International Student Team
Applying for your Tier 4 visa
You must refer to the UK Border Agency (UKBA) website for information on visa requirements, application procedures and requirements and application forms. Read the information carefully, especially as it changes frequently. For that reason, the UKBA overrides any information provided here.
New, continuing or visiting students must hold an unconditional offer to study at Cambridge. Your CAS is automatically prepared once you meet all your conditions.
Current students, who require a further visa to complete your studies, should request a CAS from the International Student Team. You should request this in advance of your visa expiring, preferably at least three months before.
The application process, forms, processing times and costs are different, depending on whether you are applying in your home country or in the United Kingdom (UK). All applicants must submit your biometric data (fingerprints and facial image). You must check where you are eligible to make your application.
The following checklist applies to all students requiring a Tier 4 visa.
- Receive a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) by e-mail from Cambridge. Your CAS is not an actual certificate or paper document but is a virtual document. You may find Your CAS statement explained useful. The UKBA does not require this CAS statement; however, you will need to transfer the information into your Tier 4 application;
- Review the detail in the CAS. If you believe the CAS statement contains any errors (such as course end date) or omissions (such as fees paid recently) contact us immediately. If you do not request any necessary corrections before making your visa application, we cannot be held responsible for any subsequent problems with your visa;
- If indicated in your CAS, submit an application to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office for Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) clearance. You must hold an ATAS certificate before submitting your Tier 4 application;
- Check whether you are required to obtain a certificate proving that you are free from tuberculosis (TB) before applying for your visa. On 21 May 2012, the UK government announced its intention to extend pre-entry screening to nationals of 67 countries. The government intends to introduce this requirement from July 2012. You must establish whether you require this pre-entry clearance. See:
- Prepare your Tier 4 (General) Student application, collecting all the required documents in the required format (as instructed by the UKBA). For example, you must evidence that you can meet the cost of the fees, and living costs set by the UKBA. The CAS shows the fees that you owe. The UKBA website details current living cost levels. Please read the UKBA's requirement on how you evidence this amount and the amount of time you must hold these funds in a valid bank account;
- Submit your Tier 4 application once you have ATAS clearance and/or the required documents (but no sooner than three months before the course start date);
- When invited, submit your biometric details data (finger scans and a full-face digital photograph). You will have to visit a UK visa office or visa application centre in person, and with any dependants;
- Receive the outcome of your visa application;
- Check that your visa has the correct amount of leave. Your visa/BRP should cover the full duration of your course (according to the end date shown in your CAS) plus two additional months (for courses more than six but less than 12 months) or four additional months (for courses more than 12 months);
- Contact us immediately if the dates are not correct as we may be able to request an error correction;
- Within seven days of arrival, present your immigration documents to your College or host department for uploading into your student record. This is a requirement of you and the University;
- If your visa is refused, inform the International Student Team visa advice service straight away. Only this office can inform you of the options available to you.
Tips on submitting a valid visa application:
- Provide evidence of funds (e.g. submitting bank statements in format required by the UKBA and showing that funds have been in place for 28 days)
- Provide valid translations of documents
- Include certificates or transcripts, where such documents are specified in the CAS
- Pay by banker's draft or postal order for postal applications