FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

 

1. What is Tier 4 (General) student Points Based System?

Tier 4 (General) student visa is a points-based visa system. This category is for students coming to the UK for post-16 education. A Tier 4 (General) student must be at least 16 years old and obtain 40 points by having a valid Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) (30 points) and the required level of maintenance funds (10 points).

2. How do I apply for a Tier 4 (General) student visa from outside the UK?

It will depend on which country you are applying from. You can choose whether to apply using UKBA’s online application system or by printing off the application form and completing it by hand based on countries listed on UKBA website. Please follow the link below:

http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/visas-immigration/studying/adult-students/apply-outside-uk/

3. How do I apply for a Tier 4 (General) student visa from inside the UK?

You must complete the Tier 4 (General) student ‘print and send application form’ on the UKBA website unless you want to use the Super Premium Service or you are applying with 10 dependants or more. You will then need to use either ‘standard service’ to post your application form and supporting documents, and then enrol your biometric information; or ‘premium service’ to enrol your biometric information and submit your application form and supporting documents in person at one of UKBA’s public enquiry offices and (in most cases) get a decision about your application on the same day. For more information please follow the link below:

http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/visas-immigration/studying/adult-students/applying-inside-uk/

4. When should I extend my Tier 4 (General) student visa?

If you are applying to continue your studies in the UK, your new course must start within 28 days of the expiry of your permission to say or, if you have overstayed, within 28 days of when that period of overstaying began.

5. How much fund do I need to show for my maintenance?

You must show that you have enough money to cover the outstanding course fees (mentioned on your CAS) for the first year of your course or for the entire course (if it is less than a year long) plus living costs.

• £1265 per month for living costs for up to 9 months total of £11385 if you are studying in inner London for the majority of your study (more than 50% of your study time): or

• £1015 per month for living costs for up to 9 months total of £9135 if you are studying in outer London or anywhere else in the UK, for the majority of your study (more than 50% of your study time) You can qualify for the reduced maintenance fund (the amounts shown above for up to 2 months) if you have an ‘established presence’ studying in the UK whether you are applying from inside the UK or from overseas.

• Dependent (Inner London): Each Dependent Needs £845 per month for living costs for up to 9 months total of £7605 or

• Dependent (Outer London): Each Dependent Needs £680 per month for living costs for up to 9 months total of £6120

If you want to check whether the address of your main site of study is in inner London, you can put your Tier 4 sponsor’s postcode in to the ‘About my vote website’ which can be found at (www.aboutmyvote.co.uk).

6. What is an ‘established presence’ studying in the UK?

You have an established presence studying in the UK if you have current entry clearance, leave to enter or leave to remain as a Tier 4 migrant, as a student, or as a Post-graduate Doctor or Dentist, and on the date of your application:

• You have finished a single course that was at least six months long within your last period of entry clearance, leave to enter or leave to remain; or

• You are applying for a continued study on a single course where you have completed at least six months of that course.

7. What Photographs should I use for my Tier 4 (General) student visa application?

You must read the guidance on photographs given by the UKBA. Many students send photographs which are unacceptable and their application form is returned to them. Read the guidance by going to:

http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/sitecontent/applicationforms/flr/photoguidance0409.pdf

8. How much fees do I have to pay for my Tier 4 (General) student visa application?

If you are applying from outside the UK, application fee is £298.

If you are applying from inside the UK, Postal service application fee is £406. Premium service application fee is £781. If using the postal service you will be asked to make the payment online as part of the application process. You can pay by credit or debit card. If you wish to apply in person click ‘Premium Service’ for more information.

9. Will I have part-time work right if I get admission in a UK educational institution?

Yes. Part time work will be allowed during term time (and Full time during vacation), only if you get admission in University (max. 20 hours/week) or Public Funded College (max. 10 hours/week).

10. What is best option to pay my tuition fees to University?

By Bankers Draft or Bank Transfer to the University’s Bank Account.

11. How do I get University’s Bank details to pay my tuition fees?

It should be mentioned in your offer letter.

12. How do I obtain a CAS letter from university?

University’s minimum entry requirements (for your desired course) must be fulfilled to get a CAS letter.

13. Can I apply for a Tier 4 (General) student visa using my offer letter?

No. You need a valid CAS letter to apply for Tier 4 (General) student visa.

