The information below is for applicants applying for their Tier 4 visa outside the UK. If you are applying for a Tier 4 visa from within the UK, you will need to make this application via the University’s Immigration & International Student Advice (IISA) team. Please email the team so they can help you.
You can start the application for a Tier 4 visa 3 months before the start of your course. We can issue your Confirmation of Acceptance to Study (CAS) statement up to 6 months before your course start date but it cannot be used until the correct time. Applications submitted earlier will be refused.
The visa application can be broken down into 4 stages:
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You will need to provide the following documents with your visa application. Please use the IISA guidelines for Tier 4 applications to help you to make sure all your documents meet UKVI requirements.
A list of all UKVI fees, including overseas application costs can be found on the Gov.UK website.
You must be able to prove that you have enough money to pay your tuition fees and living costs during your studies. The amount you will need depends on the length of your course and the cost of your fees.
Proof must be in the form of original bank statements or a bank letter covering 28 days.
Your parents / legal guardians bank statements
If you are using your parents’ or legal guardians’ bank statements, you must also provide:
Translating a statement
You can use overseas statements, but if they are not in English, you must also send a fully certified translation by a professional translator.
This must include:
If you are using overseas currency, you must write on the document the closing balance in pounds sterling.
Use the official exchange rate on the OANDA website.
Make sure you also read the University information on Minimising risk of visa refusal-funding and finance.
You will need to include the original transcripts and certificates of any qualifications that are listed on your CAS statement that have been used to assess your suitability for the course.
If you need to prove your English Language level (as stated on your CAS) you would need to provide evidence related to that. Please see the University information about English Language Entry Requirements.
Some postgraduate courses within science, engineering or technology may require you to get an ATAS certificate before you can be issued a CAS.
Your offer letter from the University will state if you need to do this. If it is not listed on your offer you should not need one. Further information about how to apply for an ATAS.
The Immigration Health Surcharge is payable on all Tier 4 applications and allows the payer access to free National Health Services in the UK. The cost is £300 per year of leave granted.
Periods of less than 6 months are charged at half the annual rate (£150).
For further information on the IHS and to work out the fee that you can expect to pay, please see the IISA website.
You will have to pay the above fee as part of the online application process using a Mastercard or Visa debit or credit card- so make sure that the money is available for payment via that method.
The UKVI are very specific about what they will consider acceptable translations and will only accept fully certified translations by a professional translator.
The translation must contain:
Remember – to avoid any risk of refusal, you need to make sure that your translation contains all of the information listed above.
You can ask the Immigration & International Student Advice (IISA) team to check a translation before application if you are unsure if it meets all requirements.
Scan a clear copy of the document and email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Students from some countries will need to take a TB test before applying for their visa. You can find a full list of guidance and UKVI approved clinics on the Gov.UK website.
You must provide your current passport and any other previous passports.
You will find UKVI guidance on acceptable passport photos on the Gov.UK website.
Further information is available about UKVI Tier 4 Policy Guidance.
Some nationalities are considered to be low-risk and do not officially need to provide all these supporting documents with their application. However, we strongly recommend that you prepare and have all these documents available to you on the date of your application as the UKVI can ask to see them at any point during the visa application process.
Register an account on the UKVI website and then complete the online application form. Guidance is available as you complete the form.
Make sure you read each question carefully and check that your answers are correct.
The form will ask you from where you wish to collect your Biometric Resident Permit and will ask for an Alternative Location Code (ALC).
The University’s ALC code is: 2HE492.
Your visa card will be sent directly to the University for collection. This enables the University to help you should the card be delayed or missing.
Once you have completed your application you will be asked to pay online. This payment will be for both the visa and Immigration Health Surcharge fees.
If you are not able to make an online application in your home country, you will need to print out and complete a VAF2 application form. You need to take this completed form to your appointment in stage 3 below. You can find the form and further guidance on the Gov.uk website.
The UKVI undertake credibility interviews as part of the Tier 4 visa application process. This interview is to find out more about you, the University, your course, why you have chosen it and what you future plans are.
It is essential that you prepare for the interview. Questions can cover a wide variety of subjects.
We have prepared some examples of credibility interviews questions.
Please use these questions as a guideline and ensure that you are confident in answering similar questions before you attend your visa interviews.
Sometimes people are asked to attend a second interview. If you are asked - please contact the Immigration and International Student Advice (IISA) team so that they can offer you further guidance.
Once you have attended your appointment at the Visa Application Centre, you will be given confirmation of attendance and receive details of where to send your documents. Sometimes you may not have to send your documents as copies were made during your appointment.
A standard application outside the UK usually takes around 3 weeks to process- although this is sometimes longer at peak times (September/October). You can check the current visa processing time for your country on the Gov.UK website.
Some countries also offer a Priority Visa Application Service that takes around 3-5 days. To see whether this service will be available to you, please check the information on the individual Visa Application Centres above.
You will receive your visa in the form of a vignette (or sticker) in your passport.
If your length of leave is longer than 6 months, this vignette will just cover you to travel to the UK and then you will be expected to collect your Biometric Resident Permit (BRP- visa card) on arrival in the UK.
If you put the Alternative Location Code (ALC 2HE492) in your application form, you will collect your BRP directly from the University.
If you did not use the code, you will collect from a local Post Office. Further information on the Biometric Resident Permit collection process can be found here.
Make sure you check your visa vignette to make sure your name, date of birth and other details are correct and that it states you are . If not, you should contact the Visa Application Centre immediately so that they can correct this for you.
Please scan a copy of your new visa to the University’s Enquiries & Admissions team so that they can attach it to your record and make sure you familiarise yourself with the Tier 4: Student Responsibilities and University Reporting Duties.
It is important that you let the University’sEnquiries & Admissions team know as soon as possible if you have a visa refusal. Please scan all refusal letters over so that we can look at the refusal for you.
If we agree that an evidenced mistake has been made, you will be referred to the IISA team so that they can support you in making an Administrative Review application.