UK BORDER AGENCY:

 

  • Visit the UK Border Agency online for all information at:http://www.ukvisas.gov.uk/en/howtoapply/infs/inf5students. On this website can be found answers to every question the student may have including the rules governing definition of a “visa national”, relatives accompanying them, work permits, etc.
  • Once the visa letter (letter of offer) from the sponsoring college/university is received, complete visa application form VAF3. Applications can be submitted online or to the nearest UK Embassy, High Commission or Consulate.
  • The following will be needed to accompany visa applications:
    • Passport or travel document.
    • A recent passport-sized (45mm x 35mm), colour photograph of yourself. This should be:
      1. taken against a light-coloured background
      2. clear and of good quality, and not framed or backed
      3. printed on normal photographic paper, and
      4. full face and without sunglasses, hat or other head covering unless you wear this for cultural or religious reasons (but the face must not be covered).
    • The visa fee. This cannot be refunded and you must normally pay it in the local currency of the country where you are applying.
    • Supporting documents relevant to the application.
  • A medical exam is not normally required as part of the visa approval process. However, students applying from certain countries for visas longer than six months may need to undertake health screening for TB, see http://www.ukvisas.gov.uk/en/howtoapply/tbscreening/ for more information.

ON ARRIVAL IN THE UK:

 

  • Student can request to be met at the airport, however, arrangements will normally be coordinated by the college/university.
  • The student is required to adhere to the college/university rules and regulations at all times and comply with attendance requirements in order to maintain student status. Failure to do so may result in deportation to the student’s country of origin.

visa_uk

Changes to student immigration rules

From 4 July 2011, some new immigration rules will affect Tier 4 (General), Tier 4 (Child), PBS (Dependant) applications made on or after that date. We are updating our website to include full details of these changes. Meanwhile, here are the most significant changes that will affect you if you apply on or after 4 July 2011, with some possible action points if you are eligible to apply before this date.

These new rules relate to applications made on or after 4 July 2011. They do not impose any additional restrictions or conditions on existing Tier 4 leave or Tier 4 Dependant leave.

Working during your studies

You will be entitled to work only if you study at either a Higher Education institution or a publicly funded Further Education college. If you are studying at a different type of institution, for example a private Further Education college, and you want to have the option to work, you will need to apply for immigration permission before 4 July 2011, if you are eligible to do so.

Your family’s immigration

You can bring or keep dependants in the UK if:

  • you are studying a postgraduate course that lasts 12 months or longer, at a Higher Education institution; or
  • you are a Government-sponsored student on a course that lasts 6 months or longer; or
  • you are applying for immigration permission to study a course of six months or more, your dependant(s) is applying with you, and within 3 months of the date of your application you had (or were last granted) immigration permission under Tier 4 or as a student
    If you do not come under any of these three definitions, and you wish to bring or keep someone in the UK as your Tier 4 dependant, you will need to apply for immigration permission before 4 July 2011, if you are eligible to do so.

    Evidence of maintenance for Tier 4 applications

    From 4 July 2011, Tier 4 application forms will include a formal declaration that maintenance funds are genuinely available to you to pay for living and studying in the UK.

    Students from certain countries that the UK Border Agency has defined as “low risk”, who are applying in their country of nationality or in the UK for permission to study with a Highly Trusted Sponsor, will normally need to provide no further formal evidence of maintenance. These countries are listed at paragraph 12 in the Tier 4 Policy Guidance. If you are a national of a “low risk” country, the UK Border Agency still has the right to request further evidence of your maintenance. If they do request the evidence, and you do not provide it, your application will be refused.

    The UK Border Agency has clarified that the date of the closing balance on any financial statement used in a Tier 4 application will be counted as the 28th day of the 28-day period for which the funds must have been held. They have also clarified that this day must be no more than 31 days before the date of application.

    The UK Border Agency says it intends to publish on its website a list of banks and other financial institutions whose statements they will not consider as evidence in Tier 4 applications, but on 16 June 2011 the list was not yet available.

    Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) clearance

    The list of courses for which students must receive ATAS clearance has been extended for courses commencing on or after 1 January 2012. If your course is on the extended list, your Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) will include confirmation that you need ATAS clearance.

    Academic progress

    From 4 July 2011, the Immigration Rules specify that a Tier 4 sponsor can normally only issue a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) for a course that represents “academic progress from previous study undertaken”, or which confirms that the new course complements or enhances your previous study in the UK. There are some specific exceptions, including for students who are applying for more time to re-sit an examination or repeat a module.
    If you are applying for immigration permission to study a course that does not represent academic progression from previous study that you undertook with Tier 4 or student leave, either you will need to obtain your CAS on or before 3 July, or your Tier 4 sponsor will need to confirm in the CAS that the course complements or enhances your previous study.

    UK Border Agency advice about Libya and other countries affected by world events

    The UK Border Agency has provided some brief advice about what you should do if your immigration permission to be in the UK is coming to an end but you cannot leave and return safely to your country.

    Changes to tuition fees and Student Support regulations in England

    If you have applied for asylum and you have been granted Discretionary Leave, you will no longer be eligible for ‘home’ fees and Student Support for a higher education course in England. This is because the Government has restricted eligibility to those with Humanitarian Protection and their family members. This change came into effect on 9 February.
    Note that this change will not affect you if:

  • you are studying in Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland or you apply for Student Support in one of those countries
  • you are studying in England but you have already started your course or your course will start before 1 April 2011
  • you applied for Student Support before 9 February
  • you are taking a further education course in England.
    If you have queries about this change and how it might affect you, you should talk to your college or university. If this is not possible, you can call our advice line for students.

 

 

 

