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Tier 4 student visa

Most international students who are not from an EU/EEA country will need to apply for a Tier 4 (General) student visa to study a full-time degree-level course at Kingston University.

The information on this page is a brief guide highlighting key points of the Tier 4 (General) student visa process for international students. For more detailed information, please visit UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) and the UK Home Office

Application Process

The Home Office has full guidance on how, when and where to apply, but here is a brief summary of the process:

  1. Apply for ATAS clearance (specific science and engineering courses only)
  2. Obtain CAS
  3. Complete Tier 4 application form online, (if you plan to apply from within the UK, check to make sure you are eligible)
  4. Pay immigration health surcharge and application fee
  5. Book biometrics appointment at a visa application centre (to get a biometric residence permit) as part of your application
  6. Attend biometrics appointment (scan and upload your documents before appointment)
  7. Attend credibility interview (if asked to do so)
  8. Home Office will contact you with a decision (often within three weeks, but visa processing times vary by country)
  9. If your visa is refused, please contact the CAS team (CAS@kingston.ac.uk) and attach your visa refusal letter
  10. Collect your biometric residence permit (BRP) within 10 days of your arrival in the UK (or, if you applied within the UK, your BRP will be posted directly to you or to Kingston University if you used the university address).

Maintenance Requirements

When making your Tier 4 student visa application, international students must show that they have enough money to pay for first year course fees and living costs. The Home Office calls this the maintenance requirements. 

Course fees

Students must show enough funding to cover one year of tuition fees. Your course fees will be listed on your offer letter and on the relevant course web page. You can deduct any fees you have paid towards your tuition fees (e.g. £3,000 deposit) from the total amount you need to show for your fees.

Maintenance

You must have enough money to support yourself while you are studying in the UK. The Home Office uses fixed amounts, which may or may not reflect your actual living costs. 

Kingston University is within London, so you will need to show £1,265 per month for a maximum of 9 months, giving a total of £11,385 to cover your living costs (maintenance).

Sponsored students

If you are fully funded by an official financial sponsor, as defined in the Tier 4 policy guidance, you will require an original letter from your sponsor confirming the duration of the sponsorship, how much they will cover towards your tuition fees and how much they will cover towards your living costs. If your official financial sponsor is not covering all of your course fees and maintenance, you must show that you have the rest of the money required.  You can use any combination of the forms of evidence listed above.

Immigration Health Surcharge

In addition to the Tier 4 (General) student visa application fee, you will have to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) as part of your application. This entitles you to use the National Health Service (NHS) if you become unwell or have an accident while studying in the UK.

The IHS amount you will need to pay depends on how much leave you are granted: 

  • £300 for each year of study
  • £150 for periods of less than 6 months (e.g. additional four months of leave granted at the end of your studies)

Calculate how much IHS you would need to pay before you apply by using the immigration health surcharge tool

Required Supporting Documents

 Document Description

Confirmation of Acceptance of Studies (CAS)

You can request your CAS within three months of your course start date, if you have accepted your unconditional offer, completed the fee assessment task in OSIS, and paid your £3,000 postgraduate deposit (postgraduate applicants only - excluding government sponsored students, US and Canadian students in receipt of government loans, and Masters by Research MPhil/PhD).

Passport or travel document

Must be the same document listed on your CAS

Financial documents

You must show the full amount needed (course fees plus maintenance) for A 28-day period. A bank statement should be printed on the 29th day.

Your bank statement closing balance must be no more than 31 days before the date you submit you Tier 4 visa application.

If using parents' bank statements, they must be accompanied by a letter of support from parents and proof of the relationship (e.g. birth certificate).

The UKVI Tier 4 Policy Guidance gives very precise instructions strictly to ensure you meet the financial requirements.

Academic and English qualifications

Must be the same qualifications you used to receive an offer to study with Kingston University and which are listed on your CAS.

Depending on your situation, you may also be required to submit:

 Document Description

Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS)

If your course requires ATAS clearance, we will not issue a CAS until we have received a copy of the ATAS certificate. You can apply for an ATAS certificate up to 9 months before the starting date of your course.

Tuberculosis (TB) Medical Certificate

You'll need to have a TB test from a UKVI approved test centre if you are coming to the UK for more than 6 months and are resident in any of these listed countries.

Letter of Consent from parents

If you are under 18 years of age.

Official English translations

If any supporting documents are not in English.

For more information on required documents for a Tier 4 student visa application, please read the full Home Office guidance and see the UKCISA evidence pages.

Credibility Interview

You may be required to attend a credibility interview. This will usually be conducted by video link with a UKVI officer in the UK, although some are face-to-face interviews at Home Office centres across the UK (if you are applying from inside the UK).

During your interview a member of Home Office staff may ask you about your course, where you want to study, your reasons for studying in the UK, and how you plan to finance your studies. They must be satisfied that you are a genuine student, and that your English language ability is at the correct level, otherwise you might be called for a further interview or your application may be refused.

See the UKCISA website for more information.

Dependants

Some Tier 4 (General) students can have family with them in the UK as their dependants. This will depend on your Tier 4 student immigration status and they type of degree you will be studying at Kingston University.

To find out who counts as a dependant, and how to apply, please see the UKCISA website.

PBS dependents can apply for a dependant visa (spouse or child) on the Home Office website.

Contact us

Student Life Centre: Immigration Advisor
Tel: +44(0)20 8417 7313

International students
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