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
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 full time or part-time Tier 4 visa.
- your confirmation of acceptance for studies (CAS) number
- financial evidence
- Biometric Residence Permit (BRP)
- Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) certificate (if applicable)
- passport (current and previous)
- two passport sized photographs that follow the strict Home Office guidance
- application form (you will need to print this out once completed)
- original certificates (as listed on your CAS)
- proof of English language ability (if applicable - this will be stated on your CAS if it is required)
If any documents are not in English, you will also need to provide a translation (see below). 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.
If you are coming from a place that is considered a low risk country, or are a student on the Tier 4 visa pilot, you may not need to include financial evidence and original certificates. You must, however, still meet the Tier 4 requirements and must confirm that you have the required money available and academic evidence. The Student Immigration Service will ask to see this evidence when you apply in the UK.
Additional documents needs for UK application
Additional documents needed for overseas application
- a TB certificate (if required) from a Home Office approved test centre
If you have any questions, you can speak with one of our Student Immigration Advisers by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
Applications in the UK usually take eight weeks when using the standard postal service. Please be aware that it may take longer than this and the University has no control over when your application will be decided. You should enrol your biometrics as soon as possible after submitting your visa application to avoid delays.
If you apply using the premium service, you should get a decision on your application the same day. It then takes up to two weeks to receive your new visa. Please be aware that at peak times, appointment availability may be limited.
We do not recommend booking any travel until you have all your documents back.
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.
Tier 4 part-time students cannot apply to extend the visa, or switch into another visa category, while in the UK. This includes switching into Tier 4 to study full-time.
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. Please note that the annual health surcharge is currently £150, which is likely to increase to £300 per year from 19 December 2018 onwards.
|General student Tier 4 visa (applying or extending in your country)||£348|
|General student Tier 4 visa (applying or extending in the UK)||£475|
|General student Tier 4 visa (applying or extending in the UK) - Premium Service||£1,085|
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 email@example.com 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