• International students

    Visa requirements

  • The Tier 4 Student visa is for those whose main purpose for coming to the UK is to study full-time. In order to apply for Tier 4 you must be sponsored by an education provider which is licensed by the UK Home Office.

    The University of Law is a Tier 4 Sponsor approved by the UK Home Office. We are fully authorised by the UK Government to sponsor international students for a Tier 4 Student visa under the Points Based System.

    We recommend that you read the information on this webpage alongside the Tier 4 Policy Guidance, which contains the Home Office’s regulations for the Tier 4 immigration route. If you have any questions after reading this information, please contact our International Visa Office at visaoffice@law.ac.uk or on +44 (0)1483 216588.

    It is the responsibility of all non-EEA students to secure a visa which allows them to study in the UK and covers the entire duration of their course. You must make your application for a Tier 4 Student visa in your country of nationality. You cannot enter the UK as a Short-Term Student or Visitor and then change into Tier 4. The University of Law cannot enrol you on any of our full-time courses as a Short-Term Student, Visitor or on any other visa which doesn’t permit study.

    Please note that UK immigration requirements are subject to change at any time and students should always refer to the last version of the Immigration Rules and Tier 4 Policy Guidance.

    • You can apply for your Tier 4 Student visa up to 3 months before your course start date, but not before that.  You should start preparing for your visa application early to make sure you have all the necessary documentation.

      In order to apply for your visa, you will need a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) number from the University of Law. You cannot apply for your visa until you have received a CAS. Please see the next section for guidance on receiving a CAS.

      Once you have received your CAS, you will need to complete these steps:

      1) Complete an online application at the Visa4uk website: You must make your application in your country of nationality. Further instructions can be found on the UK Visas and Immigration website. As part of the online application, you will be asked specific questions about your course and finances. We will send you guidance with your CAS to help you answer these questions.

      2) Pay the visa application fee of £328 and pay the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS): The IHS allows you to access the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) during your studies. The amount you have to pay will vary depending on the length of your course.

      3) Book your biometric appointment: You will have to travel to a centre in your country where your fingerprints and photo will be taken. You will book the date and time of your appointment at the end of your online application. This must be completed before you submit your visa application.

      4) Attend an interview: Some students will have to attend an interview with the Home Office as part of the visa application process. You will be asked some questions about your course, the institution where you will be studying and your reasons for studying in the UK. A report of the interview will be sent to the Entry Clearance Officer who will assess your application.

      5) Submit your visa application: You must submit a hard copy of your visa application with all of your supporting documents to the visa application centre in your country. Please see the Financial requirements and Supporting documents sections for details of what you will need to submit. The UK Visas and Immigration website also has specific advice on making a visa application in most countries.

      How long will it take to receive my visa?

      The visa processing times vary depending on the country and time of year. You can find the estimated processing times on this webpage.

      Tuberculosis (TB) Screening

      Students from certain countries must be tested for TB if they are coming to the UK to study for more than 6 months.  The Home Office has a list of countries where TB testing is required on this webpage. You must obtain a TB screening certificate from an accredited clinic if this condition applies to you. If you submit your visa application without this certificate, it will most likely be refused.

    • Once you have met all of the academic conditions for your course, accepted your offer and paid your deposit, the University will start the process to issue you a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS). A CAS is a unique number which confirms you have been accepted on a course of study in the UK. It is generated using the Home Office’s system and is essential in order to make a successful Tier 4 application.

      Before we can issue you a CAS, we will check that the University has received a copy of the following:

      • The personal details page in your passport
      • Copies of any previous UK visas or immigration stamps
      • Proof of your academic qualifications (for example, your award certificates or academic transcripts)
      • Proof of your English language ability (unless you are exempt from this requirement)

      We may also request the following before we can issue you a CAS:

      • Copies of the financial evidence you will be submitting with your visa application
      • Information on your immigration history and/or previous study in the UK
      • Clarification on why you want to study in the UK and on your particular course

      The University will not issue a CAS until we have checked that an applicant fully meets all of the requirements for Tier 4. Please note that your offer of admission and CAS are separate processes and a student can be refused a CAS, even if they hold an offer to study.

      Before we issue your CAS, we will you send you a pre-CAS email with the information we will be submitting to the Home Office, so you can check that it is correct. Once we have received your confirmation, we will send you a CAS Statement email, which will contain your CAS number and other information you will need to submit with your online visa application.