14. What documents do I need to provide the University to obtain an offer letter and CAS? 

• Full Passport copy (all pages)

• All visa copies (and biometric cards) including the first UK entry Visa (if applicable)

• All previous CAS/Visa letters issued from previous UK educational institutions (if applicable

• All educational transcripts and certificates obtained so far (including O level or GCSE, A level, Bachelor, Masters from back home)

• Bank statement showing the required maintenance fund for 28 days

• Progression and attendance letter from current UK educational institution (if applicable)

• Evidence of your UK study progress (result slips, certificates, transcripts from awarding body)

• English language proficiency certificates (e.g. IELTS)

• Statement of purpose justifying your choice of the course and educational institution

• University’s application form (completed)

15. Do I need to provide original copies of the required documents to obtain a CAS?

If you are applying from outside UK, scanned copies are sufficient to obtain a CAS from University but you have to submit your original copies to your local British Embassy or High Commission.

16. What is the minimum English requirement to apply for Tier 4 (General) student visa?

Your Tier 4 Sponsor (UK educational institution) will assess your level of English language competence as part of their academic assessment of your ability to follow a particular course.

17. How would BW Business Solutions (UK) Ltd help me to get admission in University?

Your student applications will be prepared, assessed and submitted to our partner Universities and Colleges by our qualified and experienced advisors. In doing so, we will use our experience and expertise to gather necessary supporting evidence that will result into fast receiving of Offer Letter and CAS for the appropriate course from selected educational institution. Please refer to ‘What makes us different’ section on our website for further details.

18. Does BW Business Solutions (UK) Ltd charge for processing application fees?

No. We provide free consultancy services for students to help them selecting appropriate courses offered by their desired UK Universities and Colleges.

19. Do you offer General English courses and IELTS preparation courses?

Yes. We offer General English courses and IELTS preparation courses through our partner institutions

20. What supporting documents do I need to provide UKBA with my Tier 4 (General) student visa application?

• Your completed Tier 4 (General) ‘print and send’ form

• Your passport

• Your BRP (if applicable) or visa stamp

• Your photograph

• Your CAS

• Your Police Registration Certificate (if applicable)

• Certificates of your previous qualifications (if listed on your CAS)

• English Proficiency certificate (e.g. IELTS)

• Birth certificate

• Acceptable translations (if any documents are not in English)

• Your bank statements (or other financial document) covering 28 days or a financial sponsorship letter.

• Medical Certificate (if you are applying from certain countries, for further details please go to

http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/sitecontent/documents/policyandlaw/archive-of-ir/2012/19-dec-12.pdf?view=Binary

Please note: The UKBA will only accept original documents, unless otherwise stated. You should keep a copy of all documents sent to the UKBA including your completed application form.

21. What is the limit / Cap on studies in the UK under Tier 4 (General) Student category?

• If you are 18 years old or over, you can spend no more than 3 years in the UK studying below UK bachelor’s degree level (Below Level 6) as a Tier 4 (General) student during your lifetime. You can spend this time studying one course or a number of courses.

• If you are 18 years old or over, you can spend no more than 5 years in the UK studying at or above UK bachelor’s degree level (Level 6 or above) as a Tier 4 (General) student. This 5-year limit is in addition to any time spent studying below degree level as a Tier 4 (General) student and any time spent in the Tier 4 (Child) category.

• The limit will be 8 years, if you are studying for a PhD at a recognised body or at an Higher Education Institution (allowing you an additional 3 years for Phd study on top of the 5 year limit at Level 6 or above).

22. What happens after making my Tier 4 (General) student visa application?

You should receive two letters from the Home Office; one confirming that they have received your application and another asking you to make an appointment for your biometric information (photograph and fingerprints) to be taken. This information is then used to create a Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) which replaces the visa in your passport. For more information click on Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) above. If your application is successful, your passport and documents will be returned by Recorded Delivery. Your BRP should be sent to you within 10 working days of the decision.

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Making a Tier 4 (General) application in UK

Last modified: 18 July 2016

This information is based on the changes to the Immigration Rules which came into force on 6 April 2016 and the Home Office’s Tier 4 policy guidance version 07/16,to be used for all Tier 4 applications on or after 18 July 2016. We update it as soon as possible after any changes. However, if you have printed this webpage, we advise that you check on our website that it is still the most recent version.

You may need to make a Tier 4 application while you are in the UK.  For example, you may need to apply because:

  • you need more time to undertake re-sits or to repeat part of your course
  • you are switching to a new Tier 4 sponsor
  • you are extending your stay in the UK to work as a Student Union Sabbatical Officer or as a Doctor or Dentist in training, or for the Doctorate Extension Scheme,  all of which are done with Tier 4 leave

This section guides you through the eligibility and application process.  It is important that you check first that you are eligible to apply and that any time limits on study in the UK do not affect your application.

Can you apply in the UK?

