Entry clearance visa

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The immigration system in the UK is complex and constantly changing, so applying for a visa to come to the UK can be confusing and stressful.

You will need to give yourself plenty of time to gather all the right documents you need in order to complete all the forms and make an application.

 

Tier 4 (General) student visa

If your course lasts more than six months then you will probably need to apply for a student visa under the Tier 4 (General) category of the points-based system.

You will be given leave to remain in the UK to complete your studies and receive your results. You must have an unconditional offer on a full-time course in order to apply for a Tier 4 (General) student visa.

For more detailed information please see our How to Guide Applying for Entry Clearance as a Tier 4 student.

To apply for a Tier 4 visa from outside of the UK you will need to have read and collected the following documents:

  1. Tier 4 Policy Guidance - this is the Home Office’s official guidance. You can find this on the Home Office website.
  2. Completed online application form (If you are a national of North Korea then you will need to complete the paper-based form).
  3. Current application fee in local currency: approximately £348. Some Visa Application Centres (VACs) may also charge an additional 'User pays fee'.
  4. Immigration health surcharge (IHS) reference number - If you are coming to study for more than 6 months you be required to pay a charge of £300 a year. The amount you are required to pay will be calculated automatically according to the amount of time your visa will be valid for. You must pay this when you make your visa application.  If you are not required to make a payment you are still required to following the instructions to receive an IHS reference number.
  5. Your current passport and visa and any old passports/visas used to travel to the UK.
  6. Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) number – this is a virtual document issued by LSBU which contains information about you and your course of study
  7. Evidence of money: You will need to show that you can pay any remaining tuition fees for the first year of your course and that you have enough money for living costs. For further detailed information about this and what type of financial documents are acceptable please refer to our How To guide Your Finances .
  8. Evidence used to obtain your offer at the University (e.g. academic qualifications). The qualifications you need to submit will be listed on your CAS document (with official translations if they are not in English).
  9. If you have an official financial sponsor (e.g. government) you will need to include a letter from them.
  10. Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) Clearance Certificate (if applicable) - please see our How to Guide Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) for more information.
  11. Medical certificate confirming you have undergone screening for tuberculosis (if applicable).  This is a requirement for selected countries.  See the Home Office website for a list of countries and approved testing centres.

For more detailed information please see our How to Guide Applying for Entry Clearance as a Tier 4 student or contact the immigration and International Student Advice Team.

Credibility interviews

If you are applying for a Tier 4 visa you may now be asked to have an interview with the Home Office to assess whether you are a 'genuine student' and whether your English language ability meets the required standard. The Home Office intends to interview most students applying for a Tier 4 student visa for entry clearance applications overseas. Once you have applied for your Tier 4 visa, you may be sent an email asking you to attend an interview as part of the application process. Please check your email account regularly – if you do not attend your interview your application is likely to be automatically refused.

For more information about this, please read our guidance on Credibility interviews or feel free to contact us.

 

Short-term student visa

If your course lasts six months or less then you will probably need to come to the UK as a 'short-term student'.  You must leave the UK on or before the date that your immigration permission ends and you are not eligible to make a further visa application in the UK to switch to another type of visa. You will also not be allowed to work or take a work placement during your studies.

If you are a visa national then you must apply for this visa before you come to the UK. For more information about this please visit the Home Office website.

For more detailed information please see our How to Guide Applying for a Short-term study visa.

You will need:

  1. Short-term study visa section on the Home Office website (Please pay close attention to Eligibility and Documents you must provide)
  2. Visitor visa: guide to supporting documents.
  3. Completed online application form (If you are a national of North Korea then you will need to complete the paper-based form).
  4. Current application fee in local currency: approximately £97.
  5. One passport-sized colour photograph. This must meet the requirements of the Home Office Photograph Guidance.
  6. Evidence of your unconditional offer to study in the UK e.g. admissions letter or Certificate of Unconditional Acceptance.
  7. Evidence of previous qualifications (certificates/transcripts) (if applicable - they will be listed on your offer letter).
  8. Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) Clearance Certificate (if applicable) - please see our How to Guide Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) for more information.
  9. Details of where you intend to stay and your travel plans - you shouldn’t pay for accommodation or travel until you get your visa.
  10. Evidence that you have enough money to support yourself while you are in the UK. For further detailed information about this and what type of financial documents are acceptable please refer to our How To guide Applying for a Short-term study visa.

For more detailed information please see our How to Guide Applying for a Short-term study visa you may have to provide extra documentation to support your application, please contact out Immigration and International Student Advice team for guidance about this application.

 

Further Information

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