      The University usually issues batches of CAS three times a week. If you do not receive your CAS within 1 week of submitting all of the required information, please contact visaoffice@law.ac.uk

    • In order to make a successful Tier 4 application, you must be able to show the Home Office that you have enough money for your course fees and living costs while you are in the UK. Please see pages 44-46 of the Tier 4 Policy Guidance.

      How much money do I need to show?

      Students who will be studying at our London Bloomsbury and Moorgate centres will need to show:

      • Enough funds to cover the first year’s tuition fees; and
      • £1265 for every month of your course, up to a maximum of 9 months.

      Students who will be studying at a centre outside London will need to show:

      • Enough funds to cover the first year’s tuition fees; and
      • £1015 for every month of your course, up to a maximum of 9 months.

      Please note the following:

      • Any advance payments of tuition fees you have made to the University can be deducted from the amount you need to show the Home Office.
      • Even if your course is longer than 9 months, you only need to show 9 months of funds.
      • You must show funds for your living costs, even if you will be living with family during your studies.
      • You cannot deduct any payments made for accommodation from your living costs.

      You will need to show you have enough funds using documents which meet the Home Office’s requirements. Please see pages 47-54 of the Tier 4 Policy Guidance. It is very important that your documents meet all of the requirements. Incorrect financial evidence is the main reason that students have their visa application refused.

      Self-funded students

      Self-funded means you will be paying for your studies in the UK. You can use funds held in your name or a parent or guardian’s name, but not another relative or a friend. A guardian must be a legal guardian who has been appointed by a court in your country.

      You can use any of these documents as financial evidence:

      • Personal bank statements
      • Bank statements in your parent or guardian’s name
      • A letter from your bank or parent or guardian’s bank
      • A certificate of deposit

      The documents must meet all of these requirements:

      • The required funds (your tuition funds and living costs) must have been held in the bank account for at least 28 consecutive days.
      • It must be cash funds in the bank e.g. a current or savings accounts. Other accounts or funds will not be accepted e.g. bonds, overdrafts, lines of credit, pension funds, shares and time deposits.
      • The funds must not have dropped below the required amount, even for one day or even by a small amount.
      • The documents must have been issued no more than one month before the date of your application.
      • The documents must be in English or translated into English by a professional translator or company (see pages 13-14 of the Tier 4 Policy Guidance).
      • Joint accounts can be used, but not business or corporate accounts.
      • You can use funds in more than one account, but the required funds must be available in all of the accounts at the same time.
      • If the bank account is in a parent or guardian’s name, you will also need to provide evidence of your relationship and a letter of permission from them (see page 54 of the Tier 4 Policy Guidance).

      Please read page 47 onwards of the Tier 4 Policy Guidance for full details of the Home Office requirements.

      Sponsored students

      A sponsored student is one who is receiving official financial sponsorship from one of the following:

      • a government
      • the British Council
      • an international organisation
      • an international company
      • a university or an independent school

      Your sponsor will need to provide you with a letter which meets all of these requirements:

      • Includes your full name
      • Has the name and contact details of your sponsor
      • Has the date of issue
      • States the length of your sponsorship
      • States the amount of money you are receiving towards your course fees and/or living costs; or contains a statement that your sponsor will cover all of your fees and living costs
      • Printed on the official letter-headed paper of the sponsor and endorsed with their official stamp

      Student loans

      If you have obtained a loan to fund your studies in the UK, you will need a letter that confirms it is provided by the national government, the state or regional government or a government sponsored student loan company or is part of an academic or educational loans scheme. The loan must also be in your name (not a parent or guardian’s) and confirm the funds will be released to you before you travel to the UK.

      If the loan does not meet this requirement, you will need to transfer the funds into your bank account and use bank statements from the account as your financial evidence. The statements must meet the same requirements as for a self-funded student (see above).

    • You will need to submit all of these documents with your Tier 4 Student visa application:

      • A valid passport. This should be the same passport which you submitted as part of your application to the University. If your passport information has changed, please send a copy of the front cover and photo page to visaoffice@law.ac.uk
      • Two recent passport sized photographs.
      • Degree certificate or original transcript. This should be the same as the qualifications listed on your CAS and must be the original documents (not a copy).
      • Financial evidence that fully meets the Tier 4 requirements.
      • A fully certified translation of any documents which are not in English (see pages 13-14 of the Tier 4 Policy Guidance).
      • Photocopies of all the documents you will be submitting. You should also make your own copies to keep.

      If you had to take an English test as part of your offer to the University, you do not have to submit the test report with your visa application. We will record on your CAS that the University has already assessed your English language as part of the admissions process.

