Applying for a Tier 4 visa

If you need a Tier 4 visa to study in the UK, there is a very strict procedure that must be followed, and many essential criteria to meet. This section provides an overview of the process, but it is important that you read in detail the UK Home Office’s Tier 4 of the Points Based System – Policy Guidance.

Summary of Stages:

  • Meet the conditions of your offer and provide evidence of this to Canterbury Christ Church University.
    • Academic Conditions
    • Immigration Conditions
      • Academic Progression
      • ATAS
      • Tuberculosis Certificate
      • Immigration History
      •  Tier 4 Agreement
    • Financial Conditions
      • Confirmation of tuition fee deposit payment/Evidence of government sponsorship
      • Providing valid financial evidence
  • Formally accept your offer and request a CAS.
  • Collect together all of the documents you will need to make your application, and check that they are in the correct format.
  • Make your online Tier 4 application to the UKVI in good time, including paying the application fee and Immigration Health Surcharge.
  • Submit your application and supporting documents.
  • Receive a decision/request for further action from the UKVI

Academic conditions

There may have been Academic Conditions on your original conditional offer. These would most usually be to supply Canterbury Christ Church University with copies of the certificates or transcripts you used in your application. If the certificates are not in English, you will be required to provide certified translations to accompany them. In some cases, (for example if there is an unexpected delay in receiving your qualifications), you may be able to submit other evidence. The International Admissions Team will be able to advise on your specific case. In all cases, if your visa application is successful, you will be required to bring the original qualification documents to your registration event when you enrol with us.

Immigration conditions – academic progression

Applicants who have previously studied in the UK on a Tier 4 visa are required to demonstrate that their new course is at a higher level than their previous course, with few exceptions. The International Admissions Team will be able to advise you if this is the case in your situation.

Immigration conditions – ATAS certificates

For certain postgraduate subjects, you will be required to obtain an ATAS certificate before you are able to apply for your Tier 4 Visa. ATAS is a vetting system designed to prevent certain sensitive knowledge from falling into the hands of people who would use it to cause harm to others.

If you do apply for a course which requires an ATAS certificate, obtaining one will be one of your offer conditions. Please note that it can sometimes take up to two months for the relevant government department (the Foreign and Commonwealth Office) to issue ATAS certicates, so it is crucial that you make your application for it as soon as possible. You are able to apply for ATAS up to nine months before the start of your course.

All that is required for you to be able to apply for ATAS is to be holding a conditional offer to study at Canterbury Christ Church University. You are able to read more about ATAS and how to apply at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/academic-technology-approval-scheme.

Once you have received your ATAS certificate, please forward a copy to your International Admissions Officer as soon as possible, as they will need this before they are able to issue you a CAS.

Immigration conditions - Tuberculosis certificate

For the citizens of countries on this list, it may be necessary to gain a certificate proving that you are free from Tuberculosis (TB) in order to successfully apply for a Tier 4 visa.

If you do require a certificate, the UKVI will only accept certificates from approved testing centres and personnel. If your country is one where TB certification is required, you can see where these centres are by clicking on the name of the country in the page listed above.

There are some exceptions: If you are from a country on the list, but have been living for over six months in a country where TB testing is not required, and have returned home for a period of less than six months, a new certificate is not required. For example, if you are a national of one of the countries on the list but have been studying a Bachelor’s degree in the UK, and have returned home for less than six months (for example as a break between Bachelor’s and Master’s study), you will not require a new TB certificate. If you are uncertain as to whether you will require a TB certificate to apply for your visa, please contact the International Admissions Team.

Immigration conditions - Immigration History

You will have been asked to complete an ‘Immigration History Declaration Form’ by the International Admissions Team, and to send copies of any previous UK visas to us. The reason for this is that the UK Government has set limits, or ‘caps’ on the length of time students are allowed to be in the UK on Tier 4 General Visas, depending on the type of course. If you have never studied in the UK before with a Tier 4 Visa, you do not need to worry about this.

Degree-level courses: Tier 4 Students may spend a maximum of five combined years studying at Bachelor’s level and Master’s level. If you apply to study a Bachelor’s or Master’s level course, and the additional leave that you have applied for takes you over this five years, your application will be refused. Please note that the UKVI usually add four months of ‘wraparound time’ after the stated course end date, and the five year limit calculation includes this.

