Applying to Surrey

International applicants

Find out about applying for a visa or ATAS certificate and learn more about Surrey's English language requirements for international students.

Surrey is proud to be one of the most culturally-diverse universities in the UK, with students from over 120 different countries. 

To help international students apply to Surrey, we've information about: 

Entry requirements

Applicants taking non-UK qualifications must obtain a suitable equivalent for entry onto an undergraduate programme at Surrey.

View entry requirements for students from:

Search for entry requirements for your country.

Visas

If you’re an international student you may need to apply for a visa or approval by the Academic Technology Approval Scheme before commencing your studies at Surrey.

Student visas

To study at the University of Surrey, international students require a Tier 4 (General) student visa.

Tier 4 is the student tier of the Points Based System for immigration (PBS), operated by the Home Office.

It costs £322 to apply for a Tier 4 visa from outside the UK. You must also pay £322 per person for any dependants.

To apply for a Tier 4 visa you must: 

For more details and to apply, visit the government visas and immigration website

How long will my visa application take?

You can apply for a visa up to three months before the start of your course. You should receive a decision within three weeks. 

Processing times can vary between countries and at certain times of the year. Check the government website for further information about visa processing times.

How long can I stay?

Once your visa has been approved, you can arrive in the UK before your course starts: 

      • Up to one week before, if your course lasts six months or less
      • Up to one month before, if your course lasts more than six months

Learn more about applying for a visa.

Confirmation of Acceptance (CAS) 

Once you have been offered an unconditional place on one of our programmes, we will issue you with a reference number called a Confirmation of Acceptance (CAS). You will need to enter this number on to your visa application. 

Although we try to issue the CAS number within 48 hours, at certain times of the year this may take longer so we ask for your patience. 

We are aware of visa application processing times around the world and we do our best to issue CAS reference numbers as a matter of priority. 

Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS)

You may need to apply for an Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) certificate in order to study certain subjects in the UK.

Students applying for postgraduate study in certain sensitive subjects, knowledge of which could be used in programmes to develop weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) or their means of delivery, will need to apply for an Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) certificate before they can study in the UK. 

If you are a UK, EEA or Swiss national you do not need to apply for an ATAS certificate. 

How to apply for an ATAS certificate 

If you have applied and received an offer for a programme that requires ATAS approval, we will send you an email from the April of the year you are applying. This email will detail the JACS code and module information for your course in order for you to make your ATAS application.

An ATAS certificate is valid as long as the details of your course and university remain the same. 

Please ensure that the text you enter on your application form is exactly the same as the text provided in your offer letter. If these two documents do not match, you may have difficulties when applying for your visa. 

When to apply for an ATAS certificate

If you require an ATAS certificate you will need to apply for this before applying for your visa or extension of stay. Visa applications will be automatically refused if you need an ATAS certificate and cannot provide one. The possession of an ATAS certificate does not guarantee you a visa or extension of stay. You must also provide evidence that you meet the usual student criteria. Visa applications will be automatically refused if you need an ATAS certificate and cannot provide one.

You can apply for an ATAS certificate up to six months in advance of the beginning of your course. We encourage you to apply as soon as you have received your offer from Surrey.

How long will it take? 

Allow at least four weeks (20 working days) for the application process. We advise against making any travel plans before you have received an ATAS certificate. 

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