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Visa FAQs

Applying for your visa

  • You will need to check with the local UK embassy/visa processing centre if they will accept your visa application. However, normally you will need to be a permanent resident in the country where you are submitting your application.

  • Each student visa application is unique. The documents you need to provide will depend on your circumstances. Below is a list of the documents you need to consider. Original documents are required unless stated otherwise.

    • Your current passport.
    • Your CAS letter from Coventry University (this does not need to be the original).
    • The original documents assessed by Coventry University when issuing your CAS (academic and English qualifications).
    • Proof of finances.
    • Your birth certificate and parental consent letter if you are under 18.
    • An OANDA currency conversion if your finances are from an account not in GBP.
    • Your BRP (if you’ve previously been issued one and it is still in your possession).
    • ATAS certificate (your CAS statement/offer letter will include information on whether you require this).
    • Your tuberculosis (TB) test results if you are from a country where you have to take the test.
    • Certified translation of any documents not in English.
  • If you are 16 or 17 years old and living independently in the UK, you must include a letter in your student visa application from your parent(s) or legal guardian(s), confirming:

    • The relationship between you and your parent(s) or legal guardian(s).
    • That your parent(s) or legal guardian(s) have given their consent to your student visa application.
    • That your parent(s) or legal guardian(s) have given their consent to you living independently in the UK.
    • That your parent(s) or legal guardian(s) have given their consent to your independent travel to the UK.
  • You may need to pay a fee towards the cost of healthcare in the UK as part of your immigration application. Once you have paid this, you will be able to use the National Health Service (NHS), which provides medical care in the UK.

    The IHS costs £470* per year of a student visa. If your visa includes part of a year that is less than six months, you must pay an additional £235. If your visa includes part of a year that is more than six months, you must pay an additional £470.

    For example, if your visa is valid for three years and four months, then you would have to pay £470+£470+£470+£235.

    If your visa is valid for three years and nine months, you would have to pay £470+£470+£470+£470.

    *The IHS surcharge amount is correct at time of publishing. Please check the UKVI website for any changes.

  • Find out how much money you need to support yourself

    Unpaid course fees (tuition)

    Your course fees are listed on your CAS. It will state:

    • course fees charged for first year of the course
    • course fees paid to date.

    Any unpaid course fees need to be shown in your financial evidence, as well as your maintenance (living expenses). If you have paid all of your fees, and this is reflected on your CAS, you only need to show your maintenance in your financial evidence document(s).

    If you have paid additional fees since receiving your CAS, but this is not reflected on your CAS, it is important you calculate your funds requirement based on your current CAS.

    You cannot deduct accommodation already paid from your maintenance requirement. You must always show that you have living expenses available to you that meets the Student visa rules and regulations.

    If you have been living in the UK with permission for 12 months or more on the date of your Student visa application, you will automatically meet the financial requirement and do not need to show funds.

  • The Home Office has very strict guidelines on how your funds must be shown. When providing evidence of your financial circumstances, you should make sure the documents include all of the details given in the following examples.

    Bank statement

    Your evidence must:

    • have the account holder's name and account number
    • be printed or electronic (not hand written)
    • be on official stationery or an electronic record
    • show date of statement
    • show that you have held enough money in your account every day for at least 28 days
    • show the transactions and the closing balance after each transaction
    • include information about the bank, such as contact details or a branch code
    • be less than 31 days old on the date of online application.

    Bank letter

    Your bank letter must:

    • have the account holder's name and account number
    • be on headed paper
    • be signed by an official from the bank and show contact details for the bank
    • show date of letter
    • show the amount of money in the account
    • state that you have held enough money in your account every day for at least 28 days
    • be less than 31 days old on the date of online application.

    Certificate of deposit

    Your certificate of deposit must:

    • have the account holder's name
    • have the account number
    • show the amount of the deposit
    • have the bank's name and contact details
    • have the date of issue and deposit
    • have at least 28 days between the date of deposit and issue of the certificate
    • be less than 31 days old on the date of online application.