The common exceptions to the five year cap are:

  • You are applying for a Tier 4 visa to start or finish a PhD.
  • You are applying for a Tier 4 visa to undertake a few highly specialised courses such as Architecture and Medicine.
  • You are making a Tier 4 Student application in order to start or complete a Master’s degree and your previous Bachelor's degree was four or five years long. If this is the case the time limit for you is six years and not five. This does not apply if you needed to extend your original degree due to re-sits of modules or the re-taking of academic years.

Some further uncommon exceptions do apply; the International Admissions Team will advise you if they apply to you.

The International Admissions Team will also check if you have ever been refused a Tier 4 General Visa in the past, or have ever breached the conditions of a previous visa, for example by overstaying your leave, working in a manner otherwise prohibited by your visa, using false documents or deception, or claiming public funds.

Immigration conditions - Tier 4 Agreement

Before your CAS is issued by the International Admissions Team, you will be required to sign our Tier 4 Agreement. This is  document in which you agree to abide by the conditions of your Tier 4 Visa (if granted), including those regarding absence, working, changes in circumstance and other immigration rules. By signing the document, you agree that if you do not abide by these rules, Canterbury Christ Church University reserves the right to immediately withdraw you from study and report this to the UKVI, without refund of any monies paid.

Read the full Tier 4 Agreement 

Financial conditions – confirmation of deposit payment/confirmation of government sponsorship

If you are funding your course using your own funds or those of your family, you will be required to pay 50% of your first year’s tuition fee in advance in order to secure your place and make your offer unconditional. You may either do this online  or by contacting finance@canterbury.ac.uk. Once you have made payment, please inform the International Admissions Officer dealing with your case, who will confirm receipt with the Canterbury Christ Church University Finance Department.

If you are being financially sponsored by your government, a sponsorship organisation or university to undertake your course, the International Admissions Team will require an official letter from your sponsor, in which they state the extent to which they are sponsoring you (for example, whether they are providing money for both your tuition and maintenance, or tuition alone).

If you are self-funding your studies, you will need to demonstrate to the UKVI that you can afford your tuition fees and living costs whilst in the UK. You will be required by the University to pay 50% of your first year’s tuition fees in order to secure your place on the course.

Once you have done this and the University has confirmed receipt of payment, you will need to provide evidence that you have the full sum of the remainder of your first year fees available to you, usually in the form of a bank statement. A limited number of other forms of evidence are acceptable – the International Admissions Team will advise you of this if it is applicable in your case.

In addition to the money for tuition fees, you must show that you have money for living costs such as accommodation. For Canterbury, this is at least £1,015.00 per month up to a maximum of nine months, or £9,135.00. An example for a typical course lasting twelve or more months is shown below:

(Course fees (first year): £11,000.00

-

50% tuition deposit of £5,500.00

=

Remainder: £5,500.00)

+

Maintenance requirement: £9,135.00

=

£14,635.00 to show as funds present in your bank account.

The amount of money you have paid towards your tuition fees will be stated on your CAS – but if you pay any additional money after the CAS is issued, we will update the UKVI on your behalf – you will not need to provide further evidence.

The evidence you provide to demonstrate that you have the required funds must show that you:

  • Have held the required amount of money for at least 28 consecutive days before the date of the visa application, and;
  • Have held the required amount of money on every day of the 28 day period i.e. you cannot have less than the required amount of money even for just one day during the 28 days, and;
  • The end date of the 28 day period (i.e. the end date of the bank statement)must be no more than 31 days before the date of the visa application.
  • Still have the required amount of money on the date of the visa application, and;
  • Hold the money in bank accounts in cash funds or savings, which are available to you i.e. you cannot rely on money held in shares, bonds, dividends or other investments.
  • Hold the money in personal bank accounts. Please note that business accounts, even if you, or your parent, are the sole owner of the enterprise, are not acceptable.
  • If your funds are in a bank in a country listed on the UK Government’s Immigration Rules web page, you will have to hold the funds in a bank or financial institution, which UKVI deems to satisfactorily verify its statements.

Loans

If you are relying on a loan to meet the financial requirement, you must have a loan which is provided by your national, state or regional government, by a government sponsored student loan company, or an official educational/academic loan scheme.

Important: the date of your visa application

Please note that the date of your Tier 4 Student entry clearance application is the date that you pay the application fee. This is usually different to the date you provide your documents and biometrics at the Visa Application Centre (VAC) and is important when calculating the 28 days maintenance requirement.