INFORMATION ON UK STUDENT VISAS
Quick guide to student immigration categories
Studying in the UK
This page describes the different UK immigration categories for students, to help you decide which is the most appropriate for you. It also explains how a Tier 4 applicant should apply to study a ‘pre-sessional course’.
Student categories
Category
Who can apply?
Tier 4 (Child)
You can apply as a child student under Tier 4 of our points-based system if you are between 4 and 17 years old. If you are between 4 and 15 years old, you must be coming to the UK to be educated at an independent fee-paying school.
Child visitor
You can apply as a child visitor if you are under 18 years old and you want to come and study in the UK for up to 6 months.
While you are in the UK as a child visitor, you cannot ‘switch’ and apply to extend your stay as a Tier 4 (Child) student. If you want to study here under Tier 4 (Child), you will need to leave the UK and apply from the country where you live.
Tier 4 (General)
You can apply as an adult student under Tier 4 (General) of our points-based system if you are coming to the UK for your post-16 education.
Student visitor
You can apply as a student visitor if you are at least 18 years old, you want to come and study in the UK for up to 6 months (or up to 11 months to take an English Language course), and you do not want to work while you are here.
While you are in the UK as a student visitor, you cannot ‘switch’ and apply to extend your stay as a Tier 4 (General) student. If you want to study here under Tier 4 (General) , you will need to leave the UK and apply from the country where you live.
Prospective student
You can apply as a prospective student if you want to come to the UK to help you finalise the arrangements for your Tier 4 course of study (for example, by attending an interview at a university which has made you a conditional offer).
You will be able to switch into the Tier 4 (General) or Tier 4 (Child) category while you are in the UK.
Students aged 16 or 17 who want to study here for more than 6 months
If you are 16 or 17 years old, you and your approved education provider (also known as your sponsor) should
agree whether you should apply under Tier 4 (General) or Tier 4 (Child) of the points-based system.
If you will be studying a course below National Qualification Framework level 3, you must apply under Tier 4
(Child).
If your course is at National Qualification Framework level 3 (or equivalent) or above and is longer than 2
years, we recommend that you apply under Tier 4 (General).
If you want to study for an English Language qualification at or above level A2 of the Common European
Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR), you must apply under Tier 4 (General).
If you are applying to study in the UK under Tier 4 of the points, based system, you can also apply to study an
intensive English language course, or any other course, to prepare you for your main course of study here.
Pre-sessional courses
A pre-sessional course is a short course (such as an intensive English Language course) to prepare a Tier 4
student for their main course of study. If you want to study a pre-sessional course before your main Tier 4
course, you must apply for permission to study the pre-sessional course.
If you have an unconditional offer of a place on your main course of study, we may grant you a visa or
permission to remain which covers both your pre-sessional course and your main course. We will only do this
if your pre-sessional course will be:
 with the same education provider as your main course; or
 with a partner institution named on your education provider’s sponsor licence.
Your education provider will need to assign you a single confirmation of acceptance for studies that covers both
the pre-sessional course and the main course. The pre-sessional course must end no more than 1 month before
the main course starts.
If you only have a conditional offer of a place on your main course of study, or if your pre-sessional course
provider is separate from your main course provider, you must first apply to us for permission to take the presessional
course. If you successfully complete the pre-sessional course, you can apply from inside the UK to
extend your stay under Tier 4 and study your main course.
How and where to apply
You must be outside the UK, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man when you make your application for entry
clearance.
You can apply for a visa as a visitor at our visa application centres in any country. All other applications for
entry clearance must be made in the country or territory where you live.
Can you apply?
This section explains whether you can apply to enter or remain in the UK as an adult student under the Tier 4 (General) category of our points-based system.
As a Tier 4 (General) student, you must have 40 points in our points assessment. You can score:
 30 points for having a valid confirmation of acceptance for studies, which you get for studying a course at an acceptable level with an approved education provider (also known as a ‘Tier 4 sponsor’), and for having acceptable English language skills; and
 10 points for having enough money (also known as maintenance or funds) to cover your course fees and living costs.
You can find more information about these requirements on the following pages in this section:
 Your course of study
 Your education provider
 Your English language skills
 Confirmation of acceptance for studies
 Your money
There are other requirements that you may also need to meet. These are described under ‘More information’ below.
If you are already in the UK in a different immigration category, you may be able to ‘switch’ into Tier 4 (General) without leaving the UK. See ‘More information’ below.
You will need to enrol your fingerprints and facial photograph (known as ‘biometric information’) with us as part of your application.
Your course of study
What is an acceptable course of study?
You must be applying to:
 study full-time in the UK on a course that meets the additional requirements below; or
 undertake a recognised Foundation Programme as a postgraduate doctor or dentist in the UK (see ‘More information’ below); or
 work as a student union sabbatical officer in the UK.
If you will be studying full-time on a course other than a Foundation Programme, the course must also:
