Visas and Immigration

If you are an international student applying to study at University College Birmingham, you will need a visa.

Here, you will find all the information you need to get this sorted.

Please note: If you are a student from the European Union, you do not need to obtain a visa, but you might want to find out more about working in the UK alongside your studies. 

Visa application guide

Request a copy

If you receive a notification that your visa application has been refused, please contact international@ucb.ac.uk as soon as possible, making sure to include your refusal notice. We can then offer advice about next steps.

Visa applications outside the UK

STEP 1: Prepare your supporting documents

Visit the Tier 4 (General) visa section of the UK Government website and read the information carefully as it contains lots of very detailed information about how to apply and what documents you need to provide.

You will need to be able to meet the Tier 4 financial requirement before you submit your visa application, so it is essential that you prepare your finances in good time.

You can find information about the Tier 4 financial requirement and the application process on the UKCISA website.

If you have not saved enough money for the required amount of time, or if any of your documents do not meet Home Office requirements, your visa application will be refused.

STEP 2: Apply for a CAS

If you are applying for a new course of study with us, you will have been issued with a CAS (see section below for more information on CAS) at the end of the admission process.

If you are continuing on a course you have already started, please contact tier-4-advice@ucb.ac.uk to discuss your visa application and applying for a CAS.

STEP 3: Complete the application form and book an appointment at your nearest visa application centre

You will need to submit your application online on the gov.uk website. If you wish to submit your application via a premium route, please check if this option is available at the visa application centre in your country:

STEP 4: Attend your appointment and submit your documents

At the appointment, you will need to:

  • Submit all required documents*
  • Have your fingerprints and photograph (known as 'biometric information' taken
  • Undergo a brief credibility interview using video conferencing software (for more information about this interview, please see our visa guide) [Request a copy of our visa application guide]

*Please make sure you submit ALL required documents. There is no flexibility about the documents you have to submit. If your documents do not exactly match the requirements set out in the Tier 4 policy guidance, your application will be refused.

We recommend that you also keep a copy or scans of your completed application and all submitted documents, including your passport.

STEP 5: Receive and check your Tier 4 visa

When you receive your initial visa (a short-term vignette in your passport), it is essential that you check it carefully to ensure that:

  • Your name and date of birth are correct
  • It says you are a Tier 4 (General) student
  • It starts on, or before, the date you want to travel to the UK

You will also receive a letter informing you that your Tier 4 visa application has been successful and this will outline the conditions of your immigration leave. It will confirm where and when your BRP will be available to collect.

If any of the above details are incorrect, you should contact the visa application centre that handled your application and request an amendment prior to travelling to the UK.

If you receive a notification that your visa application has been refused, please contact international@ucb.ac.uk as soon as possible, making sure to include your refusal notice. We can then offer advice about next steps.

STEP 6: Arrive in the UK and arrange to collect your BRP (Biometric Residence Permit)

You must enter the UK during the 30-day validity of the entry clearance and you must then collect your BRP within 10 days of entering the UK.

You will normally be advised to collect your BRP, which contains your full period of leave and our Tier 4 licence number printed on it, from the Post Office at 119 Vyse St, Birmingham, B18 6JS, which is about a 10-minute walk from our main Summer Row Campus.

You will just need to bring your passport with your entry permit enclosed and the decision letter you received with the outcome of your visa application. You should not need an appointment to do this.

Visa applications inside the UK

STEP 1: Apply for a CAS

If you are applying for a new course of study with us, you will have been issued with a CAS (see section below for more information on CAS) at the end of the admission process.

If you are continuing on a course you have already started, you must contact tier-4-advice@ucb.ac.uk Alternatively, call in and speak to one of our advisers on the 2nd floor of The Link building in Summer Row to discuss your visa application and applying for a CAS.

STEP 2: Prepare your online Tier 4 application form and supporting documents

All applications inside the UK must be submitted using the UK government’s secure online application service.

The supporting documents required will vary according to your precise circumstance and we will fully advise you on this in your one-to-one appointment.

STEP 3: Make and attend one-to-one appointment with our International Student Adviser

Once your CAS request and all related documents (passport and visa copies, certificates/transcripts and copies of financial documents) have been received, an International Student Adviser from our International Admissions and Recruitment team will schedule a one-to-one appointment with you.

At your appointment, the adviser will:

  • Check your online application form and supporting documents
  • Add your CAS details to the application form
  • Help you to formally submit and pay for your online application
  • Help you book an appointment at the visa application centre, where you will need to take your relevant documents and complete your biometric enrolment

STEP 4: Receive decision from the Home Office

If your application is accepted, your BRP card (visa) will be sent to the University for you to collect.

CAS

CAS stands for Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies.

It is a secure electronic record, created by the University and shared with the Home Office. It contains detailed information about you, your course of study and your fees, and has a unique reference number. You cannot apply for a visa without it.

Once a CAS has been generated, you will ordinarily be emailed a statement of the relevant information (known as a CAS Statement), which you will need when completing your online visa application form. If you submit your visa application without a correct CAS number, it will be refused by the Home Office.

How do I apply for a CAS? – New students

New students can request a CAS from three months before the start of the course.

Requests will be processed and sent to applicants or the agent supporting you with your application from three months before the start of the course. Requests made within this time should be processed within 5-7 working days

To request a CAS, you will need to:

  • Hold an unconditional offer from University College Birmingham
  • Have paid your tuition fee deposit (the amount will be outlined in your offer letter)
  • Have completed and returned the pre-payment policy
  • Provided a 28-day valid bank statement

How do I apply for a CAS? – Current students

Contact tier-4-advice@ucb.ac.uk to ask for a CAS request form. You will be reminded to do this by email before your visa is due to expire.