    Fixed deposit

    Your fixed deposit must:

    • have the account holder's name
    • have the account number
    • show the amount of the deposit
    • have the bank's name and contact details
    • have the date of issue and deposit
    • have at least 28 days between the date of deposit and issue of the certificate
    • be less than 31 days old on the date of online application.
  • You can only use your own, or your parent's/legal guardian's bank statement. The Home Office has very strict rules on who can act as your legal guardian. A legal guardian is someone who assumes responsibility for your care if your parents are no longer able to care for you as a minor (under 18 years old). You must be able to provide a court document stating who your legal guardian is and that they were appointed your legal guardian before you turned the age of 18. You cannot have a legal guardian while your parents have responsibility for you.

    An affidavit from a sponsor cannot take the place of a birth certificate. This is because an
    affidavit is a claim to a relationship, but not evidence of the relationship.

    If someone else will be paying for your studies, they should transfer the money to you.

    If you are using your parent's or legal guardian's bank statement, you will also be required to submit:

    • your original birth certificate or court document confirming legal guardianship
    • a letter from your parent or guardian, which gives their permission to use their
  • You are a sponsored student if some or all of your tuition fees and your living costs are being paid by one of the below.

    • An international company
    • A university
    • A UK independent school
    • The UK government
    • Your home government
    • The British Council
    • An international organisation

    Only one of the above will be accepted as an official financial sponsor. Family members, non-international private companies and spouses are not considered official financial sponsors.

    When making your Student visa application, you will need to provide evidence of your official financial sponsorship. This can only be in the form of a letter from your sponsor.

    This letter should be on official letter-headed paper or the stationery of the organisation. It must have:

    • your name
    • the name and contact details of your sponsor
    • the date of the letter
    • the length of your sponsorship; and
    • the amount of money that the sponsor will give you, or a statement to say that they will cover all of your fees and living costs.
  • You need to show evidence of your original academic certificate and transcript, if this is what was used to assess your English language ability. This information will be listed on your CAS.


    Where a document is not in English, it must be accompanied by a full translation from a professional translator/translation company that includes:

    • date of the translation
    • confirmation that it is an accurate translation of the original
    • name and signature of the translator/authorised official of the translation company
    • translator/translation company’s contact details.


    If the currency on your bank account is not in £GBP (British pounds), you need to convert it.

    The Home Office will always use the exchange rate from the day that you submit your visa application to UKVI. When depositing money, you must be aware that the exchange rate
    can fluctuate. After converting to GBP, you may have less money available on your visa application date than you had originally expected. The date you pay for your application online is considered your application date.

  • If your Student visa application has been successful, you will be given a sticker stamped in your passport, valid for 90 days, giving you permission to enter the UK and a letter telling you where you should go to collect your BRP.

    This letter will include the type of stay granted (i.e. Student leave) the length of time you have to collect your BRP, and any restrictions. It should include permission to work, if you are allowed, and how many hours per week you can. You should ensure that you are given the correct permission to enter as a student.

    When you collect your BRP*, you should also ensure that you are given the correct length of stay according to the immigration rules in the table below.

    Type of leave Length of course Length of stay allowed
    Main course of study (academic programme) 12 months or more Full length of course plus four months after the end of the course
    Six months or more, but less than 12 months Full length of course plus two months after the end of the course
    Less than six months Full length of course plus seven days after the end of the course
    Pre-sessional English course 12 months or more Full length of course plus four months after the end of the course
    Six months or more, but less than 12 months Full length of course plus two months after the end of the course
    Less than six months Full length of course plus one month after the end of the course

    Student visa conditions

    Visa conditions are rules that you must follow while in the UK on a visa. Conditions of your Student visa may include:

    • only work as your conditions of stay allow (this will be printed on your visa)
    • only study as your conditions of stay allow (if, after you have enrolled, you wish to make any changes to your programme of study, you need to discus this with your Faculty Registry Team and the International Student Compliance Team)
    • not claiming any state benefits (known as public funds) that you are not entitled to.

