When you confirm an ‘unconditional offer’ of a place on a course at LJMU International Study Centre, the next step for most students is to apply for a visa. The application procedure can be time consuming, so you must submit your application at least 4 weeks in advance of the start of your course.
Depending on the course you are applying for, and your country of residence, there are different visas you can apply for. Take the UK visas questionnaire to find out the type of visa you need.
Most international students apply to come to the UK on a Tier 4 student visa. Watch this short video about Tier 4 visas and how to apply.
Tier 4 visas
In 2009, the United Kingdom Border Agency (UKBA) introduced a points-based system for visa applications.Within this new system, Tier 4 visas relate to overseas students (who by definition do not live in the UK or in the European Union) that want to study in the UK. Tier 4 visa applicants need to be sponsored by an institution registered with the Border Agency. All Tier 4 visa applications need to include a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) reference number.
Documents to submit with your visa application
You will be asked to enclose supporting documents with your application to prove the information that you have supplied is correct. If you do not submit all the necessary supporting documents, your visa application may be rejected. The documents that you submit with your visa application form are called supporting documents because they help show that you qualify to enter the UK as a student. These documents vary from case to case but they usually include:
- Your passport
- Passport style photos of yourself
- Previous visa documents (if you have applied previously)
- Educational certificates - High School Certificate, Diploma Certificate, Degree Certificate or similar
- Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) number - this is given to you by the International Study Centre after you confirm your place
- Certificate of Enrolment from the International Study Centre
- Proof of funds - this is evidence of your ability to pay the costs of your studies and your living expenses in the UK (e.g. bank statements) if you are going to pay for yourself or if your parents/family member is going to pay for you
- Details of government or private sponsorship if you are sponsored by your government or a company
These documents MUST be ORIGINAL not PHOTOCOPIES
Submitting your application
After gathering all the supporting documents and filling out the application form, you can then complete your visa application by submitting it to your nearest British Embassy, usually in your country. You need to submit your application at least four weeks before your course entry date. The address of your local British Embassy can be found on the following websites:
Proof of funds
Proof of funds is the evidence that you submit to the UKBA to show that you have enough money to pay for your studies, accommodation and other expenses while in the UK. The UKBA need to see this proof before they can give a student visa. A guide to working out the amount you will need can be found on the UKBA website. We have listed below the usual things needed for proof of funds when submitting your student visa application:
- The funds need to be placed into a nominated bank account. You must show that you have held the required money for a consecutive 28 day period (finishing on the date of the closing balance) ending no more than 31 days before your application. For further information, please see the UKBA’s Tier 4 Policy Guidance
- These documents must not be dated more than 31 days before the date you submit your student visa application
- If someone else is paying for your studies (e.g. parents) you will need to provide documentary proof of your relationship (e.g. birth certificate).
Student Credibility Interviews
In July 2012 the UKBA introduced a pilot scheme of Credibility Interviews enabling Entry Clearance Officers (ECOs) and Entry Clearance Managers (ECMs) to invite students for an interview as an additional tool to help them assess a student’s genuine intentions to study. In December 2012 the Home Secretary announced the pilot to have been a success and the Credibility Interview will now be introduced worldwide with the intention to interview 100,000 students applying from outside the UK. This will not include “low risk nationals”. For the full list of “low risk” nationals please click here.
To achieve this, the Home Office will be introducing a new video interview whereby all students will be asked to sit a short video interview with a member of Home Office staff based in the UK and this will form part of the usual visa application process.The Home Office will begin the new video interviews across all regions throughout May 2013 and should be fully implemented worldwide by June 2013.
The LJMU ISC is run in partnership with Study Group who are seeking to work closely with the Home Office and other relevant bodies and associations to assist in producing information and training materials to help students and understand the new Credibility Interview process.
In addition, we have produced our own information guides, including example questions, to provide support and help for our partners and students.
What happens if I cannot get a visa?
Please see our Terms and Conditions page for information on our refund policy.
How do I extend my visa?
You may need to extend your visa at some point during your course. Speak to the Programme Manager four months before your visa ends. We will give you a visa extension form, part of which we need to fill in with details of your course, attendance, etc. If you have not attended a minimum of 80% of your classes, your request for an extension may be rejected.
UKBA website: Tier 4 (General) visa
UKBA website: General visa information