If you are not sure how much money you are required to have or in what format to hold it, please contact us at international.admissions@canterbury.ac.uk.

Formally accept your offer and request your CAS

Once the Admissions Team has verified all of the documents they have asked from you, your offer will become unconditional and you will be able to request the CAS document you will need to apply for your visa. This will be sent to you via e-mail, and the university will also keep copies for its records. As soon as you have received your CAS, you may apply for your visa (as long as your course starts no more than three months in the future). You will need to collect the appropriate documents to send to the UKVI to support your application.

Documents

Before you make your visa application, it is important that you collect all of the documents that you may be required to send to the UKVI. These documents must be original – photocopies or scans will not be accepted and their submission will result in a visa refusal. If any of your documents are not written in English, you will need to send certified translations completed by a professional translation service. The documents you need to collect are as follows:

  • Evidence of funds

    Either:
    Bank statements in your name; or
    Bank statements in your parents’ name; or
    A letter guaranteeing a loan from your country’s government or an official loan scheme; or
    A letter from your government or an international agency, confirming full financial sponsorship and support for your visa application.

The acceptable documents (and their format) are explained in detail in the UK Home Office’s Tier 4 of the Points Based System – Policy Guidance. If your financial documents are not presented in the manner it describes, your application will be refused. The relevant sections in this guidance are titled ‘Documents needed to show money available to you’ and ‘Documents needed to show official financial sponsorship' or ‘government sponsorship’.

  • Original academic and English language qualifications as listed on your CAS
    These must be original documents – the only case in which you do not need to submit these is if you have applied via UCAS for a Bachelor’s degree and the qualification listed on your CAS is from a UK Awarding body for a course that you have studied in the UK. In this scenario, you can provide a copy of the transcript of that UK qualification.
  • Your current passport (with the same number as that listed on the CAS)
  • One colour passport photograph
  • Complete Tier 4 application form (you can print this once you have made your application online.)
  • Any current or previous UK Biometric Residence Permit card (BRP) – you only need to provide this if you have previously been resident in the UK and were issued a BRP card.
  • Valid Birth Certificate. You will only need to submit this if you are using your parents’ bank account as financial evidence.
  • Parental consent letter. If you are using your parents’ account as financial evidence, they will need to write a letter confirming that they are happy for the funds in the account you have provided a statement for to be used for your education and maintenance whilst you are in the UK.
  • ATAS Certificate (if required)
  • TB Clearance Certificate (if required)
  • For students under the age of 18 on the date of their visa application: a further parental consent letter which verifies that the birth certificate is genuine, as is the relationship between the applicant and the parents. The letter will also need to state that your parents’ consent to you travelling to the UK to study, and that they confirm your living arrangements whilst you are there.

 ‘Low risk’ countries

If you are from a country deemed as ‘low risk’ by the UKVI (list below) and are making your application from that country, you will not need to send your educational documents or financial evidence in support of your application. It is still important that you possess these documents, as the UKVI may request them from you if they wish.

Argentina, Australia, Barbados, Botswana, BNO (British National Overseas), Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Hong Kong, Malaysia, New Zealand, Oman, Qatar, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Trinidad and Tobago, United Arab Emirates, United States of America.

In all cases, once you have completed your visa application the UKVI will give you a ‘document checklist’ relevant to your application. You must ensure that you submit all documents which are on this list.

Make your online Tier 4 application to the UKVI in good time, including paying the application fee and Immigration Health Surcharge

Once you have your CAS and all of the required supporting documents, you should make your visa application online. The online form must be completed in English, and all sections must be completed in full. There is an option for somebody else (an agent or legal representative for example) to complete the form for you, but the application legally belongs to you and you must be aware of what is written on the form – if any false information is given then not only will your application be refused, but you may be banned from travelling to the UK for up to 10 years.

Some of the information required on the application form (for example, fee costs and the CAS number), will be listed on your CAS.

In order to complete your visa application, you will need to pay a fee. Application fees for the various services offered by UKVI are listed during the course of your application. The standard (postal) service can take up to four weeks from the date of your application to your visa being granted, and as such if you do not have enough time before your intended travel date you may use the Priority or Premium Service (if they are available in your country), which will incur an additional fee.

