Visas and immigration
The International Student Support Team offers help and advice to international students coming to study at CU Coventry.
As part of the application process you will need to obtain the relevant entry clearance before you can travel, ensure you have sufficient funds and pass any necessary health checks before your arrival in the UK. Further information on applying for your visa can be found below.
EU Applicants: If you are an EU applicant you will not need to apply for a visa. All non-EEA (European Economic Area) nationals must apply for entry clearance before travelling to the UK if you are coming for a course that lasts longer than 6 months. Find out more on the government website.
The Home Office states that you will need to provide certain documentation as evidence when applying for your visa. These do vary depending on where you are from, so you will need to check the Home Office website for your particular requirements.
The documents you provide will need to be in accordance with the Home Office Tier 4 Guidelines.
A visa application can take three to four weeks to process, so please apply well in advance to allow you enough time to get organised. As a new student you can only apply for a visa no more than three months before the start date of your course.
You will be requested to provide a number of documents as evidence, financial evidence as detailed by the Home Office in accordance with the Tier 4 Guidelines and original documents for the qualifications detailed on your CAS statement.
European Economic Area (EEA) students
Depending on your nationality you may be required to obtain “entry clearance” before you will be allowed to enter the UK as a student.
Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) letter
You are required to obtain a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) before you can apply for your visa (as a Tier 4 General Student).
The CAS will be emailed to you using the address provided in your application; this will include your CAS number and a CAS statement. This document contains all of the information required by the Home Office for generating your visa.
Please note, it is your responsibility to check the CAS statement carefully to ensure that all of the information included is accurate.
To obtain a CAS you will need to have
- accepted your offer
- met all of the conditions of your offer
- paid your deposit
Once these are all complete, your CAS will normally be issued within four working days.
Tier 4 (General) student visa
You can apply for a Tier 4 (General) student visa to study in the UK once you have received your Confirmation of Acceptance (CAS) letter. You will need to enter the CAS number on your visa application and must apply for your visa no more than six months after you receive the CAS.
How long will it take?
You can apply for a visa up to three months before the start of your course and you should get a decision on your visa within three to four weeks. You can check how long getting a visa might take in your country on the government website.
It costs £348 to apply for this visa from outside the UK. You must pay £348 per person for any dependants.
You’ll also have to pay the immigration healthcare surcharge as part of your application. You can check how much you’ll have to pay before you apply on the immigration health surcharge section of Gov.uk website.
How long can you stay?
You can arrive in the UK before your course starts:
- up to one week before, if your course lasts 6 months or less (and is not a Pre-Sessional English course)
- up to one month before, if your course lasts more than 6 months (or you are on a Pre-Sessional English course)
How long you can stay depends on the kind of course you’re doing and what study you’ve already completed.
Mandatory documents for your visa application
- a current passport
- CAS statement from Coventry University
- documents assessed by Coventry University when issuing your CAS or Student Visit Visa invitation letter (Academic and English qualifications)
- 1 passport-sized colour photograph with your name written on the reverse side. You must make sure photos for your visa meet all the rules as your application might be delayed if you don’t. View the guidelines on the government website.
- proof of finances
- proof of parental or other legal guardian consent if you’re under 18
- your biometric details (your finger prints and full face photo will be taken at the High Commission or Embassy)
- fee for application
- payment details for your Immigration Health Surcharge
- your tuberculosis test results if you’re from a country where you have to take the test
- you’ll need to have a blank page in your passport on which to put the visa
You may also need to provide additional documents depending on your circumstances. Your documents will usually be sent back within 14 days.
Applying for a Tier 4 Visa
Students who apply for a Tier 4 visa will receive a temporary entrance vignette (sticker) in their passport which gives them 30 days to travel to the UK and go to either the Coventry University Student Centre or a Post Office (as chosen in their Visa application) to collect a Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) which confirms their stay in the UK for the duration of their course.
Applying for your Tier 4 visa
1. When applying for your Tier 4 visa you will be given a choice of Post Offices from where you can collect your Biometric Residence Permit in the UK. The form will list Post Offices based on the address of your accommodation and the University address in Coventry. The most likely option presented will be:
Smithford Way, Coventry, CV1 1QX
If you are not sure, please contact email@example.com for help and more information.
You can also choose to collect your Visa from the Coventry University Student Centre.
2. If your visa application is approved, you will be issued with the following items:
- a temporary entrance vignette (sticker) in your passport. This will be valid for 30 days from the date that you entered on your visa application
- visa approval confirmation. This will contain information about the Post Office that you have chosen to collect your BRP from or details of the Coventry University Student Centre
3. The temporary entrance vignette will expire within 30 days of the date entered on your visa application. If your vignette expires you will have to apply for a new vignette and provide your biometric information again. You will not have to submit a new Tier 4 visa application.
