UK Visa Process

Required documents:

Confirmation of acceptance for studies

  • What is a confirmation of acceptance for studies?

A confirmation of acceptance for studies (CAS) is a 'virtual document' similar to a database record. Your education provider (also known as your 'Tier 4 sponsor') will assign a CAS to you when they give you an unconditional offer of a place on a course.

Each CAS has a unique reference number, and contains information about the course of study and the student's personal details.

Your education provider will tell you your CAS reference number. They will also need to give you some of the information they used (such as the course details, the documents they used to assess your suitability, and the course fees) when they assigned the CAS to you. You will need this information when you apply to us.

A CAS is valid if it:

  • contains the same details as are in your passport; and
  • was assigned no more than 6 months before the date when you apply to us; and
  • has not been withdrawn or cancelled by your education provider or by us.

If you do not use your CAS to apply to us during the 6 months after it is assigned to you, it will expire and you will need to get a new CAS from your education provider. If you apply to us using a CAS that has expired, we will refuse your application.

You cannot use a CAS more than once. If we refuse your application, and you want to apply again, your education provider will need to assign another CAS to you.

We or your education provider can withdraw or cancel a CAS at any time. You cannot use a withdrawn or cancelled CAS in an application to us.

If you have a valid CAS, you can score 30 points in our points assessment. However, this will not guarantee that your application will be successful - you will also need to meet the other Tier 4 (General) requirements.

List of Documents

This section describes the documents that you must send us as evidence when you apply to study in the UK .

When you make your application, you must provide all the necessary documents. The only documents that we will accept as evidence are those listed in this section. You must provide the documents with your application form.

Evidence used to obtain your confirmation of acceptance for studies

You will score 30 points for having a valid confirmation of acceptance for studies (CAS). When you apply, you must:

  • write your CAS reference number on your application form - your Tier 4 sponsor will give you the reference number; and
  • send us the documents you used to obtain the CAS.
  • has not been withdrawn or cancelled by your education provider or by us.

Assessment based on your qualifications

If your Tier 4 sponsor has assessed your qualifications in order to assign your confirmation of acceptance for studies (CAS), you must send us these qualifications with your application. For each qualification listed, you must provide:

  • the original certificate(s) of qualification; or
  • the original transcript of results.
  • Provisional certificates are not accepted

Each certificate of qualification must be the original (not a copy), and must clearly show:

  • your name;
  • the title of the award;
  • the date of the award; and
  • the name of the awarding institution.

Each transcript of results must be the original (not a copy), and must clearly show:

  • your name;
  • the academic institution's name;
  • the course title; and
  • confirmation of the award.

You will need to know what evidence your Tier 4 sponsor has included on your CAS, so that you can include it with your application. You must get this information directly from your Tier 4 sponsor before you apply. We will not provide this information to you.

Evidence of money to cover your course fees and living costs

You will score 10 points if you provide evidence that you have enough money to pay your course fees and living costs. To claim the 10 points, you must show evidence that you:

  • have paid all or part of your course fees and (if relevant) accommodation fees to your Tier 4 sponsor; and/or
  • are receiving official financial sponsorship; and/or
  • have enough money to cover your remaining course fees and living costs, if any.

Evidence of money already paid to your education provider

When it assigns your confirmation of acceptance for studies (CAS), your Tier 4 sponsor can include details of any money that you have already paid to it.

If your CAS includes details of money paid to your Tier 4 sponsor, you do not need to provide any further documents to show that you have paid this money. If you do not know whether your CAS includes this information, you must ask your Tier 4 sponsor.

If you have paid any money to cover your course and accommodation fees to your Tier 4 sponsor, but your CAS does not indicate that this has been paid, you must include evidence of payment in your application. You must send an original paper receipt issued by your Tier 4 sponsor confirming:

  • that you have paid all of your fees; or
  • the amount you have paid.

Evidence of an official financial sponsor or government sponsor

If your Tier 4 sponsor is giving you any official financial sponsorship, it can include details of this on your confirmation of acceptance for studies (CAS). You do not need to provide any documents as evidence of this official financial sponsorship. If you do not know whether your CAS contains this information, you must ask your Tier 4 sponsor.

In any other circumstances where you are being given official financial sponsorship, you must provide send us a letter of confirmation from your official financial sponsor. The letter must be on the organization's official letter-headed paper or stationery, and must bear the organisation's official stamp. It must show:

  • your name ;
  • the official financial sponsor's name and contact details;
  • the date of the letter;
  • the length of the sponsorship; and
  • the amount of money that the official financial sponsor is giving to you, or a statement that it will cover all of your course fees and living costs.

Evidence of money that is available to you - general principles

You must show that you have held the required money for a consecutive 28-day period (finishing on the date of the closing balance) ending no more than one month before your application.

If you are providing your evidence of money from a single account, we will assess the funds available to you from the closing balance given on the document you provide as evidence. If you provide two or more pieces of evidence from a single account (for example, two consecutive bank statements), we will assess the money available to you from the closing balance of the most recent document.

If you provide evidence from two or more accounts, we will assess the money available to you as being:

  • the closing balance of one account; plus
  • any additional money available to you on the date of that closing balance, for which you have provided the required evidence.

We will always use the closing balance date from the account that most favours you.