In order to cover the cost of any National Health Service treatment you may receive in the UK, you will also need to pay what is known as the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS). You must make this payment even if you have taken out private health insurance. The fee is £150.00 per year of your intended time in the UK, and £75.00 per each part of a year that is less than six months. For example, if you were to be in the UK for three years and four months, the total charge would be £525.00.

Calculate your immigration health surcharge

Submit your application and supporting documents

Once your online application is complete, you will be able to book an appointment at a Visa Application Centre (VAC) in your home country. At this appointment, another photograph of you will be taken, and your fingerprints will be scanned. You will need to bring the printed application form with you, as well as all of the documents that the UKVI have requested.

Subsequent to this appointment, the UKVI may invite you to attend an interview. If you do not attend when asked to do so, your application will be refused. At the interview the UKVI’s representative will ask you various questions regarding your intention for studying in the UK, how you decided on which university you wished to attend and what you know about the course you have been accepted to study on. Once the interview is complete, the UKVI will take some time to make a final assessment of your application and return their decision to you, as well as your documents. The UKVI provides up-to-date visa processing times for your location and service category on their website.   

Receiving the result of your application

If the UKVI decides to grant your visa, they will return your passport to you with a special sticker (called a vignette) which grants you a set period of 30 days within which you may enter the UK (for courses lasting six months or more). This 30 day period will either start 30 days before the course start date on your CAS, or seven days before you stated you intended to enter the UK on your visa application, whichever is later. If you do not travel to the UK within these 30 days, you will need to apply for a new visa.

You will also be sent a letter confirming that your visa application was successful, which will include the location of the UK Post Office at which you will need to collect your Biometric Residence Permit (BRP), as well as the date from which it will be available for collection. The BRP is what really constitutes your visa, and will have the full start and end dates of your leave to remain in the UK.

You need to take your passport and this letter to the relevant post office to collect your BRP, and must do so within ten days of arriving in the UK or within ten days of the date the UKVI tell you your BRP card will be ready for collection.

If your application is refused, you will be sent a letter explaining why your visa has not been granted. If you receive a letter such as this, please send a scanned copy immediately to the International Admissions Team at Canterbury Christ Church University. They will then analyse the reason(s) for refusal, and advise you as to whether the university is prepared to issue a new CAS for a further application.

It is important to note that you may only use a CAS document for one visa application. The same CAS document may not be re-used to apply for another visa.

In the event of a refusal without the possibility of re-application, the university will make a full refund of tuition fees paid if it is established that your application was not refused as the result of any deception on your part.

If you intend to bring your family

Only certain categories of student may bring their dependants (such as spouse or children) with them to study in the UK. In order to find out whether you would be able to do this, please check the information contained in the sites below:

UK Visa and Immigration 

UK Council for International Student Affairs 

If you have any further questions regarding making an application for entry clearance under the Tier 4 Points Based System, please contact

international.admissions@canterbury.ac.uk

Information and Advice

This website is only a general guide and does not cover all aspects of Tier 4 immigration guidance and legislation. It is very important that you, your parents or representatives read the full information given by the UKVI and other bodies below:

The most common reasons for refusal we have seen are applicants not sending in the correct documents, and not holding the required funds for the correct amount of time before applying. It is therefore crucial that you read the full guidance carefully. Our International Admissions Team will check all document copies used in your application before you apply, but ultimately it is up to you to ensure that the correct originals are used as your visa application is your responsibility.

This guidance is for the sole use of Canterbury Christ Church applicants and students. It is a reference guide only and may only be used in conjunction with the UK Visa and Immigration Authority (UKVI) Tier 4 Policy Guidance and all other webpages referenced in that document. The information given above is given in good faith and has been rigorously checked. However, laws and regulations change frequently, and it is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that they are familiar with the current guidance and meet the immigration conditions for a successful visa application.

