition set out in your visa, for example if you are planning to work while you study in the UK. Breaching the visa rules could have serious consequences for your immigration status and could affect your right to study in the UK.

What type of visa will I need?

  • Standard Visitor visa: If you are coming to the UK for less than six months and do not plan to do an internship or voluntary work as part of your studies then you need a Standard Visitor visa
  • Student Route visa: If you are coming to the UK for more than six months, or less than six months but plan to undertake an internship or voluntary work as part of your studies then you will need a Student Route visa

Need help or advice?

Roberto Di Bello
UKVI Compliance Officer

The Graduate Visa Route

The Graduate Visa route enables international students who have studied on Tier 4 or Student visa to remain in the UK to work, or look for work, for two years after graduation.

The Graduate route is unsponsored, meaning applicants do not need a job offer to apply. There is no minimum salary requirement nor cap on numbers. Graduates on the route will be able to work flexibly, switch jobs and develop their career as required, including self-employment.

It is not permitted to study on a course that is normally sponsored in the Student route, so this visa is not suitable for graduates progressing to further study, either at Richmond or elsewhere. These graduates should apply for further leave in the Student route.

A group of graduates are jumping in the air.

To apply, you must have successfully completed your course at Richmond. When you successfully complete your course, we will report this to the Home Office via their online system. You will be notified when this is done, this process will normally take place in the week after results are confirmed by the Exam Boards.

Please wait for this notification before applying, otherwise your application may be refused and your application fee will not be refunded.

Applications must be made inside the UK before your current Tier 4 / Student visa expires. Normally, you must have been studying within the UK throughout the course to be eligible. You will need the CAS number you used for your current visa to apply, so you should make sure you have this available.

Once you’ve applied online, proved your identity and provided your documents, you’ll usually get a decision within 8 weeks. You can stay in the UK while you wait for a decision, and you can work full time whilst awaiting a decision, even if your Tier 4/Student visa has subsequently expired.

Overview information about the Graduate route can be found on the UK Government website. In addition, the Home Office has published an information booklet for graduating international students. We encourage you to read this, as it has helpful guidance on the application process.

Further Information

The Graduate visa route is not a sponsored immigration route, and therefore we are not able to provide detailed immigration advice or an application checking service. We will, however, do our best to direct you to the information you need to apply. UKCISA provides a useful source of information on the graduate route and other post study visa options.

Contact our UKVI Compliance Officer at

Student Visa Application Journey
for US-based Offer Holders

Richmond University admissions staff outline the UK Student Visa Application process for offer holders located within the US, explain what the CAS letter is and how to qualify for yours, and answer student/parent/guardian questions.