Prior to applying for a Tier 4 visa
Essential Reading and Information
- Tier 4 (General) student visa
- Tier 4 rules
- Tier 4 Policy Guidance
- UKCISA guidance: Applying for a Tier 4 (General) visa from overseas or applying from within the UK
- UKCISA guidance: Financial Evidence Requirements for a Tier 4 (General) visa.
- Frequently Asked Questions
To apply for a Tier 4 visa you must:
- Make sure that you are eligible to apply for a Tier 4 visa; Eligibility for Tier 4 (General) student visa
- Apply 3 months before the start of your course;
- Be in receipt of a CAS from the University; Tier 4: How to apply for a CAS
- Submit the correct fee to UK Visas & Immigration; Visa Fees
- Apply online
Tier 4: Application from outside the UK
If you require a Tier 4 visa to come to the UK to study at the University of Kent you must make your entry clearance (visa) application before you travel to the UK.
Points to note:
- You will have to pay the healthcare surcharge as part of your application. Check how much you will have to pay before you apply.
- You will need to have a tuberculosis test if you’re coming to the UK for more than 6 months and are resident in any of these listed countries.
- You should not book your flight to the UK until you have your passport and visa back.
You must apply online for a Tier 4 (General) student visa. You can apply in the country where you normally live, up to 3 months before your course start date. It can take some time to obtain your visa therefore it is advisable that you apply as early as possible; but no more than 3 months prior to your course start date.
You’ll need to have your fingerprints and photograph taken at a visa application centre as part of your application.
You’ll have to collect your Biometric Residence Permit within 10 days of when you stated you would arrive in the UK (even if you actually arrive at a later date). If you wish to collect your Biometric Residence Permit from the University, you will need to input the University's ACL code when applying for your visa online.
Successful visa application:
Your visa will be issued as a 30-day entry clearance vignette sticker in your passport. You will use this to travel to the UK. You will also use the vignette to collect your Biometric Residence Permit (BRP). The BRP contains basic details about you and the permission you have been granted.
Check that all of the information and conditions on your vignette and BRP are correct.
If there is an error on your vignette that could prevent you from entering the UK (e.g. your name, nationality or the 'valid from' date) contact the International Enquiry Service to ask for the error to be corrected before you travel to the UK. Please note, you will be charged to use this service.
Tier 4: Application from inside the UK
When you apply for a Tier 4 visa from within the UK you are applying for further leave to remain. You must make a valid Tier 4 visa application to the Home Office before your current visa expires.
You may need to apply for further leave to remain* if:
- you are progressing to a new course of study and the start date of your new course of studies (as stated on your CAS) must be no more than 28 days after the end of your current leave. If the gap between the end of your current leave and the start of your new course is longer than 28 days then you must leave the UK and apply from your home country.
- you need more time to undertake re-sits or to repeat part of your course.
- you are extending your stay in the UK to work under the Doctorate Extension Scheme
- you are applying to extend your leave in order to complete a Year Abroad/Work Placement or you have previously completed a Year Abroad/Work placement and as a result of this you need further leave to remain to complete your course.
*It is important that you check first that you are eligible to apply and that any time limits on study in the UK do not affect your application. Please contact Kent Union Advice Centre for help with eligibility requirements and completing the application.
Time of application:
If you require an extension to your visa to continue your course you will need to apply to extend your visa before it expires. If you do not apply for your new Tier 4 visa before your current visa expires you will not be able to continue your studies as planned.
If you are continuing your course and need to extend your visa, you can apply from within the UK at any time up to the date your visa expires. We highly recommend you apply as soon as possible and do not leave it to the last minute.
Please note that depending on your circumstances we may not continue to sponsor you to finish your course if you are not required to be in attendance and your work can be completed remotely, for example if you are required to revise your dissertation.
After your application:
Once your visa is issued check your biometric residence permit (BRP) carefully to make sure all the information and conditions are correct.
Bring your visa to the Central Student Administration Office reception in the Registry Building (Canterbury Campus) or the Gillingham Building (Medway Campus) so it can be scanned to your record. Please refer to your visa responsibilities for a list of documents you must present.
You must meet the financial requirements to qualify for a Tier 4 visa and have sufficient funds for your tuition fees and meet the maintenance costs specified in the Home Office Tier 4 Policy Guidance.
It is extremely important to read through this to fully understand the financial requirements for a student visa.
Evidence of qualifications
If there are qualifications mentioned in your CAS under "evidence used to obtain offer" then you must provide these with your application. Documents must be original and meet the Home Office requirements.
Pre-sessional English courses
Our Centre for English and World Languages offers a range of pre-sessional English courses and you may choose to take one in order to meet an outstanding language condition. Where this is the case, we can only issue a CAS for your pre-sessional English course. Once you have completed this successfully we will issue another CAS to cover your degree course and you will have to apply for a new Tier 4 visa to cover this period of study. You can normally apply for an extension to your Tier 4 visa from within the UK.
If you have an unconditional offer to study your degree course and would also like to study a pre-sessional English course before your degree course starts, you may be eligible for a CAS that will cover both courses.