Study Abroad in the United Kingdom
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Student Visitor Visa Information for Visa Nationals
Read through all of the information below before beginning the visa application process.
- Do not begin your online visa application until you have received your visa pack and documentation from Arcadia.
- You will need around 20-30 minutes to complete the online portion of the visa application. This portion of the visa process is known as the application for "entry clearance."
- You will need to use a MasterCard or Visa to pay the application and postage fees. The application fee is £83 (around US$141 as of April 2014). It is essential that you remember to select "By Mail" if prompted.
Applying for Your Visa
Once your visa documents have been sent to you, your Program Manager will send you detailed instructions about how to apply. You should not begin the online application until you have received these instructions. The online visa application is found online at https://www.visa4uk.fco.gov.uk/.
In preparation, you should note that the application requires the following information:
- Your parents' dates and places of birth
- Approximate dates and reasons for previous international travel
As you complete the online application, students applying from within the US will be prompted to schedule a biometrics appointment at a US Customs and Immigration Services field office where you will have your fingerprints taken. It is advisable to schedule the earliest appointment available. Please visit the USCIS website for information on your nearest field office.
When you attend your biometrics appointment, you will need to bring your passport and the printed copy of your Booking Confirmation. (Remember to print this at the end of the online Entry Clearance application.)
At your appointment, you will have your fingers and thumbs digitally scanned and a digital photograph of you will be taken. At the conclusion of your appointment, your Booking Confirmation document will be stamped, signed and dated. The actual process should take five minutes or less if you don't have to wait.
In some instances, USCIS offices will allow you to have your biometrics data collected before your scheduled appointment as long as you have your passport and booking confirmation. (This is worth noting if you receive a late appointment.)
In cases of students applying from their home countries, you will schedule an appointment at a designated visa office, or consulate. In some cases you will have to submit all of your application documents. You will be told what to do at the end of your online application.
When you submit your application, the following materials must be included:
- Your printed-out Student Visitor application and stamped biometrics form.
- Two acceptance letters; one each from your host university and Arcadia (enclosed in the UPS mailing). There will only be one letter for Arcadia in Oxford, Brandeis Mid Year Fall in London, Hamilton Freshman Fall in London, London Connect, London Now, Pre-Health Semester/Summer in London, Scottish Studies and STEM Summer Research (Glasgow and London).
- Your original passport.
- Two passport-sized photos – View UKVI's regulations.
- An original copy of your most recent bank statement, preferably showing a balance of at least $2000 for the duration of your program. Your Program Manager will send you more details.
- An official transcript from your home school.
- Your tuberculosis (TB) test results (if you’re from a country where you have to take the test) – See UKVI’s webpage for details.
- Self-addressed postage-paid express/courier return mail label and envelope so that your passport & visa can be returned to you. You should send an actual envelope and printed label - a hand-written label provided by the mailing service will not be accepted. You must use a trackable service such as UPS, FedEX, DHL or USPS Express - be sure to make a note of your tracking number. (We recommend using a 1-day or 2-day return service.)
- Any additional documents that the Consulate may request - you'll be told this during the online application process.
Submitting Your Application Materials
After you have received your immigration documents from Arcadia, completed the online application, attended your biometrics appointment and gathered your required documents, you will need to submit your visa application materials. Your Program Manager will send you information about how to send them.
- These materials should promptly be sent to the UKVI visa section in New York City. (Remember that you will need to have paid the application and shipping fees.)
- Your passport and accompanying visa application materials should be sent by certified mail so that you can track it.
- Because you are required to send your application materials to the consulate within a specified period of time after completing your biometrics appointment, you should not begin the online application until you receive your visa pack or have been prompted by your program manager.
- The UK Border Agency recommends that students allow 3-5 weeks for applications to be processed.
- Processing often requires less time if all materials, application fees and shipping fees are properly organized and correctly submitted. The Priority Service provided by WorldBridge usually reduces processing time to two days.
- Any errors or omissions will hinder your visa application and possibly require you to apply again.
- Arcadia University will work to assist you throughout this process, but cannot accept responsibility for any visa applications that are delayed or rejected.
- Please read all instructions carefully and do not hesitate to contact your program manager if you have any questions.
- For the most up-to-date visa information and FAQs, visit the UK Border Agency's website.