Eligibility

You must have:

  • an unconditional offer of a place on a course with a licensed Tier 4 sponsor
  • enough money to support yourself and pay for your course - the amount will vary depending on your circumstances

Read the guide and appendix for the full list of documents and how much money you’ll need.

Your course

You can do a course that’s one of the following:

  • full-time leading to a qualification that’s at least level 6 on the Ofqual register
  • part-time leading to a qualification that’s at least level 7 on the Ofqual register
  • an overseas course of degree level study that’s equal to a UK higher education course and is being run by an overseas higher education institution
  • full-time, with at least 15 hours per week of organised daytime study, leading to a qualification which is at least level 3 on the Ofqual register
  • a recognised foundation programme as a postgraduate doctor or dentist
  • an English language course at level B2 or above on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages

Postgraduate doctors and dentists

You can apply for this visa if you’re sponsored to do a recognised foundation programme and you’ve:

  • finished a recognised UK degree in medicine or dentistry
  • received that degree from a registered Tier 4 sponsor
  • spent your final year and at least 1 other year of studies leading to that degree in the UK

Confirmation of acceptance for studies

Your education provider will send you a reference number called a confirmation of acceptance for studies (CAS) once they’ve offered you a place on a course. You’ll need to enter this on your visa application.

You must apply for your visa no more than 6 months after you receive the CAS.

If you’ve studied in the UK before

You can only get a CAS in certain situations if you’re applying from within the UK.

If you’re continuing your studies

You can get a CAS if you’re:

  • re-sitting exams or repeating modules
  • applying for the first time to a new institution to complete a course you started at an institution that lost its Tier 4 sponsorship
  • applying to extend your stay to complete your studies because you’ve done (or want to do) a work placement or study abroad programme
  • completing a PhD or other doctorate that you started studying under your last Tier 4 (General) student visa
  • applying after working as a student union sabbatical officer to complete a qualification you started studying under your last Tier 4 (General) student visa
  • continuing your medical, dentistry or medical science degree after completing an intercalated course

If you’re starting a new course

You can get a CAS if your course is one of the following:

  • at a higher academic level than your previous course
  • at the same level and related to your previous course or career aspirations - it must be degree level or above at a Higher Education Institution (HEI)
  • intercalated to a medicine, dentistry or medical science course you started studying under a Tier 4 (General) student visa

If you’re applying to work in the UK

You can get a CAS if you’re applying to either:

  • work as a student union sabbatical officer
  • stay in the UK to look for work after you’ve finished your PhD or doctorate - the ‘Doctorate Extension Scheme’ (DES)