Last modified: 18 July 2016

In order to apply for a new Tier 4 visa in the UK your new course of studies must start no more than 28 days after the end of your current leave, if the gap between the end of your current leave and the start of your new course (as stated on your CAS) is longer than 28 days then you must leave the UK and apply from your home country.
In addition to this the Immigration Rules only allow people who were last granted leave in certain immigration categories to make a Tier 4 application in the UK. If you currently have a Tier 4 (General) student visa then you must currently be sponsored by:
•    A UK recognised body or a body in receipt of public funding as an HEI (higher education institution); or
•  An overseas higher education institution and you have been undertaking a short-term study abroad programme in the UK; or
•    an embedded college offering pathway courses (this does not include pre-sessional courses); or
•    an independent school
If you do not know if this applies to you then ask your Tier 4 sponsor.
You can also apply in the UK if you currently have leave in one of the following categories:
•    Tier 4 (Child) student
•    Tier 1 (Post-Study Work) migrant
•    Tier 2 migrant
You can also make a Tier 4 application in the UK if you were last granted leave as a student under the old Immigration Rules that were in place before the Tier 4 student Rules were introduced in March 2009.
If your last grant of leave was not one of the categories listed above then you must return to your home country and apply for a Tier 4 visa from there. There are currently two exceptions to this. If you wish to apply under one of these exceptions, we advise that you speak to an immigration adviser before you apply and that you include a letter with your application explaining your situation.

How to apply

You apply, pay the fee and submit the form online, and then submit your passport and other documents to the Home Office by post or in person.

The paper application form is only available to those few applicants who use the Home Office’s Super Premium Service or who have more than ten dependents. Such applicants can request a paper form here. 

See Submitting your application for more information.

You must be in the UK on the date of application (see next section for what this means) otherwise your application will not be considered.

When to apply

It is important that you apply before your current immigration permission ends. Your date of application is the date on which you pay the application fee and submit the application online. You then have 15 working days to submit your documents by post (or two days if you are using the priority postal service), or 45 working days to submit them in person at an appointment.

If you remain in the UK after the date on which your current immigration permission ends without submitting an application for further leave to remain, then you become an overstayer, which is a criminal offence.

Becoming an overstayer can have serious consequences for any future immigration applications that you make, including applications for countries other than the UK.

If you are unable to apply before your current immigration permission ends you should leave the UK before this date and apply for entry clearance to return to the UK as a Tier 4 (General) student once you meet all of the requirements.

The Immigration Rules do allow you to submit an application in the UK after your current leave has expired, as long as you do so within 28 days of becoming an overstayer. However, you will have no legal permission to be in the UK while your application is being decided. As a result your Tier 4 sponsor might not allow you to continue your studies if you become an overstayer.  Indeed your Tier 4 sponsor might withdraw your CAS if you become an overstayer, meaning that your Tier 4 application would be refused. Therefore if you think that you are going to be unable to submit a Tier 4 application before your current leave expires you should speak to an adviser at your institution as soon as possible.

It is a good idea to start preparing for your leave to remain application early. We advise you start at least two months before your current immigration permission ends, and longer if you need an ATAS clearance certificate. You will need to start collecting the documents that you will need, including a print out of your CAS from your institution, your financial evidence, official translations of all documents not in English (or Welsh) and passport photographs.

If you are applying for leave to remain to continue on a course that you are already studying, you can submit your application as soon as you meet all of the requirements. However, if you are applying in order to start a new course you must not submit your application more than three months before the start date, as stated in your CAS. You should also wait until you have finished, or almost finished, your first course before you make your application for leave to remain to study a second one.

If you have finished one course and wish to stay in the UK to start another course, the gap between the end of your current immigration permission and the start of your new course must not be more than 28 days otherwise your application will be refused if you apply from within the UK.

How much fund do I need to show for my maintenance?

You must show that you have enough money to cover the outstanding course fees (mentioned on your CAS) for the first year of your course or for the entire course (if it is less than a year long) plus living costs.

• £1265 per month for living costs for up to 9 months total of £11385 if you are studying in inner London for the majority of your study (more than 50% of your study time): or

• £1015 per month for living costs for up to 9 months total of £9135 if you are studying in outer London or anywhere else in the UK, for the majority of your study (more than 50% of your study time) You can qualify for the reduced maintenance fund (the amounts shown above for up to 2 months) if you have an ‘established presence’ studying in the UK whether you are applying from inside the UK or from overseas.

• Dependent (Inner London): Each Dependent Needs £845 per month for living costs for up to 9 months total of £7605 or 

• Dependent (Outer London): Each Dependent Needs £680 per month for living costs for up to 9 months total of £6120

Application fee

The Tier 4 application fee is £448 if you submit your documents by post, £823 if you use the priority postal service, and £948 if you attend an appointment at one of the Home Office’s Public Service Centres.  The in-person fee is payable in full when you book the appointment; if you fail to attend the appointment, without good reason, a £100 booking fee will be retained.