    *If your leave is granted for six months or less, your sticker in your passport will show the full length of leave and you will not need to collect a BRP.

  • It is important you check your visa is correct as soon as you receive it. You can only report errors on your visa within 10 days of receiving 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 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.

    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.

    *Fees are subject to change. For further fees and details please check the UKVI website.

  • 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.

    Contact us

    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.

    Deadline for applications

    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.


    It costs £80* to apply for an administrative review from within the UK. The UKVI will refund your fee if your review is successful.

    It is free to apply for an administrative review for a decision made overseas.

    Details of how to apply for an administrative review from overseas are included in your refusal pack.

    *Fees are subject to change. For further fees and details please check the UKVI website.

    How long will it take to get the result of an administrative review?

    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.

    Next steps

    If the administrative review is successful, the Home Office will withdraw its original decision and grant you a new visa. If the deadline to enrol on your course passed while your administrative review was pending, please contact us immediately.

    If your administrative review is unsuccessful, please contact us immediately with the outcome you received. Further advice will depend on the reason for your original refusal.

    Getting further help

    If you feel you need further assistance, you could approach:

    • a lawyer in your home country with specific knowledge of the UK immigration system
    • the British Council in your home country
    • your representative/agent or
    • a solicitor in the UK by looking at the Law Society website.
  • You may need to apply for a visa to attend your own graduation ceremony. Your family members who want to attend the ceremony in Coventry, may also need to apply for visas.

    If you currently hold a valid Tier 4/Student visa, and you will remain in the UK until the date of the graduation ceremony, then you are allowed to remain in the UK (and attend the graduation ceremony) until your visa expiry date.

    If there is not sufficient time on your Tier 4/Student visa to attend the graduation ceremony, unfortunately UKVI will not extend a Tier 4/Student visa for this purpose. The best option is to leave the UK and then apply to re-enter the UK to attend your graduation ceremony by making a Standard Visitor visa application. If you plan to switch to a different visa category after your studies, see the International Student Support Team.

    If you currently hold a valid Tier 4/Student visa sponsored by Coventry University and you are currently overseas (or intend to leave the UK between now and the date of the graduation ceremony), then you are advised to apply for a Standard Visitor visa while you are overseas so you can attend your graduation ceremony. We do not advise you to leave the UK after the end of your studies and attempt to re-enter the country with the same visa. This is because border staff can refuse you re-entry into the UK, even if your visa is still valid, as you have completed the original reason (your studies) for your stay in the UK. If your visa will still be valid on the date of your graduation ceremony, we advise you remain in the UK between finishing your studies and attending your graduation ceremony, to avoid applying for new leave.

    We recommend you prepare the following documents:

    • a current passport
    • evidence that you can financially support yourself during your time in the UK, for example bank statements
    • details of where you intend to stay and your travel plans
    • your tuberculosis (TB) test results if required
    • a letter of invitation to your graduation.

    If you wish to bring guests with you they should also make Standard Visitor visa applications.

    It is advised you include evidence of the date of your graduation ceremony. You can request a letter of invitation to include in your Standard Visitor visa application by emailing

    If you intend to invite parents/friends to attend the graduation ceremony, you should also request a letter for use in their visa application as well by emailing the above email address.

    If you do not need a visa

    You, or your guests, may be a national of a country that does not need a visa to arrive in the UK. However, when you enter the UK, you will still need to prove you are a genuine visitor. To do this, you will need to show proof of your graduation ceremony, that you intend to leave the UK and that you have the money to support yourself in the UK. Check if you need a visa to enter as a visitor.

Credibility interviews

  • Caseworkers can 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, but it is very important that you prepare thoroughly.

    The Home Office may ask you to undertake an interview either in person, on the telephone, or by video conference facility.

    All interviews are conducted in English and assure UKVI that you have the required level of English language to undertake your course successfully.