If you are a current student needing more time to complete a course already started, you can submit your CAS request form at any time, though please note the University will only issue a CAS within the last three months of your current immigration permission. Applicants are automatically issued with a CAS after making their tuition fee pre-payment.

When should I apply for a CAS?

CAS request deadlines for students applying for their visa from outside the UK are:

September 2020 intake

Orientation Programme will commence – 14 – 17 Sept 2020

Induction dates: 21 Sept - 2 Oct

Teaching starts – 5 Oct 2020

Last day to enrol online – 19 Oct 2020

Due to the Covid-19 situation, we will be as flexible as possible when issuing CAS. It will be possible to commence many courses online and arrive in the UK to commence your studies in-person before semester 2, whenever travel and visa restrictions will allow. We will contact you to confirm your plans and to help you arrive in the UK to commence your studies.

January 2021 intake

Last day for CAS: 22 Jan 2021

Last day for CAS: For visa express countries: 29 Jan 2021

Induction/Orientation starts: 1 Feb 2021

Teaching starts: 8 Feb 2021

Last day to enrol: 22 Feb 2021

Post study work/Graduate Route visa 

We welcome the announcement by the UK government of a proposal to reinstate the two-year post-study work visa for international graduates from the 2020/21 academic year. 

It is understood the new Graduate Route will be available to all international students who successfully complete an undergraduate or postgraduate degree at an approved institution from the summer of 2021, granting a subsequent two-year period to work or find employment in the UK.

The proposal is excellent news for our students, who will have the opportunity to gain experience and build on their careers in the UK after graduating. hired@UCB, our careers, employability and placements service, can support you to gain work experience during your studies at UCB.

Please be aware that full details of the Graduate Route are yet to be confirmed by the UK government. University College Birmingham will provide further information in due course on how the plans will apply to those enrolling in 2020/21 and those currently on courses as soon as the government confirms the establishment of this route to us.

For further information, please visit the British Council website.

Visa FAQs

If my visa will expire before my resit exam period, will University College Birmingham help me to extend my visa?

We can help you extend your visa if you are required to repeat modules or your dissertation, and you are required to be in attendance on campus. It may also be possible to extend your visa to resit an exam. If this applies to you, please contact tier-4-advice@ucb.ac.uk as soon as possible for immigration advice..

My visa has already expired, but 28 days have not passed. Will University College Birmingham help me extend my visa?

No. We can only sponsor students that have a valid visa. If you are a continuing student and are not able to extend your visa in time, you will need to defer your studies and re-enrol at the beginning of the next semester.

What do I need to do to extend my visa?

You will need to complete an online application form. You will need to do this through an International Student Adviser within our International Admissions and Recruitment team, located on the 2nd floor The Link, Summer Row.

At the time of writing, the Home Office charges £494.20 for the standard service, other quicker service options may be available at higher prices. More information can be found here or by speaking to an international student adviser. You can contact our International Student Adviser, Jane Titcumb, on tier-4-advice@ucb.ac.uk (Tel: 0121 232 2662).

You should allow enough time (six to eight weeks) to prepare your application before your visa expiry date. If you allow your visa to expire, this could have serious implications on whether we can continue to sponsor you under Tier 4and future immigration applications with the Home Office. More information on protecting your Tier 4 status can be found here.

I have completed my bachelor’s degree and have applied for a master’s degree, but only have one month left on my visa. Can I apply for a visa when I return to the UK after the summer holidays?

This may be possible, but attempting to return to the UK without having extended your visa is at your own risk. You should ensure that you print a hard copy of your CAS letter so that you can show this to the border officer when you arrive back in the UK. If you travel without your visa and CAS, you risk being denied entry to the UK.

Can my dependants study on a dependant visa?

Yes. As long as your dependant makes an application to study and this application meets the entry requirements, we will be pleased to accept them as a student.

Student visa applications are points-based – what does this mean?

This means your application will be assessed against specific criteria set up by the UK Government. You can check you have sufficient points to be granted entry to the UK before you make your application at the government’s website.

In a nutshell, to gain a Tier 4 student visa, you will have to score points against two sets of objective criteria with an overall pass mark of 40 points:

  • 30 points are awarded for the CAS
  • 10 points are awarded for the maintenance and funds test. This means you must be able to demonstrate you have, and have had for a minimum of 28 days, £9,135 plus any outstanding tuition fees for undergraduate or postgraduate courses. Please note that, before issuing you with a CAS, the International centre may request to see acceptable evidence that you hold these funds in the right format.

We suggest you check our web pages regularly to keep up to date with changes to the UK’s student immigration system. If you have applied through the British Council or one of our local agents, you will also be able to ask them for advice.

What do I need to bring to registration and enrolment?

Due to Covid-19, the enrolment process for courses commencing in September 2020 will take place online. You will be asked to provide information such as your UK address, and to upload scans of your documents, including your passport, entry clearance visa and your BRP once you arrive in the UK.

We will contact you about completing the enrolment process before you are due to start your course.

Where can I get independent advice?

UKCISA (Council for International/Student Affairs) is an independent, non-profit organisation committed to promoting educational mobility and providing support to international students and the professionals who work with them. UKCISA provides expert information and guidance on key topics and answers many queries from prospective students from all over the world. We highly recommend that you look at UKCISA’s website www.ukcisa.org.uk. 

You can also visit the UK Government’s website, which offers all the information you need to complete your visa application.

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