Immigration health surcharge

There is an ‘immigration health surcharge’ if you are applying to extend your Tier 4 leave in the UK.  The cost of this is based on the length of the visa that you are applying for, including the extra periods of leave that you will be granted before and after the end of your course.

The surcharge is calculated as £150 per year for each year of leave that you are applying for. If this includes part of a year that is six months or less you will be charged an additional £75 for this period.  If it includes part of a year that is more than six months, you will have to pay £150 for this period.  For example, if your Tier 4 application is to allow you to do a further 12 months of study in the UK then you should be granted leave for an extra four months after your course end date and the immigration surcharge will therefore be £225.

It is important to note that the surcharge calculation is based on the maximum length of leave that you could be granted under the Immigration Rules.  It therefore includes the short period of time that you could be granted before the start of your course (maximum one month).  If your new period of leave overlaps with the leave that you were previously granted then you will be entitled to a refund of the surcharge for this overlapping period of time, but only if you have paid the surcharge twice for the same period of time.

For example, if your first visa was valid from 1 September 2015 until 1 February 2016 and you applied for a new visa in January 2016 for a course that started on 8 February 2016 and ends 30 September 2017, then the maximum period of leave you could be granted under the Immigration Rules is from 8 January 2016 until 30 January 2017 (that is one month before your course and four months after your course) and the IHS will be calculated accordingly.  These two periods of time ‘overlap’ between 8 January 2016 and 1 February 2016 (even if you are not granted your new visa until after this date) so you would be entitled to a refund of the IHS for this period, if you had paid it as part of your first visa application.  However, in this example, since your first visa was granted outside the UK and was less than six months long it did not include the IHS so there is no overlap in payment and you would not be eligible for a refund.

You can use the Immigration Health Surcharge tool on the Home Office website to check how much you will have to pay.

The Tier 4 application form calculates the amount that you need to pay and asks you to pay it before you can complete your Tier 4 application.  Once you have done this you will receive an email containing your IHS reference number.  This number will automatically be included on your Tier 4 application form cover sheet.

Note: a very limited number of people are exempt from paying the immigration health surcharge, including British Overseas Territory citizens who live in the Falkland Islands.  See the Home Office website for more information about who does not have to pay the IHS.

Biometrics

As part of the application process you must have your photograph and your fingerprints taken, this is known as your biometrics.

If you submit your documents in person at an appointment, you will be required to give your biometric data on the day of your appointment.

If you submit your documents by post the Home Office will write to you and ask you to attend a participating post office and enrol your biometric data; there is a fee of £19.20 to do this. You cannot make an appointment at a post office but you must take this letter from the Home Office with you as it will contain a barcode. It is very important that you enrol your biometrics within 15 working days (or two working days if you use the ‘priority’ application service – see here for more information) of the date on the letter otherwise your immigration application will be rejected as invalid and returned to you.  For details see Biometric Residence Permits.

If you submit your documents by post and you have a problem enrolling your biometrics (for example the Home Office send you a second letter asking you to enrol your biometrics after you have already enrolled them) then you should email AppointmentExceptions@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk. This email address is provided on your biometric enrolment letter.

You must only use this email address if you have problems enrolling your biometrics. It must not be used for general enquiries about your application. Emails to this address are expected to be dealt with within five days.

Interviews

You may be asked to attend a credibility interview as part of the application process. Interviews are normally carried out by a secure telecommunications system (similar to Skype), although sometimes they will consist of a face-to-face interview. In either case the interview will take place at one of twelve Home Office centres across the UK, namely:

  • Belfast
  • Birmingham
  • Cardiff
  • Edinburgh
  • Glasgow
  • Leeds
  • Leicester
  • Liverpool
  • London
  • Manchester
  • Newcastle
  • Nottingham

Your interview will normally be held at the closest centre to where you live. If there are no appointments available at your nearest centre you may be invited to attend the next nearest centre. However, if you are asked to attend a centre that is very far from where you live you should contact the Home Office using the email address provided in the invitation letter and ask them to move your appointment to a centre closer to your home.

During this interview a Home Office member of staff (either in person or by Skype) will assess whether you meet the English language requirements, and also if you are a ‘genuine student.’  If you are asked to attend such an interview you must do so (unless you have a good reason as to why you cannot), otherwise your application is likely to be refused.

Note: these interviews do not include any opportunity to discuss your application or evidence. If you feel that an aspect of your application needs further explanation, we advise that you submit your documents by post and include a covering letter containing the relevant information. We also advise you to speak to an adviser at your institution before doing this as it might be better for your institution to send your application to the Home Office on your behalf if they agree to do so.

Medical checks

You do not need any medical check or evidence if you are applying in the UK.