Tier 4 visa applications

If you are not from the European Economic Area or Switzerland and are coming to study in the UK for more than 6 months then you will require a Tier 4 student visa.

Applying for a Tier 4 visa should be fairly straight forward as long as you are prepared. For immigration advice please contact Amity London Compliance Unit by writing to 

admission@london.amity.edu  or  alternatively you can call them on 020 7631 0190. For further information please refer to the UKVI website and links below.

The application process

Applying from outside of UK

This is for information about how to make a Tier 4 visa application in your country of residence. It outlines the application process, what you need to prepare and what you need to be aware of. If you need further guidance or assistance you can contact the Compliance Unit   using following email : admission@london.amity.edu

How to make an application

A Tier 4 visa application is made on-line, unless you are from North Korea, in which case you must make a paper application.

You need to make the application from the country that you are ordinarily resident in. Normally this means your country of nationality. However if you hold a residence permit in a country other than your nationality you may be able to apply from there. You will need to check with the local embassy first though.

Your application will be processed through the nearest Visa Centre in the country you are applying. You will need to travel to this visa centre as part of the application process. You can find out where this is by using the application centre finder on the UKVI website. Some countries do not have visa centres so you may be expected to travel to a neighbouring country.

When to make an application

The earliest you can submit an application is 3 months before the start date of your programme. If you submit an application earlier than this you will automatically be refused. The application date is the date you submit and pay for your application on-line.

Biometrics

As part of the application process you will be required to give biometric information. This means fingerprints and facial image. This has to be done in person at a Visa Centre. You book an appointment to do this on-line after you submit and pay for your application.

  Healthcare charge (NHS surcharge)

All Tier 4 visa applications for a programme of study of more than 6 months in duration are required to pay a fee for access to NHS health care in the UK. You must pay this fee in advance and it is a mandatory requirement for a visa application. If you do not pay it your visa application will be refused.

Credibility interviews

As part of the application process most students should expect to have a credibility interview. You can find further information about this below.

BRP Collection

New visa regulations mean that you will be required to pick up a Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) ID card upon arrival at the UK. You will have 10 days from arrival in the UK to pick it up. You must have collected your BRP to be eligible to enrol.

For further information regarding collecting your BRP please contact Amity Compliance Unit.

2. Credibility interviews

The UKVI now expects to interview most students as part of the application process. If you need to have an interview you will be notified of this by e-mail.

Where and when will I have an interview?

This will take place at the Visa Centre at the same time as you go for your biometric appointment. Interviews will be done over Skype and you will talk to a Home Office member of staff based in the UK. The purpose of the interview is to check that you are a genuine student. For most students the interview will be quite short, no more than 5-10 minutes.

What will they ask?

Questions may be asked about your background and immigration history; about your previous education; about why you chose to study at Amity University [in] London, details of the studies you are planning to take including details of modules. They may also ask about your financial circumstances.

 How will the interview affect my application?

 The Entry Clearance Officer who deals with your application will be given a copy of the transcript of the interview and will use that to assess your credibility along with the other documents you provide with the application.

 If they have concerns about your credibility they will contact you for a second interview that will take place face to face or by telephone.

 What happens if my visa is refused?

 If they have concerns about your credibility then they can still refuse your application even if you gain 40 points and meet all of the other requirements.

 If you have your visa refused please contact Amity London for further advice and help. You should also contact our Compliance Unit to let them know of your refusal.

 Documents you need to prepare for your application

 Application form:You will need to print off a copy of your on-line application. See our guidance on how to make this application below

