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Making the final choice

Clearing advice for international students

International students can apply through Clearing in the same way as home students. Read our advice on eligibility, applying and funding your university journey in the UK.

Students in university


  1. What's Clearing?

  2. Can international students use Clearing?

  3. Using Clearing successfully

  4. How long is Clearing open for?

What's Clearing?

Clearing allows students who've got their results but haven't yet got a university place to find a course that suits them. You can use Clearing to find one of the thousands of unallocated places at UK universities.

Can international students use Clearing?

Yes, Clearing can be used by non-UK students. International students are eligible if they've:

  • Applied through UCAS at an earlier stage (including after 30 June)
  • Been rejected by their firm and insurance choices
  • Applied to a course before 30 June but weren't made an offer
  • Qualified academically for a firm or insurance offer but decided not to take it up
  • Paid the full £22 application fee to enter Clearing

Using Clearing successfully

Research courses before results day

To prepare for the possibility of having to use Clearing, find courses you can apply through Clearing on the UCAS website.

Find university contacts

To use Clearing, you have to contact universities by phone or email. Look for Clearing contact numbers on the UCAS website – there'll usually be a number for students calling from outside the UK.

Talk to universities or use online chat methods

Discuss your academic qualifications, English proficiency, visa status and your academic qualifications.

Consider your options

Universities can and will make informal offers over the phone. You can consider informal offers from a variety of universities and usually will have one or two days to decide which one you want to accept. Use this time to do more research.

Accept an offer

Once you've decided which university you want to go to, contact them, give them your UCAS Track ID number and password. This university will then appear on your UCAS Track as an offer you can accept. Remember, you can only enter one Clearing choice at a time, but if the university fails to confirm your place, you should pick another.

Once you have accepted an offer, you will need to obtain a visa if required. You'll need:

  • Evidence you have accepted an unconditional offer of a place on a course. If the university has a Tier 4 Sponsor Licence, (only in rare circumstances will they not have this status) they will issue a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) which you will need to supply
  • An English language test certificate if required
  • Evidence you can afford to study and live in the UK
  • Visa applications and confirmation of English Language tests may take time so make sure you are realistic about this. However, many countries have fast track Visa services via the UK Government, sometimes for an additional fee

How long is Clearing open for?

Clearing is open from 6 July – the same day as International Baccalaureate (IB) Results Day – until 23 October.

Is there a difference for international students in Clearing?

You should aim to go through this process as quickly and early as possible as there are some differences in applying via Clearing for international students.

You may have to apply for a student visa. This can take time if there are lots of people applying at the same time.

You might be required to take some tests to secure a place. This could be a language test or an alternative test. They may also ask to have a Skype interview with you. You will need to ask each university directly what they require as it will vary depending on where you are from and the university you’re going to.

If you are taking IBs, you will have an advantage over UK students when using Clearing. This is because most UK students do not receive exam results until August.

Get in now – the UK government has confirmed that fees and loans won’t change for those who come to university in England, Scotland or Wales until at least the 2020–21 academic year, and until 2019–20 in Northern Ireland.

Universities and UK students welcome EU students – they add to the mix, diversity and quality of the UK experience. Over 73% of young people in the UK, and 90% of UK university staff voted to Remain in the recent referendum. Good luck!

James Seymour, Director of Marketing and Student Recruitment at the University of Gloucestershire

If you still have questions about Clearing, take a look at our general Clearing guide, read answers to Frequently Asked Questions, or ask one of our experts.  

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  2. Clearing Landing page

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