International students

  1. My Country
  2. Living in London
  3. Visa & immigration
  4. Exchange & Study Abroad Programme
  5. Preparatory programmes
  1. Full-time Tier 4 student visa
    1. Tier 4 responsibilities
    2. Police Registration
    3. Lost Passports and Visas
    4. Visas for your family

Full-time Tier 4 student visa

Non-European Economic Area / Switzerland applicants who will study a full time course for 6 months or more at City University London, will need to apply for a Tier 4 General Student visa.

Documents & How to apply

Applying for a Tier 4 Student visa should be fairly straightforward as long as you prepare carefully. It is important that you provide original academic documents and formal, original financial evidence to show that you have held the necessary funds for the required period. If your Tier 4 visa is sponsored by another university, college or school, you must apply to the Home Office for a new visa sponsored by City University London before you can start your course here.

The International Student Advice team at City will do whatever we can to help you through the visa application process but we cannot usually intervene once supporting documents have been submitted to the Home Office.

Applying from inside the UK

When and how to apply

Application Date - Your visa application date is the day you complete your online form and pay the application fee online, NOT the day you attend your biometric or in-person appointment. It is not possible for you to make a new Tier 4 application in the UK if your new course at City starts more than 28 days after the expiry date of your current visa.

By post - If you are applying by post, you must submit your online application before your current visa expires, or within 6 weeks of the new course start date if you are current City Tier 4 students whichever is sooner. The application process can take 6 to 8 weeks.

In person - If you are applying in person, you usually get your new visa within 7 to 10 working days. You will need to book a premium service appointment as part of your online application. Please note you will be charged £100 by the Home Office if you miss or cancel your appointment.

Application process

In order to make your Tier 4 application you should follow these steps:

  • Create an online account with UKVI and started to fill as much of the application form as you can at Gov.uk. We have produced a guidance note to help you complete the form (PDF). City University sponsor licence number is: P7VG4XCY7
  • Email visaadvice@city.ac.uk to request an appointment to have your application checked and submitted to the Home Office. Please include your full name, City University student number and contact telephone number in your email.
  • At the appointment, you can decide whether you want to make a standard application by post or a Premium Service application in-person where you book an attend an appointment with the Home Office to have your application processed.
  • You will need to bring with you to the appointment all of your required supporting documents (see Documents you must provide)

Health surcharge

You have to pay £150 per year Health Surcharge for your Tier 4 visa application, or your application may be refused. You will need to make the payment online as part of your Tier 4 application. Find more guidance in our Immigration Health Surcharge FAQs (PDF).

Biometrics

As part of your visa application, you are required to provide your biometric information (fingerprints and facial image) which will be stored on your Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) card. Your visa application will not be processed until you have provided the necessary biometric information. Applicants who apply by post should receive a biometric invitation letter from the Home Office within 2 to 3 weeks of sending the application. This will explain how to provide your fingerprints at participating Post Offices in London. There is an extra charge of £19.20 for this service. Applicants who apply in person are required to have your biometrics taken on the day of your appointment.

Credibility interviews

As part of your visa application, you may be requested to attend a 30-minutes video interview with a Home Office member of staff in Sheffield. The purpose of the interview is to check that the applicant is a genuine student. Please read our Credibility Interview Guidance for more information (PDF).

Administrative review

You could apply for an administrative review if your Tier 4 visa application is refused in the UK with a mistake made by the Home Office. Please read the FAQs (PDF) and contact us if have any questions.

Documents you must provide

Application form

Apply for a Tier 4 General Student visa online at Gov.uk website. We have produced a guidance note to help you complete the form (PDF) . City University sponsor licence number is: P7VG4XCY7

Application fees

£439 by post (£448 from April 2016) or £839 in person (£948 from April 2016), to be paid online; plus £150 per year for health surcharge. Please read our Immigration Health Surcharge FAQs (PDF).

Passport(s)

You should submit any passports that you have ever used to enter the UK.

2 Photographs

Please make sure that you check the photo guidance before taking them in the UK within one month of your application.

English Language Requirement

All applicants that require a Tier 4 visa must meet the minimum Home Office English Language ability requirements before the University can issue a CAS. Please check if you meet the requirement.