  • Application fee:You will need to pay a fee the equivalent of £328 in local currency
  • NHS surcharge: You will need to pay the immigration health surcharge fee as part of your application. You can calculate the surcharge fee using the calculator on the UKVI website
  • Passport(s):You will need to provide your current passport and any previous passports needed as part of the application
  • 2 Photographs:You will need two photos. Please make sure you read the UKVI photo guidance
  • Proof of qualifications:You will need to provide original certificates or transcripts of the qualifications you used to obtain your unconditional offer at Amity. These documents will be listed on your CAS statement. You only need to provide the documents listed there. If your documents are not in English you will need to provide official verified translations in addition to the originals
  • English language:Your CAS statement will state whether you need to provide proof of English
  • CAS statement:You will need a CAS from Amity University [in] London.
  • Financial evidence:You will need to provide originals of the documents you will be providing to show you meet the financial requirements. If these documents are not in English you will need to additionally supply an official verified translation. For information about what evidence you need to provide for your finances.
  • ATAS certificate:You may be required to provide an ATAS certificate with your application if you are study at advanced levels in certain subject areas. To find out whether you need an ATAS certificate please refer to the UKVI website.
  • TB screening;in some countries you must show that you have been screened for Tuberculosis (TB). Please check with your local visa centre to see if you need to obtain a certificate confirming you are free from TB before you apply for a visa
  • BRP Alternative Location Collection code:In order to collect your Biometric Residence Permit (BRP), you will need to enter an Alternative Collection Location (ACL) code as part of your visa application.

 Biometric Residence Permit

 There is now a new process in place for issuing UK residence permits for visa applications make outside the UK. 

 Temporary visa

 Once your application has been processed and approved you will receive a temporary visa sticker (vignette) in your passport.

 Please check that the details on this visa are correct. You will need to pay attention to the following: 

  • The end and start dates of your visa
  • Your working rights
  • The Amity  licence number
  • your name and details

 If there are any errors it is advisable to have them amended before entering the UK.

 Biometric Residence Permit (BRP)

 The temporary visa in your passport is valid for 30 days only from the date you wish to enter the UK. Once you enter the UK you will be required to collect your full visa, called a Biometric Residence Permit (Identity card) within 10 days of arrival.

Amity University [in] London will not allow you to start your studies unless you have collected your BRP and are able to show it at enrolment. It is therefore advisable that you allow enough time before your enrolment date to enter the UK and pick up your BRP.

You can find more information about this on the UKVI website.

In order to collect your BRP, you will need to enter an Alternative Collection Location (ACL) code as part of your visa application.

 CAS

 A Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) number is a unique 14 digit reference given to you by Amity University [in] London (your sponsor). UKVI will use this number to confirm that you are a genuine student.

 They do this by using it to access your CAS record on their secure database. Your CAS record contains information supplied by Amity University [in] London to UKVI about you and your course.

 You will receive a CAS statement from Amity University [in] London (AUL) by e-mail which contains your CAS number and additional information you will need from AUL to make a Tier 4 visa application.

 A CAS number is valid for use for 6 months from the date it was issued. It can be used only once for a single application. You can only obtain a CAS once you have an unconditional offer.

 How do I obtain a CAS?

 You do not need to request a CAS. If you hold an unconditional offer AUL will automatically contact you by e-mail around 4 months before the start date of your programme.

 You will be asked to confirm that the details we hold about you on record are correct. If anything is incorrect or missing you will be asked to supply this information.

Once we have this confirmation from you, you will be sent your CAS statement. This will be no earlier than 3 months before the start date of your programme. It may take up to 2 weeks for you to receive your CAS statement from the date of confirmation of details or request.

If you obtain your unconditional offer nearer to the start date of your programme (for example undergraduate students) then you will be contacted by e-mail once you receive your offer.

CAS numbers are generated by the approved Immigration staff. You will receive your CAS through our Admission Unit.

Time limits on study

There is a limit on the time a student may spend studying at degree level or above in the UK.

You are allowed to spend a maximum of 5 years studying in the UK at degree level or above using a student visa, this includes time spent on a Tier 4 Student Visa and old style student visas prior to Tier 4.

You should ensure that your intended programme of study and any previous programmes of study you have taken in the UK do not take you beyond the five year limit. If they do we will not issue you a CAS and you will not be able to obtain a Tier 4 visa.

For further information please check UK Visas and Immigration Rules  and the Tier 4 Policy Guidance.

Money

To be able to apply for a Tier 4 visa you must meet a minimum financial requirement. The UKVI require that you are able to pay for your programme fees and your living expenses (maintenance) for the first year of your programme.

