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Welcome to Queen's Student
Immigration Support Service

Frequently Asked Questions

Coming to the UK and Queen's
  • I have a question about the course that i am hoping to apply for. Who should I contact?

    Please see International Admissions contact information below:


  • What are Entry Qualifications?

    Entry qualifications are the qualifications that you require in order to gain an unconditional offer to your course. These are listed on your CAS statement under ‘Entry Qualifications’. You must always submit your original transcripts with your visa application.

  • What is a CAS?

    A CAS is a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies which you will need in order to apply for your student visa. Queen’s will assign your CAS to you after you have accepted an unconditional offer for your course. Your CAS is a secure electronic document which tells the Home Office information about you, your course, your fees and the qualifications you need to get onto your course among other things. 

    When your CAS is assigned, you will receive a CAS statement. This is a letter which will be emailed to you and will contain all of the information which Queen’s tell the Home Office in your CAS. It will also contain your CAS number. When you receive your CAS statement you must read it carefully and ensure that all of the information contained in it is correct. You must make sure that your passport number is correct and you must use the same passport to apply for your visa as the one which you have provided to Queen’s. If the information in your CAS statement is not correct, then you must tell us immediately so that we can inform the Home Office.

  • What is Biometric Data and will I need to provide it?

    You will need to provide biometric information as part of the visa application process. This biometric information consists of an electronic scan of your fingerprints and a full-face digital photograph. You will have to go to the nearest Visa Application Centre (VAC) in person to provide this biometric information. Your visa application will not be processed until you have provided the necessary biometric information.

  • I need to apply for a Student visa from outside the UK. What should I do next?

    Please see the Applying for your Student visa from outside the UK section of our website.

  • I need to extend my Student Visa from within the UK. What should I do next?

    Many students will require further time in order to continue their studies in the UK once their entry clearance visa expires.

    Some students will require extra time to complete their current course of study, while some will want to take up a new course of study once their first course is complete.

    Please see the Extending your Student visa in the UK section of our website.

  • What is the Immigration Health Surcharge?

    You might need to pay a healthcare surcharge (called the ‘immigration health surcharge’ or IHS) as part of your immigration application.

    Whether you need to pay depends on the immigration status you’re applying for.

    You can find more information on this website. We recommend that you complete the checking service online to verify how much you should pay.

  • How do I know if I require an ATAS certificate?

    If you are intending to undertake a postgraduate course in certain science, engineering or technology disciplines, you must obtain an ATAS certificate before you can apply for Entry Clearance to come to the UK. You may also need to obtain an ATAS certificate if you are applying to study an undergraduate course with an integrated Masters year. This requirement will not be applicable for all students, it is only applicable for certain subjects at certain levels and certain nationalities*.

    Check your offer letter from Admissions and your CAS statement to find out if this requirement is applicable for your course. If you are required to have an ATAS certificate you are advised to apply for your certificate as soon as possible. The application is online and free of charge. The average processing time is four weeks, however this will increase during the busy time of April to September, when it can take more than six weeks.

    Further information about ATAS can be found on the UK government website. You must have your ATAS certificate at the point of submitting your online visa application. If ATAS is required for your course, and you do not submit this certificate with your application, your application will be refused.

    *Students who are nationals of EU countries, the European Economic Area (EEA), Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, Switzerland or the United States of America do not need an ATAS certificate.

  • I am an incoming Exchange or Study Abroad student. Where can I find out more information relating to this?

    If you are a non-UK/Irish national and you are coming to Queen’s University Belfast to study for one or two semesters on the Study Abroad Programme, you will need a visa to study in the UK.

    It is your responsibility to check which type of visa you will need and how to get it. If you arrive at the University without the appropriate visa which permits you to study in the UK for the duration of your course, you may not be permitted to register on your course until this is corrected. In some cases, you may have to leave the UK and re-enter in order to get your immigration permission corrected. You will find more information on the ISS website.

  • What are my Visa Conditions?

    Your visa will state conditions which apply to you during your time studying with us. In particular you should ensure that you are aware of and abide by any restrictions on working hours. These will apply if you want to take up employment during term time. Please consult the Semester Dates and your School to confirm your term dates.

  • How do I get a Family Visit Letter?

    Unfortunately, due to changes in Data Protection, the Immigration Support Service are no longer able to issue letters inviting family members to the UK.

    You can request a letter from our colleagues in Student Records to confirm that you are a student at the University.

    Full information about the Standard Visitor Visa and how to apply can be found on UK Visas and Immigration website here.

Visas for Travelling
  • Do I need a visa to enter the Republic of Ireland?

    The QUB Immigration Support Service can only offer visa and immigration advice for UK Study visas, we are unable to advise on visas for other countries.

    If you want to enter Ireland, you may require a visa. Find out more information on our website.

    Please note, your student visa is not immigration permission for countries outside of the UK.

  • I would like to invite a friend or family member to visit me for less than 6 months. What should I do next?

    If your friend or family member is coming to visit you for a holiday they will come as a general visitor. Depending on their nationality, they may need to apply for a Standard Visitor Visa before they come here (known as entry clearance).

    Some friends or family members can come to the UK without applying for entry clearance, but they will still need to bring certain documents with them to show to Immigration Officers at the airport. You can find all of the information that you need on the UK Visas & Immigration website.

  • I would like a family member to join me in the UK for more than 6 months. What should I do next?

    If you are a non-EEA/Swiss national and you are coming to study in the UK at Queen’s University Belfast as a postgraduate student for more than nine months or as a government sponsored student for more than six months, you will usually be able to bring your spouse/partner and any child under 18 to the UK as your dependants using the PBS Dependant Visa route.

  • I wish to travel in Europe and want to find out if I require a Schengen visa. Where can I go for more information?

    The QUB Immigration Support Service can only offer visa and immigration advice for UK Study visas, we are unable to offer advice on visas for other countries.

    Students who need a visa to visit Europe can obtain a Schengen visa which is valid for 26 countries in the Schengen area. The Schengen Visa is valid for all the Schengen countries. You should apply to either the country that you plan to spend most time in, or the country that you will be entering first. If you are unsure then you should contact the embassy of the country that you are considering applying for, and check with them

    The UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) can provide you with advice about travelling in Europe. For students outside of the EU and EEA, the first thing that you need to check is if you need a visa to travel or not. A number of European countries are part of an agreement called 'Schengen'. This means that you can obtain a single visa to travel in those countries. Countries outside the Schengen agreement may have their own visa requirements.  

    Please note: the QUB Immigration Support Service cannot give official advice on applying for a Schengen visa and can provide information only.