Tier 4 (General) Student visa
- How to apply
- Documents you need to submit with your application
- What to do once you've received the decision on your application?
Tier 4 (General) Student visa allows students who are 18 years old or over to study full-time in the UK.
Applying from outside the UK
- Depending on the country where you live, you may need to make your application online.
- Check UKCISA's flowchart for applying for a Tier 4 visa in your home country.
Applying from inside the UK
- You can submit your application and pay your visa application fees and immigration health surcharge from inside the UK by using 'Online' application.
- You then print your Tier 4 visa application cover sheet, and send it with your supporting documents to UKVI or take them to your appointment.
- You will be asked to attend a credibility interview once you have submitted your application.
Immigration health surcharge
- You will have to pay an immigration health surcharge while you are making your application unless you are exempt.
Free Tier 4 visa checking service
- Book our free Tier 4 visa checking service, if you are ready to apply.
You will need to submit the following supporting documentation (please note the English translation guidelines for documentation).
Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS)
- A Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) is a ‘virtual document’ similar to a database record, issued by Birkbeck in support of your Tier 4 application. Each CAS has a unique 14-digit alpha-numeric reference number (e.g. E4G2AB1C23D5E6) and contains information about the course of study and your personal details.
- As part of this process, we may request your previous studies history in the UK if this information isn't included in your application form, to ensure that you don't exceed the maximum time limit on studying in the UK you are allowed.
- Please note that a CAS can only be used once. If your visa application is refused, you will need a new CAS.
- New students:the ISA team will contact eligible students normally four months before your course start date in order to arrange a CAS for you.
- Continuing students: you will need to request a CAS by submitting a completed CAS request form with supporting documents.
- Your CAS will be emailed to your email address once it has been issued.
Valid passport and photographs
- Although it is not a mandatory requirement that your passport has a specific amount of time left, we advise you to renew your passport before making your visa application if your current passport will expire during your studies in the UK.
- You will need two recent passport-sized photographs.
- You will need to provide evidence that you have enough money to pay.
- You will need to present an original birth certificate if you use your parent's financial evidence.
Tuberculosis (TB) certificate
- Residents of certain countries wanting to come to the UK for longer than 6 months must obtain a certificate confirming that they are free from tuberculosis before you apply for a visa.
Police registration certificate (if applicable)
International students of certain nationalities may be required to register with the police within 7 days of arrival in the UK. Find out whether you need to register with the police.
Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) clearance certificate (if applicable)
- If you wish to study a Master's or research degree programme in the physical sciences, computing and mathematics and you are from outside the European Economic Area and Switzerland, you will need to note the requirements of the Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS).
- If it applies to your programme of study, Birkbeck will formally notify you through our formal offer of admission, which is sent electronically.
- It is important to note that wether you are a new or continuing student, if your programme is subject to ATAS then you must obtaine an ATAS clearance certificate before you start the programme of study.
- The process normally takes a minimum of 20 working days and therefore you are advised to submit your ATAS clearance check application well in advance. An ATAS clearance certificate is valid for six months from the date of issue.
- For an ATAS clearance certificate, the following information is required from the College:
- JACS code of your programme of study (Stated in your offer letter)
- Brief summary of your research proposal agreed with your (potential) supervisor (check our examples of good research proposals).
Evidence of academic qualifications
- You must include all original academic qualifications stated on your CAS statement. They will normally be your final academic certificate, such as degree certificate or A-Level certificate.
- In cases where you have not yet received your final academic certificate, we may list a final transcript or final certificate of credit. Please note that a provisional degree certificate or provisional certificate of award will not be accepted.
Evidence of English language qualifications
- All international students must satisfy Birkbeck's general English language requirement and Tier 4's English requirement.
- If you are a national of one of the majority English-speaking countries or your academic qualification was taught in one of the majority English-speaking countries defined by the Home Office, you may be exempted from the Tier 4's English language requirement.
- Please note that you are not required to submit your English Language qualification with your Tier 4 Student visa application, unless it is stated on your CAS statement. If stated, you must include this original English language qualification with your visa application.
If your visa application was successful, you should:
If your visa application was unsuccessful, please send us the refusal note you received and request a new CAS. Please note that a CAS cannot be used more than once so do not submit a fresh visa application form without getting a new CAS.