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Applying for a Tier 4 visa

Preparing to apply
Applying from abroad
Applying in the UK

Applying for a visa may seem complicated. That’s why we have created this section to help you prepare for your visa application. We highly recommend you read through these pages before submitting your visa application.

You will need to apply for a Tier 4 (General) student visa if:

  • You are coming to study on the Study Abroad or Exchange Programme, and will be here for more than six months, or the programme contains a work placement element; OR
  • You are coming to study in the UK for more than six months on a Bachelors, Masters or Research degree

When you apply for a Tier 4 (General) Student visa, you will need to supply original documentation as outlined in our downloadable Tier 4 Visa Checklist. Copies cannot be accepted and you should have these documents ready prior to making your application.

Low risk nationals

The UKVI considers some nationalities as 'low risk'. You can find the list of ‘low risk’ nationalities on the UKVI website. Please note, you only qualify as 'low risk' if you are making an application in your home country.
If you are a low risk national you do not need to send original points-scoring evidence (financial and educational documents) with your visa application.

You will need to sign a declaration on the Tier 4 (General) Student visa application form to state that you have the necessary evidence available to you. Even if you are a low risk national, you are still required to obtain points-scoring evidence as the UKVI can request it as part of their decision process and they will refuse your application if you are unable to provide it within their specified timeframe.

You will still have to send your original passport, photographs and other relevant documents.

Good to know

The following frequently used terms will help you to understand the terminology used in the application process:

UKVI - UK Visas and Immigration

Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) - This is a unique reference number generated for you after details about you and your course have been given to the UKVI. You need will need this CAS number to apply for entry clearance or an extension to your visa.

Entry Clearance - This is the term used for permission to enter the UK.

Leave to enter – This is permission to enter the UK which is granted by an immigration officer at a port of entry (the maximum leave granted is six months).

Entry Clearance Officer (ECO) - Is the member of staff working at the British diplomatic post overseas who is responsible for granting entry clearance.

Leave to remain - This is permission to extend your stay longer in the UK following the initial period of time granted with the entry clearance.

Visa national - Is someone who must have entry clearance before travelling to and entering the UK for any purpose.

VAC - Visa Application Centre

Please note, whilst we try to ensure the accuracy of the information and advice given, the requirements relating to visas are complex and change frequently. You should therefore check the requirements which apply to you on the UKVI website. The Compliance Officer at Liverpool Hope University cannot therefore accept responsibility for any inaccuracy or error in its information or advice.

If you have accepted an unconditional offer to study at Liverpool Hope and have received your Confirmation of Acceptance to Study (CAS) from us, we will have checked that you have the necessary documents and so you should be in a position to make your visa application.

When should I apply?

You can make an application up to 3 months before your course starts. The time it takes to process a visa application can vary depending on the time of year, and you can find visa processing times on the UKVI website. If your CAS is issued less than 3 weeks before the start date of your course, we recommend that you use the priority application service, to ensure that you have your visa in time to arrive before the start of your course.

How do I make the application?

You need to complete the online visa application form.

After you have submitted your online application, you will need to make an appointment at the Visa Application Centre (VAC) nominated on your application. At this appointment, you provide your biometric information (fingerprints and a digital photograph) and submit your printed application form and supporting documents.

After attending this appointment, you may receive an email from the UKVI asking you at attend an interview. You will be asked further questions about why you want to study your course at Liverpool Hope and why you chose this University. You may also be asked questions about information contained in your financial documentation. You must attend this interview as otherwise your application will be refused.

How much does it cost to apply outside the UK?

The standard visa application fee is £348 when you apply outside the UK. You will also need to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge of £200 per 12 months of stay after you pay the visa application fee.

How do I apply if I live in North Korea?

You can’t apply online if you’re living in North Korea. To apply from North Korea you must download the application form and guidance - read the guidance if you need help filling in the form. Read the instructions to find out where to take your completed form.

My application was successful - what happens next?

If your application is successful the UKVI will notify you, and will place a 30 day entry vignette in your passport. Please send a scanned copy of this vignette to internationaladmission@hope.ac.uk. You must travel to the UK during the validity of the vignette. You will also receive a letter confirming that your Tier 4 visa has been granted and where and when you need to collect your ‘Biometric Residence Permit (BRP)’.

Please check that the following information on your vignette, and accompanying letter are correct:

  • Your name
  • Your sex
  • That you are a Tier 4 (General) Student
  • The Sponsor Licence Number (P2HPX4F0X)
  • Start and end dates of your course
  • Work conditions
  • The condition to register with the police

If there are any errors please let us know, and notify the UKVI immediately.

What is a BRP card?

This is a biometric residence permit that is evidence of your immigration permission while you are in the UK. Please collect your BRP card as soon as possible; if you do not collect it within 10 days of arriving in the UK you may be fined and your visa may be cancelled.

My application was refused – what happens next?

If your visa application is refused you will receive a Refusal Notice, explaining the reasons why. Please send a scanned copy of the Refusal Notice to internationaladmission@hope.ac.uk. We will assess the refusal of your visa application and advise you further. Please note, a CAS can only be used once; if your visa application is refused you cannot use the same to make a new application. Please see our Visa Errors page, and you can also refer to UKCISA for further guidance.

If you are already in the UK, you may be able to make a Tier 4 application if you have a visa that allows you to extend, or switch into Tier 4. You can find further guidance on whether you are eligible to apply in the UK on the UKCISA website.

You cannot apply to extend your stay in the UK if you have previously overstayed or wish to switch to a course which is at the same/lower level than your current studies.

How much does it cost to apply in the UK?

The current fees for an application made in the UK if £475.

I am already in the UK on a Tier 4 visa. Do I need to return home to apply for a visa for a new course?

If you are already in the UK on a Tier 4 visa, and wish to start a new course at Liverpool Hope, the start date of your new course must be no more than 28 days after the end of your current visa. If so, you can apply in the UK. If the start date is later, you will need to leave the UK and apply from your home country.

How do I get a CAS?

Please refer to Tier 4 (General) Student Visa Guidance for further information on how to get a CAS and the documentation that you will need to provide with your visa application.

Can I extend my Tier 4 visa to complete my current studies at Liverpool Hope?

We will contact you when your current visa expiry date is approaching to advise further on what steps you need to take. Please contact internationaladmission@hope.ac.uk if you have any queries.

When should I apply?

You should start to prepare your visa application approximately 3 months before your current visa expiry date.

How do I apply?

You can find further guidance on how to apply on the UKVI website.

What happens next?

If your application is successful, your documents will be returned to you by post within around 8 weeks if you use the standard service. Your passport and supporting documents should arrive first, then you should receive your Biometric Residence Permit around one week later. If you use the Priority or Premium application service you will receive the documents much sooner.

If your visa application is refused you will receive a Refusal Notice, explaining the reasons why. Please send a scanned copy of the Refusal Notice to internationaladmission@hope.ac.uk. We will assess the refusal of your visa application and advise you further. Please note, a CAS can only be used once; if your visa application is refused you cannot use the same to make a new application.