UK Tier 4 Student Visa – required documents

UK Tier 4 Student Visa – required documents

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Important update (05-09-12) for our visitors from India:

Several of you have asked us if it is true that, in India (only!), UKBA accepts provisional degree certificates in support of Tier 4 Student Applications. We have since sought clarification from UKBA, who confirm that QUOTE: “In India the UK Border Agency exceptionally accepts provisional degree certificates with Tier 4 applications, but only if the education sponsor has recorded on the CAS that the course offer was made on the basis of the provisional certificate.” UNQUOTE

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The following text is an adaptation of the contents on the UKBA website.

Tier 4 Student visa for Adult Students – required documents

This page describes the documents that you must send UKBA as evidence when you apply to study in the UK under Tier 4 (General) of the points-based system.

When you make your application, you must provide all the necessary documents. The only documents that UKBA will accept as evidence are those listed in this section. You must provide the documents with your application form. Before you submit any application, please read the Tier 4 Student Policy Guidance, which explains the requirements in full. You can find this document here: http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/sitecontent/applicationforms/pbs/Tier4migrantguidance.pdf

Under the points based system, you must score 40 points for your student application to be successful. To demonstrate that you score 40 points you must submit:

1. Evidence used to obtain your confirmation of acceptance for studies

2. Evidence of money to cover your course fees and living costs

3. Your identity documents and photographs of you

You may need to send UKBA additional documents if you are 16 or 17 years old, and/or you have an official financial sponsor. (See the UKBA website for more information)

The following sections will explain the documentary requirements in more details. For up-to-date information, you should always visit the UKBA website.

‘Low risk’ applicants

If UKBA considers that you are ‘low risk’, you will not normally need to provide all the supporting documents stated in this section. The pages in this section explain which documents you are normally exempt from providing if you are ‘low risk’. However, UKBA reserves the right to request all the documents from you. If UKBA asks you to submit any documents, they will refuse your application unless you submit them by the date stated in our request.

To be considered ‘low risk’, you must be sponsored by a Highly Trusted Sponsor, and you must be already in the UK or applying for a Tier 4 visa in your country of nationality.

Additionally, you must be a British national (overseas) or a national of one of the countries below:

  • Argentina
  • Australia
  • Botswana (01/10/2012)
  • Brunei
  • Canada
  • Chile
  • Croatia
  • Hong Kong
  • Japan
  • Malaysia (01/12/2012)
  • New Zealand
  • Singapore
  • South Korea
  • Taiwan (if you hold a passport issued by Taiwan that includes the number of the identification card issued by the competent authority in Taiwan)
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • USA

UKBA will confirm your nationality using your passport. UKBA will normally review the list of ‘low risk’ nationalities annually.

Example 1: you are a Malaysian national, have a Highly Trusted Sponsor and submit your application in Malaysia: you are low-risk

Example 2: you are a Malaysian national, do not have a Highly Trusted Sponsor and submit your application in Malaysia: you are not low-risk

Example 3: you are a Malaysian national, have a Highly Trusted Sponsor and submit your application in Germany: you are not low-risk

For more information about the documents that “low risk” nationals do not need to send with their applications, also see our Student FAQ page here.

1. CAS and Evidence used to obtain your Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS)

You will score 30 points (out of the required 40) 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 UKBA the documents you used to obtain the CAS.

All applicants must provide an ATAS certificate with their Tier 4 application if they are required to obtain one. For more information about ATAS, please visit: http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/visas-immigration/studying/adult-students/evidence/cas/

If UKBA considers that you are ‘low risk’, you do not need to include the documents that you used to obtain your CAS. Your CAS number will suffice. However, you must confirm on your application form that you meet the requirements set out here and that you hold the required documents. UKBA reserves the right to request any or all of these documents, and will refuse your application if you do not provide them.

2. Evidence of your money

You will score 10 points if you provide evidence that you have enough money to pay your course fees and living costs. (see the UKBA website, and our page Tier 4 Student Visa). 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.

If UKBA considers that you are ‘low risk’ (see above), you do not need to include these documents with your application. However, you must confirm on your application form that you meet the requirements set out here and that you hold the required documents. UKBA reserves the right to request any or all of these documents, and will refuse your application if you do not provide them.

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 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 organisation’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, UKBA 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.

UKBA 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.

UKBA will not award you points for maintenance if your documents show money held in a financial institution that does not verify financial statements to their satisfaction. For more information, see UKBA’s 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.

UKBA 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 you are using money held by your parent(s) or legal guardian

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 notarised 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.

3. Photographs and Passport

Photographs

You must provide two recent passport photographs of yourself, and of each dependant 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 colour; and
  • be taken against a light grey or cream background; and
  • be clear and of good quality; and
  • 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.

General requirements for documents submitted in the Tier 4 Adult Student category

Original documents

Documents must be:

  • issued by an authorised official of the issuing organisation;
  • original (unless UKBA says otherwise); and
  • on the organisation’s official letter-headed paper or stationery.

Translated documents

If you send UKBA a document that is not in English or Welsh in support of your claim for points, this document must be accompanied by a full translation that can be independently verified. The original translation must contain:

  • confirmation from the translator or translation company that it is an accurate translation of the original document;
  • the date of the translation;
  • the full name and signature of the translator or of an authorised official of the translation company; and
  • the translator or translation company’s contact details.

If you send UKBA a translation of an overseas qualification or award certificate, they will not consider it as a direct translation of the academic level of that award. UKBA will always use UK NARIC to assess the equivalency of overseas qualifications.

Please remember that, before you submit any Tier 4 Adult Student application, you should review the Tier 4 student policy guidance in full: http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/sitecontent/applicationforms/pbs/Tier4migrantguidance.pdf

The text above is an adaptation of the contents on the UKBA website and is correct as at 5 August 2012. Remember, immigration law is complex and subject to continuous change. The information provided here may be out of date, or just based on personal experience/knowledge. The use of these pages is therefore entirely at your own risk. Before applying for any type of visas, you should always seek information from the authorities direct via their official websites. You will find some useful website details on our Links page.

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