Summary of Stages:

  • Meet the conditions of your offer and provide evidence of this to Canterbury Christ Church University.
    • Academic Conditions
    • Immigration Conditions
      • Academic Progression
      • ATAS
      • Immigration History
      • Tier 4 Agreement
  • Financial Conditions
    • Confirmation of tuition fee deposit payment/Evidence of government sponsorship
    • Providing valid financial evidence
  • Find out whether you are able to apply in the UK, and inform Canterbury Christ Church of this. Please ensure that you ask the International Admissions Team whether this is possible in your case.
  • Formally accept your offer and request a CAS.
  • Collect together all of the documents you will need to make your application, and check that they are in the correct format.
  • Make your online Tier 4 application to the UKVI in good time, including paying the application fee and Immigration Health Surcharge.
  • Submit your application and supporting documents.
  • Receive a decision/request for further action from the UKVI
  • Dependents already in the UK

Meet the conditions of your offer and provide evidence of this to Canterbury Christ Church University:

Academic conditions

There may have been Academic Conditions on your original conditional offer. These would most usually be to supply Canterbury Christ Church University with copies of the certificates or transcripts you used in your application. If the certificates are not in English, you will be required to provide certified translations to accompany them. In some cases, (for example if there is an unexpected delay in receiving your qualifications), you may be able to submit other evidence. The International Team will be able to advise on your specific case.

Immigration conditions – academic progression

Applicants who have previously studied in the UK on a Tier 4 visa are required to demonstrate that their new course is at a higher level than their previous course, with few exceptions. The International Admissions Team will be able to advise you if this is the case in your situation.

Immigration conditions – ATAS certificates

For certain postgraduate subjects, you will be required to obtain an ATAS certificate before you are able to apply for your Tier 4 Visa. ATAS is a vetting system designed to prevent certain sensitive knowledge from falling into the hands of people who would use it to cause harm to others.

If you do apply for a course which requires an ATAS certificate, obtaining one will be one of your offer conditions. Please note that it can sometimes take up to two months for the relevant government department (the Foreign and Commonwealth Office) to issue ATAS, so it is crucial that you make your application for it as soon as possible. You are able to apply for ATAS up to nine months before the start of your course.

All that is required for you to be able to apply for ATAS is to be holding a conditional offer to study at Canterbury Christ Church University. You are able to read more about ATAS and how to apply at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/academic-technology-approval-scheme.

Once you have received your ATAS certificate, please forward a copy to your International Admissions Officer as soon as possible, as they will need this before they are able to issue you a CAS.

Immigration conditions - immigration history

You will have been asked to complete an ‘Immigration History Declaration Form’ by the International Admissions Team, and to send copies of any previous UK visas to us. The reason for this is that the UK Government has set limits, or ‘caps’ on the length of time students are allowed to be in the UK on Tier 4 General Visas, depending on the type of course. If you have never studied in the UK before with a Tier 4 Visa, you do not need to worry about this.

Degree-level courses: Tier 4 Students may spend a maximum of five combined years studying at Bachelor’s level and Master’s level. If you apply to study a Bachelor’s or Master’s level course, and the additional leave that you have applied for takes you over this five years, your application will be refused. Please note that the UKVI usually add four months of ‘wraparound time’ after the stated course end date, and the five year limit calculation includes this.

The common exceptions to the five year cap are:

  • You are applying for a Tier 4 visa to start or finish a PhD.
  • You are applying for a Tier 4 visa to undertake a few highly specialised courses such as Architecture and Medicine.
  • You are making a Tier 4 Student application in order to start or complete a Master’s degree and your previous degree was four or five years long (this does not apply if you needed to extend your original degree due to re-sits of modules or the re-taking of academic years). If this is the case the time limit for you is six years and not five.

Some further uncommon exceptions do apply; the International Admissions Team will advise you if they apply to you.

The International Admissions Team will also check if you have ever been refused a Tier 4 General Visa in the past, or have ever previously breached the conditions of a previous visa, for example by overstaying your leave, working in a manner otherwise prohibited by your visa, used false documents or deception, or claimed public funds.

Immigration conditions - Tier 4 Agreement

Before your CAS is issued by the International Admissions Team, you will be required to sign our Tier 4 Agreement. This is a document in which you agree to abide by the conditions of your Tier 4 Visa (if granted), including those regarding absence, working, changes in circumstance and other immigration rules. By signing the document, you agree that if you do not abide by these rules, Canterbury Christ Church University reserves the right to immediately withdraw you from study and report this to the UKVI, without refund of any monies paid.

Read the full Tier 4 Agreement 

Financial conditions – confirmation of deposit payment/confirmation of government sponsorship

If you are funding your course using your own funds or those of your family, you will be required to pay 50% of your first year’s tuition fees in advance in order to secure your place and make your offer unconditional. You may either do this online at https://payments.canterbury.ac.uk, or by contacting finance@canterbury.ac.uk. Once you have made payment, please inform the International Admissions Officer dealing with your case, who will confirm receipt with the Canterbury Christ Church University.

