THE UNIVERSITY of EDINBURGH

New Students Immigration Guide 2010

Contents
Do I Need A Visa?...............................2
• Check your category.................................................2 • EU / EEA / Swiss Passport Holders................................2 • Dual nationals with an EU / EEA / Swiss passport.............................................2 • Non-EU / EEA / Swiss Nationals ..................................2 • Paid All or Part of your Course and Accommodation Fees.......................................9 • Official Financial Sponsorship....................................9 • Cash Funds ..............................................................9 • Student Loans...........................................................9

Making A Tier 4 Application.........10 Which Visa Should I Apply For?.......3
• Visiting Undergraduate / Study Abroad Students ...........................................3 • How do I apply?.....................................................10 • When should I apply?............................................10 • How long does it take to get a visa?...................11 • When can I travel to the UK?..............................11

Student Visitor Visa..........................4
• If you are a visa national.............................................4 • If you are a non-visa national......................................4 • Entering the UK through the Republic of Ireland...............................4 • Travel outside of the UK as a student visitor...........4

Dependants................................12
• General points........................................................12

Refusals...........................................13
• Do Tier 4 visa applications get refused?...............13 • What do I do if my visa is refused?.....................13 • Can the University contact an embassy on my behalf?...................................13

Tier 4 General Student Visa..............5
• UK Border Agency Tier 4 Guidance...........................5 • Scoring the points......................................................5

30 Points - ‘CAS’ number and other documents.......................6
• When will we send you the CAS?........................6 • How do I use my CAS to apply for the visa?............6 • Other documents required in addition to the CAS.............................................6 • How to apply for ATAS...............................................7

Links And Contacts........................14
• Tier 4 full guidance from UKBA........................14 • ATAS Certification..................................................14 • UKVisas information on applying for the Tier 4 General student visa................................14 • UKVisas information to find out where to apply in your country.........................14 • UKCISA Information................................................14

10 Points: Maintenance (Funds) Requirement.........................8
• Course Fees................................................................8 • Living Costs...............................................................8

1

you must obtain a Tier 4 General student visa before travelling to the UK. you must obtain a Tier 4 General student visa before travelling to the UK. The visa is put into your passport or travel document by an Entry Clearance Officer at a British mission overseas.ukvisas. you can apply to enter the UK as a student visitor. Dual nationals with an EU/EEA/ Swiss passport If you have an EU/EEA/Swiss passport in addition to another. Non-EU/EEA/Swiss Nationals There are two categories of Non-EU/EEA/Swiss nationalities for immigration purposes: visa nationals and non-visa nationals.uk/en/doineedvisa/ visadatvnationals EU/EEA/Swiss Passport Holders You do not need a visa or entry clearance and are not subject to immigration control for the UK. You must obtain this visa before you leave your home country. You are a non-visa national: My country is not on the list If you intend to travel to the UK to enrol on a course of studies which lasts 6 months (or more). or on arrival at UK immigration at the port of entry. If your course of studies is less than 6 months. You are a visa national: My country is on the list If you intend to travel to the UK to enrol on a course of studies which lasts 6 months (or more). please check the “visa national” list for the UK: www. you can apply for entry to the UK as a student visitor either prior to leaving your home country. we strongly recommend that you enter the UK using your EU/EEA/Swiss passport. You should enter the UK through the EU/EEA channel at Immigration on arrival.gov. To find out whether you are a visa national or nonvisa national. 2 .Do I Need A Visa? A visa is a certificate (sometimes referred to as ‘Entry Clearance’) which gives you permission to enter the UK. Check your category Immigration requirements for the UK are determined by your nationality and whether you have an EU/EEA/ Swiss passport or a Non EU/EEA/Swiss passport. If your course of studies is less than 6 months.

