Student Visa Guidance
The UK Visa process is operated by the UK Border Agency
Please read the following questions and answers carefully.
These should answer many of the questions you have about the
student visa process. (Click on the question to reveal the
Please note that this information may be subject to change as
and when UK immigration policies are and procedures are
You should also read the further information regarding
responsibilities of students before and after
- What is a Tier 4 general student visa?
- Tier 4 of the points-based system is the primary immigration
route available to students who want to study full-time in the UK.
They must be sponsored by an education provider that has a sponsor
licence. The University of Hull is a Tier 4 (General Student)
licence holder and currently has the Highly Trusted Sponsor status.
The University of Hull does not sponsor Tier 4 (Child)
- Can I use a student visitor visa?
- The student visitor route is available for students to come to
the UK for short periods of study. You can find out more about the
visitor route on the
- Can I get a visa as a 'Gifted Student'?
- From April 2011 the UKBA has a 'Gifted Student' category within
the Tier 4 route. The University of Hull is not using that route
for any student.
- What is a CAS?
- Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) is a ‘virtual’
document which provides a CAS number and a CAS statement. You will
only need a CAS if you are planning to apply for a Tier 4
(General) student visa or visa extension under Tier 4 of the
- What is a CAS number?
- A CAS number is a combination of letters and numbers and has 14
digits, for example, “E08GLO90RT7P2”. Each CAS number is unique for
an international student studying at a specific Tier 4 sponsor for
his/her chosen course(s) in the UK.
- What is a CAS statement?
- A CAS statement consists of all the information required by the
UKBA for generating your CAS. The University of Hull will deliver
your CAS number and CAS statement by email only. You will need the
information provided on the University email to complete your Tier
4 (General Student) visa application correctly. Please note it is
your responsibility to check your CAS statement to ensure all the
information it contains is accurate. You must keep the
CAS email securely as it contains your personal data.
- Do I need a CAS?
- Not all international students studying at the University of
Hull need a CAS. This will depend on each student’s personal
circumstances. You will only need a CAS if you are applying for
your visa or visa extension as a Tier 4 General Student. If you are
not sure whether you will need a CAS, please contact our
Immigration Advisers by email or by using the online
immigration enquiry form.
- Can I apply for a Tier 4 General Student visa or
extension without a CAS?
- No. If you want to start or continue your study at the
University of Hull under the Tier 4, you MUST obtain a CAS from us
in order to apply for your Tier 4 General Student visa.
- When can I get CAS from the University of
- A CAS will be issued, normally within 5 working days, when - 1.
You have accepted your offer 2. You have provided proof of all
qualifications as requested and your offer is unconditional 3. You
have provided a copy of your passport you intend to use to gain a
visa 4. Your start date is no more than 4 months ahead 5. If your
course requires you to have an ATAS
certificate the University will need to see the certificate
before a CAS is issued.
- Will my CAS be issued on University headed
- No. We have been assured by the UK Border Agency (UKBA) that it
is not necessary for you to receive a hard copy of the CAS
notification from the University. The University will issue an
email to you as official notification that your details have been
processed to the UKBA. You should print the email (and any
following CAS email updates if relevant) to use with your visa
- When am I expected to arrive?
- Students are required to attend from the formal start date
shown on the offer. For international students there are also
important welcome activities on or before that date – see the
pages for details. View standard semester
- What happens if I cannot arrive by my start
- Arrival and formal registration must be completed no later than
the dates shown in the table. If
you arrive after the formal start date you will miss important
welcome activities and teaching/research time and will not be given
extra tuition to catch up and are therefore strongly advised to be
at the University for the formal start date.If you are not able to
arrive and register by the latest allowed registration date, you
must inform the Admissions Service at
least one week before this date to explain the reasons why you are
unable to arrive by the date and the University will then explore
any options available.It may be that your application will be
deferred to the next intake. If you have not formally registered by
the latest allowed registration date, the University will notify
the UKBA of this.
- Will my CAS have information about how much I have paid
to the University for my tuition fees?