If you are being sponsored by your government, a sponsorship organisation or university to undertake your course, the International Admissions Team will require an official letter from your sponsor, in which they state the extent to which they are sponsoring you (for example, whether they are providing money for both your tuition and maintenance, or tuition alone).

If you are self-funding your studies, you will need to demonstrate to the UKVI that you can afford your tuition fees and living costs whilst in the UK. You will be required by the University to pay 50% of your first year’s tuition fees in order to secure your place on the course.

Once you have done this and the University has confirmed receipt of payment, you will need to provide evidence that you have the full sum of the remainder of your first year fees available to you, usually in the form of a bank statement. A limited number of other forms of evidence are acceptable – the International Admissions Team will advise you of this if it is applicable in your case.

In addition to the money for tuition fees, you must show that you have money for living costs such as accommodation. For Canterbury, this is at least £1,015.00 per month up to a maximum of nine months, or £9,135.00. An example for a typical course lasting twelve or more months is shown below:

Course fees (first year): £11,000.00

Minus 50% deposit of £5,500.00

Remainder: £5,500.00

+

Maintenance requirement: £9,135.00

=

£14,635.00 to show as evidence

The amount of money you have paid towards your tuition fees will be stated on your CAS – but if you pay any additional money after the CAS is issued, we will update the UKVI on your behalf – you will not need to provide further evidence.

The evidence you provide to demonstrate that you have the required funds must show that you:

  • Have held the required amount of money for at least 28 consecutive days before the date of the visa application, and
  • Have held the required amount of money on every day of the 28 day period i.e. you cannot have less than the required amount of money even for just one day during the 28 days, and
  • The end date of the 28 day period i.e. the date of the bank statement must be no more than 31 days before the date of the visa application.
  • Still have the required amount of money on the date of the visa application, and
  • Hold the money in bank accounts in cash funds or savings, which are available to you i.e. you cannot rely on money held in shares, bonds, dividends or other investments.
  • Hold the money in personal bank accounts. Please note that business accounts, even if you, or your parent, are the sole owner of the enterprise, are not acceptable.
  • If your funds are in a bank in a country listed on the UK Government’s Immigration Rules web page, you will have to hold the funds in a bank or financial institution, which UKVI deems to satisfactorily verify its statements.

Loans

If you are relying on a loan to meet the maintenance requirement, you must have a loan which is provided by your national, state or regional government, by a government sponsored student loan company, or an official educational/academic loan scheme.

Important: the date of your visa application

Please note that the date of your Tier 4 Student Leave to Remain application is the date that you pay the application fee and immigration health surcharge. This is usually different to the date you submit your documents via post, attend a Premium Service appointment or submit your biometrics, and is important when calculating the 28 days maintenance requirement.

If you’re not sure how much money you are required to have or in what format to hold it, please contact us at international.admissions@canterbury.ac.uk.

Find out whether you are able to apply in the UK

If you hold an unconditional offer to start a new course, you are able to apply in the UK if:

  • Your new course starts no more than 28 days after the expiry of your current leave to remain in the UK. If this is not the case, you will need to leave the UK and apply from your home country.
  • Your current visa is Tier 4 (General) and it was sponsored by a HEI (Higher Education Institution such as a university); an embedded college of an HEI, or a registered independent school. If your Tier 4 (General) visa was sponsored by a private or public college, you will need to leave and apply from your home country.
  • Your current leave is that of a Tier 4 (Child) student, Tier 1 (Post Study Work) or Tier 2 Migrant. If you do not possess leave in the categories above or Tier 4 (General) leave, you will need to leave and apply from your home country. This includes if you have a Points Based System Dependent visa of a Tier 4 student.

If you are already a Tier 4 Student and need to complete a course you have already started, but do not have sufficient leave to complete, you are able to apply from within the UK if:

  • You are re-sitting an examination or need to repeat a module, or because you re-sat an examination or had to repeat a module in a previous academic year of the same course.
  • You need to extend your leave to complete a PhD for which you were last given a Tier 4 visa.
  • You are taking on the role of a Student Union Sabbatical Officer, or because you previously undertook that role and now need to complete your course.
  • You are applying for the Tier 4 Doctorate Extension Scheme. View our section on the Doctorate Extension Scheme for more information. 
  • You are applying as a postgraduate doctor or dentist on a recognised Foundation Programme.

