Do I need a visa?
This will depend on your nationality or country of residence. Use the UK Visas questionnaire to find out if you require a visa.
What happens if I cannot get a visa?
All payments are refundable in the event that a student is unable to meet visa entry requirements, subject to a visa rejection letter.
Once we have received your confirmation payment, we will send you a Certificate of Enrolment and Visa Support letter. At this point, you will need to apply for a visa to study in the UK if necessary.
Important changes to the visa application process
In 2009 the United Kingdom Border Agency (UKBA) introduced a points-based system for visa applications.Within this new system, Tier 4 relates to overseas students (not Home nor EU) who want to study in the UK. Tier 4 visa applicants need to be sponsored by an institution registered with the Border Agency.
All Tier 4 visa applications need to include a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) reference number. This is issued by the International Study Centre. Once we have received your confirmation payment and your completed Acceptance Form, we will send you a Certificate of Enrolment and, if you need a visa, a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) reference number.
Applying for a visa
The UK Visas site gives basic information about applying. You can also download a visa application form. The visa4uk site allows applicants from some countries to apply online. For in-depth and up to date information, you should contact the British Embassy in your country.
The visa application process can take a long time so you should submit your application well before you wish to come to the UK to study. You must get a visa before you travel. However, you cannot apply for a visa until three months before your course starts. You also cannot apply for a student visa to study at the International Study Centre before you have confirmed your offer of a place with us (ie. payment of deposit has reached us and receipt of your completed Acceptance form).
Student credibility interviews
From the 30th July 2012 international students from selected countries may have to participate in a “Credibility Interviews” with UKBA Entry Clearance Officers (ECO’s). These interviews are only held if an ECO has concerns over a student’s intentions to study, or any of the supporting documentation and information submitted with the visa application.
Only a small percentage of students will be interviewed and only if the Entry Clearance Officers have reason to doubt your study intentions. Those with the correct documentation, knowledge of the course they have applied to, and with the appropriate finances to support themselves, will not be affected. Full details are available to read in our Student Credibility Interviews PDF.
Documents to submit with your visa application form
It is important to fill out the visa application form carefully. It is also very important to submit all supporting documents with your student visa application. If you do not submit all the necessary supporting documents, your visa application may be rejected. The documents that you submit with your visa application form are called supporting documents because they help show that you qualify to enter the UK as a student. These documents vary from case to case but they usually include:
- Educational certificates - High School Certificate, Diploma Certificate, Degree Certificate or similar
- Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) number - this is given to you by the International Study Centre after you confirm your place
- Certificate of Enrolment from the International Study Centre
- Proof of funds - this is evidence of your ability to pay the costs of your studies and your living expenses in the UK (e.g. bank statements) if you are going to pay for yourself or if your parents/family member is going to pay for you
- Details of government or private sponsorship if you are sponsored by your government or a company
These documents MUST be ORIGINAL not
NB: Ensure that your supporting documents (e.g. educational certificates, proof of funds) show the same things as what you write on your visa application form. This must also be the same as what is on the Documents Assessed section on your Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) statement.
Proof of funds
Proof of funds is the evidence that you submit to the UKBA to show that you have enough money to pay for your studies, accommodation and other expenses while in the UK. The UKBA need to see this proof before they can give a student visa. A guide to working out the amount you will need can be found on the UKBA website. We have listed below the usual usual things needed for proof of funds when submitting your student visa application:
- The funds need to be placed into a nominated bank account at least 28 days before you submit your student visa application
- You will need to provide documents that prove you have the funds (usually bank statements)
- These documents must not be dated more than 30 days before the date you submit your student visa application
- If someone else is paying for your studies (i.e. parents) you will need to provide documentary proof of your relationship (e.g. birth certificate)
Submitting your application
After gathering all the supporting documents and filling out the application form, you can then complete your visa application by submitting it to your nearest British Embassy, usually in your country. You need to submit your application at least four (4) weeks before your course entry date. The address of your local British Embassy can be found on the following websites:
- UK visas website's where to apply section
- UK Foreign & Commonwealth website's find an embassy section
What if I already have a UK student visa (Tier 4)
If you got your visa in or after October 2009 you have to apply for a new student visa (Tier 4) to study at the International Study Centre. However, if your visa was issued before October 2009 you may only need to notify the UKBA of your change of institution. We advise you to check with the International Study Centre where our Student Enrolment Advisers will tell you exactly what to do.
What happens if I cannot get a visa?
All payments are refundable in the event that a student is unable to meet visa entry requirements, subject to an official visa rejection letter.
How do I extend my visa?
You may need to extend your visa at some point during your course. Speak to the Head of Centre a month before your visa ends. If you have not attended a minimum of 80% of your classes, your request for an extension may be rejected.
UKBA Website: guidance for students coming to the UK to study
The UK Council for International Student Affairs: Frequently Asked Questions about studying in the UK
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