      Different arrangements for some nationals

      The Home Office has set out differentiation arrangements for applicants from certain countries. Those who qualify do not have to submit financial evidence or qualifications with their visa application. To qualify for these arrangements you must meet all of the following criteria:

      • Be a national of one of the following countries: Argentina, Australia, Barbados, Botswana, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Oman, Qatar, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Trinidad & Tobago, United Arab Emirates, the United States of America or a British National Overseas; and
      • Apply for your Tier 4 Student visa in your country of nationality.

      Remember that these arrangements only exempt you from submitting financial evidence with your visa application. You must still have the required funds available to you. Even if you qualify for these arrangements, the Home Office may ask you to submit financial evidence after receiving your visa application. If you fail to comply with this request, your visa application will be rejected.

    • If you have previously studied in the UK, there are additional factors you need to consider before applying for a Tier 4 Student visa.

      Academic progression

      The Home Office requires that students are moving to a higher academic level when they want to study a further course on Tier 4 in the UK. This is referred to as academic progression in the Immigration Rules. For example, moving from a Bachelor Degree in Law to the BPTC or LPC is considered academic progression.

      If you want to study a new course at the same level as your previous course, you can only exceptionally make your Tier 4 application within the UK if you meet these requirements:

      • Your new course is related to the previous course; and/or
      • Your previous course and new course combined support your genuine career aspirations.

      If you want to study at a lower level than your previous course, you cannot apply from within the UK as this is not permitted by the Home Office. You must make your Tier 4 application from outside the UK in your country of nationality.

      The rules on academic progression also state that you must have successfully completed any previous study on Tier 4. The University of Law will only consider sponsoring a student on Tier 4 who failed to successfully complete a course on Tier 4 in the UK under exceptional circumstances.

      Please note that even if you apply outside the UK, you may be asked about any previous study in the UK, especially if you failed to complete a course on Tier 4 and/or want to study a new course which is at the same or lower level than your previous course. The Home Office can refuse an application if they believe a student does not have genuine reasons for wanting to study in the UK.

      The University of Law will check whether you meet the requirements for academic progression. If the University decides you do not meet these rules, we will not issue you a CAS. This policy applies to students who want to make their Tier 4 application within and outside the UK.

      Limit on Tier 4 study

      The Home Office limits the amount of time a student can spend studying in the UK on Tier 4. If you are studying a course at degree level or above, you can spend a maximum of 5 years on Tier 4 in the UK.

      This limit includes leave granted under a Tier 4 (General) visa or the old student visa which existed before Tier 4. It does not include leave granted on a Tier 4 (Child) visa or study on Tier 4 (General) if you were 16 or 17 years old.

      The BPTC, GDL and LPC do not count towards the 5 year limit, if you will be taking them as a new course at the University of Law. However, if you already studied the BPTC, GDL and LPC elsewhere, they do count towards the limit. This applies whether you successfully completed the course or failed to complete it.

      The Home Office calculates leave from the start date of a Tier 4 or old student visa to the end date. This is regardless of the actual course start date or end date. It also includes leave granted even when a student has subsequently left the UK before the end date on their visa.

      The University of Law will check whether you have reached the limit on Tier 4 study before issuing a CAS. We cannot issue a CAS to any student who has reached this limit, as the visa application will be automatically refused by the Home Office. Please contact visaoffice@law.ac.uk if you have any questions about your previous study in the UK.

    • Checking your visa

      Once the Home Office has finished assessing your visa application, your passport will be returned to you with a decision letter.

      If your application is successful, your passport will contain a 30 Day Visa (vignette). This visa is an entry permit so that you can travel to the UK and collect your Biometric Residence Permit (see the section ‘Arriving in the UK’).

      You should check that the following information is correct on the visa:

      • Valid from date (up to one month before the CAS start date)
      • Valid until date (30 days from the 'valid from' date)
      • Type = TIER 4 (GENERAL) STUDENT
      • Your name, passport number and date of birth
      • The sponsor licence number is for the University of Law

      If any of the information on the visa is incorrect and/or any of your documents are not returned, please contact the centre where you made your visa application immediately.

      The decision letter will tell you which type of visa you have been issued and the location of the post office where you must collect your Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) within 10 days of arriving in the UK. You must bring the letter with you to the UK to collect your BRP.

      You must travel to and enter the UK during the validity period of your 30 Day Visa. If you attempt to enter the UK before the valid from date on your visa, you will most likely be refused entry.

      Late arrivals and withdrawals

      If you are delayed and will be arriving late for your course, it is very important that you contact the University at visaoffice@law.ac.uk. We will notify the Home Office that you will be arriving late but still attending, provided you can do so by the latest arrival date for your course.

