Visas & Immigration
Please note: If you require the College's support to obtain a student visa then the full tuition fee for the course must be paid before a visa support letter is issued.
As a prospective student, immigration information can seem complex and confusing. We have included here some of the main points and some useful web links, but recommend that you always consult the UK Border Agency (UKBA) or UK Visas for information. Many students will need a visa in order to study in the UK. If you do not know whether you will need a visa, please contact your local British Embassy, British Council, British Consulate or British High Commission.
The Points-Based System
The UK Government has introduced (PBS) for immigration of which Tier 4 affects international students from outside the EEA/EU who are applying for a Student Visa to come to study in the UK, or those who are already studying in the UK and applying for a new course. Under the Points Based System, you will need to be sponsored by an institution that is registered as an official sponsor. Westminster Kingsway College has Highly Trusted Sponsor status for adult students and is licensed to recruit adult international students (16 and 16+ years old).
Applying for a visa outside of the UK
If you are making an application from outside the United Kingdom for a Student Visa you should visit www.ukvisas.gov.uk/en/howtoapply/vafs for further information. Application forms and information about how to complete them are available at this website.
Applying for a visa in the UK
If you are a student making an application from inside the United Kingdom you should go to the UK Border Agency website below in order to obtain the relevant visa application form. Visit www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/studyingintheuk/ for further information.
Study Offer Communications and CAS
We will issue a (Pre CAS) Communication confirming that we would like to offer you a study place on a specified course once you have met the conditions of your study offer. Payment of the tuition fee will be requested at this point. Upon receipt of the deposit payment, the College will issue your CAS (and receipt of payment) and a Post CAS communication outlining your next steps towards obtaining a UK Student Visa, securing accommodation and enrolment.
Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies
A visa letter has been replaced by a confirmation of acceptance for studies (CAS) which is an electronic record of your personal application information and has a unique number. You will receive the number by email from the International Officer at the College once you have been accepted onto a course and paid your tuition fee. The CAS requires a separate electronic payment of £10.
Your Visa Application should include:
- Your CAS
- Any documents such as academic certificates that are listed on your visa letter
- An ATAS certificate, if this is required for your course (this will be indicated on the visa letter)
- Your bank statements, letter of official financial sponsorship or confirmation of an official loan
How much money do I need to have?
You must be able to show that you have funds to cover the cost of your tuition fee for the duration of your course plus at least £1000.00 per month for each month of your course. If you are applying from outside the UK, you must show that they have held the required amount of money (tuition fee and living costs) in your bank for a period of 28-day period before the date of your visa application.
Do my financial documents need to be in my name?
The current rules specify that the funds must be held in an account in the name of the student applying for the visa or the name of your parents but you must supply other documents to prove the relationship (such as your birth certificate) to prove the relationship as well as a letter from both of your parents if the account/money is in both of their names. Detailed information on the financial requirements is available in the UKBA Quick Guide. Visit www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/studyingintheuk/quickguideforstudent/adultstudents/ for further information.
Can I switch education provider?
From 5 October 2009, Tier 4 students' permission to stay in the UK will be 'tied' to one single university or college only and the sponsor number will be stamped in your passport or identity card. If you wish to change sponsor and you made your application for a Tier 4 visa on or after this date, you will have to apply for a new Tier 4 visa and you must not begin to study with the new education provider until you have received a decision on the outcome of your application.
When should I apply?
A CAS certificate is valid for 6 months and the current immigration rules state that if you are applying from outside the UK you cannot apply for a visa more than 3 months before the start of the course.
What course can I take?
As a student from a non-European Union country, a condition of your student visa, requires you to attend full-time (15 hours per week daytime study) which leads to NQF level 3 or above. It cannot include courses with more than 50% work placement. Part-time courses may be taken by non-EU applicants in possession of other types of visa such as a student visitor visa but not by students on student visas unless it is an extra course and you are studying a full-time course at the institute of your official sponsor.
What if my visa is refused?
If your visa is refused then you must send the decision letter sent to you by immigration to the International Officer at the College (Email: firstname.lastname@example.org) within 14 days and a refund minus £100 will be made. The College does not make refunds in any other circumstances except those listed in our refunds policy.
Once the College receives your tuition fee, you will be sent an unconditional offer of a place on a course giving details about the start and end dates and the date on which you must be present at the College to enrol. This is normally about a week before the start of your course. When you come to enrol you will have an interview with a teacher and your suitability for the course you have applied for will be assessed. If it is found that your level of English or other skills are insufficient for the course, you may be placed on a course more appropriate to your abilities.
In addition the British authorities will want to know:
- Are you a genuine student? Do you truly intend to gain entry to the country for the purpose of study?
- Do you know about the course you intend to study and do you have a clear and practical career plan that demonstrates why you are applying for the course?
- Do you intend to return to your country after the course?
Students are often refused visas for one or more of the following reasons:
- You failed to demonstrate that you had sufficient funds available to support yourself
- You did not demonstrate that you were coming to the UK for the sole purpose of study
- You did not intend to return to your country of origin after the course
- You did not know enough about the course that you intended to study
- Your documents contained incorrect or insufficient information
- You did not bring the correct documentation to the interview
Before you leave your home country, you must make sure you meet the UK immigration regulations for international students. Nationals of certain countries must obtain entry to clearance (a visa) to enter the UK. To enter the UK you have to be:
- Accepted on a full-time course
- Qualified to take the course
- Have enough funds to support yourself without working in the UK or claiming benefits
More information can be found at UKCISA.
Once you have been admitted to the UK you might have to register with the police. If so, you must do so within seven days of entry into the UK at:
The Overseas Visitors Records Office
180 Borough High Street
It is open weekdays 9am-4.30pm. You should take your passport with you as proof of your student status along with a £34 fee. For information, please call the Metropolitan Police Information Line on 020 7230 1208.
Extending a visa
If you wish to stay longer than the duration of your visa, you must apply to the Home Office for an extension before your leave expires. You will need to complete an FLR(S), available from the Application Form Unit, telephone 0870 606 7766 or at www.homeoffice.gov.uk.
Please seek advice from the International Officer at the College if you have any questions.
Where can I find further information about Immigration?
For the Immigration Rules (quick guide for students) and more information on how to apply visit: www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/studyingintheuk/quickguideforstudent/adultstudents/
The UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) is also useful source of information about immigration and living in the UK for duration of your studies. Visit: www.ukcisa.org.uk/
If you have any further questions then please email email@example.com
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