If at least one of the above situations does not apply to you, you are not able to make your Tier 4 application in the UK to complete your course. You will need to leave and make your application in your home country. This will therefore apply to you if:

  • You have changed your course since your last Tier 4 visa was issued, and now need more time to complete the new course.

If you are uncertain whether you are able to apply for your Tier 4 visa in the UK, please contact international.admissions@canterbury.ac.uk. If you are not able to make your application in the UK, please read our guidance on Applying for Tier 4 visas outside the UK.

Formally accept your offer and request your CAS

Once the Admissions Team has verified all of the documents they have asked from you, your offer will become unconditional and you will be able to request the CAS document you will need to apply for your visa. This will be sent to you via e-mail, and the university will also keep copies for its records. As soon as you have received your CAS, you may apply for your visa (as long as your course starts no more than three months in the future). You will need to collect the appropriate documents to send to the UKVI to support your application:

Documents

Before you make your visa application, it is important that you collect all of the documents that you may be required to send to the UKVI. These documents must be original – photocopies or scans will not be accepted and their submission will result in a visa refusal. If any of your documents are not written in English, you will need to send certified translations completed by a professional translation service. The documents you need to collect are as follows:

  • Evidence of Funds

    Either:

    Bank statements in your name; or
    Bank statements in your parents’ name; or
    A letter guaranteeing a loan from your country’s government or an official loan scheme; or
    A letter from your government or an international agency, confirming full financial sponsorship and support for your visa application.

The acceptable documents (and their format) are explained in detail in UK Home Office’s Tier 4 of the Points Based System – Policy Guidance. If your financial documents are not presented in the manner it describes, your application will be refused. The relevant sections in this guidance are titled ‘Documents needed to show money available to you’ and ‘Documents needed to show official financial sponsorship or government sponsorship’.

  • Original academic and English language qualifications as listed on your CAS

These must be original documents – the only case in which you do not need to submit these is if you have applied via UCAS for a Bachelor’s degree and the qualification listed on your CAS is from a UK Awarding body for a course that you have studied in the UK. In this scenario, you can provide a copy of the transcript of that UK qualification.

  • Your current passport (with the same number as that listed on the CAS)
  • One colour passport photograph
  • Complete Tier 4 application form (you can print this once you have made your application online.)
  • Any previous or current UK Biometric Residence Permit card (BRP) – you only need to provide this if you are or have previously been resident in the UK and were issued a BRP card.
  • Valid Birth Certificate. You will only need to submit this if you are using your parents’ bank account as financial evidence.
  • Parental consent letter. If you are using your parents’ account as financial evidence, they will need to write a letter confirming that they are happy for the funds in the account you have provided a statement for to be used for your education and maintenance whilst you are in the UK.
  • ATAS Certificate (if required)
  • For students under the age of 18 on the date of their visa application: a further parental consent letter which verifies that the birth certificate is genuine, as is the relationship between the applicant and the parents. The letter will also need to state that your parents’ consent to you travelling to the UK to study, and that they confirm your living arrangements whilst you are there.

In all cases, once you have completed your visa application the UKVI will give you a ‘document checklist’ relevant to your application. You must ensure that you submit all documents which are on this list.

Make your online Tier 4 application to the UKVI in good time, including paying the application fee and Immigration Health Surcharge

If you are not a current student with us or have accepted an unconditional offer:

If another institution is your current Tier 4 sponsor, then you must make your new Tier 4 application using Canterbury Christ Church University’s sponsor number, and you must make your new application before your current leave expires, and before the start of your Canterbury Christ Church University course. UK immigration law prohibits your enrolment or study with us until you have made a valid Tier 4 application using Canterbury Christ Church University’s sponsor license number.

If you are already a Canterbury Christ Church University student and need to extend your leave to complete your course:

You must make your application (including payment of the Immigration Health Surcharge and application fee) before your current leave expires.

Information for applicants and existing students:

You will need to apply online. There are three options for service which you must choose from (Standard, Priority and Premium). Read more about Where, when, how to apply on the UKCISA website. If you able to attend Augustine House, our International Admissions Manager will be happy to assist you in making the application.

Once you have completed the application, you will need to pay the application fee (£457.00 for a Standard postal application, £916 for a Priority Service application and £1,047.00 for a Premium Service application).