 lead to a qualification at or above level 6 on the revised National Qualifications Framework (NQF) or its equivalents; or
 be a short-term ‘study abroad’ programme as part of your higher education course at an overseas institution (see ‘More information’ below); or
 be an English language course at or above level B2 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR); or
 be an English language course at any level, if you are a government-sponsored student or if the course is a pre-sessional course which you are taking before a degree course – but only if your confirmation of acceptance for studies (CAS) was assigned before 21 April 2011; or
 involve at least 15 hours per week of organised daytime study. ‘Daytime’ is 08:00 to 18:00, Monday to Friday.
(If you are studying English as a foreign language, this qualifies as ‘an English language course’.)
If the course is below revised NQF level 6 or equivalent and is not an English language course or a study abroad programme, it must:
 be approved at or above level 3 on the NQF or Qualifications and Credits Framework (QCF), or accredited at or above level 6 in the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF), if you will be studying with a Highly Trusted sponsor; or
 be approved at or above level 4 on the NQF or QCF, or accredited at ar above level 7 in the SCQF, if you will be studying with a sponsor that has an A (Trusted) or B (Sponsor) rating; or
 be a pre-sessional course to prepare you for your main course of study in the UK (see ‘More information’ below).
Level 3 of the NQF is equivalent to a UK ‘A level’. Level 6 of the revised NQF is equivalent to a UK bachelor’s degree.
Depending on your education provider and the level of your course, you may be able to do a work placement as part of the course.
Your education provider
 Must be licensed as a “Tier 4” sponsor
English language ability
You must still meet the English language requirement if you want to study an English language course (unless you are covered by one of the exemptions above).
If your CAS was assigned to you on or after 21 April 2011, your education provider must ensure that:
 you are competent in English language at a minimum of CEFR level B2, if you will be enrolling on a course at NQF 6/QCF 6/SCQF 9 or above (unless you are a gifted student studying at a higher education institution – see below); or
 you are competent in English language at a minimum of CEFR level B1, if you will be enrolling on a course at NQF 3-5/QCF 3-5/SCQF 6-8; or
 you are a national of a majority English-speaking country (see below).
If you do not meet the English language requirement, your education provider cannot assign a CAS to you.
Interview with our officers
If you are applying to Tier 4 from overseas, you may be required to attend an interview with UK Border Agency officers, either as part of your visa application or when you arrive in the UK. If you are required to attend an interview and you cannot show at that interview that your English language ability is at the required standard, we may refuse your application or refuse to let you enter the UK.
Confirmation of acceptance for studies
Before you can apply for permission to enter or remain in the UK under Tier 4 (General), your education provider must assign a confirmation of acceptance for studies (CAS) to you. This confirms that you have been given an unconditional offer of a place on a course of study with a licensed Tier 4 sponsor.
Your money
How much money do you need?
The money you will need depends on the length of your course and the location where you will study.
To score 10 points in our points assessment, you must show that you can pay your course fees for your first period of study (or for your next period of study, if you are applying to continue a course) and your living costs for up to nine months.
You will score 10 points if you provide evidence that you have enough money to pay your course fees and living costs. To claim the 10 points, you must show evidence that you:
 have paid all or part of your course fees and (if relevant) accommodation fees to your Tier 4 sponsor; and/or
 are receiving official financial sponsorship; and/or
 have enough money to cover your remaining course fees and living costs, if any.
Evidence of money already paid to your education provider
When it assigns your confirmation of acceptance for studies (CAS), your Tier 4 sponsor can include details of any money that you have already paid to it.
If your CAS includes details of money paid to your Tier 4 sponsor, you do not need to provide any further documents to show that you have paid this money. If you do not know whether your CAS includes this information, you must ask your Tier 4 sponsor.
If you have paid any money to cover your course and accommodation fees to your Tier 4 sponsor, but your CAS does not indicate that this has been paid, you must include evidence of payment in your application. You must send an original paper receipt issued by your Tier 4 sponsor confirming:
o that you have paid all of your fees; or
o the amount you have paid.
 Evidence of an official financial sponsor or government sponsor
If your Tier 4 sponsor is giving you any any official financial sponsorship, it can include details of this on your confirmation of acceptance for studies (CAS). You do not need to provide any documents as evidence of this official financial sponsorship. If you do not know whether your CAS contains this information, you must ask your Tier 4 sponsor.
In any other circumstances where you are being given official financial sponsorship, you must provide send us a letter of confirmation from your official financial sponsor. The letter must be on the organisation’s official letter-headed paper or stationery, and must bear the organisation’s official stamp. It must show:
o your name ;
o the official financial sponsor’s name and contact details;
o the date of the letter;
o the length of the sponsorship; and
o the amount of money that the official financial sponsor is giving to you, or a statement that it will cover all of your course fees and living costs.
o
 Evidence of money that is available to you – general principles
You must show that you have held the required money for a consecutive 28-day period (finishing on the date of the closing balance) ending no more than one month before your application.