Should you wish to have the opportunity to work part-time during your studies or extend your time at Edinburgh for more studies . Please also refer to the section ‘Travel outside of the UK as a student visitor’ (Page 4). you will need to contact your visiting undergraduate office at Edinburgh so that we can issue you with the required documentation for a Tier 4 General student visa application.you should make an application for the Tier 4 General student visa. The route you are eligible to use is determined by the length of the course you are travelling to study: Length of Course Visa option Examples • Visiting undergraduate (semester long programme) • Study Abroad programme of less that 6 months • English language programme lower than B2 level • Full degree programme students: undergraduate. there are two visa routes available. To do so.which is not permissible under the student visitor category . you may wish to consider doing so under the ‘student visitor’ category. or postgraduate taught or research degrees • Full year exchange programme • Visiting postgraduate research towards an overseas degree • English language programme above B2 level Less than 6 months 6 months or more Student visitor or Tier 4 General Tier 4 General Visiting Undergraduate / Study Abroad Students If you are travelling to Edinburgh to undertake short-term exchange studies of less than 6 months. 3 .Which Visa Should I Apply For? If your intention is to travel to the UK as a student.

If you are a non-visa national You can apply on arrival at UK Immigration as long as you arrive directly into the UK from outside of the UK/Republic of Ireland common travel area. you must not enter through the Republic of Ireland. • extend your visa in the UK for more studies. provided that you are still entering the UK each time for the same purpose (studies). you can enter through the Republic of Ireland. unpaid or voluntarily or undertake a paid. even if this is part of your studies. though there are variations. you cannot: • Work – paid. may minimise any risks.Student Visitor Visa www. • bring dependants.ukvisas. you will be stamped on entry there as a tourist (general visitor) for 90 days. This is usually the letters “S. it does not permit you to study.ukba. However. Entering the UK through the Republic of Ireland If you are a visa national and/or have arranged your student visitor visa or Tier 4 General visa prior to entry to the UK. original bank statements demonstrating how you intend to fund your studies and evidence of your intention to return to your home country such as a return air ticket. If you are a non-visa national and you expect to arrange a student visitor entry to the UK on arrival. If you wish to be able to do any of these activities. then you must make an application for a Tier 4 General student visa.uk/resources/en/ docs/1903073/VAF1D Travel outside of the UK as a student visitor If you have applied for a student visitor visa before you leave your home country. If you are a visa national You will need to apply through the British Embassy in your country. You should therefore carry up-todate documentation with you in your hand luggage which demonstrates that you continue to fulfil the student visitor rules. If you have applied on entry to the UK. It does not have multiple entry conditions.gov.uk/en/howtoapply/infs/ inf2visitors The application form is called VAF1D and it contains a checklist of the documents you need when applying: www. your visa is an entry stamp in your passport. The University would be unable to enrol you if this was the stamp with which you entered the UK. This is because passengers arriving from Ireland into the UK do not pass through immigration control. You should bring your joining letter. unpaid or voluntary work placement. your visa will not be activated on arrival into the UK. The decision to re-admit you to the UK is for the immigration officer on arrival and should not be taken for granted. in your hand luggage.gov. It is not possible to arrive through domestic arrivals and request access to the immigration counter at international arrivals afterwards. you should retain your boarding card stubs which demonstrate the date you entered the UK.V” written next to the entry stamp. Note that if you enter UK as a student visitor.ukvisas. either completed on-line or in hard copy format. or apply for other visas from within the UK. This means that you can travel in and out of the UK during the validity of the visa.gov.uk/studyingintheuk/student-visitors/applying/ Student visitor visa/entry clearance is for people who wish to travel to the UK as a student in order to study on a course of studies which runs for 6 months or less. You will require an application form. and taking a reasonable approach to the amount of travel you undertake. You will therefore need to demonstrate to an immigration officer that you fulfil the student visitor rules each time you re-enter the UK after travel. If you do enter the UK through Ireland.homeoffice. Details on how to apply can be found at: www. For this reason. Being prepared with documentation which demonstrates that you are still a student. The Immigration Officer should write a handwritten observation in your passport to show that it is “student visitor” entry. While this stamp permits travel to the UK. Please ensure that you have a student visitor observation next to your arrival stamp before you leave the immigration counter. should you be asked to prove these at a future date. then it is normally a multiple entry visa. 4 .

