Visas and immigration

The Tier 4 visa life cycle

This is a typical cycle for students beginning at the start of a new academic year. However, visas are issued throughout the year for postgraduate, study abroad and English language students.

All year before the programme begins

The overseas applicant receives an offer. ATAS information is sent if applicable.

The offer at Bath becomes unconditional firm if the conditions of the offer are met.

Not more than four months before the course start date

The applicant is sent a pre-CAS check up to four months before their programme's start date.

The applicant replies in full, providing all information and documents needed.

A CAS number is assigned and the applicant is sent a CAS statement with the CAS number.

The applicant applies for a Tier 4 visa, overseas or in the UK.

The CAS is used and the applicant is e-mailed to ask the outcome.

  • If the visa application was successful, the applicant is asked to upload their visa.
  • If the visa application was unsuccessful, the applicant is referred to Student Immigration Service, advised as appropriate, and assigned a new CAS when they are ready to re-apply.

September (not more than one month before course start date)

If the applicant has provided a copy of their visa, they can start registration online from home.

Induction week

The applicant arrives at Bath and attends a document checking session with their original documents.

  • If they have provided a full copy of their visa, they complete registration online and become a fully registered student the same day. The applicant agrees to Tier 4 responsibilities through the registration online declaration.
  • If they have not provided a copy of their visa, they must bring the original documents and a copy of the visa to the document checking session. The applicant is rolled forward on SAMIS (an overnight process), completes registration online and becomes a fully registered student the following day.


Students and staff are sent an email from the University Secretary, informing them about the attendance monitoring policy at Bath.


A visa lecture is held. This is mandatory for all Tier 4 students and attendance is monitored.


Re-enrolment happens at the start of Semester 2. Tier 4 students will be asked to bring their library card to re-enrolment at specific times as part of the attendance monitoring policy.

All year during the programme

Attendance is monitored through contact points throughout the year. This is repeated until the student completes their programme.

Course changes are reported to the Home Office.


Students who successfully complete their programme graduate.

Most students will get a visa that covers their entire course, but some will need to renew it because:

  • they change to a longer course or are given longer to complete their course
  • they repeat a year (or more) of their course
  • they suspend their studies and need a new visa to return.

It is extremely important that students check whether they need to apply overseas or whether they can apply in the UK. The student requests a CAS using SAMIS online Student Services Helpdesk. Student Services send the application on the student's behalf, or the student applies overseas.

The life cycle repeats if the student commences a new course or returns home.