 You will need to show the following:

 Your first/current year's tuition fees; and

  • Maintenance of £1,265 a month for each month of your course up to a maximum of nine months (if your course is one year or more in duration this will be £11,385).

You can show you have the funds in the following ways:

(a)  Using your own bank statement

If you are self-financed and using your own bank statements for your visa application, you will need to show the following:

  • That you have the total amount of money in cash funds in a bank account in your name (you can also use joint accounts where your name appears)
  • That the money has been in your bank account at all times for a period of at least 28 days. (The UKVI will use the most recent entry on your bank statement and count back 28 days)
  • That your bank statement is dated within a month of your application (i.e. no more than 30 days old)
  • That funds are in a 'cash' form. Shares, bonds, property or fixed deposit will not be accepted

You can supply the above information either using a bank statement or a letter from the bank. Whichever one you use they must state the following information on them:

  • Your name
  • The account number
  • The date of statement/letter
  • The financial institution's name and logo
  • The amount of money available
  • Confirmation that funds has been held for at least 28 days (if provide a bank letter).

If you only have online statement, they can be used if they contain all of the details listed above. However, you must also: 

Provide a letter from your bank on headed paper confirming that the statement are authentic, OR

  • Ask your bank to stamp your electronic statement with the official stamp of the bank. This stamp should appear on every page of the statement.

If you are using a Chinese Certificate of Deposit, it will only be accepted if it meets all the following requirements:

  • The certificate of deposit must have been issued within 31 days of the date of application;
  • At least 28 days must have elapsed between the date of the deposit and the date of issue of the certificate;
  • There must be no wording on the document which indicates the funds are frozen or otherwise inaccessible.

Your bank statement must be issued by a financial institution that accepted by the Home Office. Please check the lists of financial institutions that are accepted on the Home Office website.

(b)  Using your parents bank statement

If you are self-financed and using your parent's bank statement for your visa application, you must meet the same guidelines as stated above and in addition you must also provide the following: 

  • Your original birth certificate
  • A letter of parental consent confirming that this money will be used for your studies.

Official translations of these documents must be included if not in English.

Your parent's bank statement must be issued by a financial institution that accepted by the Home Office. Please check the lists of financial institutions accepted on the Home Office website.

If the funds are in your local currency, please check and include the exchange rate on the OANDA website.

(c)  Using a loan

  • If you are providing a loan letter as evidence of maintenance, you can only obtain a letter from a regulated financial institution confirming that you have a loan that is provided by the national government, the state or regional government or a government sponsored Student Loan Company or that is part of an academic or educational loans scheme.
  • The loan must be held under your own name and the loan letter must be dated no more than 6 months before the date of your application. 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.

(d)  Financially sponsored

If you are financially sponsored by your government, an international company or another scholarship agency, you must provide a letter from your sponsor.

This should confirm the following details: 

  • Your name
  • The name and contact details of the official sponsor
  • The date of the letter
  • The length of sponsorship
  • The amount of money the sponsor is giving to the student or a statement that the students official financial sponsor will cover all of his/her fees and living costs

If your "official financial sponsor" is providing all of the funds for your course fees and maintenance, you do not have to provide separate evidence of your savings.

If your sponsors only pay SOME of your costs, you will need a letter from them AND proof that you have enough money yourself to meet the rest of the Maintenance Requirement, for example your personal bank statements.

Consent of current or previous official financial sponsor, if they are a government or an international scholarship agency

If you have an official financial sponsor for your proposed studies, and the sponsor is a government or an international scholarship agency, their sponsor letter (which you will need for evidence of your money, see below) should specifically state that they consent to your Tier 4 (General) application.

If you have previously received financial sponsorship from a government or international scholarship agency for your studies, and the sponsorship ended less than 12 months ago, you must also obtain and include a letter of consent from this financial sponsor.

ATAS

If you are not from the European Economic Area or Switzerland and are planning to study in the areas of Science, Engineering and Technology on a programme of 6 months or more in duration you may be required to apply for clearance under the Academic Technology Approval Scheme.

