The UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) grant institutions that demonstrated high levels of compliance with a ‘Tier 4 Sponsor Status’. Cardiff Metropolitan University has been awarded Tier 4 Sponsor Status, which allows us to sponsor international students by assigning a Certificate of Acceptance for Studies (CAS), so they can apply for their Tier 4 (general) visa.
On this page you will find frequently asked questions about visas and immigration. We offer free expert visa advice to students applying to Cardiff Met.
1. What type of visa do I need?
Students will need a Tier 4 (General) Student entry clearance (visa) to enter the United Kingdom to study (except those on a course of study of six months or less who may qualify for entry under the category of short-term student visitor).
2. When should I apply for my visa?
We advise that you apply for your Tier 4 entry clearance as soon as possible, however it is only possible to submit an application within 3 months of the start date of the course. If your visa is not issued in time for the start of your course, you may not be permitted to enter the UK.
During the summer months (June- September) the application process in some countries can take up to 3 months or longer. The time required to process your visa will depend on the country where you are making your application. For information on visa processing times in your country please visit the
UK Visas and Immigration website.
3. What is a CAS number?
A CAS (Certificate of Acceptance for Study) is a unique number that is essential for each Tier 4 Student applicant to make a visa application. The university enters details about the student, course and qualifications into the Home Office's database to confirm the university's sponsorship of the student and the unique number is generated and will be provided to the student via email in the form of a CAS statement. Your CAS statement should be submitted with your application when you apply for your visa.
4. How do I get my CAS?
To receive your Certificate of Acceptance for Study (CAS) letter you will need to:
Make a pre-payment of £3,000.00 towards your course fees, or submit official sponsorship/financial guarantee letter.
Provide us with a copy of the personal details pages of your passport and copies of any pages which contain UK immigration permission
5. Can I bring my family to the UK?
Your dependants (husband, wife or children) can apply for immigration permission to join or remain with you in the UK only if:
You are government-sponsored and your course (at any level) is over six months long OR
You are doing a
postgraduate level course of 12 months or longer at a Higher Education Institution OR
You had a Tier 4 or Pre-Tier 4 student visa for your previous course where the course was over six months long AND:
Your visa is valid or expired no more than three months before this immigration application AND
Your new immigration application is for a course over six months long AND
Your dependants already have Tier 4 Dependant or Student Dependant visas AND
You apply for immigration permission at the same time as your dependant
If your family member(s) wish to join you in the UK as your dependant(s), they will need to make an application for a UK visa at their nearest visa application centre in their home country. For information on how to apply for a dependant visa from overseas, please visit the
UK Visas and Immigration website.
6. I have been called for an interview by the UKVI what does this mean?
The UK Visas and Immigration have announced that they will be conducting interviews with every Tier 4 general student visa applicant, from the beginning of April 2013. This is Worldwide and not targeting any particular country.
The purpose of these interviews is to ensure the entry of genuine international students into the UK. These interviews can be conducted either face- to- face, over the telephone or via video link facilities and will be conducted by Visa Officers.
You should not worry about the interview; you must remain confident during the interview and do your very best and we look forward to seeing you in Cardiff soon.
7. Do I need to have a medical check before coming to the UK?
In accordance with the Immigration Rules, it may be necessary for you to obtain a medical certificate as evidence that you do not have infectious pulmonary tuberculosis, prior to making an immigration application for travel to the UK.
The necessity of obtaining this evidence will depend on where you will be making your visa application. It is important that you check if this rule will apply to you in advance of making your visa application as failure to provide it could result in an unsuccessful application. The full list of countries where TB Screening is required in advance of making a visa application for entry to the UK can be found on the
UK Visas and Immigration website.
Please note, the rule relating to TB screening is dependant on the country where you make your application, not your nationality.
TB Screening is not necessary for visitors, including student visitors who intend to stay in the UK for 6 months or less.
Although you may have obtained a medical certificate prior to arriving in the UK, once starting university you may be called for further TB screening from the local National Health Service TB control service.
This screening involves a skin test and is looking for latent (asleep) TB infection which is not picked up by chest x-ray.
If Latent TB is diagnosed following this test you will be given medication to cure this to prevent active TB illness developing in the future.
People with Latent TB do not have any symptoms and cannot pass it on to others. Once you are in the UK, if you have any queries about this process, please contact our Campus nurse for advice at
8. What is the Immigration Health Surcharge?
On the 6 April 2015 the UK government introduced an immigration health surcharge which applies to all non-European Economic Area (EEA) nationals who come to the UK to work or study or to join family. The immigration health surcharge also applies to non -EEA nationals who are already in the UK and need to apply for a visa extension to extend their leave in the UK on or after 6 April 2015.