- Yes. If your payment has been fully recorded by the University
when the CAS is issued it will be included. If you pay fees after
your CAS has been issued your CAS will be updated and you will
receive notification (normally by email) to confirm this. If you
have any queries you should contact Student Financial Services, asking
them to update your CAS, quoting your applicant code and CAS
- What if I overpay the University for the tuition and/or
accommodation fees, can I get the balance reimbursed to me for my
- Any fees paid above your tuition fees will be used to pay for
any accommodation fees. If you have paid for your accommodation
fees, but not allocated any accommodation you will be reimbursed.
Anything above the combined amount (tuition and accommodation) will
be reimbursed to you. You should not overpay your tuition (and
accommodation) fees to the University in order to try to circumvent
the requirement to have money in your account for 28 days. The
University is not able to act as a clearance account for this
purpose or provide evidence to the UKBA for any amount received
over the fees due.
- Why does the CAS not mention my
- If you have been awarded a University of Hull scholarship or
bursary that is not reflected as a reduction in fee on your CAS you
should contact Student Financial Services, quoting
your applicant code, CAS number and provide evidence of the
scholarship or bursary.
- When can I apply for my Tier 4 visa?
- What documents do I need to provide with my visa
- Will the UKBA test my English language
- Yes, UKBA will check the level of your English.If you are not a
national of an English speaking country (as defined by the UKBA) or
you have not recently graduated from an honours degree in one of
those countries, the University has responsibility to check that
you meet the minimum English language standard for their course.
For degree courses the standard is defined by the UKBA as at
least CEFR Level B2 (normally IELTS 5.5 in each element (reading,
writing, listening and speaking) or above or other accepted tests).
The University sets its own entry requirements for each course,
which are normally higher than this UKBA standard. Please refer to
the further guidance on our English language requirements.
For pre-sessional courses (including the University of Hull's
Masters Foundation programme) and other below degree programmes (eg
UHELP) the standard defined by the UKBA is at least CEFR Level B1
(normally at least IELTS 4 or above) and applicants must be taking
one of the secure English language tests recognised by the UKBA and
the University of Hull.
Please check the list of
UKBA approved English language tests although you should be
aware that the University of Hull may not recognise all of the
qualifications listed. The University cannot admit any student who
needs a Tier 4 visa who is below the UKBA and/or University of Hull
The University will record on the CAS the evidence used and if
there is a formal English language test stated on your CAS you must
include the original certificate and full statement of results with
your visa application. The UKBA will not ask you to take another
However, if you are interviewed by an Entry Clearance Officer
during your visa application or on arrival in the UK they need to
know that you can hold a normal conversation with them. If they
have concerns about your English skills they have the power to
refuse entry to the UK.
- Will I be required to be screened for tuberculosis (TB)
before I am granted a visa?
- The UKBA has announced that migrants wishing to enter the UK
for more than six months, from countries with a high incidence of
tuberculosis (TB), will need to be screened before they are granted
a visa for the UK. You are advised to refer to the
information from the UKBA for further details.
- What do I need to do if I am given a CAS when I do not
- You should contact the Admissions Service,
explain why you believe you do not need a CAS and provide any
relevant documents and we will look at your application again
before contacting you further.
- What do I need to do if I believe there is a mistake on
my CAS statement?
- Check your CAS carefully as soon as you receive it. You should
contact the Admissions Service (or
other issuing Service at the University) giving details of what
information you believe to be incorrect, stating your applicant
code, and we will investigate further. You will normally receive a
response within 4 working days. Please only send the information to
the address given here and not to other contacts you have at the
institution – this can cause delays in resolving any issues.
- What if my passport is renewed before I apply for my
- You should send a clear copy of your new passport immediately
to the Admissions Service who
will update the CAS information held by the UKBA. If you are a
registered student you should ensure you inform the UKBA Compliance Team.
- Will I receive a new CAS if my original needs to be
- No, normally any changes made will be notified to the UKBA and
you will receive an email informing you of those changes reported
to the UKBA.
