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Applying for a Tier 4 visa: Top tips

It is important for international students to be as prepared as possible before leaving their home country to come and study in the UK. Head of International Visa Office at The University of Law, Jelena Culum, offers some ‘top tips’ to help students thinking about applying for a Tier 4 Visa to study in the UK. 

By Editorial Team. Published 14 July 2014. Last updated 28 January 2020.

Receiving your Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) number
When your offer becomes unconditional, the universities you’ve applied to will email you a CAS statement. 

The CAS statement includes your CAS reference number and other extremely important information such as the institution Tier 4 sponsor licence number, address and your details including fees paid.  All the information in the CAS statement needs to be copied into your Tier 4 application.

Make sure that the information in your CAS is correct. If there are any errors, contact your institution as soon as possible.

Apply early

Although CAS numbers are valid for six months, you cannot use your CAS to apply for a visa more than three months before the start date of your course. However, do not leave it until last minute! The usual visa processing time is four weeks but sometimes it takes longer. There is always a huge number of applications during the summer, so make sure you submit your application in time. 

Documents required for your Tier 4 application

  • A valid passport
  • One new passport photograph 
  • Valid CAS reference number
  • Original qualification documents that are listed in your CAS such as your degree certificate or transcripts and properly translated documents in English. (If your qualification documents are not in English you need to have them translated by a professional translator)
  • Original sponsor letter (if you are financially sponsored)
  • Original bank statements (if you are self-financing)
  • ATAS certificate (if your course requires one)
  • Original birth certificate (if you are providing your parents’ bank statements)
  • Letter of consent from your parents (if you are providing your parents’ bank statements)

As you make preparations for your visa application, please bear in mind that any fee or accommodation pre-payments to The University of Law will need to clear in the University’s bank account and be receipted in order for them to be reflected in your CAS.

Tuberculosis screening

Students from some countries are required to provide a medical certificate confirming that they are clear of infectious tuberculosis (TB).

You can check the information on the UKVI website to find out if nationals of your country are required to obtain a certificate and, if so, to obtain details of the clinics and fee in your country.

Credibility interviews

You can be asked to participate in an interview, either in person or by telephone. If you are asked to go for an interview and you cannot show that your English language ability is at the correct level, your entry clearance application may be refused. 

Employment during your studies

As a Tier 4 student studying a degree-level programme at a higher education institution, you are permitted to work for a maximum of 20 hours a week during term-time and full-time during holidays. Masters students cannot work full-time during the summer as this is classed as term-time. 

Good luck with your application and we look forward to welcoming you to studying in the UK soon! Information for international students wishing to study at The University of Law can be found on our website at Alternatively, please e-mail The University of Law’s dedicated International Visa Office at [email protected]