For more information regarding the immigration health surcharge please refer to the immigration health surcharge: information for migrants policy published by the Home Office. Please
click here to view this information.
PLEASE NOTE if you are applying for a 6 month short-term student visa or for a Tier 4 visa to commence a course in the UK for 6 months or less, you will not be exempt from paying hospital fees and you will be charged a high rate for any hospital treatment you receive. You will therefore need to ensure you have obtained private health insurance from the beginning of your stay in the UK, to avoid having to pay these high hospital fees.
9. How much will I need to pay in Immigration Health Surcharge?
To find out how much you will be required to pay for the Immigration Health Surcharge, please click
10. How do I make my application?
You will be required to make an application online for a Tier 4 (general) visa by visiting the UK Visas and Immigration website and clicking on 'Apply for a UK Visa'. You’ll need to have your fingerprints and photograph taken at a visa application centre in your home country as part of your application. You may be able to get your visa quicker depending on which country you are applying from. You can check this with your visa application centre.
If you are applying from overseas and require general advice about the Tier 4 visa application process you can contact the UK Visas and Immigration department. Please visit:
https://www.gov.uk/contact-ukvi-inside-outside-uk for further information.
IMPORTANT*** From March 2015, the UKVI has rolled out a new process for applying for a Tier 4 visa to enter the UK for study purposes.
When completing the section of the visa application form entitled 'Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) Collection' it is very important that you provide Cardiff Met's Alternative Collection Location code (ACL code) to ensure that your Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) will be delivered to the university on your arrival to the UK. The code you will need to insert into this section of the application form is 2HE467 If your visa application is successful, you will receive a short-term (travel) visa in your passport which will be valid for 30 days along with a decision letter setting out the full length of leave which will be granted to you to complete your course at Cardiff Met. The short term (travel) visa will enable you to travel to the UK and once you have arrived at the university you will be able to collect your Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) which will confirm the full length of leave granted to you.
You must ensure you collect your BRP from the university within 10 days of arrival in the UK.
Please ensure you read the information provided by the UKVI, to ensure you fully understand this new process.
11. What documents do I need to make a Tier 4 application?
It is essential that you take the time to prepare all of the necessary documentation that will be required to allow you to make a strong visa application. The required documents are listed below although not all of them will be applicable to you:
Two passport photographs
Personal Bank statements, parents' bank statements or bank loan letter confirming funds for tuition fees and living costs have been maintained for a consecutive 28 day period ending no more than 31 days before the date of application.
Sponsorship letter (Only applicable if you are officially sponsored by a government or international organisation or company and they are agreeing to cover some or all of your tuition fees and living costs during your time studying in the UK).
Education certificates (the relevant certificates will be listed on your CAS statement)
ATAS certificate (Only if you have been advised by the university and if this is stated on your CAS as a requirement)
Birth certificate (Only applicable if submitting parents' bank statements or as proof of name change)
Letter from parents ( Only if you are using your parents' bank statements. The letter should confirm that their money will be used for your fees and living costs).
Marriage certificate (if you are also applying for a visa for your husband or wife)
Translations (Any document that has not been written in English must be translated by an official translator and contain the translators qualifications, stamp, date and confirmation that the translation was based on the original document).
Police Registration Certificate (Only applicable for certain nationalities when extending their visa inside the UK).
Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) (Only applicable for students making visa extension applications inside the UK who have previously been issued with a BRP)
12. How much money should I have in my bank account before making my application?
At present, you must show that you have maintained your tuition fees (minus any fees that you have already paid to the university), plus living costs of £1015 per calendar month of the course you are due to study, for up to a maximum of 9 months.
E.g. For students studying on a 12 month course, the Home Office will calculate living costs as £9,135 (£1015 x 9months).
The total amount of money you will be required to show for tuition fees and living costs must be maintained in you/your parent(s) bank account for a consecutive 28 day period, ending no more than 31 days before the date of application. (Please note that this advice is only applicable to students who are due to study in an institution based outside London).
PLEASE NOTE: If your family member(s) will be submitting dependant applications the amount of money each dependant will be required to show for living costs is £680 per calendar month(up to a maximum of 9 months).