The application page will also require you to make the Immigration Health Surcharge payment in order to complete the application. This surcharge is calculated at £150 for each year that you are in the UK, and means that you will be entitled to free treatment by the UK National Health Service during your time here. If any of your dependents will be staying in the UK with you, their IHS charge will be £75 per year. Any part year over six months will be charged at the full yearly rate of £150.

Once payment is completed, you will need to download, save and print your Tier 4 Document Checklist. You will need to send the document checklist with your other documents to the UKVI, or bring it with you if you have made a personal appointment with the Premium Service.

We advise that if you are able to do so, you make an appointment with our International Student Advisor at Canterbury Christ Church University, who will be able to assist you in making your online application. The application and the information entered within it is legally still your responsibility; however, making your application with their assistance will help to prevent many common errors.

Submit your application and supporting documents

If you have made a Standard or Priority Service application, you will need to submit your documents to the UKVI (including the Tier 4 Document Checklist) by post. The address you need is written on the checklist itself. You need to send your documents within 15 days of completing your online application if you are using the Standard Service, and within 2 days if you are using the Priority Service.

It is highly recommended (for safety and security reasons) that you send your documents by UK Royal Mail Special Delivery or Recorded Delivery. This will ensure that the documents are sent securely and will be tracked by the UK postal service. The documents will be delivered the following working day, and will not be delivered unless they are signed for.

If you have made a Premium Service appointment, you must attend on the date and time you chose to do so, and bring all of the supporting original documents with you, including the Tier 4 Document Checklist.

The UKVI’s objective is to process and make decisions upon Standard Service applications made by post within 8 weeks. Some applications may take longer than this if there are factors in the application which complicate this processing time. Your passport will be retained by the UKVI until a decision is made, so it is important not to book any travel outside of the UK until you have had your documents returned to you.

If you use the Priority Service route, a decision should be reached within two weeks. If you used the Premium Service route, a decision will be made on the day of your appointment, and if successful you should receive your BRP within 7 days. This means that if you have an urgent need to travel within three months of applying for your visa, you should choose the Priority or Premium Service.

Receive a decision/request for further action from the UKVI

Once you have submitted your online application, you will need to download a letter asking you to visit an appropriate Post Office in order to enrol your fingerprints and photograph. You will be able to download this letter from the UKVI website once final payment for your online application has been made. You must take this letter to a Post Office with the correct facilities within 15 working days of the date on the letter. If you do not do this, your application will be invalidated.

The UKVI will send back your documents and a covering letter if your application is successful. This will be followed by your BRP, which will be sent to you separately. When you receive your BRP, check it carefully to ensure that all details are correct, especially your name and the start/end dates of your leave to remain in the UK. If your application is unsuccessful, you will be sent your documents with a letter explaining the reason for the refusal. If you receive such a letter, it is crucial that you send a copy of it to the International Admissions Team as soon as possible so that they are able to assess the reason(s) for refusal and provide you with further advice.

Dependents already in the UK

If you wish for any dependents already in the UK with you on Tier 4 Dependent visas to stay with you if your new visa is granted, they will need to apply for new dependent visas at the same time as you apply to switch to or extend your Tier 4 leave. More information on what they will need to do may be found on the UKCISA website.

Your dependents will each need to apply online as your dependent, and will also need to pay the application fee and Immigration Health Surcharge. Each dependent who applies will mean that you will need to demonstrate significantly higher maintenance funds for your stay in the UK.

Information and Advice

This website is only a general guide and does not cover all aspects of Tier 4 immigration guidance and legislation. It is very important that you, your parents or representatives read the full information given by the UKVI and other bodies below:

The most common reasons for refusal we have seen are applicants not sending in the correct documents, and not holding the required funds for the correct amount of time before applying. It is therefore crucial that you read the full guidance carefully. Our International Admissions Team will check all document copies used in your application before you apply, but ultimately it is up to you to ensure that the correct originals are used, as your visa application is your responsibility.

This guidance is for the sole use of Canterbury Christ Church applicants and students. It is a reference guide only and may only be used in conjunction with the UK Visa and Immigration Authority (UKVI) Tier 4 Policy Guidance and all other webpages referenced in that document. The information given above is given in good faith and has been rigorously checked. However, laws and regulations change frequently, and it is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that they are familiar with the current guidance and meet the immigration conditions for a successful visa application.

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Last edited: 19/10/2017 11:49:00