Visa Application Tips from GLOCAL VI

In our last article, individual students in the program shared their different experiences finding accommodation in both Glasgow (Mobility 1) and Barcelona/Uppsala (Mobility 2). In GLOCAL, one of the most important things for most students to do in addition to finding an apartment is to apply for a visa! After interviewing students from different countries, we learned that some students need to apply for a separate visa for their first and second mobility, while others may be able to study visa-free, dependent of their individual future plans (working and living purposes). The restrictions on short-term and long-term staying in the UK and European countries by nationality status, and the period of stay.

Looking back at their visa application experiences, everyone has a lot to say. We will share with you the most sincere tips from our cohort students, so that you can have a general understanding of the application process before everything starts. And we hope that everyone’s visa application will be very successful!

Tips from GLOCALs who went from Glasgow → Barcelona

So many documents are needed for Spanish Visa, pls prepare for it as early as possible

Sensen (China) 

Apply as soon as possible!

Kwamnandi (South Africa) 

I applied for the 2-year Tier 4 visa for the stay in the UK and the short-term Spanish study visa (~180days). I finished all the visa application in Taiwan so that I did not need to travel and worry about it while studying in Glasgow.

I submitted the UK visa application with all my documents on 11/7, got an appointment on 14/7, and received the result on 31/7. For the Spanish one, I applied on 2/8 and got it on 10/8.

Remember to upload all the required documents before going to the UK visa appointment to avoid extra charge! Every additional service costs, even just a scan.                                    

 — Jennifer (Taiwan) 

In general, the Spanish visa was more difficult to get in terms of amount of documents, availability of information and simplicity of procedures. My advice would be, to be patient and organized, and start the process as soon as you can.

Miyuki (Peru) 

  • If you have time and do not intend to go back to the UK after Glasgow semester, apply for both the UK visitor’s visa and Spanish/Swedish visa before the start of the program to save some money! UK student visa requires you to pay for two-year health insurance even though you are only staying for one semester, and this can be quite costly!
  • Read the visa requirements carefully a few months beforehand, especially the financial proof part. They have very specific requirements.
  • For the UK visa, you need to go through an application center, not through the embassy. You must send an online application on the UK immigration website, and then make an appointment at the center. You cannot just show up at the center with your documents.

Thao (Vietnam)

Tips from GLOCALs who went from Glasgow → Uppsala ​

For track E and F students, it is certainly worth it to apply the Sweden 2 years long-term visa so that you don’t have to reapply for German and Netherlands visa.  The coordinator from Uppsala universitet really keeps us in good hands, she will reply to any questions within an hour, and most of the processes for the Swedish visa will be online. For the Biometrics, you have to go to the Sweden embassy in London, but you can also see this as a trip to London. After collecting the Biometrics, you pay 8 GBP for them to send the residence permit card to the address you applied from once the visa got approved. Overall, I will say the process isn’t that hard and save you a lot of problems for next year.

 — Penny (Taiwan) 

For those of you going to track E, F or G who are from Canada or the US it’s important to know that if you do not intend to work while in Glasgow or live in the UK following graduation you can save a lot of money by not applying for a UK short stay visa! As a Canadian or United States citizen, you have the right to stay in the UK as a tourist for up to 6 months, which covers the entire semester. I wish I knew this earlier because I started the process for applying for the UK short stay visa and even paid the amount. Luckily, by the time I realized that I didn’t need a visa, I was able to ask for a refund and cancel my application. While this was a relief, it also took me four months to get my money back (and it’s a lot!) So don’t make my mistake! Besides that the Swedish residence permit is easy and covers you for the rest of the program.

— McKim (Canada)

1. Once you decide to become a glocal, apply for UK visa as quick as possible

2.prepare all documents you need for application (example: tuberculosis documents ect )

3. Study visa in UK is about 2 years, so it cost a lot. But good thing is if you have any issues you can go back to UK and handle it.

4. You can apply for an EU student visa when you’ve arrived to the UK. It’s better to apply it as early as you can once you get the Offer letter from Uppsala University. (We need to go to London Embassy to apply for study visa).You can also try to apply for a travel visa to enter but sometimes there are not enough time slots or you can get be rejected. This would be a bad situation especially if your house contract in Glasgow expires!!!!!!!!!

5. Even in the worst case scenario (like the courses in Uppsala start and you are stranded in UK) do not worry too much about it. Uppsala’s school coordinator will help keep in touch with the immigration department and give you really useful information.(Sweet tip for Uppsala track students, you can trust Sarah, she is the best)

In my situation, I had a very bad time. My (tourist) application was denied and I was stranded in UK with an expired housing contract and lost my credit card. From this experience, all I can say is have a plan B and C. Don’t be shy, ask previous students and your coordinator, they always can give you good suggestions.

For unlucky Chinese students who need all kinds of visa to enter UK and EU countries, I’m sharing some information in Red Book(小红书), when you search key words “glocal” you can find it. Feel free to ask me any questions!

— Lily (China)