University of Bath

How to apply for a Tier 4 (General) student visa

Find out about the documents you need before applying for a Tier 4 visa, and which application process to use.

Before you apply

Tier 4 (General) student visas are open to students who have been offered an unconditional place to study in the UK, and have met the other eligibility requirements.

Students cannot apply to extend the visa, or switch into another visa category, while in the UK unless academic progression rules can be met (moving from lower level course to higher level course). This includes switching into Tier 4 to study full-time.

Before applying, you must make sure that you have all the required documents, enough money in your account to pay the fees, and understand your responsibilities while studying here on your Tier 4 visa.

Required documents

Use our checklist to make sure that you provide all of the documents required.

You should also read the Home Office's Tier 4 guidance.

Additional documents needs for UK application

Additional documents needed for overseas application

If you have any questions, you can speak with one of our Student Immigration Advisers by emailing


If any of your original documents are not in English, you must send them with a fully certified translation by a professional translator. The translation must include:

  • confirmation that it is an accurate translation of the original document
  • the translator/translation company’s contact details
  • the date of the translation
  • an original signature and full name of the translator (or an authorised official of the translation company)
  • the credentials/qualifications of the translator (if you are applying in the UK).

We recommend that you make sure that these translations state your translator's credentials and qualifications, even if you are applying from overseas. This is because you may need to apply in the UK at a later date.

Your application will be refused if you are unable to provide them to the Home Office when you are asked. We therefore advise you to carry your documents in your hand luggage when you travel to the UK. After this, you should always keep them in safe and secure location.

Applying in the UK

We strongly advise that you use our Check and Send service when applying to extend your visa. This service is there to support you when you complete the online application, make sure you submit the right documents, and minimise the risk of your application being refused.

Applying overseas

You can download our step-by-step instructions to help you complete your online application.

These will help you to apply for a Tier 4 visa directly online through the UK Immigration & Visa website.

Biometric Residence Permits

If you are a non-EEA national who seeks permission (from overseas) to enter the UK for more than six months, UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) regulations state that you must apply for a Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) as part of your visa application.

If you apply from overseas and your visa application is successful, you will be issued with a short validity ‘travel’ vignette (a sticker) for your passport, which will allow you to travel to the UK.

You will receive a notification letter telling you to collect your Tier 4 visa, called a Biometric Residence Permit (BRP), within ten days of arrival in the UK. You will be asked to collect it from the University of Bath or your designated Post Office branch, depending on the collection point you selected when making your visa application.

We strongly recommend that you select the University of Bath as your chosen collection point. When making your visa application, you will need to enter our Alternative Collection Location (ACL) code, which will be provided on your CAS.


You will need to pay the visa application fee and may also have to pay the immigration health surcharge.

Application type Fee
General student Tier 4 visa (applying or extending in your country) £335
General student Tier 4 visa (applying or extending in the UK) £457

UKVI visa interviews

After you have submitted your visa application, UKVI may invite you to a ‘credibility interview’ conducted in English, so they can confirm that you are a genuine student and that you meet English language requirements. Some of the information will be used to make a decision on your visa application.

Interviews last approximately ten minutes and are usually conducted with video conferencing, although they may take place in person or on the phone. You may need to travel to another city to attend your interview.

Your visa may be refused if you fail to attend or change your appointment time repeatedly.

Preparing for your interview

We advise you to:

  • be honest if you have ever broken the law
  • request a copy of your interview transcript for your records
  • let the interviewer know if you cannot hear them clearly because of technical issues

If your visa application is refused

If your visa is refused you must email for further advice.

Typical reasons for refusal are:

  • your bank documents do not clearly show there is enough money in your bank account every day, for a 28-day period
  • your financial documents do not meet Home Office requirements
  • you have not provided original qualifications or certificates listed on the Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS)
  • your documents are not in English
  • your tuberculosis (TB) test has not been approved by the Home Office