If you wish to study a full-time course (or some part-time courses, see below) for more than six months you will need a Tier 4 (General Student) visa. Please read the information below to familiarise yourself with Tier 4 and its rules and regulations. It is also recommended that you have the latest version of the Tier 4 Policy Guidance available.
Before you can apply for your Tier 4 visa you will need a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS). A CAS is a virtual document issued by a university willing to sponsor you to study in the UK. Once a CAS has been issued, you will be given a supporting letter that contains your CAS number. The CAS number needs to be included in your application form.
Please note that if you are in the UK you must have a valid visa to be given a CAS. A CAS will not be issued if you are in the UK without a valid visa.
What information does a CAS have?
A CAS contains details of the course you are studying and your personal details, such as your name, date of birth and passport number. Please make sure you give us the correct details (such as your full name as listed in your passport) when you apply for your course so that the CAS will contain all the correct information. You must contact us as soon as possible if you spot any mistakes on the CAS.
How do I get a CAS?
New students or existing students needing a CAS to study a new course must pay at least 50% of the first year course fees before they can be issued with a CAS. Instructions on how to do this and how much needs to be paid will be provided in your offer letter. You will also need an unconditional offer for your course of study.
What information do I need to provide to get a CAS?
The University will take in to consideration a number of criteria to ensure that you meet the Tier 4 rules before issuing you with a CAS. This may include checking that you meet the requirements with regards to Maintenance (funds), English language ability, Academic Progression and ATAS. You may also be asked to explain why you want to study a particular course if you have already studied at that level in the UK with a previous Student or Tier 4 visa. For example, you have already studied a Masters course and now want to study another Masters. If necessary, we may have to request an immigration history check from UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI).
Who will issue my CAS?
If you are a new student or progressing onto a new course, your CAS will be issued by the Admissions department of the university. If you are a current student and need a new visa to continue studying on the same course, your CAS will be issued by the Immigration Advisor. If you are a new or existing Research student, the Research Office will issue your CAS.
How long is a CAS valid for?
A CAS is valid for only six months and must be used in an application within that time. A CAS is valid for use for the institution that issued it. If you have a CAS from another institution but wish to study at the University of Derby, you will need a new CAS.
What happens if my visa is refused? Can I get another CAS?
A CAS can only be used once in a visa application. If you apply using one CAS number and that application is refused, you cannot use the same CAS number again when making another application. You will need to contact the person who issued your CAS and provide them with a copy of your refusal letter. Please note that at this time, we will only issue you with one CAS, so it is very important that you make sure everything in your application is correct to avoid your visa being refused.
Can I study a course part-time?
You can study a part-time course on a Tier 4 visa but only if the course is at RQF level 7 or above, such as Masters degrees or PhDs. Please note the following restrictions if you have a Tier 4 visa for part-time study:
- You cannot extend your visa in the UK. If you need further leave you must return to your country of residence or birth.
- No work is allowed, including any work placements that are a part of the course.
- You cannot bring family members (dependants) with you. They will need to apply for a visa in their own right.
Make sure you make it clear when applying for your course that you are applying for the part-time version (if such a version exists).