gov.ukba. you must provide a printout of this certificate.Tier 4 General Student Visa www.pdf Points What you get points for: Evidence required: A CAS number issued by the University of Edinburgh. 5 . To successfully apply for a Tier 4 General visa. Masters or PhD) or a course of study lasting 6 or more months or you wish to have the flexibility the student visitor visa does not offer. permits part-time employment up to a maximum of 20 hours per week during term time.uk/sitecontent/ applicationforms/pbs/Tier4migrantguidance1.homeoffice.  It is essential that you get the application right first time. If you do not fulfil the points by sending in all the original documents required at the time of applying. the visa officer will not contact you to ask for it and will refuse your application. Applications are considered according to the same rules and original evidence requirements.ukba. the UKBA will not be able to approve the application. In order to make a successful application. A Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) 30 Original documents listed on your CAS ATAS Certification 10 Maintenance (Funds) Requirement All documents you send for consideration with the application must be original. This includes your passport. If you miss anything out. You will need to demonstrate you are able to fund your tuition fees for the academic year plus a set amount for your living costs. You must include your ORIGINAL degree certificate. A Tier 4 General visa allows you to study in the UK and in addition. Scoring the points The UK immigration system is points based.uk/studyingintheuk/adult-students/ If you are coming to the UK for a full-time degree course (Undergraduate. This qualification will be noted on your CAS file. meaning that your application is considered according to a set number of points that you score by sending the required evidence with the application. specifically in relation to the documents you need to provide. Periods of full-time employment are also permitted during vacation periods on your course.gov. If your course requires you to have ATAS clearance. If you are applying for a visa for a course for the first time your CAS will be issued on the basis that the University used a previous qualification to assess that you are suitable to take the course. you will need a Tier 4 General visa.homeoffice. This guidance should be your primary point of information throughout the process. qualification or transcript. including the exact requirements for the original documents you must use to apply: www. regardless of where in the world the decision is made or the nationality of the applicant. you must score 40 out of 40 points by providing the required evidence: UK Border Agency Tier 4 Guidance The UK Border Agency’s Tier 4 Guidance covers the full requirements of Tier 4 General visas. you should follow the detail in the guidance.

fco. The number is generated by the University creating a file on an immigration database called the Sponsor Management System (SMS). In addition. The UK Government intends it to be a measure to stop the spread of knowledge and skills that could be used in the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.and any original documents listed in it you will not be able to make a successful application for the visa. You must therefore include the ORIGINAL degree or educational certificate of any qualifications noted on the CAS. you can use it to make a visa application. you will need to arrange a new CAS. As the CAS remains valid for only six months. we will set it up no earlier than six months before the start of your studies with us. You must only use the CAS number relevant to the institution and course of studies that you wish to attend when you apply for the visa. The University provides mandatory information about you and your studies to set up the CAS. The details on this system are shared between the University and the UK Border Agency.uk/en/about-us/what-we-do/ services-we-deliver/atas/ The Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) was introduced on 1 November 2007. Without it . It can only be used once so if your visa application is refused. The immigration officer who considers your application will use the CAS number you write on your application form to access your file on the system. Your CAS will give details of the qualification that the University used to assess your suitability to take the course. No specific additional documents are required as evidence of the number itself and we will not provide these unless requested. you should apply for it as early as possible as it is required in the visa application. so that your CAS can be changed before you apply. Your unconditional offer and your CAS email will confirm whether you require an ATAS certificate or not. If there are any mistakes in the information. ATAS Certificate www. Once the CAS has been set up.30 Points . you may be given a CAS number for each unconditional offer. 6 . we will email you with the details we have noted on the system in your name. Please note: if you have applied to more than one institution. it is your responsibility to notify us of these. All the details about your studies and information detailing the original documents they will expect to see in relation to your CAS number will be available to them. you cannot use it in an application for a visa more than three months before the start date of the course. If you do need one.‘CAS’ number and other documents A Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) is a 14 digit alpha-numeric reference number which is essential to your Tier 4 General visa application. we will apply for a CAS from the UKBA. The information must be completely accurate and you should ensure that the University has the correct spelling of your name as it appears in your passport as well as your correct passport number. How do I use my CAS to apply for the visa? When you apply for the visa. The email which confirms your CAS will detail which document has been used. Once the number is generated. Other documents required in addition to the CAS Previous Qualifications When will we send you the CAS? When you have accepted an unconditional offer and provided a scan or copy of your passport. you need only note down the correct CAS number at the required section of the application form. It is valid for use in one application for up to 6 months from the date of issue.gov.