If you are providing evidence of official financial sponsorship, in addition to evidence of your own money, any money paid to you by your official financial sponsor will not be considered as available money. Money cannot be counted twice.

You can use the following documents to show money that is available to you:

  • personal bank or building society statements, covering a consecutive 28-day period ending no more than one month before the date of your application;
  • a building society pass book, covering a consecutive 28-day period ending no more than one month before the date of your application;
  • a letter from a bank confirming that funds have been held for a consecutive 28-day period ending no more than one month before the date of your application;
  • a letter from a financial institution confirming that funds have been held for a consecutive 28-day period ending no more than one month before the date of your application;
  • a letter from a financial institution confirming a loan, dated no more than six months before the date of your application.

We will not award you points for maintenance if your documents show money held in a financial institution that does not verify financial statements to our satisfaction.

For more information, see our list of financial institutions that do not satisfactorily verify financial statements.

Evidence of money that is available to you - acceptable documents

The following documents, with the exception of the loan letter, must cover a consecutive 28-day period ending no more than a month before the date of your application.

  • Personal bank or building society statements
  • Personal bank or building society statements must show:
  • your name, or the name(s) of your parent(s) or legal guardian;
  • the account number;
  • the date of the statement;
  • the financial institution's name and logo; and
  • the amount of money available.

You cannot use mini-statements from cash machines (ATMs) as evidence.

You can use electronic bank statements from an online account if they include all the information above. Each electronic statement should bear the bank's official stamp on every page, or you must provide a supporting letter from the bank, on company headed paper, confirming the statements' authenticity.

If you want to use a joint account as proof of your money, you must be named on the account along with at least one other person.

We will not accept statements that show the balance in the account on a particular day, as these do not show that you hold enough funds for the full 28-day period required.

Building society pass book

The building society pass book must show:

  • your name, or the name(s) of your parent(s) or legal guardian;
  • the account number;
  • the financial institution's name and logo; and
  • the amount of money available.

Letter from a bank or building society confirming funds

A letter from a bank or building society must show:

  • your name, or the name(s) of your parent(s) or legal guardian;
  • the account number;
  • the date of the letter;
  • the financial institution's name and logo;
  • the money in the account; and
  • that there is enough money in the account to cover your course fees and living costs.

Letter from a financial institution confirming funds

The financial institution must be regulated by the Financial Services Authority or, in the case of overseas accounts, the home regulator. (This is the official regulator for the country where the institution is and where the money is held.)

The letter must show:

  • your name, or the name(s) of your parent(s) or legal guardian;
  • the account number (if applicable);
  • the date of the letter;
  • the financial institution's name and logo; and
  • the money in the account.

Letter from a financial institution confirming a loan

The financial institution must be regulated by the Financial Services Authority or, in the case of overseas accounts, the home regulator. (This is the official regulator for the country where the institution is and where the money is held.)

The loan letter must be dated no more than six months before the date of your application, and must show:

  • your name;
  • the date of the letter;
  • the financial institution's name and logo; and
  • the money (or funds) available as a loan.

Loans held in the name(s) of your parents(s) or legal guardian cannot be used as evidence of money held by you.

There must be no conditions on the release of the loan funds to you, other than your making a successful Tier 4 application.

If you are applying from overseas, the loan funds must be available to you before you travel to the UK, unless the loan:

  • is an academic/student loan from your country's national government; and
  • will be released to you by your national government or your Tier 4 education provider when you arrive in the UK.

If a student is relying on money held by your parents(s) or legal guardian, you must show that you are related to your parent(s) or legal guardian. You must provide:

  • your birth certificate showing the names of your parent(s); or
  • your certificate of adoption showing names of both parent(s) or legal guardian; or
  • a court document naming your legal guardian.

You must provide the original legal document or a notarized copy.

You must also show that your parent(s) or legal guardian have given their permission for you to use this money. To do this, you must provide a letter from your parent(s) or legal guardian confirming:

  • your relationship with your parent(s) or legal guardian; and
  • their permission for you to use their funds to study in the UK.

Identity documents and photographs of you

Photographs

You must provide two recent passport photographs of yourself, and of each dependent who is applying with you. On the back of each photograph, you must write the name of the person in the picture.

Each photograph should:

  • measure 45mm x 35mm; and
  • be in color; and
  • be taken against a light grey or cream background; and
  • be clear and of good quality; and/span>
  • not be framed or backed; and
  • not be digitally altered - for example, you cannot use Photoshop or similar software to change anything in the image; and
  • be of the full face, without sunglasses, hat or head covering (unless it is worn for religious reasons).

Passport or travel document

You must send your original passport or travel document, and the original passport or travel document of each dependant who is applying with you.

Asking for the return of your passport before your application to remain in the UK is decided

If you need your passport for identification reasons (to open a bank account, for example) before we decide your application, we will return your passport. You should send your passport back to us as soon as you have used it to confirm your identity. We will not be able to decide the outcome of your application until you have returned it to us. This may delay our decision on your application.

If you ask for your passport back so you can travel outside the Common Travel Area, your application will automatically be withdrawn when we return it to you. If you decide not to travel and you still want to remain in the UK, you will need to apply again and pay a new fee.

If you need to ask for the return of your passport, contact the Immigration Enquiry Bureau.