Visas and immigration

Visas and immigration

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 Student Route Guidelines.

Overseas Students

A visa application can take up to 3-4 weeks to process. So please apply well in advance to allow you enough time to get organised. All new students can only apply for a visa no more than 3 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 student route 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.

CAS Letter

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 (Student Route).

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.


Student Visa

You can apply for a 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 6 months after you receive the CAS.

How long will it take?

You can apply for a visa up to 6 months before the start of your course and you should get a decision on your visa within 3 weeks. You can check how long getting a visa might take in your country on the Gov.uk website.

Fees

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 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 our website.

How long can you stay?

You can arrive in the UK before your course starts:

  • up to 1 week before, if your course lasts 6 months or less (and is not a Pre-Sessional English course)
  • up to 1 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.

Documents you must provide

When you apply for your visa you must provide:

  • a current passport
  • CAS statement from Coventry University
  • documents assessed by Coventry University when issuing your CAS (Academic and English qualifications)
  • 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
  • ATAS certificate (your CAS statement will state if you require this)
  • 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 your Visa

Students who apply for a student visa will receive a temporary entrance vignette (sticker) in their passport which gives them 90 days to travel to the UK and go to a particular Post Office identified in the 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 Student visa

1. When applying for your Student 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 London.

If you are not sure, please contact visahelp.io@coventry.ac.uk for help and more information.

2. If your visa application is approved, you will be issued with the following items:

  • Temporary entrance vignette (sticker) in your passport - This will be valid for 90 days from the date that you entered on your visa application
  • Visa approval confirmation - This will contain information about from where you can collect your BRP.

3. The temporary entrance vignette will expire within 90 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 student route 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 location 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 visahelp.io@coventry.ac.uk.

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 visahelp.io@coventry.ac.uk.

Important: Checking your visa

It is important you check your visa is correct as soon as you receive it. Check your name has been spelled correctly, the conditions are correct (i.e. working hours allowed and police registration) and the length of leave you have been granted is correct.

If the full length of your leave was granted on a vignette (sticker) in your passport, you will need to email EntryClearance.Errors@fco.gsi.gov.uk with a scanned copy of your visa and a description of the error.

You may have a vignette in your passport that is only valid for 90 days. If so, it is important you check your new BRP as soon as you collect it upon arrival in the UK. If you notice an error on the card, you will need to report the error online. You can only report errors on your visa within 10 days of receiving it.

If you applied for your visa in the UK, and the error on your visa is length of leave or conditions of leave (such as working hours), you will need to apply online for an administrative review. There is an £80 fee for this but the Home Office will refund the fee if they agree an error was made.

If the error is different, such as a spelling error in your name, you can report this online


Student Visa Process

Successful Visa Applications

If your application has been successful you will be a given a sticker stamped in your passport giving you permission to enter and stay in the UK. This will include the type of stay granted (i.e. ‘student’), the length of stay, and any restrictions.

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’.

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.

If your Student visa application has been refused, you will normally be given an opportunity to submit an administrative review to challenge the refusal decision. We advise you to check the deadline for submitting an administrative review on the visa refusal letter you received from the Home Office.

Your decision letter will tell you how long you have to apply for an administrative review. If you have missed the deadline, the Home Office is very unlikely to accept late applications.
You should receive the outcome of your application for review within 28 calendar days. The Home Office will contact you if it is going to take longer.

Contact us as soon as possible so that you can get the best advice on your next steps. Please ensure you have included your full name, ID number, a copy of the refusal and contact details (email is preferable) so that we can respond to you as soon as possible.


Credibility Interviews

The Home Office now allows Entry Clearance Officers (ECOs) to request an interview with students in order to ascertain that the student’s intentions to study in the UK are genuine.

If you are called to an interview it does not necessarily mean that there is something wrong with your application.

What happens if you are called for an interview?

If you are called for interview, you will be asked a range of questions to satisfy the Entry Clearance Officer (ECO) in the following areas. (This is not a complete list and is only intended as a guide. You can be questioned regarding any aspect of your background or study plans):

  • Ability to speak English
    You will need to be able to conduct the interview in English with the ECO.

  • Knowledge of intended course of study
    You will need to be able to tell them about your intended course of study, the qualification and what it leads to. In addition explaining the research you carried out on other courses and/or universities before choosing Coventry.

  • Academic background
    You will need to be able to talk through your background and explain if there are any study gaps.

  • Plans to return home after studies
    You will need to be able to talk about your plans for after you complete your course.

  • Finances
    The Home Office may dig deeper into your financial background and may question where money has come from based on current wages, family background etc.

Attendance/Carrying out your Interview

The Home Office may ask you to undertake an interview either in person, on the telephone, or by video conference facility. If you are requested to attend an interview you must take it very seriously. Attendance is mandatory and if you fail to attend an interview without providing a reasonable explanation this will result in an automatic refusal. Be aware that even if you achieve the general requirements and score the 70 points required under the Student Route, the ECO has the authority to refuse entry if you do not satisfy the ECO of your genuine intentions to study at interview.


Eligibility & Proof of Funding

To be granted a visa as a full-time student, you must pass a points-based assessment and score 70 points.

50 points for:

  • Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) requirement
  • Approved qualification requirement
  • Level of study requirement
  • Place of study requirement

10 points for:

  • Meeting the financial requirement, 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

10 points for:

  • Meeting the English language requirement

The Home Office requires you to provide evidence of money to pay your course fees and living costs as a student. You will be granted 10 points by providing this evidence. If you are studying in the UK for the first time you will need:

Length of course Funds needed
9 months or less Course fees and £1,334 for each month of the course
More than 9 months First year of course fees and £12,006 to cover 9 months in the UK


The Home Office will ask to see proof of the above in the form of bank statements, a letter from your bank or a fixed deposit showing amounts held on your bank account. This account must be in your name or your parents/ legal guardian’s name and funds must have been in your account for 28 days. The statement or letter should be dated no more than 31 days before the date of application.

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.


Visa application enquiries

If you are having any problems with your visa application or have a question, please get in touch.

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