CAS Statement

The CAS is a unique reference number linked to a record created by the University in the Home Office IT system, which includes details of your course and the University's Sponsor Licence Number.

Proof of Qualifications

Your CAS may list the qualifications you used to obtain your place at City. If it does, you must include an original certificate or transcript for each of these qualifications and official translation if it is not in English.

Maintenance Requirement

You need to show proof of finance to confirm that you have enough money to pay your tuition fees and a specific amount of money to cover living expenses for yourself (and any dependants). Find more information in the Meeting the Tier 4 financial requirement FAQs (PDF).

Police Registration Certificate

If you are required to register with the police, you must submit an up-to-date police registration certificate including your current visa status and address.

ATAS Certificate

You must obtain clearance certificates under the Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) if you want to study at advanced levels within certain subject areas, before making your visa application to study or extend your study period in the UK.

Applying from outside the UK

When and how to apply

  • If you are applying for a Tier 4 General student visa for your course at City in your country of residence, please make your application to your nearest British Embassy/Consulate or Visa Centre.
  • Select your country at the Home Office's country finder to find out more information on how to apply in your country, visa centre locations, application processing times and how your documents will be returned to you.
  • Please also use the UKCISA's flowchart to guide you through the application process
  • You cannot apply until you have accepted an unconditional offer from City University London and until 3 months before the start of your course.
  • Your visa application date is the day you complete your online form and pay the application fee online, not the day you attend your biometric or in-person appointment.

Application process

In order to make your Tier 4 application you should follow these steps:

  • Create an online account with UKVI and started to fill as much of the application form as you can at visa4UK website. We have produced a guidance note (PDF) to help you complete the online form.
  • Pay the Health surcharge and application fees online.
  • Book an appointment with your local visa centre to hand in your visa form and required supporting documents (see Documents you must provide).
  • Provide your biometrics and attend a credibility interview at your appointment.

Health Surcharge

You now have to pay £150 per year Health Surcharge for your Tier 4 visa application, or your application may be refused. You will need to make the payment online as part of your Tier 4 application. Find more guidance in our Immigration Health Surcharge FAQs (PDF).

Biometrics

As part of your visa application, you are required to provide your biometric information (fingerprints and facial image) at a Visa Centre. Your visa application will not be processed until you have provided the necessary biometric information.

Credibility Interviews

At the same time of providing your biometric information at a Visa Centre, you may have a short video interview with the Home Office. The purpose of the interview is to check that the applicant is a genuine student. Read our Credibility Interview Guidance (PDF) for more information.

Administrative review

You could apply for an administrative review if your Tier 4 visa application is refused in the UK with a mistake made by the Home Office. Please read the FAQs (PDF) and contact us if have any questions.

Documents you must provide

The application form

Apply for a Tier 4 General Student visa online at Visa4UK website . We have produced a guidance note (PDF) to help you complete the online form. You can also read the FAQs on the UKVI website.

VAF9 & Appendix 8 paper forms for Cuba, N.Korea and Zimbabwe nationals only

Application fees

£322 in local currency (£328 from April 2016) plus £150 per year for health surcharge. Please read our Immigration Health Surcharge FAQs (PDF).

Passport(s)

You should submit any passports that you have ever used to enter the UK.

2 Photographs

Please make sure you check the Home Office's photo guidance before taking the photos.

English Language Requirement

All applicants that require a Tier 4 visa must meet the minimum Home Office English Language ability requirements before the University can issue a CAS. Check if you meet the requirement.

Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) Statement

The CAS is a unique reference number linked to a record created by the University in the Home Office IT system, which includes details of your course and the University's Sponsor Licence Number.

Proof of Qualifications

Your CAS may list the qualifications you used to obtain your place at City. If it does, you must include an original certificate or transcript for each of these qualifications and official translation if it is not in English.

Maintenance Requirement

You need to show proof of finance to confirm that you have enough money to pay your tuition fees and a specific amount of money to cover living expenses for yourself (and any dependants). More information can be at the Meeting the Tier 4 Financial Requirement FAQs (PDF).

Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) Certificate

You must obtain clearance certificates under ATAS if you want to study at advanced levels within certain subject areas, before making your visa application to study or extend your study period in the UK. More information under ATAS.

TB Screening

In some countries, you must also show that you have been screened for tuberculosis (TB). Please check with your local visa centre if you need to obtain a certificate confirming that you are free from TB before you apply for a visa.

CAS number

Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS)

The CAS statement is an electronic document which includes your unique CAS number. The number is generated by the Home Office, valid for 6 months and can only be used once. If an application is refused, a new CAS will be required.

How to receive your CAS as a new student

A CAS cannot be issued until a student holds an unconditional offer and has paid any deposit (if required). In order to produce a CAS, the University needs details of your current passport and UK visa (if you have one).

  • Undergraduate applicants can provide these details via the UCAS website.
  • Postgraduates (including MBA students) will usually be contacted by their department but postgraduate MSc students at Cass should do this online.
  • Once your CAS is issued, it will be sent to your email provided to the university.

Please note: If you will be applying to a Tier 4 visa within the UK, please contact us for an appointment to have your visa application form and documents checked and submitted to the Home Office through the Student Centre at City University. 

CAS for students who will continue their studies at City

Students extending their visas to continue with a course here at City should ask their department for a CAS. Postgraduate MSc students at Cass should do this online.

  • Once your CAS is issued, you will be emailed by the International Student Advice team.
  • You will be asked to book an appointment to have your visa application form and documents checked and submitted to the Home Office through the university.
  • You will be given the CAS statement at your appointment.

The CAS must include all of the following information

Please check your Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) carefully, and you must tell your department immediately if any details are incorrect. You need to include ORIGINALS of any documents mentioned in your CAS when you make your visa application.

Student Data

  • Name
  • Nationality
  • Passport number
  • Date of birth

Sponsor Licence Detail

  • City University London's Tier 4 sponsor licence number
  • City University London's address

Course Data

  • Course title
  • Academic level of course
  • Start date
  • Expected end date
  • If you are required to have an English language qualification

Progression Detail

  • If you have previously studied in the UK
  • Previous academic level (if applicable)
  • Progression justification (if applicable)

Finance Data

  • Course fees for the first/current year
  • Course fees paid so far (if applicable)

Documents to support application

  • List of the academic qualifications you provided to the university
  • If you have been awarded a Scholarship by City University London, and the amount of Scholarship received
  • If you are required to have an Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS)

CAS Issuing Policy at City University London

City will assess each request for a CAS statement on its individual merit. However, the University must comply with strict Home Office conditions in order to maintain its Highly Trusted Sponsor status and it may not be possible for a CAS to be issued in all circumstances.

The University may be unable to sponsor a student by issuing a CAS, examples listed will include (but are not limited to) the following:

For new students

  • Applicants who fail to provide the University with the necessary personal information to produce a CAS.
  • Applicants who fail to confirm that data held by the University is correct when requested to verify details via the e-vision system.
  • Applicants who fail to pay a deposit for their course of study (only if required by their department).
  • Applicants who fail to produce adequate information to satisfy the University that the Tier 4 application is likely to be successful (if requested by the University).
  • Applicants who fail to provide formal evidence from the Home Office to confirm that a previous Tier 4 application (made using a City University CAS) has been refused. This evidence should take the form of the formal Home Office notice which sets out the grounds on which the application was refused.
  • Applicants whose proposed course of study here does not satisfy the Home Office's requirements with regard to academic progression.
  • Applicants whose proposed course of study will take them over the Home Office's limits on time spent studying in the UK.

Current Students

  • Students who have made insufficient academic progress to move to the next year of the programme.
  • Students who are not required to be in attendance at the University (e.g. resitting without attendance).
  • Students whose period of continued study will take them over the Home Office's limits on time spent studying in the UK.
  • Students who wish to transfer to a course which does not satisfy the Home Office's requirements with regard to academic progression.
  • Students who fail to provide the University with the necessary personal information to produce a CAS.
  • Students who fail to confirm that data held by the University is correct when asked to verify details.
  • Students who fail to produce adequate information to satisfy the University that the Tier 4 application is likely to be successful (if requested by the University).
  • Students who do not have valid leave to be in the UK at the time the CAS is requested.
  • Students who will not have valid leave to be in the UK at the time the application is submitted to the Home Office.
  • Students who fail to provide formal evidence from the Home Office confirming that a previous Tier 4 application made using a City University CAS has been refused. This evidence should take the form of the formal Home Office notice which sets out the grounds on which the application was refused.
  • Where the University has evidence that the student has previously breached the conditions of their immigration permission, or exercised deception in making an immigration application.

