Tier 4 applications are designed to be relatively straightforward so long as you prepare all your documents and leave adequate time to make an application.
You require 40 ‘points’ to be issued a Tier 4 Visa:
- You'll be given 30 points for having a valid CAS (Confirmation of Acceptance of Studies), a 14-character alphanumeric code;
- You'll be given 10 points for having sufficient maintenance;
- Your application will be refused if you do not receive 40 points in total.
To apply for a Tier 4 visa, you must first check you have the following documents ready to submit with your visa application.
How to apply
Getting your documents ready
You need to:
- Obtain a CAS from us, this is an electronic document confirming your unconditional offer for a place of study at Bath Spa. This will be emailed to you and contains the ‘CAS number’.
- Check where to make your application in your country. You'll need to make your application in the country where you are living. In this context "living" somewhere means that you are there lawfully for a reason other than short-term visit. If you reside outside of your home country, please contact us before making your application.
- Check whether you need to undertake tuberculosis screening
- Complete the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) visa application form online – ensure you pay for your application (currently £348) and the immigration health surcharge (IHS). Most students are required to pay the IHS as part of the visa application process. The charge will allow you the same access to the UK healthcare system as permanent UK residents. Calculate your IHS.
- Apply for ATAS clearance if applicable (we'll notify you if you need to do this).
You'll also need:
- A valid passport – at least 6 months’ validity remaining, preferably longer. You also need a page in your passport that’s blank on both sides for your visa.
- Evidence of academic qualifications listed on your CAS. The documents will be listed in the ‘Evidence Text’ section of your CAS and you must have the originals of these documents.
- Evidence that you meet the English language requirement for your course, such as a UKVI compliant Secure English Language Test [SELT]. You must hold the originals of these documents (you may be exempt from this if you hold evidence of meeting the exemptions, we will advise you if you do meet these exemptions)
- Translations of any documents that are not in English or Welsh
If you're under 18 on the date that you apply for your visa you'll also need:
- A letter from your parent/legal guardian confirming their relationship to you and that they both consent to your study and living arrangements in the UK and your travel arrangements;
- To submit original evidence that demonstrates your parental relationship, such as a birth certificate clearly showing you and your parent’s names.
Meeting the financial requirements
You must show evidence that you meet the financial requirements.
- You'll need to show you have enough money to pay for your course fees, this amount will be listed on your CAS. You must also show that you have £1,015 for living costs per month for the length of your course. This will be up to a maximum of 9 months, a total of £9,135.
- The document(s) you submit to show money available to you must cover a consecutive 28-day period ending no more than 31 days before the date of your application. Your date of application is the date you paid for your visa application online.
- If you're using a currency other than GBP, you must convert amounts into GBP on your application. To convert currency values UK Visas & Immigration use Oanda. They'll use the exchange rate on the date you paid for your application online.
- You can pay all your course fees upfront to Bath Spa University, or part pay. The amount stated on your CAS for course fees will then be adjusted accordingly. You can show payments for University accommodation, up to a maximum of £1,265, as evidence of your maintenance, and this will be deducted from the maintenance requirement. Unlike course fees, you cannot pay all your maintenance upfront.
Only the following documents are acceptable:
- Personal bank or building society statements
- Building society passbooks
- Letter from your bank or regulated financial institution
- Letter from regulated financial institution confirming a loan
- Letter from an official financial sponsor.
Please refer to Tier 4 migrant guidance to ensure that the documents you submit can be accepted by UKVI.
You can also refer to the Financial Documents Required section in the Applying from the UK webpage for further information.
You must submit original financial documents with your visa application, not copies.
If you're using funds held in your parent’s or legal guardian’s name you'll need evidence of their relationship to you and a letter from them consenting to your studies and the use of their funds, such as a birth certificate clearly evidencing you and your parent’s names.
If you're being fully funded by a government or international scholarship agency (or you have been fully funded by such a sponsor within 12 months of this application): a letter from this sponsor confirming that they consent to this application.
