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 Tier 4 Guidelines.
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 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 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 6 months after you receive the CAS.
How long will it take?
You can apply for a visa up to 3 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.
It costs £322 to apply for this visa from outside the UK. You must pay £322 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 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.
- 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 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 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 Tier 4 visa
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.
If you are not sure, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org 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 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
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 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 email@example.com.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Important: 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.
When you receive your vignette, please check that the following information is correct:
- The start and end dates of the permission are correct (this should correspond with your course start date and end date and the length of stay given after this
- That you have been given the correct work permissions
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.
Student Visa Process
Successful Visa Applications
If your application has been successful you will be a given a certificate 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. It should include the wording ‘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’.
Unsuccessful Visa Applications
You will not be allowed in to the UK if you visa application has been unsuccessful. Please do not travel as you will be refused entry.
Appeal Rights - since the launch of Tier 4 visa in April 2009 there are no longer appeal rights against the refusal of a student visa.
Administrative Review - 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 your email within 24 hours of receipt (not including weekend).
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.
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.
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 40 points required under the Tier 4 Points Based System, the ECO has the authority to refuse entry if you fail the interview.
Eligibility & Proof of Funding
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.
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. 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 £1015 for each month of the course|
|More than 9 months||First year of course fees and £9,135 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 passbook 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 28 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.
The bank statement or letter should be dated no more than 31 days before the date of application.
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.
Health Checks Before Your Arrival in the UK
As a part of your visa application you may be asked to take part in a medical examination. As such it may be wise to be aware of the following information:
If you are coming to study in the UK for more than 6 months and you are from a country where there is a risk of TB infection, and you have not had a vaccination, you will need to go to an approved Home Office TB testing centre and receive a certificate that shows that you don’t have TB after having a medical test.
You will need to provide the medical certificate along with your other documents when applying for your visa. You should bring a doctor’s letter, and if required, a recent chest x-ray with you when you travel. Many countries are already screening applicants who are coming to the UK for more than 6 months. If you are tested and are free from TB you will be issued with a certificate confirming the same.
For more information visit the Home Office website.
The Department of Health has recommended vaccination against meningitis C following outbreaks of the strain in university students in the UK. This has resulted in a dramatic reduction of the disease. The best time to have this vaccination is before coming to university to allow enough time for immunity to develop.
You should approach your doctor at least two weeks, ideally one month, before you are due to arrive. It is important to note that this vaccination does not provide protection against other strains of meningitis. If you choose to have the vaccination you should bring your vaccination certificate or card with you.
If you are unable to have this done before you arrive you will be able to obtain the vaccination here, when you have registered with a doctor. Any questions you have about the vaccine are best discussed with your family doctor. Usually by the time UK students have reached the age of 16 they will also have completed their immunisation against diphtheria, pertussis (whooping cough), tetanus, polio, measles, mumps, rubella and TB. It is best that you check your immunisation status against these diseases before arrival.