E.g. For students studying on a 12 month course, the Home Office will calculate living costs for each of their dependants as £6120 (£680 x 9 months)
13. What happens when my visa has been issued?
click here for more information about what happens when your visa has been issued
14. How long will my visa be granted for?
Your visa will be granted for the length of your course plus an additional:
7 days if your course is less than 6 months long
2 months if your course is more than 6 months but less than 12 months long
4 months if your course is more than 12 months long
1 month if you are studying a Pre-sessional course which is less than 6 months long
15. What is the Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) certificate?
This is a certificate that some PhD and Masters students must apply for prior to making a visa application. You will be advised by the university if you require an ATAS certificate and your application can be made online on the
Foreign and Commonwealth Office website.
16. Will I be able to work in the UK during my studies?
If you obtain a Tier 4 Student visa to study at Cardiff Met, you will be able to work part-time during your studies for a maximum of 10 or 20 hours per week, depending on the type of course you are studying. The number of hours you are permitted to work per week will be stated on your visa. You will also be permitted to work full-time hours during official university vacations. For more information about working during your studies please visit the
Work page from the Information for Current Students section.
17. What are the immigration rules for Tier 4 students studying at Cardiff Met?
a. You must arrive in the UK and enrol on your nominated course before the prescribed enrolment deadline stated on your CAS statement.
b. After enrolment, the University will be required to take a copy of your passport, visa and biometric identity card (if you have one). This information will be stored securely in accordance with the data protection act, and will be retained by the University for 2 years after you have graduated. Cardiff Metropolitan University will need to produce this information to the UK Immigration Authorities if requested.
c. Your attendance on your course will be monitored and attendance at all classes, tutorials and lectures is compulsory. On arrival, you will be advised on how your attendance will be monitored to ensure that you comply with the immigration regulations.
d. You will be required to inform the University of your UK contact details (address and telephone number) and consistently update us with any changes.
If you do not comply with these requirements, Cardiff Metropolitan University will be required to inform the immigration authorities. As these regulations are part of immigration law in the UK, failure to comply with them can have serious consequences and may result in deportation.
18. What do I need to do if I need to extend my visa in the UK?
19. Will I be able to apply for a visa that will allow me to work in the UK after graduation?
This may be a possibility if you meet all of the criteria of one of the applicable visa routes that permits work in the UK after study. Requirements change on a regular basis; we therefore recommend that you access the
UK Visas and Immigration Website for further details about Tier 1, Tier 2 and Tier 5.
20. Short Term Student Visitor Visa
Students can apply for a Short-Term Study Visa if they are come to the UK for 6 months or less, to study or do research for a short period of time on a course that does not include a work placement or work experience. If your research or study period is likely to exceed 6 months, you should applying for a Tier 4 (General) student instead.
Can I apply for a Short-Term Student visa?
Visiting researchers – Yes you can apply for a Short-term study visa if you are coming to the UK to complete a short period of research or to learn how to conduct research. To be eligible to use this route you should be studying a course overseas that is the equivalent of a UK degree-level course. You will be required to provide a letter from your home institution confirming what course you are studying, and that your proposed research at Cardiff Metropolitan University relates to it.
Registered students returning to resit an exam or retake a module – Yes, if you are registered on a full-time at Cardiff Metropolitan University, for which you have already received the majority of the teaching, you can come back on a Short-term study visa to resit exams and repeat modules.. All your study commitments for that period must not exceed the 6-months limit and should be stated on the Short-Term Study visa letter that you submit as part of your visa application.
Postgraduate research students returning for a viva – Yes, if you have submitted your postgraduate research thesis and have left the UK, you could apply for a Short-Term study to return for your viva examination. You will need to request a Short-Term study visa letter confirming your viva date. Please note that you will need to leave the UK within 30 days of viva date stated on the letter, even if your visa validity dates are longer.
Distance learning students- Yes, if you choose to study through distance learning, the University cannot offer sponsorship for a Tier 4 student visa. You will instead need to secure an Short-Term student visa for every visit to the University, throughout the duration of your course.
There are risks and limitations associated with doing this, which should be carefully considered:
- Students of nationalities not eligible to apply for a Short-Term Student visa stamp at the UK border will have to pay a visa application fee for each visit.
- UK immigration rules and policies change often and with little notice. The University cannot guarantee that the Short-Term Student visa rules in place when you begin a distance learning course will remain in place throughout the duration of your course. The rules in place at the time of each visa application will apply, not those in place when you begin your course.
- If at any point your Short-Term Student visa application is refused, this may affect future visa applications.
- You will only be allowed to enter the UK for limited periods, totalling no more than 56 days in the UK in any 6 month period. Study completed during visits can include induction weeks, face-to-face meetings and exams or assessments.
- This route should not be used 'frequently and successively'. For example, if you are seeking a second period of leave under the Short-Term Student route where less than 2 months have passed since you last visited the UK or you are applying for more than 5 periods of Short-Term Student leave within a 5-year period.