Most visa applications are refused because of incorrect financial documents. You must meet the requirements exactly in order for your application to be approved.
Once all your documents are ready
Pay the visa fee, pay the IHS then submit:
- 1 x photograph
- CAS number
- Entry qualifications
- English language qualification
- Financial evidence for maintenance
- ATAS certificate
- TB certificate
- Any necessary document translations.
You should read the Home Office UKVI Tier 4 policy guidance very carefully before you begin the application. You can apply for your visa from 3 months before the start of your course.
UKVI aim to complete all Tier 4 applications in 15 working days, however it can be longer than this at peak times. If you're short of time, consider paying for their premium services which will give you a decision in a shorter space of time.
You'll also need to book and attend an appointment at the UK Visa Application Centre (VAC). You'll have to
- Pay the application fee (if you haven’t already done so)
- Provide your biometrics (fingerprints and photograph)
- Submit your original documents and photocopies of these documents.
This information will be sent to UKVI who will make a decision on your visa.
You may need to undergo an interview with UKVI during your appointment at the VAC. This interview will be done by video link to the UK. The interviewer will ask questions to determine whether you are a ‘genuine student’. These are likely to be about why have you chosen to study in the UK, your choice of Bath Spa University, how you'll get to university each day, your future plans, if you've studied in the UK before, your recent educational and immigration history. Please prepare in advance for these questions as you'll be required to take the interview at the VAC whilst making your application.
NOTE – Check your email and phone often as UKVI may contact you asking for additional documents and information. If you don’t respond to these emails/calls your application may be refused.
You may be asked to attend an additional ‘credibility interview’ – the purpose of this interview is to confirm that you meet the Home Office definition of genuineness. A UKVI staff member will ask you about:
- Your educational history
- Why you intend to study in the UK and have chosen Bath Spa University
- Your intended course of study
- Your post study plans and your financial circumstances.
They'll also want to know about your previous UK immigration history, including any refusals and any immigration history you have with regards to another country.
We recommend that while you should not worry too much about the interview, you should take some time to carefully prepare for the questions that may be asked.
Outcome and final steps
Once you've received your decision, your documents and passport will be returned to you by post, or you'll be instructed to collect them from the Visa Application Centre via email or text message.
If your Tier 4 visa application is successful, you'll receive an entry clearance vignette (sticker in your passport) which is valid for 30 days to allow you to travel to the UK. With this visa, you'll also receive a decision letter explaining the full details of your visa, including the full length.
It is very important that you keep the letter safe and bring it with you when you travel to the UK.
The decision letter will also inform you that you must collect a Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) from a specific post office within 10 days of arriving in the UK. Please note, the 30-day Tier 4 entry clearance vignette should have a valid from date that is 7 days earlier than the intended travel date you provided on your application form. If your course is longer than 6 months, your 30-day Tier 4 entry clearance vignette should start one month before your course start date.
You'll also need to provide a UK postcode of the area from which you intend to collect your BRP. This will most likely be where you intend to live, however, if you're travelling within the UK before you start the course, please enter a postcode from this area. If you haven't arranged your accommodation at the time that you make the visa application you may use our postcode, Bath Spa University, Newton Park, Bath, BA2 9BN.
When you receive your visa check that all of the details are correct, including the type, length and conditions of leave. If there are any errors, contact the International Student Advice Service (firstname.lastname@example.org). Please also ensure that you inform us you have received your visa and send us a copy of your entry clearance.
You can travel to the UK on/after the ‘valid from date’ on your visa.
If your Tier 4 visa application is refused, once you receive a refusal notice it is important that you inform us as soon as possible for further advice; you should contact us as soon as possible and send us a copy of your refusal notice through to email@example.com.
UKVI permits applicants from designated countries to submit fewer supporting documents with their application. Check if you qualify for differentiation.
You must be applying from your home country or country of residence to be eligible for this different application route.
While differentiation applicants do not need to send some documents, they should have them available in case the Home Office asks to see them.
Contact the International Student Advice Service:
+44 (0)1225 876277
+44 (0)1225 875690