If you need an ATAS certificate for your programme you will be required to submit it with your application documents.

Please refer to the UKVI website for further information.

Healthcare

From 6 April 2015 students submitting an application for a visa of more than 6 months in duration will be required to pay the immigration health surcharge (IHS) for access to the National Health Service (NHS) whilst on their studies in the UK.

The surcharge is mandatory for anyone wishing to enter the UK to study on a Tier 4 visa with the exception of countries with bi-lateral medical agreements with the UK. 

As of 5 July 2015, you will be required to make the IHS payment as an integrated part of your immigration application.

The fee you pay is based on the duration of your visa rather than the duration of your course. The surcharge will be a fee of £150 per year for each year you are in the UK. Where your stay in the UK includes part of a year they will charge you £75 for periods of 1-6 months and £150 for periods of 6-12 months. For example if you are doing a 12 month Masters course they will charge you £225. This is because your visa will be issued for a total of 16-17 months. You can find out how much will be expected to pay using the fee calculator on the UKVI website.   

You will be required to pay the full fee for the entire duration of your stay in advance. The payment is made as part of your visa application, and your visa will not be granted if you have not paid the fee or if you have paid the incorrect amount.

You can find more information about the health surcharge on the UKVI website.

(b)  APPLYING FROM INSIDE UK

This is for information about how to make a Tier 4 visa application in the UK.

Tier 4 visas are only valid for use on the programme of study at the university they were issued for. 

  • If you have a Tier 4 visa that was issued for study at another university you must apply to extend your visa before you can enrol at AUL
  • If you hold a Tier 4 visa issued for study at AUL and are starting a new programme of study you must apply to extend your visa before you are allowed to enrol on your new programme of study

In both cases you do not need to have received your new visa before the start of the programme. However you must be able to prove to us that you have submitted your extension application.

How and where is an application made?

A Tier 4 visa application in the UK is completed, paid for, and submitted on-line. When you complete your application on-line you are given the choice of using the "Standard Service" or the "Premium service".

Standard Service

  • You submit your supporting documents by post
  • It cost £448
  • You have your biometrics taken at a Post Office
  • It takes about 2 months for your application to be processed. It may be quicker during quiet periods and slightly longer during busy periods

Premium Service

  • You have an in-person appointment at a UKVI centre
  • It costs £948
  • You will have your biometrics taken on the day of your appointment
  • Your visa application will be processed on the day of your appointment. Your visa will be sent to you through the post up to 10 working days later
  • Appointment availability can depends on whether you are applying in a busy period. You must have your appointment on or before the expiry date of your visa

Most people choose to make a postal application. You should only need to make an in person appointment if you urgently need your visa processed. Normally this will be if you need to travel.

When to make an application

You should prepare your application 3 months before the expiry date of your current visa. However this is not always possible and you have up until the expiry date of your visa to submit an in-time application in the UK. The application date is the date you submit and pay for your application on-line.

Under immigration law as long as you submit an in-time application your visa will automatically be extended whilst it is being considered by UKVI. This means you will not be illegally in the UK.

It is not advisable to make your application after the expiry date of your visa.

Can I make an application?

You can only make an application in the UK if your new programme starts within 28 days of the expiry date of your current visa. If it starts later than this you will need to leave the UK and apply for fresh entry clearance from your home country.

If you are switching from another visa category to Tier 4 you should check that you are eligible to switch to Tier 4 in the UK. You can find this information in paragraph 47 of the Tier 4 policy guidance. If you are not eligible you will need to return to your home country to apply.

Biometrics

As part of the application process you will be required to give biometric information. This means fingerprints and facial image. 

  • If you make a postal application you will be sent a letter after they have received your documents asking you to have your biometrics taken. You do this by taking the letter they send you to a Post Office branch that provides biometric services
  • If you make an in person appointment you will have your biometrics taken at your appointment
  • Healthcare charge (NHS surcharge)
  • All Tier 4 visa applications made after 6 April 2015 for a programme of study of more than 6 months in duration will be required to pay a fee for access to NHS health care in the UK. You must pay this fee in advance and it is a mandatory requirement for a visa application. If you do not pay it your visa application will be refused. 
  • Credibility interviews
  • UKVI is now carrying out "credibility" interviews for students making visa applications in the UK.

