UK Immigration Rules
Visas and immigration are controlled by the UK Border Agency (UKBA) using the ‘points-based system‘ (PBS). Immigrants, including students, are divided into different ‘tiers’ or groups. Tier 4 is for people coming to the UK to study.
When you apply for a student visa you apply for 'entry clearance' (permission to enter the UK). If you are 17 years old or above and intend to study for a full-time undergraduate or postgraduate programme at UCS you must apply for an adult Tier 4 General student visa. The application form is available at the UKBA website.
The conditions you must meet to be a student in the UK
You must score 40 points to be awarded a student visa. In particular, you will need to show that you:
• Can pay for one year’s tuition fees and living costs in the UK (10 points)
• Hold an unconditional offer firmly accepted for a course and a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) from UCS (30 points)
• Have a proven track record in studying
• Hold a valid passport
What is a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS)
From 22 February 2010, any student who applies, either from within the UK or overseas, to study in the UK under Tier 4 of the points-based system must possess a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) from their prospective sponsor (university). Students will not be able to apply under Tier 4 using a visa letter from this date.
A CAS is a unique number given to you by your sponsor (university) which you provide with your visa application. The visa office will then use that number to look up the details of your course electronically.
How much money will I need?
You will need to prove to the UK Border Agency that you have enough money to cover any tuition fees not yet paid and ‘maintenance’ money to cover living expenses; £7,200 for living expenses for any course longer than nine months if living outside London.
Further details on these requirements can be found on the UKBA website.
What do I need from UCS?
If UCS gives you an unconditional offer of a place to study, we will send you an email with a ‘Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies’ (CAS) Statement that you need for the visa.
To issue you a CAS the International Admissions Officer at UCS will need: your nationality and a copy of the photo page of your passport. If you are already studying in the UK we need a copy of the current visa in your passport or on your biometric ID.
How early do I need to apply for a visa?
Not too early (not more than six months before your course starts) but don't leave your application until late. Most UK embassies try to issue visas within two weeks but at busy times it can take three weeks and they cannot issue a new visa for a course that has already started. We recommend you start the application process as early as three months in advance.
Please note that you will be able to enter the UK only one month before the date you start your course of study.
Visa application checklist
You will need to complete the application form, pay your fee and include:
1) a current valid passport or travel document;
2) all previous passports you have used to travel to the UK;
3) your CAS Statement letter containing your CAS number;
4) originals of any educational documents/certificates that are listed on your CAS Statement letter e.g. school/college academic certificates from your home country;
The UKBA will wish to see original documents rather than provisional documents if you have them, but if your CAS lists provisional documents you will need to provide provisional documents also.
5) documents to show you have the right finances (maintenance) available;
a. bank statements covering a 28 day period (remember if you are using parents’ bank statements you must also provide your birth certificate and a letter from them confirming that they are your parents and that they consent to you using their money to study in the UK); and/or
b. scholarship letter (if applicable); and/or
c. receipts for tuition fees and/or accommodation (if paid)
6) your biometric details if you are applying from outside the UK;
7) recent passport sized photographs, please see the UKBA website for full details of acceptable photographs;
8) if any of the above documents are not in English, the original must be sent with a fully certified translation by a professional translator. This translation must include specific information, please see the UKBA website for full details.
All evidence must be dated no more than one calendar month before you make your application. You must provide specified documents with your application as UKBA will not use any evidence sent in after they have made a decision. Further, the UKBA will not contact you if you do not send the correct documents. Therefore, if you fail to send the correct documents your visa may be refused.
For further details on how to apply for a Tier 4 Student Migrant visa, please see the UKBA ‘Tier 4 of the Points Based System - Policy Guidance’ for full details of documents required.
If you require any further information please contact the UCS International Admissions Officer at internationalucs.ac.uk
I am already studying in the UK but wish to transfer institution, what do I need to do?
If you are already studying in the UK and have a valid Tier 4 (General) visa linked to an institution but wish to study elsewhere, you will either have to ask the UKBA for permission to study with a different Tier 4 sponsor or, apply for or obtain new immigration permission. You must do this before you start studying with the new institution.
Where can I find out further information about the Points Based System?
If you have any questions please contact us directly at internationalucs.ac.uk
You may also find the following websites useful:
UKCISA (UK Council for International Student Affairs - for clear advice)
UKBA (UK Border Agency - for immigration application forms and advice)
When you arrive at UCS
UCS is required to keep a copy of your passport and visa. Please ensure you have both with you when you arrive for Induction.
Up to date contact details
UCS is required to keep up to date contact details for all students, so if you change your address or phone number while you are studying with us you must let us know.
As your registered sponsor UCS is required to monitor your attendance during your study and report back to the UKBA. It is therefore vital that you attend all mandatory seminars, lectures, tutorials etc. If you are unable to attend a teaching event, you must contact your tutor in advance to let them know that you will not be attending and give your reasons why.
How long can I stay for?
If you are studying at degree level or above, you can stay for the full duration of the course plus an additional four months.
Highly Trusted Sponsor
UCS has been granted the status of 'Highly Trusted Sponsor’ (HTS) by the UK Border Agency (UKBA). This status has been introduced by the UKBA for sponsors 'who have the highest level of compliance with their sponsor obligation'.
Highly Trusted Sponsor status provides UCS with additional operational benefits in how they work with the UKBA.