Your visa application will be automatically refused if you need an ATAS certificate and cannot provide one at the time you apply. The application process from online submission of your ATAS application to receiving the email with the certificate attached normally takes around 20 working days. At peak times of year. This attachment is your ATAS certificate.gov.fco. you will receive an email from the ATAS team which includes an attachment.How to apply for ATAS www. You should allow for the ATAS application process timing when considering when to make your visa application. 7 . it can take longer however you can apply for an ATAS certificate up to 12 months in advance of the beginning of your course. You should print it out and enclose it with your application.uk/en/about-us/what-we-do/ services-we-deliver/atas/apply-online/ ATAS is applied for by a free. online application process. You should follow the instructions carefully before you make the application as the information requested in the process is detailed and specific. If approved.

These are 600GBP per month of the course. If you apply with dependants. 8 . such as laboratory/bench fees. in the case that you will be studying on a course lasting a year or less.10 Points: Maintenance (Funds) Requirement www. In advance of preparing your financial documents. you must score 10 points for your Maintenance (Funds). the course fee. there are additional maintenance funds to be aware of. Course Fees Your CAS will contain information about your tuition fees for the first year of the course or. you must demonstrate that you have access to living costs. If your course is longer than 9 months.oanda.homeoffice. However. in addition to your living costs. Please refer to the information on “Dependants”.gov.400GBP. The amount will include any additional programme costs as required by your particular course.com/convert/classic and enclose a printout of it with your application. up to a maximum of 9 months (5. the maximum remains 5. The level of fees stated in your CAS is the course fees you must show that you have access to. The amount you need to show can either be demonstrated in UK Sterling (GBP) or in a different currency.uk/studyingintheuk/adult-students/can-you-apply/money/ In addition to the 30 points required for CAS and associated documents. please read the section in the Tier 4 Guidance entitled: “What Money Does a General Student Need”. up to a maximum of 9 months (5. The money you must demonstrate you have access to covers your course fees for the year + living costs as follows: Length of Course 9 months or more Maintenance (Funds) needed Course fees for the year as stated on CAS plus 600GBP per month of studies.400GBP). Living Costs In addition to your course fees.ukba.400GBP) Course fees for the programme of studies as stated on CAS Less than 9 months plus 600GBP per month of studies. it is useful for your reference to convert into sterling by using www.

Payments towards course fees are deducted from the course fee aspect of your maintenance funds. the amount of money you pay the University can be deducted from the sums you need to show the UK Border Agency for your maintenance. you must provide one month (at least 28 days) of original bank statements in one or both of your parents’/guardians’ names. Full information on what the letter must include is contained in the Tier 4 Guidance. Note: only parents or official legal guardians are eligible to be considered for parental sponsorship. you must provide your original birth certificate (professionally translated. an international scholarship organisation. The bank statement must be dated within 1 month of applying. the section entitled “Money that can be used”. Cash Funds And/or Student Loans Parental Sponsorship You can use funds held by your parents or legal guardians as evidence. your CAS must indicate this at the time you apply.Money That Can Be Used Please refer to the Tier 4 Guidance. your home government. University or international company – you must provide an original letter which details your funding. and payments for University-provided accommodation are deducted from the living costs. In addition. Alternative evidence is accepted and covered in depth in the Tier 4 Guidance. how much was paid and when the payment was made. In order to do this. You must also include a letter from your parents to state that the funds can be used for your UK education. you must provide original receipts from the University finance section. The best evidence you can provide are original bank statements. When you request your CAS. 9 . The statements must clearly demonstrate that i) you have held the required level of funds for your application in cash in a bank account in your name (or joint name) ii) for a minimum of 28 days. please discuss this with your College to ensure it is included. you must ensure that any payments you make are made before you apply for the visa and that they are noted on your CAS. with a message giving your student number. your CAS number and information about what was paid. If you have received an e-receipt following your payment. Official Financial Sponsorship Sponsored Students If you receive sponsorship from an official financial sponsor – such as the UK government. if required) or an adoption certificate or official court document confirming legal guardian status. To claim 10 points for your maintenance you must provide ORIGINAL documentary evidence that you have: • paid all or part of your course and University accommodation fees and/or • are receiving official financial sponsorship and/or • hold enough money in cash funds or a student loan to cover your maintenance. The statement must demonstrate that the amount of money you need for your maintenance has consistently been the minimum balance available throughout the month. Your own cash funds Paid All Or Part Of Your Course And Accommodation Fees If you pay course tuition and/or University-provided accommodation fees before making your visa application. Without it your University sponsorship cannot be considered and an Immigration officer will expect to see any funds in your own account. How do I inform you of payments? You can advise us of payments (or any other changes to your CAS) by replying to your CAS email with the subject line: “CAS for visa – UPDATE”. it is worth including it with the email. With your application. you must provide original bank statements or other documents as detailed in the Tier 4 Guidance. these funds must be cash funds. If you have any money outstanding over and above any scholarship you have or you are self funded. However. Edinburgh University Sponsored Students If you receive sponsorship from the University of Edinburgh. The balance must not fall below the required amount during this period otherwise your application will be refused. If they are not noted on your CAS.