2) Do I need to apply for an ATAS Certificate? If you are applying to do postgraduate study or research in one of the subjects listed in
appendix 6 of the Immigration Rules, you will need to obtain an Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) certificate to provide it with your visa application. It will also be required for your registration at the University.
3) How to apply? There are different rules on how and where you can apply depending on your nationality. If you are from a country listed in
Appendix 2, read through the information for visa nationals. If your nationality is not on the list, read through the information for
4) Applying at the airport Join the queue at passport control to speak to a Border Force Officer. Avoid using the eGates as these are only suitable for people entering as tourists not for students.
What can I expect to happen at immigration if I am apply at the airport and what should I bring with me?
When you arrive at a UK airport, you will need to pass through Immigration Control. In order to make this process as smooth and stress-free as possible, it is essential that you are prepared and know what to expect to happen at Immigration Control. We would strongly advise you to prepare the items listed below in advance of your journey to the UK, as you will need to show them to the Border Officer:
- Valid passport
- Cardiff Metropolitan University letter which states that you have accepted a place on a course
ATAS certificate (if applicable)
- You may also need to show proof of your finances, so we recommend that you carry a recent original bank statement or other proof of funding in your hand luggage.
- You should explain clearly that you wish to enter as a Short-Term Study student rather than a standard visitor.
- Your passport will be stamped with a date stamp and the Border Force Officer may add in pen 'Study/Student or STS' to indicate the type of permission.
5) Applying in advance This is the same process as for visa nationals and you will be issued a 6 month, multiple entry visa in your passport. You will need to apply and be granted this visa before you travel to the UK. For full details see the Home Office website. nless you are from North Korea, you start by submitting your application form online and paying the application fee of £97.
What can I expect to happen at immigration if I have applied in advance and what should I bring with me? When you arrive at a UK airport, you will need to pass through Immigration Control. In order to make this process as smooth and stress-free as possible, it is essential that you are prepared and know what to expect to happen at Immigration Control. We would strongly advise you to prepare the items listed below in advance of your journey to the UK, as you will need to show them to the Border Officer:
- Valid passport
- Cardiff Metropolitan University letter which states that you have accepted a place on a course
ATAS certificate (if applicable
6) Can I use the eGates on arrival? If you are a national of Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea or the USA, please do not use eGates on arrival at the Border, as you will be admitted to the UK as a Visitor and not as a Short-Term student. and you will not have a valid visa to study. You will need to make sure that you see a Border Officer on arrival in order to receive an Short-Term Student visa stamp.
Can I Travel via the Republic of Ireland e.g. Dublin? You may want to consider applying for a Short-Term Study visa in advance (Entry Clearance). This is because the Republic of Ireland is part of the Common Travel Area with the UK. If you enter the UK via Ireland, you will receive an Irish immigration entry stamp and you are unlikely to go through immigration control again between Ireland and the UK. Your Irish entry stamp is valid only for 3 months, and you may need to leave the UK and re-enter at a UK port if you need more time for your studies.
How long will my visa been granted for? A Short-Term Student visa/entry stamp is given for a 6-month period, but an immigration condition of the Short-Term Student visa is that you must leave the UK within 30 days of the end of your study/research or before the end of the 6-month period, whichever is soonest. This means that you cannot add further periods of study/research within the 6-month visa period if they were not included in your original visa letter. When you apply for an Short-Term Student visa the UKVI assess if you are a genuine student, and this includes an assessment of whether or not you have given a true account of how long you intend to study in the UK. Therefore, if you do not leave within the period expected, this could affect visa applications in the future.
Short-Term Student visa route should not be used 'frequently and successively'. For example, if you are seeking a second period of leave under the Short-Term Student visa route where less than 2 months have passed since you last visited the UK as an Short-Term Student or you are applying for more than 5 periods of Short-Term Student leave within a 5-year period.
9) How long can I stay in the UK? Please note that even if the UKVI issue your Short-Term Student visa for 6 months, you must leave the UK within 30 days of the course end date on your Short-Term Student visa letter or before the visa expiry date, whichever is earliest.
10) Can I extend my visa in the UK? If you are on an Short-Term Student visa then you cannot extend you visa from within the UK.
11) Will I be able to work in the UK during my studies? Work is not permitted on a Short-Term Student visa
Have more questions? Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call +44 (0) 2920 205 644
21. Can I use the eGates on arrival?
If you are a national of Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea or the USA, on a Tier 4 visa you are permitted to use the EGate at the Border.