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Visas & immigration

Students from outside the UK will, in most cases, need immigration permission to study at the RCM. It is important that you understand what you need to do and plan enough time to apply for a visa before starting your course.

All international students should read the information provided in these pages and the policy guidance published by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI).

The following information will help you determine whether or not you need a visa, which type of visa you might need, how to apply for a visa, how to meet the requirements for your visa and whether or not you need to register with the Police. More comprehensive information is provided by UKVI.

Please ensure you read the following pages and the UKVI guidance thoroughly. If there is anything you do not understand please contact our International team who will be happy to help you.

Regular updates are made to the Immigration Rules. It is essential that you check the latest requirements of the UKVI Student Visa Guidance before submitting a Student visa application. While the information on these pages has been provided in good faith and every effort is made to keep this this website up-to-date, the RCM accepts no legal responsibility for its accuracy.

UKVI Student Visa Guidance

Student Visa applicants

The advice below is for students who require a Student Visa, which will be the case for most international students beginning courses in 2022 and beyond. Students who are studying at the RCM for a period of less than six months should consult our information on Standard Visitor visas instead.

Top Tips for Student Visa applicants

Take some time to settle in

You will be granted permission to come to the UK up to one month before the start of your course. You can use this time to settle into life in the UK before your studies begin.

Find out more

You can't switch from a Visitor to a Student visa in the UK

You cannot come to the UK on a Visitor Visa and apply for a Student Visa while you are here. You will have to go back to your home country to apply for a Student Visa.

Find out more

Check the cost of applying for your visa

Visa application costs vary depending on where you apply and whether or not you use a priority service. You can check the latest fees using a simple tool on the Home Office website. 

Visa fees online calculation tool

Remember to plan your finances

Financial planning is extremely important and so is providing evidence that you have adequate finances to support your life and studies in the UK. Please be sure to check how much money you need and how to prove you have it.

Find out more

Remember to translate your documents

If any of the supporting documents for your visa application are not in English you must have them translated and the translations must be certified. 

Find out more

Check the restrictions on working in the UK

Student holders can work in the UK alongside their studies subject to certain conditions. 

Find out more

Continuing your studies on a new course

If you have just completed a course on a Tier 4 Visa or Student visa and plan to continue your studies on a new course you will need to apply for another visa. You can do that in the UK if your current visa is still valid or, alternatively, back in your home country. It is normally cheaper to apply in your home country, but easier for the RCM to assist you if you choose to apply in the UK and you don't need to provide so much supporting evidence with your application. 

Find out more

Registering at the RCM while your visa decision is pending

If you have applied for your new visa in the UK and are still waiting for a decision from UKVI in September, the RCM may be able to enrol you before your new visa arrives, although we normally advise against relying on this. You should make every effort to apply for your new visa before your new course starts if possible. 

Find out more

Immigration advice at the RCM

The RCM’s international support staff aim to provide free, impartial, high quality immigration advice to RCM students, including offer holders. We can advise on Student visa application, Tier 4 (General) Student visas, Standard Visitor visas, visa conditions during study and EU Settlement Scheme applications for EU/EEA students.

We also provide information on visas for family members, Schengen visas and options to remain in the UK after graduation. In addition, we offer more general support with welfare-related matters, such as opening bank accounts and accessing healthcare in the UK.

You can find more information about the service we provide and who to contact in our Statement of Service.


If you have any questions about applying to the RCM as an international student please contact our friendly International team who will be happy to offer advice.

International team

International student enquiries