Depending upon where you are making your application from.uk/en/howtoapply/biometricvisa/ Details on how and where to submit your application are given at the “Where to Apply” site: www. is paid when you hand the completed application to the visa application centre.uk/en/howtoapply/wheretoapply/ Select your country and you will be given a link through to the relevant application route. This involves a scan of all 10 fingers and a full-facial digital photograph. your application is likely to be rejected.INCLUDING YOUR ORIGINAL PASSPORT. . Print out and complete Appendix 8 on paper (all countries): Application www. If you follow the information and process from the link. visit www.ukvisas.ukvisas. Tier 4 General student visa applications require the following steps: 1. Complete the initial general visa application form online or on paper (application form VAF9) as required in your country.ukvisas. the initial stage of the application process is completed either online or on paper. As part of the visa process.Making A Tier 4 Application How do I Apply? You can only apply for a Tier 4 General visa from your home country or in a country where you have official residency status. Depending upon where you apply. More information about biometrics is available at www.gov. the documents are sent back to you by secure mail or you are contacted to collect them. the earliest you can apply for a Tier 4 General visa to begin studies in the UK is 3 months before the start date of the course.gov.uk/en/howtoapply/wheretoapply/ Biometrics Documents When you hand/send your application to the British authorities. 2. Decision Return 10 The visa section at the embassy will consider your application. you must ensure that you enclose all the required and relevant documentation with your application.gov.ukvisas. If you apply earlier than this.uk/resources/en/docs/1903073/PBSappendix8generalstudent 3. Pay the application fee (199GBP): this is either paid online at the end of the online application form or in countries where applications are made on paper. When should I apply? Under UK immigration rules. it will lead you to making an application. To begin the process. USE ONLY ORIGINAL DOCUMENTATION WITH YOUR APPLICATION . you will need to give your biometrics.gov.

How long will I get? If you make a successful application for Tier 4 General your visa will be issued along the following time-scales: Length of course 12 months or more 6 – 11 months Less than 6 months Length of stay The length of the course plus four months following the end date on CAS. At certain times of year. If you are coming to the UK to study a course lasting less than 6 months. your visa will be valid for travel for 1 month before the start date of the course. your visa will be valid for travel for up to 7 days before the start date of the course.How long does it take to get a visa? UKVisas have published the following continuously updated information advising on processing times in your country: www. it can take longer. 6 month course or less: full length of course plus 2 months.uk/en/howtoapply/ processingtimes/ You should allow around 28 working days total turnaround for the visa to be issued. 11 . Pre-sessional course 12 month course or more: full length of course plus 4 months.ukvisas. When can I travel to the UK? If you are coming to the UK to study a course lasting 6 or more months or a pre-sessional course. The length of the course plus two months following the end date on CAS. The full length of the course plus 7 days after the end date on CAS.gov.

