EU and international students

This information was updated on 15 March 2022.

Most COVID-19 rules and restrictions in the UK have been lifted. However, this can change, and you should check the UK government website regularly for the latest advice and guidance.

Our priority remains the safety of our students and staff, and for this reason we continue to recommend you are fully vaccinated. We also encourage you to wear a face covering while moving around indoors on campus, and to maintain good hand hygiene.

For information regarding your application, teaching and learning, please read the other FAQs in this section.

Are there any travel restrictions for students coming to the UK?

As of 4am on Friday, 18th March 2022, there are no COVID-19 related restrictions on travelling into England. This is because of the high rate of vaccination within the UK.

However, restrictions may be reintroduced at short notice and it’s important to make yourself aware of the latest rules and requirements before you travel. The latest guidance can be found on the UK government website.

The rules may be different if you’re passing through Scotland, Wales, or Northern Ireland before travelling into England.

Take time to familiarise yourself with any other requirements based on your circumstances before you travel to England. For example, most students must apply for a student visa before they travel. 

Is it possible to study remotely rather than travelling to England?

Most of our courses can only be studied on campus. If your chosen course does not include a distance learning option, you must be available to attend activities on campus throughout your studies.

We understand that some students may face difficulty travelling from their home country. In these circumstances, we will support students to find an alternative option, but remote study will not be possible.

How do I apply for a visa?

To apply for a visa to study here, international students must have a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) issued by the University. The CAS is a unique reference number which confirms that the University has agreed to be your sponsor and provides information about you and your study to UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) as part of your visa application. The earliest you can apply for a student route visa is six months before the start date of the course.

Our guidance will help you complete your online visa application form and tells you what documents are required as part of your application. Please read this guidance carefully, including the financial evidence requirements.

Student route (formerly known as Tier 4) applications can take up to three weeks to be processed and may take longer at busy periods or if your application has to be processed by a British embassy in another country. You can find out how long it will take for your application to be processed from the UKVI website.

Full details can be found on the student route visa area of our student immigration and visas pages.

How do I get my CAS number?

If you require a student visa to study in the UK, you'll need a Confirmation of Acceptance for Study (CAS) from us for your visa appointment. You won't need to request a CAS. We'll generate a CAS when you're eligible to receive one. Once you have accepted an unconditional offer for your programme, and paid any mandatory deposits required, your academic School will start the CAS process. You'll be sent a draft CAS email asking you to confirm that your details are correct. Once you have replied to the draft CAS email, we'll process your CAS and email it to you as soon as it is ready, but no more than six months before your course start date.

Please read our guidance before you start to fill in your student route application and download our guide to completing the online visa application form.

I'm an EU/EEA or Swiss student, how do I get a UK study visa?

From 1 January 2021, EU/EEA (except Republic of Ireland) and Swiss nationals will need a visa via the student route to study in the UK unless they have pre-settled or settled status  (or have applied for such). This isn't related to COVID-19, but is part of the new immigration rules as a result of Brexit.

You can apply for a visa via the UK government website and you’ll usually get a decision within three weeks.

To arrange this visa, you'll need a Confirmation of Acceptance of Studies (CAS) number from your School or Department and it will be sent to you after you've accepted an unconditional offer.

Full details can be found on the student route visa area of our student immigration and visas pages.

The Visa Application Centre (VAC) in my home city is closed. What should I do?

If your Visa Application Centre (VAC) is closed due to coronavirus restrictions, you have the option of submitting your biometrics in another country to allow you to continue with the visa process.

You’ll need to ensure you’re permitted to travel to that country beforehand. When you apply online you must select the country where you'd like to submit your biometrics at the start of your application. This concession is valid up until the 31 December 2021. 

It is important to note that when 'selecting a VAC in another country worldwide' in the online form, you shouldn't select the UK. This will not provide you with the correct permissions to travel to the UK as a visitor for the visa process. 

To confirm if the VAC is open for passport return in your country, check with:

  • TLS contact if you’re in Europe, Africa and parts of the Middle East;
  • VFS global for all other countries.

I'm an EU/EEA/Swiss National, will I pay international fees?

Following the UK’s departure from the European Union, EU other EEA and Swiss nationals will no longer be eligible for home fees or Student Finance England support for courses starting in the academic year 2021/22. These students will therefore be changed the international rate of fee.

There are certain exceptions including those who meet residency requirements and have been granted settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement scheme; full details can be found on our Impact of Brexit on fee status page. You may also wish to read the guidance published by the Departement for Education and their set of FAQs.

Can I apply to the University without an English language test?

Yes, you can apply to the majority of courses at Manchester without an English language test. You may be considered for a conditional offer where you have English language (and/or academic qualification) conditions outstanding. English conditions would need to be met before you could be accepted on the course.

Which English language tests are accepted?

The University recognises a number of English language tests including TOEFL, Pearson PTE and IELTS. Information can be found on our English Language Requirement page.

The University offers 10-week, 6-week and 4-week pre-sessional courses which may be appropriate for some applicants. The length would depend on your current English language level and the level required for the degree programme you are applying to. Your Department will advise you on the length of course they'd like you to take where appropriate.

Further information can be found on the University Language Centre website.