Differentiation arrangements

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Certain countries have been classified by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) as being subject to the 'differentiation arrangements'.  This means applicants from these countries are subject to different documentary requirements when applying for a Student visa. These countries are also sometimes referred to as 'low risk' countries.

Students who are eligible for the differentiation arrangements are usually required to submit less documentary evidence than students from other countries. For example, you may not have to supply financial evidence with your application.

UKVI may still ask to see some of your supporting evidence after your application has been submitted - they carry out spot checks! If you are unable to provide the required documents you will be deemed to have made a false declaration. If this happens your visa application will be refused and you could be barred from making future visa applications to the UK. Therefore you are still recommended to prepare your documents and have them available in case you need them.

Have evidence prepared

All applicants for Student visas must complete a declaration as part of the application to confirm they have available all the necessary evidence to support their application. Although low risk nationals may not be required to submit all of that evidence with their application, they still need to have it prepared.

Eligible countries

A full list of the countries eligible for the differential evidence requirements for the purpose of Student visa applications is provided on the UK Government website:

View eligible countries

From 1 January 2021 this includes nationals of the EU, EEA and Switzerland.

Students with dual nationality

If you have dual / multiple nationalities and only one of your nationalities is listed, the differentiation arrangements can still be applicable to you, but you must apply under the differentiated nationality, with the passport issued by that country.

Further information

UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) regularly makes amendments to the guidance. It is essential that you check the latest requirements of the UKVI Student visa guidance before submitting an application. While the information on these pages has been provided in good faith and every effort is made to keep this website up-to-date, the RCM accepts no legal responsibility for its accuracy.

UKVI Student visa guidance

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