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 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:

  • resitting 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)
  1. Step 1 Check if this visa is right for you

  2. Step 2 Prepare the evidence you need

    1. Check what documents you can use as evidence
    2. Prove your knowledge of the English language
    3. Check if you need a TB test

    If you're doing a masters degree or above, you may need to apply for the Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS).

    1. Check if you need to apply for ATAS
  3. Step 3 Apply from outside the UK

    1. Apply from outside the UK and book an appointment £348
    2. Check where your visa appointment will be

    You should get a decision within 3 weeks of your appointment. You may be able to pay more to get a decision faster.

  4. or Apply from inside the UK

    1. Apply to extend if you're already in the UK on a Tier 4 (General) visa £475
    2. Apply to switch to this visa if you're already in the UK £475

    You should get a decision within 8 weeks from when you apply. You may be able to pay more to get a decision faster.

  5. Step 4 Attend an appointment

    You'll be told when you apply if you need to bring anything to your appointment.

    At your appointment you’ll have your fingerprints and photograph (‘biometric information’) taken.

    You'll be told when a decision has been made about your visa.

  6. Step 5 Check what you can bring into the UK with you

  7. Step 6 Check what you need to show at the UK border

  8. Step 7 After you arrive in the UK

    1. Find out how to get your Biometric Residence Permit (BRP)

    If you applied from outside the UK, you’ll need to collect your BRP within 10 days of you arriving. Check your BRP to find out when you must leave the UK.

    If you break the conditions of your visa you may not be able to return to the UK again.

    You might be able to extend your visa once you're in the UK.

    1. Check if you can extend your visa