Upon arrival in the UK
1. You will be required to show your vignette and visa approval confirmation to the Immigration Officer when you arrive in the UK.
2. You must collect your Biometric Residence Permit from the designated Post Office or the Coventry University Student Centre within 10 days of your arrival in the UK.
- You do not need to make an appointment to collect your BRP
- If you do not collect your BRP within the 10 days you may have to pay a fine and/or your visa may be cancelled
3. If you are under the age of 18, you will need a responsible adult or a member of staff to attend the Post Office with you to collect your BRP. For assistance please contact the International Student Support team by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
4. You are strongly advised not to travel outside of the UK until you have collected your BRP, however if you do need to travel urgently please contact the International Student Support team by emailing email@example.com.
Checking your visa
When you receive your visa approval confirmation letter, please check that the following information is correct:
- name and date of birth
- that you are a Tier 4 (general) student
- Sponsor Licence Number (SLN) of the institution that you intend to study at (Coventry University's SLN is: BDN68KDUX)
If any of this information is incorrect, ask for it to be changed immediately before you travel to the UK. If there is no time for the error to be corrected before you travel, ask the Entry Clearance Post for advice.
If your visa ends too soon, or if your work conditions are stricter than they should be, or if you have a condition to register with the police when you should not, you can ask for these errors to be corrected before you travel. Alternatively, you can travel to the UK and then request a correction of the visa error with the help of the International Student Support team. There is a deadline for when corrections must be made.
Visa application process
If your application has been successful you will be a given an entry clearance vignette in your passport giving you permission to enter the UK. This will include the type of stay granted and any restrictions. It may include the statement ‘work (and any changes) must be authorised’ - this gives you permission to work subject to the restrictions applicable for students.
You should ensure that you are given the correct entry clearances as ‘student’. If you are bringing family with you they should be given clearance as ‘dependants’.
Once you have arrived in the UK you will have ten days to collect your BRP card (visa), which will detail your length of stay in the UK. This document must be presented when you enrol at CU Coventry.
Unsuccessful visa applications
You will not be allowed in to the UK if your visa application has been unsuccessful. Please do not travel as you will be refused entry.
Since the launch of Tier 4 visa in April 2009 there are no longer appeal rights against the refusal of a student visa.
Any appeal rights have been replaced by a right to ‘administrative review’, which means that your case will be looked at by another Entry Clearance Officer. Unless an obvious error has been made, it is unlikely that any decision will be overturned. In the unlikely event your application is refused, we may be able to advise whether you should apply for administrative review or re-apply for your visa. You will need to scan or fax a copy of your written refusal notice with the reasons you think the decision was wrong, to the International Office for the attention of the International Student Adviser.
Fax: +44 (0)24 7615 2175
We will aim to get back to you within 24 hours (not including weekends).
Please ensure you have included your full name, course, applicant number and contact details (email is preferable) so that we can respond to you as soon as possible.
Eligibility and proof of funds
The Home Office requires you to provide evidence of money to pay your course fees and living costs as a student under the Tier 4 (General) points based system. To be granted a visa as a full-time student, you must pass a points-based assessment and score 40 points.
- 30 points for a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) from Coventry University, which includes a valid CAS reference number. Please note: each CAS is only valid for 6 months and can only be used once. If you apply using a used CAS you will automatically be refused your visa.
- 10 points for showing that you have enough money to cover the cost of your course, and your monthly living expenses in the UK, for up to 9 months.
If you are studying in the UK for the first time, or applying for a visa extension, the specified amount of money that you will need to show before they grant you the 10 points for this section is as follows:
|Length of course||CU Coventry|
|9 months or less||Course fees and £1,015 for each month of the course|
|More than 9 months||First year of course fees and £9,135 to cover living costs for 9 months in the UK|
The Home Office will ask to see proof of money in the form of bank statements, a letter from your bank or a passbook showing amounts held in your bank account. This account must be in your name or your parent’s/legal guardian’s name and funds must have been in your account for a consecutive 28 days from the closing balance.
If using your parent’s/legal guardian’s account, you need to show evidence that you are related to them and that you have permission to use their money. This is usually by showing an original birth certificate and a signed letter confirming your parents are willing to sponsor you and that you are their son or daughter.
The Home Office have now issued information about banks from which they will not accept proof of funds. You can view these under ‘Immigration Rules appendix P: lists of financial institutions’ on their website.