This section contains information on how to apply for a visa from overseas.
Once you have fulfilled all the outstanding conditions of your offer and your tuition fee deposit payment has been confirmed you will be issued with a Confirmation of Acceptance for Study certificate (CAS) which includes your CAS number and the sponsor licence number that you will need when completing your Tier 4 General Student Visa Application Form. You will receive an email containing your personal details and the details on your course. Please check the details in the email carefully. This is the information that is contained in your CAS and it is important that it is accurate. Please email email@example.com to report any discrepancies or to confirm the details are correct.
Your visa can be refused if the details are incorrect. It is your responsibility to check the details on your CAS.
Ensure you fill the correct visa application form. You should complete the latest version of the Application Form VAF9, which can be downloaded from the UKBA website
Alternatively you may be able to apply online
All applicants must also complete and submit the relevant version of Appendix 8 of the form.
Use the information contained in your CAS Statement and input it into the corresponding sections of the PBS Appendix 8 General Student Self-Assessment Form. There is no need to submit your CAS Statement with your visa application – it is for your information.
The CAS statement lists the supporting ACADEMIC documents that we have used to assess your application. Please note that the supporting documents may vary for each student, so make sure you have read the information on your CAS certificate carefully. You must submit the originals of all these documents along with your passport, and the application fee when you are making your Tier 4 application. If the documents are not in English an official translation is required, including details of the translation company so they can be verified. To check that you have the correct format of supporting documents, read the UK Border Agency's Guide to Supporting Documents.
You need all the correct documents. If you do not include the correct documents with the visa application your visa will be refused.
If you are a self-sponsored student you will need to prove that you have had your first year's tuition fees (less any deposit already paid) and maintenance. From 6th April 2012 the amount of maintenance you need to show is increasing to £800 per month for students (£7,200) and £450 per month for dependants (£4,050).
You must submit bank statements to show that you have had the required funds in your bank account for 28 consecutive days. The last transaction must show the required funds and must be in the last month before making the application. If the balance in your account falls below the required level at any point during the 28 days your application will be refused.
The money must be shown in your bank account, a joint bank account (you and another person) or your parent's bank account. It is advisable to keep the money in one bank account, and not to move it between accounts during the 28 day period. You can use more than one bank account to show that you meet the maintenance requirements but you must keep the funds in each account for 28 consecutive days.
If you want to use your parents' bank statements you need to provide additional documents such as your original birth certificate, a letter of consent from your parents, and they will have to sign the Tier 4 form. If you want to use a joint account, the other account holder must sign the Tier 4 form.
The bank statements must be original paper statements or statements printed in the bank. If you use online statements they must have an official stamp from the bank on each page and must include the same information as an original statement.
Remember that you can use overseas accounts as long as the balance is converted into pounds sterling using the OANDA currency conversion website.
There are other ways to show money, including using a loan, details are available in the Tier 4 Policy Guidance.
You need to make sure you have the correct finance in place. This is the most common reason for visa refusals. If you have insufficient funds or the incorrect financial documents with the visa application your visa will be refused
If the UKBA consider that you are 'low risk', you will not normally need to submit supporting documents (other than the application form, original and valid passport, photograph and CAS number). The PBS guidance, explains how a Tier 4 student qualifies for this arrangement. To be considered 'low risk', you must be sponsored by a Highly Trusted Sponsor, and you must already be in the UK ,or applying for a Tier 4 visa in your country of nationality.
From 4 July 2011, only new students sponsored by a higher education institution on a course at NQF level 7 or above lasting 12 months or more can bring their dependants into the UK
If you would like to bring your family with you when you come to the UK to study, it is better for you all to apply at the same time as your application is more likely to be successful. For full details on bringing dependants into the country see the UKBA website
If you are going to start certain postgraduate research courses you will have to apply for an ATAS Certificate from the UK. Information about ATAS Certificates and the application procedure.
Please remember that it is your responsibility to apply for and receive your visa in time to start your course. The University recommends that you apply for your visa three months before the start of your course. Visa offices are extremely busy in July and August, and in December and January, so it is important to give yourself plenty of time.