Financial requirements

Financial requirements of a Tier 4 application

You must have enough money to support yourself whilst studying in the UK and meet the financial requirements of a Tier 4 application, as it can be very easy for your visa application to be refused if you get it wrong.

Do not assume that just because you have a lot of money in a bank account that this will be acceptable – the money needs to be held for a set period of time and the documents need to be in a very specific format.

Required funds in your bank account

You must show that you have:

  • Your full tuition fee for the first year of your course (or for the full course if studying a 1-year Masters degree) PLUS
  • A minimum of £11,385 (from 12 November 2015)

The money needs to be cash funds that have been held in your bank account for the last 28 days before the date you make your Tier 4 application. 

The right amount of money during the 28-day period

  • At every point during that 28-day period it must be clear that the balance in the account has not dropped below the minimum required amount (from whatever documents you provide).
  • The caseworker/ Entry Clearance Officer at UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) will look at the date of the closing balance, and the amount of money held in the account on that date, and then work backwards from that date for a 28-day period. 

Financial documents you must provide in your application

UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) is very specific about the financial documents they will accept for your application. The following are acceptable:

1. Personal bank or building society statements

These must show:

  • Your name
  • Your account number
  • The date of the statement
  • The financial institution’s name and logo
  • A running balance ending no more than 1 month before the date of the application showing that the money in the account has not dropped below the required amount for a consecutive 28 day period.

You can use on-line bank statements if they contain all of the details listed above. However, you must also :

  • Provide a letter from your bank on headed paper confirming that the statements are authentic;
  • Or ask your bank to stamp your electronic statements with the official stamp of the bank. This stamp should appear on every page of the statement.

2. A letter from your bank / building society

A letter from your bank / building society confirming that you have sufficient funds.

This letter must include:

  • Your name
  • Your account number
  • The date of the letter
  • The financial institution’s name and logo
  • A statement* from the bank confirming that the money in the account has not dropped below the required amount for a consecutive 28 day period.

*Wording should be: “This is to confirm that the balance in this account has not dropped below xxxxxx from DATE to DATE”. Or “I am writing to confirm that the balance in this account has not dropped below xxxxxx for the last 28 days”.

Using your parents bank account

If you wish to use your parents’ bank statements, you will need to provide:

  • Your original birth certificate showing the name of the parent(s) showing the funds.
  • An original signed and dated letter from your parent(s) confirming the relationship between you and that the money in their account is for your studies.
  • You will also need to provide your parents’ original financial documents (as above). Please note that these must be personal bank accounts and not business accounts.

FAQs

What if the money in my account is not in UK pounds (£)?

If your funds are not in pounds sterling, you need to convert the closing balance into pounds using the Oanda website. Print a copy of the conversion and include it with your bank documents.

I have heard that UK Visa & Immigration (UKVI) will not accept documents from all banks, is this true?

Yes, in some countries, there are some financial institutions that do not satisfactorily verify financial statements and therefore UKVI won’t accept documents from those banks as evidence for a Tier 4 application. The list is in Appendix P of the Immigration Rules which can be found on the Home Office website.

Can I use a fixed-term deposit to demonstrate I have enough money?

You can use a Certificate of Deposit to support your Tier 4 application. However, the certificate of deposit must have been issued within 31 days of the date of application, at least 28 days must have elapsed between the date of the deposit and the date of issue of the certificate, and there must be no wording on the document which indicates the funds are frozen or otherwise inaccessible.

What if I have already paid some of my tuition fees?

If you have already paid some or all of your course fees, this need to be detailed in the CAS statement. If it is not mentioned in the CAS, you must email the International Student Advice team with your student number and evidence of your fee payment and we will make sure it is updated accordingly. Any money showing as paid in the CAS statement can be deducted from the total amount you need to demonstrate held in a bank account for 28 days.

