Your visa guide
Everything you need to know about the UK visa application process.
This information is for guidance only. Please refer to the UKVI website for the most accurate and up-to-date information.
Do you need a visa?
To travel and study in the UK for longer than six months, you must apply for a Tier 4 Student (General) visa.
You may also be required to sit the Credibility Interview. Please take time to read through our ARU College Credibility Interview Guide which includes a list of possible questions you may be asked.
- Students who are nationals of countries deemed by the UK Government to be ‘low risk’ are unlikely to be interviewed. Students who are already in the UK will not be required to undertake an interview.
- ‘Low risk’ countries are defined by the UKVI.
How do I apply for a Students (Tier 4) visa?
Visa applications from outside the UK are usually made online, to make an application and to find out more please see https://www.gov.uk/apply-uk-visa.
Alongside the visa application, you will also need to visit a visa application centre to have your photograph and fingerprints taken.
When making your visa application, you will need to consider your travel date to the UK, making sure you provide an accurate arrival date. This is because you will only have ten days after arrival in the UK to collect your Biometric Residence Permit, for more information on Biometric Residents Permit, see below and the UKVI site for details www.gov.uk/biometric-residence-permits/collect
During your visa application, you will be asked where you want your Biometric Residence Permit delivered to in the UK. This cannot be your accommodation and has to be an approved collection point. Anglia Ruskin University is an approved collection centre. Please check your final CAS Statement which will include further details on what you need to include on your visa application form.
If you are under 18 you will have to be accompanied by an adult to collect your Biometric Residence Permit, again details about this and who can accompany you will be included in your CAS documentation sent to you by the University.
What will my visa look like?
If your visa application is successful, you will be provided with a temporary entrance visa known as a vignette. This will be a sticker in your passport. You will then need to collect your Biometric Residence Permit, which is your permanent visa, within ten days of arrival in the UK. You should include the Biometric Residence Permit collection address as detailed on your CAS statement.
How much does it cost?
Fees can change at any time and so you are advised to refer to the UKVI website for details.
As a guide, the standard visa processing fee from outside the UK is £335 per applicant.
How long does it take?
The Visa processing time varies depending on the country you are applying from, this can be anywhere from 24 hours to 2 months. Find out the visa processing time in your country
How is the score calculated?
You will score 30 points for a CAS Statement from an approved education provider and 10 points if you can show you have enough finances to cover your course fees and monthly living expenses for up to nine months (known as maintenance).
What is a CAS Statement?
A CAS Statement includes information about you, your sponsor, the course, and your finances. To obtain a CAS statement, you will need to have accepted your place by completing the acceptance document included in your unconditional offer pack, provided a bank statement (see our Financial Statement Guide for reference) and paid your tuition fee deposit, as outlined in the offer pack.
Once we have received the acceptance form and deposit, you will be issued with a Pre-CAS, which will allow you to check that all the information included is correct. Your Pre-CAS will also detail the next steps and the funds that you will need to show for your visa application. For further information about the documentation which you need to provide to prove availability of funds, visit the UKCISA website. More information is here.
This should say ‘general student’ or ‘adult student’.
You (the student)
- your name (as shown on your passport if applicable)
- your nationality
- your passport or travel document number (optional)
- Approved education provider (also known as the ‘sponsor’)
- the education provider’s licence number
- the education provider’s address (if different from the letterhead)
- the course title
- the academic level of course of qualification you will get when you complete the course (the National Qualifications Framework level or the type of qualification – for example, a bachelor’s degree). If you are studying an English language course, the level of the course should be the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) level – for example, CEFR level B2
- the start date (the date you start your main studies), or the date you start an induction course to prepare you for study if you have an unconditional offer to do your main course.
- the latest date you can join the course (optional)
- the expected end date
- the number of hours per week (optional if studying a full-time degree course that leads to a United Kingdom recognised bachelor or postgraduate degree, or an overseas higher education course equivalent to a United Kingdom higher education course)
- the address of your main place of study, if different to the approved education provider’s main address
- the address of any organisation offering you a work placement, if known and applicable
Evidence used to obtain the offer
A list of evidence that the approved education provider used to assess your academic ability to finish the course, which may include:
- the level or type of your existing qualifications (if applicable)
- the qualification awarding body and/or institution (if applicable)
- confirmation that an Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) clearance certificate is needed (if applicable)
If you are applying to continue or complete the course of study for which you currently have permission to stay, and your approved education provider has used your progress to date to assess your suitability to continue this course, the education provider must explain this on the CAS statement.
Money (also known as maintenance)
- course fees for the first year, or the length of the course
- course fees that you have paid so far (if applicable)
- accommodation fees that you have paid so far (if applicable)
- proof of finance
For further information about the documentation which you need to provide to prove availability of funds, visit the UKVI Tier 4 Policy Guidance and Navitas Financial Evidence Requirements website.
How do I apply?
You will need to fill in the application form, pay your fee and include:
- a current passport or travel document
- a CAS Statement from a licensed sponsor
- documents to show you have the right finances (maintenance) available
- documents used by your sponsors when they accepted you onto the course
The UK Border Agency will also need to record your biometric details if you are applying from outside the United Kingdom.