    If you are called for an interview, you will be asked a range of questions to satisfy the caseworker in a number of areas.

    If technical issues prevent you from hearing the interviewer clearly, tell them.

    If you do not understand a question, ask the interviewer to repeat it or rephrase the question. Be confident in your answers. Ask the interviewer if they require further clarification.

    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 points required, the caseworker has the authority to refuse entry if you fail the interview.

    If you are called for an interview and require further advice, please contact us at We would be happy to schedule a video appointment for you to discuss the process.

  • You can be questioned regarding any aspect of your background or study plans. Below are some topics we advise you to consider when preparing for an interview.

    Why do you want to study in the UK?

    • You might want to talk about what you have learnt about the British education system.
    • What are the benefits of studying in the UK compared to your home country or other countries that mean it is worth the cost to you?
    • How would study in the UK differ from studying in your home country?
    • Why did you decide to come to the UK rather than, for example, Australia or the USA?

    Why have you chosen to study at Coventry University?

    • Here you could talk about the university, and about the city and its location within the UK.
    • Where will you live in the UK and how do you plan to get to university every day
    • Which other universities did you consider? You must be able to give details of the research you did.
    • Why did you choose Coventry University over other universities?
    • What facilities do you expect there to be at Coventry University?
    • What attracted you to study this course?
    • Which other universities offer this programme and why did you select Coventry University?

    Why have you chosen your course of study?

    • Is it a necessity to have this qualification in order to follow your career path?
    • If it’s not, how will this course benefit you in the future?
    • Be prepared to provide details of your previous study, including qualifications, and how it is related to the course you have applied for.

    How is your course assessed?

    • Check the university website.
    • Is your course assessed by exams or coursework?
    • How long does your course last?
    • Make sure you are aware of your course details, including modules. Check your offer letter, CAS statement or check the programme specifications on the university website.

    Do you know what level your course is?

    RQF stands for Regulated Qualifications Framework and is a way of defining the level of a course. The higher the level, the more advanced the course.

    • Bachelor's level is level 6.
    • Master’s level is level 7.
    • PhD level is level 8.

    Can you explain any gaps in your years of study or work?

    • If there have been periods of time in which you have been working, why are you now looking to come back to study?
    • Would this study benefit your current profession or enhance your future prospects?
    • Also, if there has been a gap between now and your previous course of study, what were you doing in this time and why are you now ready to return to study?

    Who is financing your studies?

    • If your parents are financing your studies, you may be asked to discuss how they are able to do this.
    • How can you afford the investment your study will require?
    • Make sure that you are very clear about the source and availability of your money, and how you plan to pay for subsequent years’ fees if your course is more than a year in duration.
    • If you have official financial sponsorship, make sure you are aware of the amounts and exactly what is covered.
    • If you have a loan, how will you afford to pay this back?
    • How much will your accommodation cost and are you clear about the cost of living in the UK?

    Remember to take documents confirming your financial status and be able to explain your funds if the cost of your study is significantly larger than your family income.

    Be confident, positive and show your genuine intention to study in the UK. The interview will be a smooth step to you obtaining a UK visa if you are honest and well prepared.

Bringing family members to the UK

  • Your family members (dependants) might be able to apply to join or remain with you in the UK.

    A dependant is:

    • your husband, wife or civil partner
    • your unmarried partner
    • your child under 18 years old - including if they were born in the UK during your stay

    You’ll need to provide evidence of your relationship when you apply, for example:

    • a marriage or civil partnership certificate for your partner
    • a birth certificate for your child

    You can apply to bring a dependant to the UK if you are:

    • sponsored for your studies by a government and you are studying a course longer than six months in length
    • studying at postgraduate level or above on a course of nine months or longer.

    Maintenance requirements

    You must show that your dependants can be supported while they are in the UK.

    Read the Home Office’s guidance for dependants for the latest information on how much money you’ll need to show and the full list of documents you need to provide.

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