I have a scholarship which covers my fees and living expenses. Do I still need to include my bank statements with my Tier 4 application?

If you are financially sponsored by your home government, an international company or a scholarship agency, you can provide a formal letter from your financial sponsor confirming the details of the award including the amount of money you will be receiving.

This must be on official letter headed paper, stamped by the organisation and dated within the last 6 months. You only need to include your own bank statement if the amount of money from your financial sponsor doesn’t cover the minimum required amount under Tier 4 (first year course fees and the maintenance).

Please note: You can only show evidence of being funded by a private company if that company is considered to be ‘international’. That means it needs to have a registered office in more than one country. The international nature of the company needs to be clear from any documentation or company website otherwise it won’t be accepted as an official financial sponsor. If the company is not ‘international’ you will need to demonstrate the money in another way (see above).

I am going to be funded by a loan. Do I still need to include my bank statements with my Tier 4 application?

You can use a letter from a regulated financial institution confirming that you have a loan that is provided by the national government, the state or regional government or a government sponsored Student Loan Company or that is part of an academic or educational loans scheme.

The loan must be held under your own name and the loan letter must be dated no more than 6 months before the date of your application. 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.

I have already paid money for accommodation in the UK. Can I deduct this from the amount I need to show for my living costs if I include a receipt from the accommodation provider?

No, you have to show the required minimum amount of money to cover living costs even if you have already paid for your accommodation or don’t have any accommodation costs (because you are living with friends / relatives, for example). You cannot deduct this from the total amount of money you need to show.

Can someone look at my bank documents before I make my Tier 4 application to check that they meet the Tier 4 requirements?

City University has a team of International Student Advisers who can advise you and check documents if necessary. If you are outside the UK, we are happy to check scanned copies of your bank documents / letters if you are worried they don’t meet the requirements, send them by email to the International Student Advice team. However, please remember that the service can get very busy over the summer.

ATAS certificate

Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS)

ATAS is a certificate issued by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), which gives you security clearance to study certain postgraduate programmes at City University London.

Non - EEA students applying for MSc/ MEng or PhD level in the UK

Since 6 April 2015, non-EEA students who choose to study certain subjects at MSc or MEng or PhD level in the UK have to apply for and receive clearance under the Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) regardless of if they are required to apply for a Tier 4 student visa or not.

MSc/ MEng or PhD courses

  • MSc Mechanical Engineering
  • MSc Automative Engineering
  • Air Safety Management
  • MEng Electrical and Electronic
  • MEng Mechanical Engineering
  • MEng Civil Engineering
  • MEng Biomedical Engineering
  • Engineering & Maths Postgraduate Occasional

Research level programmes with JACS (including occasional students)

  • H200
  • H300
  • H330
  • H410
  • F310
  • G000
  • G100
  • G400
  • I100

How to apply for an ATAS

The application for an ATAS certificate is free and can be made online at www.gov.co.uk.

It takes approximately 20 working days from the date of application for an ATAS certificate to be issued.

Applicants typically need the following details when applying:

  • Contact details
  • Passport details
  • Name and nationality of your spouse/partner (if applicable)
  • Details of your previous studies
  • Details of your previous/current employment (if applicable)
  • The programme of study you are applying to follow in the UK (including JACS code) - this should be included in your CAS statement
  • If you are doing a taught Masters course, you will need details of the optional modules you anticipate taking
  • If doing a research programme, you will need to include a brief summary of your research proposal - this should be agreed with your supervisor
  • Names and contact details of two referees, whom you must have known for at least three years
  • How you will be funding your studies
  • Previous ATAS applications (if applicable).

Current students who need to renew their ATAS

An ATAS certificate is issued for a specific course with a named Tier 4 sponsor and remains valid as long as the Tier 4 sponsor and/or course details do not change.

If you need to make a visa extension application, but already have an ATAS certificate, you will need to apply for a new ATAS certificate if:

  • Your course details change, including the course length
  • The area of research or modules change
  • You move to another institution
  • You need to extend your stay to write up your thesis.