      If you decide to not attend your course at the University of Law, it is very important that you notify the University by writing to visaoffice@law.ac.uk so we can notify the Home Office. Failure to do this may affect you applying for a visa in the future or travelling to the UK.

    • Collecting your Biometric Residency Permit (BRP)

      Anyone who applies for a visa outside the UK which is longer than 6 months is issued with a Biometric Residence Permit (BRP). The BRP is similar in size to a credit card with a chip. It has the holder’s photo, immigration status and conditions whilst they are in the UK.

      You must collect your BRP from an allocated post office within 10 days of your arrival in the UK. The address of your allocated post office will be printed on the decision letter you received when your passport was returned by the visa application centre. You will need to bring the letter and your passport to the post office to collect your BRP.

      If you have any problems collecting your BRP, you could contact the Home Office by completing the form on this page.

      When you collect your BRP, you should check the following information is correct:

      • Your name and date of birth
      • Type of permit states TIER 4 GENERAL
      • Valid until date is correct – this will be 2 months after your course end date for BPTC, GDL and LPC students and 4 months after your course end date for BA and LLB students

      If there are any errors on your BRP, you should contact the Home Office within 10 days of collecting it by completing the form on this page. Further guidance on BRPs can be found on this webpage.

      Registering with the Police

      Some students will have to register with the Police as one of the conditions of their stay in the UK. You must do this within 7 days of your arrival in the UK if this condition applies to you. Nationals of the following countries must register with the Police:

      Afghanistan Cuba Libya Syria
      Algeria Egypt Moldova Tajikistan
      Argentina Georgia Morocco Tunisia
      Armenia Iran North Korea Turkey
      Azerbaijan Iraq Oman Turkmenistan
      Bahrain Israel Palestine United Arab Emirates
      Belarus Jordan Peru Ukraine
      Bolivia Kazakhstan Qatar Uzbekistan
      Brazil Kuwait Russia Yemen
      China (People's Republic) Kyrgyzstan Saudi Arabia
      Colombia Lebanon Sudan

      The location for police registration will depend on where you are studying in the UK. Please see this webpage for further guidance.

      All students will need the following documents for police registration:

      • 2 recent UK passport sized photographs of yourself
      • Your passport with your 30 Day Visa
      • Your Biometric Residence Permit
      • Your decision letter
      • Payment of £34

      Pre-enrolment

      The Home Office requires education providers to check the right to study for all students before they can start their course. Non-EEA students at the University of Law must attend pre-enrolment to provide evidence they can study in the UK before proceeding to formal enrolment.

      You will receive an email from Student Services at your centre with details of the date and time for pre-enrolment. Attendance is mandatory and you must attend your allocated session unless there are exceptional circumstances.

      You will need to bring the following documents to pre-enrolment:

      • Passport
      • Biometric Residence Permit
      • Degree certificate or original transcript
      • Proof of English language (if this was a condition of your offer)

      If you cannot attend your allocated session, please contact Student Services at your centre who will provide you with further guidance.

    • Introduction

      You can only make a Tier 4 application to study at the University of Law inside the UK if the following apply:

      • You have current leave in one of the following categories: Tier 4 (General), Tier 4 (Child), Tier 1 (Post-Study Work) or Tier 2; and
      • Your course at the University of Law starts no more than 28 days after the end of your current leave.

      If you do not meet both of these conditions, you must return to your country of nationality to make your Tier 4 application. You cannot enter the UK as a Short Term Student or Visitor and switch into Tier 4. You may also have to apply outside the UK due to the rules on academic progression.

      How to apply

      Please read the sections Receiving a CAS, Financial requirements, Supporting documents and Academic Progression and time limit on Tier 4 study, as they also apply to Tier 4 applications made inside the UK.

      You must make your Tier 4 application before you can start studying at the University of Law:

      Please contact visaoffice@law.ac.uk if you have any questions about making your application.

      Enrolling at the University of Law

      The University can enrol you while your Tier 4 application is being considered by the Home Office. However, you must attend the pre-enrolment for non-EEA students and bring the following documents:

      • Copies of your passport and current visa / biometric residence permit
      • Evidence that you have submitted your application to the Home Office – a copy of the application and Post Office receipt or confirmation that you attended an in-person visa appointment.

      You must bring a copy of your passport to pre-enrolment. We cannot accept other documents such as a national identity card.

      As soon as you receive your new biometric residence permit, you must bring it to Student Services at your centre to be checked and copied. Please note that if your application is unsuccessful, the University will have to withdraw you from your course in order to comply with Home Office regulations.