This information has been put together to offer an introduction to the visa requirements where you will be studying. Please be aware that visa regulations can change at any point and it is your responsibility to make appropriate checks. It is also strongly advised that you make contact with your exchange institution as they could have specific guidance or requirements that you may find helpful.

Australia

The Australian website is very clear and contains all required information regarding financial requirements, health insurance and application process. 

  • Everyone needs a visa to study in Australia. For most of our students the most appropriate visa will be the Higher Education Sector Visa (subclass 573) (Bachelor Degree with award).
  • You will need a code from your electronic confirmation of enrolment to apply.  This will be sent to you by your university once you have accepted your place.
  • You must apply within four months of course start date
  • You must have Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) and the policy must cover the full period of your visa.

Contact details

Australian High Commission, Strand, London, WC2B 4LA
Tel: 020 7379 4334
Fax: 020 7240 5333

Canada
  • All students studying over 6 months require a: study permit
  • Depending where you are from you may also require a temporary residence visa to enter Canada.  A list of countries and their requirements are provided by the Canadian Government.
  • Courses less than six months – permit is strongly advised but not required. You will need other documents.
  • You will need to identify the institution by its designated learning institution number on the application form. This number can be found on the CIC website.
  • Some institutions will also require you to purchase specific health insurance.  This should be checked with the institutions in advance. To apply for a study permit you will normally need to have a medical exam.  You can find a list of approved physicians on their website (please note UK countries are listed as Scotland, England etc. and not UK)
  • Application can be made online (if you have access to a scanner and camera) or on a paper application form which can be downloaded on the Canadian Immigration and Citizenship website.
  • Apply as soon as you receive your letter of acceptance. The times needed to process your application may vary among visa offices and can take a number of months.
  • You can also find out where to submit your application by checking the website of your nearest visa office. 

Contact details

VFS Global, Canada Visa Application Centre, The Battleship Building, 179 Harrow Road, London, W2 6NB
Tel: +44 (0) 203 6086 880

Chile

Unfortunately there is a lack of available information regarding student visa applications.  It is advised that you contact your local embassy for information in advance of making your application.

  • Applicants should apply for a visa no less than 20 working days in advance.
  • Applications for a visa should be made at the General Consulate or Consulate closest to, or in, your place of residence. A list of embassies is provided.
  • Student visas are valid for up to one year.
  • You will need your original, signed passport valid for six months beyond stay, with at least two blank visa pages available for visa stamp(s)
  • A list of further documents required can be found here

Contact details

Embassy of Chile in England (UK), 37-41 Old Queen Street, London, SW1H 9JA
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7222 2361
Fax: +44 (0) 20 7222 0861

China

From a number of countries, applications are to be made at the Chinese Visa Application Service Centre (CVASC).  You can find a list of these, information, and the application form on their website.

Student (X1) Visa required for study more than six months
Student (X2) Visa required for study less than 6 months

  • You are advised to apply at least one month in advance but no earlier than three months.
  • Must have the original and photocopy of the approved Foreign Student Visa Application Form (JW201 or JW202) issued by relevant Chinese government unit, and the admission notice from the Chinese school
  • Passport must have at least six months validity and one blank page
  • Submit application in person (postal applications not excepted)
  • Holders of an X1-Visa must apply for a residence permit from the immigration department of the local public security authority in the place intended to stay within 30 days of entry to China.

Contact details

Chinese Visa Application Centre, 2nd Floor, Exchange Tower, 19 Canning Street, City of Edinburgh, EH3 8EG
Tel: 0131 2292519
Fax: 0131 2291598

Italy
  • Find out about visa requirements for Italy and where to apply.
  • In most cases you will be asked to complete an application form and take it to your nearest embassy where the application will be processed.
  • You should apply for the visa within the three months prior to travel.
  • Your passport must be valid for at least three months after visa expiry date.
  • Accommodation arrangements must be in place as well as financial requirements to show you have sufficient funds for the duration of your stay.

Contact details

Italian Consulate General, 32 Melville Street, Edinburgh, EH3 7HA
Tel: +44 (0)131 2263631
Fax: +44 (0)131 2266260

Spain
  • Unfortunately there is a lack of available information regarding student visa applications. It is advised that you contact your local embassy for information in advance of making your application.
  • If staying less than 90 days, nationals from a number of countries do not require a student visa.
  • Valid passport for the full period of study required.
  • When the duration of the authorized stay exceeds six months, foreign citizens holding a visa to study, must apply for the foreign student identity card at the corresponding foreigners office or police station.
  • Visa application can be made up to three months before the date of travel.

Contact details

Consulate of Spain, 63 North Castle Street, Edinburgh, EH2 3LJ
Tel: 0131 220 1843
Fax: 0131 226 4568

Switzerland

Contact details

Joint Visa Application Centre, The Edinburgh Office, 18 Forth Street, Edinburgh, EH1 3LH
Tel: 02032143739

USA
  • All students should apply for a study visa (J1 exchange visa for university or college study or an F1 student visa – you can check with the institution which one is most suitable).
  • When you are accepted by the US school you plan to attend, you will be enrolled in the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS). You must pay the SEVIS I-901 Fee and obtain a SEVIS code.
  • The US school will provide you with a Form I-20 or a DS-219 form which is a paper record of the information that they have put into the SEVIS system. You should present this to the consular officer when you attend your visa interview.
  • For a J1 visa you will receive a DS-2019 form from your institution.
  • For a F1 visa you will receive a I-20 form from your institution.
  • Student visas can be issued up to 120 days in advance of your course of study start date. However, you will not be allowed to enter the United States earlier than 30 days before your start date.
  • Online Non-immigrant Visa Application, Form DS-160 and upload photos to correct format then attend an interview at embassy (Edinburgh do not process visas – closest is London)
  • Interview exemptions for some UK nationals/residents.

Contact details

Consulate General of United States, U.S. Consulate General, 3 Regent Terrace, Edinburgh, EH7 5BW
Tel: +44 (0)131 556 8315
Fax: +44 (0)131 557 6023