Credibility Interviews

UKVI is now carrying out "credibility" interviews for students making visa applications in the UK.

What is a credibility interview?

A credibility interview is used by UKVI to determine whether they think you are a genuine student. Questions may be asked about your background and immigration history; about your previous education; about the studies you are planning to undertake in the UK; and/or about your financial circumstances.

Will I have an interview?

Not all students will be asked to attend an interview. If you are required to attend an interview they will send you a letter through the post informing of this.

You will need to complete the Interview Reply Form and Declaration sent to you in the post by the Home Office and email it to the Home Office before the deadline as stated on the Home Office's covering letter.

If you do not attend the interview your application will automatically be refused.

How will the interview be conducted?

The interview will take place at a Visa Application Centre as stated on the Home Office's covering letter. The interview will be conducted in English and therefore your ability to communicate in English will be tested.

For most students the interview will be 30 minutes long and it will be conducted via video link with a Home Office member of staff in Sheffield in the UK. The report of the interview will then be sent to the visa officer who will consider it alongside your visa application and supporting documents.

What will they ask?

They may ask you questions about the following:

  • Your previous immigration history
  • Your previous study history, current study and post study plans
  • Your finances

To prepare for your interview it would be a good idea to prepare the following:

  • Make sure you are familiar with your course, it's content and the modules you may be taking
  • Consider what your plans are post study and how your study links with this
  • Be prepared to explain your finances and where the money is coming from

How will the interview affect my application?

The Entry Clearance Officer who deals with your application will be given a copy of the transcript of the interview and will use that to assess your credibility along with the other documents you provide with the application.

What do I need to make an application? 

  • Passport(s):You will need to provide your current passport and any previous passports needed as part of the application
  • 2 Photographs:You will need two photos. Please make sure you read the UKVI photo guidance
  • Proof of qualifications:You will need to provide original certificates or transcripts of the qualifications you used to obtain your unconditional offer at Amity University [in] London. This includes your academic qualifications and any relevant English qualifications. These documents will be listed on your CAS statement. You only need to provide the documents listed there
  • If your documents are not in English you will need to provide official verified translations in addition to the originals
  • CAS statement:You will need a CAS from Amity University [in] London. Please see our guidance on what a CAS is and how to obtain one
  • Financial evidence:You will need to provide originals of the documents you will be providing to show you meet the financial requirements. If these documents are not in English you will need to additionally supply an official verified translation. For information about what evidence you need to provide for your finances please see our guidance
  • ATAS certificate:You may be required to provide an ATAS certificate with your application if you are study at advanced levels in certain subject areas. To find out whether you need an ATAS certificate please see our guidance.
  • Police Registration Certificate (if applicable). Please see our guidance for further information.

How do i make an application?

Amity University [in] London, will provide help. Please contact the Compliance Team directly for further advice and support.

CAS

A Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) number is a unique 14 digit reference given to you by AUL (your sponsor). UKVI will use this number to confirm that you are a genuine student.

They do this by using it to access your CAS record on their secure database. Your CAS record contains information supplied by Amity to UKVI about you and your course.

You will receive a CAS statement from AUL by e-mail which contains your CAS number and additional information you will need from AUL to make a Tier 4 visa application.

A CAS number is valid for use for 6 months from the date it was issued. It can be used only once for a single application. You can only obtain a CAS once you have an unconditional offer.

How do I obtain a CAS

New Students

You do not need to request a CAS. If you hold an unconditional offer Amity University [in] London will automatically contact you by e-mail around 4 months before the start date of your programme. You will be asked to confirm that the details we hold about you on record are correct. If anything is incorrect or missing you will be asked to supply this information.

Continuing/Extending students

If your visa runs out while studying at Amity, and you want to extend or renew it, you must contact the Compliance Team (admission@london.amity.edu).