- Why does my CAS only cover the period of my
- If a pass in a pre-sessional course (English language or
Masters Foundation) is a condition of your admission to the main
degree programme, a CAS can only be issued for the pre-sessional
- Can my CAS cover the MPhil and PhD stages of my
- Yes, if your offer is for ‘PhD’. Students are normally
registered from the start for the PhD with a progression review
after approximately one year.If, however, your offer is for MPhil
only or MPhil/PhD, a CAS will be issued for the MPhil (2 years)
only. A new CAS will be issued if your progression is satisfactory
after 2 years.
- Do I need an ATAS certificate?
- Please visit the ATAS pages for further details.
- Do I need a new CAS if I change my programme/start
- I already have a Tier 4 visa for the University of
Hull, can I save my CAS to use later?
- A CAS expires 6 months after it is issued. If you register
using a current visa (from a previous programme at the University
of Hull) you should follow guidance from the UKBA Compliance Team or
the Immigration Advisers. You will
need to request a new CAS to extend your visa if the one given to
you for the new programme expires before your visa
- Can I use a CAS issued by another University to apply
for a Tier 4 visa to study at the University of Hull?
- No. If you need a Tier 4 visa and would like to study at the
University of Hull, you must use a CAS issued by the University of
Hull to apply for your visa.
- I have a visa that was issued to study at another
University. Can I use it to study at the University of
- I have a Tier 4 visa that was issued to study at
another University. Can I use it to study at the University of
- It will depend on when you made your last Tier 4 application.If
you made your latest Tier 4 application on or after 5 October 2009,
you must apply for a new Tier 4 visa using a CAS issued by the
University of Hull before you can register with us.
If you made your latest Tier 4 application before 5 October 2009
and you are now in the UK, you must apply to UKBA for a permission
to change your University before you can register with us. Please
contact our Immigration Advisers for
further information if needed.
You must tell the University as soon as your new visa
application has been decided (approved or refused) or as soon as
you receive permission to change your University and provide
evidence to Student Administrative Services.
- If my Tier 4 General Student visa application is
refused by the UKBA can I use my CAS again for the next
- No, your CAS can only be used once and will no longer be valid.
If you decide to make a new Tier 4 application you must obtain
another CAS from the University. You should contact the Admissions Service,
(or the UKBA
Compliance Team if you are a continuing student) providing
a copy of your refusal notice.
- What happens if my visa is refused?
- If my visa application is rejected do I need to apply
for a new CAS?
- No, if your visa application is rejected you can use the same
CAS as long as all of the information is correct and matches the
information on your visa application.
- How long can I stay in the UK as a student?
- I have a UK degree, can I have a CAS for another degree
at the same level?
- When the University sponsors a student for a Tier 4 visa the
University must confirm to the UKBA that the new programme
represents academic progression from previous studies in the UK.
The UKBA normally expects this to mean that the new course is at a
higher level than the previous one (for example, Bachelor degree
followed by Masters).
So, if you have already studied for a Masters degree and have
applied for another Masters we need to be sure we can say that your
new studies represent progression. Before we can make an offer we
will ask you provide a statement, in your own words, of the reasons
for you wanting and needing to take another Masters programme, for
example showing clearly your career aims that the study will
Once we have your statement this will be considered by a
University officer with responsibility for Tier 4 sponsorship
compliance matters to decide if the University would be able to
sponsor a further Tier 4 visa for you for the duration of the new
programme. In deciding whether we can sponsor you we will also
consider the results from your previous study and will expect a
- What happens if the UKBA changes its policy before I
apply for my visa?
- You must make your Tier 4 visa application in accordance with
the immigration rules valid at the time of your application.
The UKBA may revise its policies at any time. UKBA immigration
rules, application forms and fees may change at short notice.
Therefore, it is very important to check these before making your
The University will be required to review its policies
accordingly and may need to revise/add offer conditions in order to
sponsor some students for a Tier 4 visa. The University will give
as much notice as possible of changes.
Page last updated by Ashley Borrett on