skip to content

International Students

 

Find information on how to apply to be a visiting student at Cambridge at Types of Study.

Students from outside the EEA or Switzerland will need to ensure they have the correct immigration permission for an approved visiting period at the University.

Students from within the EEA and Switzerland will need to ensure they have the correct immigration permission for an approved visiting period if they are coming to the UK on or after 1 January 2021. EEA and Swiss students moving to the UK to start full-time studies prior to this date will not require a visa and can apply for the EU Settlement Scheme.

Do not assume that you can study without a visa, even if you are allowed to visit the UK for a short period. Study is not permitted as a visitor (tourist) or business visitor in the UK.

If you believe you already hold immigration permission which will allow you to study at Cambridge as a visitor, please provide evidence of this to the International Student Office who will confirm. If your course requires ATAS clearance, you will need to obtain this clearance before starting your course on your current visa.

Visiting for more than 6 months

If you intend to visit the University of Cambridge for a study period of greater than six months and have been accepted by a Faculty or Department, the appropriate visa is under the student route. The University holds a student sponsor licence which allows it to sponsor eligible students for a student visa. For visa sponsorship, the visit to Cambridge must be for the purpose of study or research that is part of your overseas qualification. This qualification must be at the same level as, or above, a UK degree. If you are not a registered student elsewhere then visa sponsorship cannot be provided.

Certain courses will require you to obtain Academic Technology Approval Scheme clearance from the FCO before a CAS can be issued for your student visa application. The requirement for ATAS clearance is determined by the JACS code of the course. Students who hold an EEA nationality or one of the following nationalities are exempt from this requirement: Australia, Canada, New Zealand, USA, Singapore, Japan, South Korea. An ATAS application has a processing time of 20 working days and a CAS cannot be issued until the FCO have issued your certificate. Departmental staff intending to host visiting students can find further guidance on the International Student Office's ATAS process web pages.

Visiting for six months or less

If you are coming to Cambridge for less than six months, then the appropriate immigration route is entry to the UK under short-term study.

Where the period as a visiting student is to undertake a short period of research at Cambridge, this must be as part of your degree course at your home institution to meet the immigration requirements. A letter from the home institution confirming that the study at Cambridge is part of, or relevant to, your course overseas is required.

Once accepted as a visiting student for a period under six months, the host Faculty or Department will provide a letter of support. Please note this is different to the acceptance letter you may receive from your supervisor or Department at Cambridge. Visiting students undertaking postgraduate-level research in certain science and technology subjects will require an ATAS (Academic Technology Approval Scheme) clearance certificate to support either their visa application, if you are required to apply for the short-term study visa in advance of arriving in the UK, or entry to the UK at immigration control. You will be informed as part of your acceptance as a visiting student if this applies to you. The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) manages ATAS. You must apply online to the FCO and applications are normally decided within 20 days. You will be sent the ATAS certificate via email and will need to print it out to support your visa application, or carry in your hand-luggage to show on entry to the UK. Students who hold an EEA nationality or one of the following nationalities are exempt from this requirement: Australia, Canada, New Zealand, USA, Singapore, Japan, South Korea.

Please note that an immigration status as a standard visitor / tourist does not permit the holder to enter the UK for study purposes.