Depending on your nationality and country of residence, you may need a visa to study at the International Study Centre. Find out if you require a visa by using the UK Visas questionnaire.
Most international students apply to come to the UK on a Tier 4 student visa. Watch this short video about Tier 4 visas and how to apply.
Tier 4 visas
In 2009, the United Kingdom Border Agency (now called the Home Office) introduced a points-based system for visa applications. Within this new system, Tier 4 visas relate to overseas students (who by definition do not live in the UK or in the European Union) that want to study in the UK. Tier 4 visa applicants need to be sponsored by an institution registered with the Border Agency. All Tier 4 visa applications need to include a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) reference number.
Documents to Submit with your Visa Application Form
You will be asked to enclose supporting documents with your application to prove the information that you have supplied is correct. If you do not submit all the necessary supporting documents, your visa application may be rejected. The documents that you submit with your visa application form are called supporting documents because they help show that you qualify to enter the UK as a student. These documents vary from case to case but they usually include:
- Educational certificates - High School Certificate, Diploma Certificate, Degree Certificate or similar
- Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) number - this is given to you by the International Study Centre after you confirm your place
- Passport, Photos, previous visa documents (if any)
- Confirmation of Enrolment from the International Study Centre
- Proof of funds - this is evidence of your ability to pay the costs of your studies and your living expenses in the UK (e.g. bank statements) if you are going to pay for yourself or if your parents/family member is going to pay for you
- Details of government or private sponsorship if you are sponsored by your government or a company.
These documents MUST be ORIGINAL and not PHOTOCOPIES
NB: Ensure that your supporting documents correspond with what you have written on your visa application form. This must also be the same as what is on the Documents Assessed section on your Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) statement.
Proof of Funds
Proof of funds is the evidence that you submit to the Home Office to show that you have enough money to pay for your studies, accommodation and other expenses while in the UK. The Home Office need to see this proof before they can give a student visa. A guide to working out the amount you will need can be found on the Home Office website. When submitting your student visa application:
- You will need to provide documents that prove you have the funds(usually bank statements) that prove you have the funds to pay for your studies and expenses during your time in the UK
- The funds need to have been maintained for at least consecutive 28 days
- You will need to provide documents that prove you have the funds (usually bank statements)
- These documents must not be dated more than 31 days before the date you submit your student visa application
- If someone else is paying for your studies (i.e. parents) you will need to provide documentary proof of your relationship (e.g. birth certificate).
Submitting your application
After gathering all the supporting documents and filling out the application form, you can then complete your visa application by submitting it to your nearest British Embassy, usually in your country. You need to submit your application at least four (4) weeks before your course entry date. The address of your local British Embassy can be found on the following websites:
What if I already have a UK student visa (Tier 4)?
If you got your visa in or after October 2009 you have to apply for a new student visa (Tier 4) to study at the International Study Centre. However, if your visa was issued before October 2009 you may only need to notify the Home Office of your change of institution. We advise you to check with the International Study Centre where our Student Enrolment Advisers will tell you exactly what to do.
Student Credibility interviews
From the 30th July 2012 international students from selected countries may have to participate in a “Credibility Interviews” with Home Office Entry Clearance Officers (ECO’s). These interviews are only held if an ECO has concerns over a student’s intentions to study, or any of the supporting documentation and information submitted with the visa application.
Only a small percentage of students will be interviewed and only if the Entry Clearance Officers have reason to doubt your study intentions. Those with the correct documentation, knowledge of the course they have applied to, and with the appropriate finances to support themselves, will not be affected. 100,000 students are to be interviewed. Full details are available to read in our Student Credibility Interviews PDF.
What happens if I cannot get a visa?
All payments are refundable in the event that a student is unable to meet visa entry requirements, subject to a visa rejection letter.
How do I extend my visa?
You may need to extend your visa at some point during your course. Speak to the Programme Manager at least four months before your visa ends. We will give you a visa extension form, part of which we need to fill in with details of your course, attendance, etc. If you have not attended a minimum of 80% of your classes, your request for an extension may be rejected.
Home Office website: Applying for a Tier4 visa