If you are providing your evidence of money from a single account, we will assess the funds available to you from the closing balance given on the document you provide as evidence. If you provide two or more pieces of evidence from a single account (for example, two consecutive bank statements), we will assess the money available to you from the closing balance of the most recent document.
If you provide evidence from two or more accounts, we will assess the money available to you as being:
o the closing balance of one account; plus
o any additional money available to you on the date of that closing balance, for which you have provided the required evidence.
We will always use the closing balance date from the account that most favours you.
If you are providing evidence of official financial sponsorship, in addition to evidence of your own money, any money paid to you by your official financial sponsor will not be considered as available money. Money cannot be counted twice.
You can use the following documents to show money that is available to you:
o personal bank or building society statements, covering a consecutive 28-day period ending no more than one month before the date of your application;
o a building society pass book, covering a consecutive 28-day period ending no more than one month before the date of your application;
o a letter from a bank confirming that funds have been held for a consecutive 28-day period ending no more than one month before the date of your application;
o a letter from a financial institution confirming that funds have been held for a consecutive 28-day period ending no more than one month before the date of your application;
o a letter from a financial institution confirming a loan, dated no more than six months before the date of your application.
We will not award you points for maintenance if your documents show money held in a financial institution that does not verify financial statements to our satisfaction.
 Letter from a financial institution confirming funds
The financial institution must be regulated by the Financial Services Authority or, in the case of overseas accounts, the home regulator. (This is the official regulator for the country where the institution is and where the money is held.)
The letter must show:
 your name, or the name(s) of your parent(s) or legal guardian;
 the account number (if applicable);
 the date of the letter;
 the financial institution’s name and logo; and
 the money in the account.
Letter from a financial institution confirming a loan
The financial institution must be regulated by the Financial Services Authority or, in the case of overseas accounts, the home regulator. (This is the official regulator for the country where the institution is and where the money is held.)
The loan letter must be dated no more than six months before the date of your application, and must show:
 your name;
 the date of the letter;
 the financial institution’s name and logo; and
 the money (or funds) available as a loan.
Loans held in the name(s) of your parents(s) or legal guardian cannot be used as evidence of money held by you.
There must be no conditions on the release of the loan funds to you, other than your making a successful Tier 4 application.
If you are applying from overseas, the loan funds must be available to you before you travel to the UK, unless the loan:
 is an academic/student loan from your country’s national government; and
 will be released to you by your national government or your Tier 4 education provider when you arrive in the UK.
 If you are using money held by your parent(s) or legal guardian
If a student is relying on money held by your parents(s) or legal guardian, you must show that you are related to your parent(s) or legal guardian. You must provide:
 your birth certificate showing the names of your parent(s); or
 your certificate of adoption showing names of both parent(s) or legal guardian; or
 a court document naming your legal guardian.
You must provide the original legal document or a notarised copy.
You must also show that your parent(s) or legal guardian have given their permission for you to use this money. To do this, you must provide a letter from your parent(s) or legal guardian confirming:
 your relationship with your parent(s) or legal guardian; and
 their permission for you to use their funds to study in the UK.
Photographs and passport
Photographs
You must provide two recent passport photographs of yourself, and of each dependant who is applying with you. On the back of each photograph, you must write the name of the person in the picture.
Each photograph should:
 measure 45mm x 35mm; and
 be in colour; and
 be taken against a light grey or cream background; and
 be clear and of good quality; and
 not be framed or backed; and
 not be digitally altered – for example, you cannot use Photoshop or similar software to change anything in the image; and
 be of the full face, without sunglasses, hat or head covering (unless it is worn for religious reasons).
Passport or travel document
You must send your original passport or travel document, and the original passport or travel document of each dependant who is applying with you.
Documents required for Visa Application
You must provide these documents with your application form.
Evidence used to obtain your confirmation of acceptance for studies
Evidence of money to cover your course fees and living costs
your identity documents and photographs of you.
Application fees
 Tier 4 (General) application fees
Fee if you are applying by post in the UK
Fee if you are applying in person inside the UK
Fee if you are applying outside the UK
Main applicant
£394
£716
£289
Partner or child aged under 18 (if they are applying at the same time as the main applicant)
£197 for each family member included on the main applicant’s application form
£358 for each family member included on the main applicant’s application form
£289 for each family member
Partner or child aged under 18 (if they are applying later), or child aged over 18
£561 for each family member
£867 for each family member
£289 for each family member
Main applicant – permission to change sponsor – for migrants that applied for permission to study between 31 March 2009 and 4 October 2009
£160