gov.ukcisa. Similar to the Tier 4 Guidance. samesex or unmarried partners in a relationship akin to marriage (for at least 2 years) and children under the age of 18.ukba.pdf General points • Dependants considered under UK immigration rules are: married partners.uk/sitecontent/ applicationforms/pbs/pbsdependantspolicy1. If your course of studies is less than 6 months. Details on the documents required can be found in the PBS Dependants’ Guidance. • Dependants of degree-level students studying on courses lasting 12 or more months are generally permitted to work in the UK however. In addition to the UKCISA information which provides substantial background information. including the application process. 12 .homeoffice. you can apply to bring dependants with you.Dependants www. civil partners. the PBS Dependant’s Guidance provides information on the rules and requirements for applying for a dependant’s category visa. your family will not be able to join you as student dependants. you should also consult the Dependant’s Policy Guidance which is available at: www. you cannot rely on potential earnings from such work as evidence for financial requirements. More information about dependants is available in the pre-arrival guide which contains sections on arranging childcare and applying for education for children.pdf The link above contains comprehensive information prepared by the United Kingdom Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA). • If your course of studies in the UK is for at least 6 months. It is advisable to read it in preparation for making an application for your dependants to join you.uk/files/pdf/info_sheets/your_family_print.org. It details how to apply for a dependant’s visa. required documents and financial requirements.

you will normally have a right to an administrative review. but these have not been in the format required in the Tier 4 Guidance. If you provide the documents you require for the application and these are in the publicised acceptable format as per the Tier 4 Guidance and they were sent at the time of the application. What do I do if my visa is refused? Firstly. for example. You should only follow this 13 . Secondly. Refusals we have experienced under Tier 4 General visa have been for the following reasons: • Not sending required documents: applications have been refused where the applicant has sent in documents for the points. If you accept the reasons for which you have been refused and they are correct as according to the Tier 4 Guidance. are original and genuine documents and are set out with the information as required in the Guidance. the Visa Officer should accept the application and grant a visa. • Not eligible to claim the points: applications have been refused in which the student was not eligible to claim the points. you will need to make a fresh application. they may overturn. will reconsider your application. they did not have sufficient funds in their bank account for the time required or did not provide original certificates of their qualifications when needed. you should refer to the documents you sent in with the application and cross-check whether these comply with the Tier 4 Guidance. Can the University contact an Embassy on my behalf? The International Office maintains contact with various British diplomatic missions. This will set out why the Entry Clearance Officer has refused your application. course of action if you are certain that a mistake has been made and that your documents were exactly as required in the rules. These are only used for information sharing purposes. if your visa is refused you should read the refusal notice carefully. giving your biometrics and the same consideration process.Refusals Do Tier 4 visa applications get refused? The basic premise of Tier 4 is that it is evidence based. uphold or vary the grounds of the refusal as appropriate. This includes checking that they are in the required format. In such a case. cover the required amount of time. If you are refused outside of the UK. This will mean new documentation. This means that you would return the documents as directed in your refusal notice and an Entry Clearance Manager from a different embassy to the one you applied to. paying the fee again. We are not in the position to instruct visa offices to issue visas or to speed up decision making and are not able to intervene in an application made outside of the UK. • Not sending in the original passport: applications which do not enclose the original passport with the application documents have to be refused as per the UK Immigration Rules.

uk/en/howtoapply/wheretoapply/ ATAS Certification information If you require an ATAS Certificate.org. www.gov.uk/en/howtoapply/infs/ inf29pbsstudent Further contact If after reading this information and the relevant Tier 4 Guidance. UKVisas provide information on how to apply for the Tier 4 General student visa.ukvisas.pdf UKVisas information to find out where to apply in your country Details on how to apply in any country in the world can be found at the UK Visas “Where to apply” section: www.uk Published by The University of Edinburgh The International Office 57 George Square .uk/student/immigration.uk/atas UKCISA Information The United Kingdom Council for International Student Affairs produces guidance and information to students on how to apply for the Tier 4 General student visa. www.ukcisa.ukvisas.fco. you have any questions about the application process.Links And Contacts Tier 4 full guidance from UKBA The Tier 4 Guidance should be your primary source of information when preparing to make a visa application.EH8 9JU Edinburgh 14 .gov.homeoffice. the requirements for documents and information about the visa application process.ac.ukba.gov. It contains the rules.php UKVisas information on applying for the Tier 4 General student visa Though not as detailed or as essential as the Tier 4 Guidance. please contact us at immigration@ed. This can be found at: www. you can find out more about the process and begin an application through: www.gov.uk/sitecontent/ applicationforms/pbs/Tier4migrantguidance1.