Visa Processing Times
The time required to process Tier 4 visas for most countries is between 3 – 24 weeks. For further information regarding visa application submission and application center locations, etc. for your specific country, please visit: www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/countries
How long can you stay?
 Maximum length of stay under Tier 4 (General)
Type of course
Length of course
Length of stay allowed
Main course of study (including student union sabbatical officers)
12 months or more
The full length of the course
plus
four months after the end of the course
Main course of study (including student union sabbatical officers)
At least six months but less than 12
The full length of the course
months
plus
two months after the end of the course
Main course of study (including student union sabbatical officers)
Less than six months
The full length of the course
plus
seven days after the end of the course
Short course to prepare you for study
12 months or more
The full length of the course
plus
four months after the end of the course
Short course to prepare you for study
At least six months but less than 12 months
The full length of the course
plus
two months after the end of the course
Short course to prepare you for study
Less than six months
The full length of the course
plus
one month after the end of the course
Postgraduate doctors and dentists on a recognised Foundation programme
Maximum of three years
The full length of the course (up to a maximum of three years)
plus
one month after the end of the course
 The confirmation of acceptance for studies issued by your education provider will include the start and end dates of the course. We will consider a course to be 12 months long if it lasts a full calendar year. For example, a course starting on 1 January 2011 and ending on 1 January 2012 will be considered to be 12 months long.
Conditions of your stay
 When can you come?
Your course start date is the date given by your approved education provider on your confirmation of acceptance for studies (or on your visa letter, if you applied to us before 22 February 2010).
If you are doing a course that lasts six months or more, or it is a course to prepare you for study (known as a pre-sessional course), you can come to the UK up to one month before your course start date.
If you are doing a course that lasts less than six months and is not a course to prepare you for study, you can come to the UK up to seven days before your course start date.
Applying for a visa (www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk)
General visa information
This page explains how you can apply for a visa to come to the UK.
First, you should read our web pages for your chosen immigration category, in the Visas and immigration section. These pages explain the requirements for the category, and the documents you should provide with your application. They also contain the application form that you should use.
If you do not know which immigration category is suitable for you, use our Do you need a visa? questionnaire.
You should try to make your visa application well before your intended travel date.
You can use our country finder to find information about the visa application process in your country.
Application form
In most countries, you can apply for your visa online using our Visa4UK system. In some countries, you must complete the form by hand on a printed application form. For more information about using Visa4UK, see the Online applications section.
Our visa application forms are available only in English, and must be completed in English. If you do not understand English, you will need to find someone who can speak English to help you complete the form. You can provide your supporting documents in local language, but they must be accompanied by a summary in English. You might need to provide certified translations for some documents.
You must apply for and obtain your own visa. Somebody else cannot apply for your visa on your behalf, but they can complete your application form for you. However, you must sign the application form personally to show that the information given is true and accurate.
Visa application centre
You will also need to attend one of our visa application centres in person.
Most applicants must enrol their fingerprints and facial image (known as ‘biometric information’) at the visa application centre. This is a quick and clean process. In some countries, you must also show us that you have been screened for tuberculosis. See below for more information.
What happens next?
If your application is successful, you should read the Information for visa holders page.
If our visa officer cannot make an immediate decision on your application, we might ask you to attend an interview. We aim to do this within 15 working days from the date when the visa officer assesses your application.
We will refuse your visa if we find that you have given false or misleading information, or failed to give important relevant information. You could be banned from applying for a visa for 10 years.
If your application is refused, you might be able to:
 appeal against our decision; or
 request an administrative review, if you applied under the points-based system
How Long does it take for a Visa to be Processed?
Obtaining a UK Tier 4 Visa can take between 3 and 24 weeks. The time varies depending on which country you are applying from. Please visit: www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/countries to get information on your specific country,
Health services for UK international students You may be entitled to free or subsidised treatment in the UK under the National Health Service (NHS). Your UK course needs to be at least six months in duration to be eligible, although free emergency treatment may be available if you are here for less time. If you’re a national or resident of an EEA (European Economic Area) country, you will receive these benefits regardless of how long your UK course is. This also applies if you are an international student studying a full-time course in Scotland. To find out if you are entitled to NHS services in the UK visit the Department of Health website. If you are not entitled to NHS treatment you should take out international student health insurance before you leave home or as soon as you arrive to study in the UK.