Meeting Visa Requirements

Meeting Visa Requirements

What is a Tier 4 Sponsor?

This is an education provider which has been approved by UKBA (United Kingdom Border Agency)  to teach international students.  Any approved education provider will be added to the Tier 4 Sponsor Register.

The register contains the education provider’s name and location. It also indicates whether the education provider is a Highly Trusted sponsor, or is a standard sponsor with an A (Trusted)or B (Sponsor) rating. The B rating is a transitional rating, and means that the sponsor is working with UKBA to improve its systems.

Highly Trusted sponsors have demonstrated the highest levels of compliance with their duties. In return, they can offer a wider range of course levels and work placement opportunities.

You can check whether a UK education provider has a Tier 4 sponsor licence by looking at the register of Tier 4 sponsors.


Do I need a Tier 4 Student Visa?

If you are coming for a full degree course or a course of study lasting six months or more you need a Tier 4 General visa.

Students coming to study for less than six months will also need a Tier 4 General visa if they want the right to work (such as if the course contains a work placement – paid or unpaid), or if they may wish to extend their studies in the UK.

How many hours can I work?

Students who are in a course at or above NQF 6/QCF 6/SCQF 9 at a UK higher education institution are allowed to:

  • work for up to 20 hours per week during term time;
  • work full-time during vacations;
  • do a work placement as part of your course;
  • work as a postgraduate doctor or dentist on a recognised Foundation Programme.

If you are on a course below this level at a UK higher education institution, you are allowed to:

  • work for up to 10 hours per week during term time;
  • do a work placement as part of your course;
  • work full-time during vacations.

If you are on a course at any level at a publicly funded further education college, you are allowed to:

  • work for up to 10 hours per week during term time;
  • work full-time during vacations;
  • do a work placement as part of your course, provided your education provider is a Highly Trusted sponsor or the course is at or above NQF 6/QCF 6/SCQF 9.

After your course is completed, you can use the remainder of your visa time to look for work in the UK so you can transition into another visa category if they wish. Otherwise, you must leave the UK once their visa period ends.


Meeting the Tier 4 Requirements

To successfully apply for a Tier 4 General visa, you must score 40 out of 40 points.

All documents you send with the application must be original versions (not copies). This includes your passport.

Points What you get points for Evidence required
30 Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) A letter is issued by your college or university which contains your CAS Number.  This letter also shows the remaining balance of course fees, which needs to be shown to UKBA.
Other documents If you are applying for a visa for a course for the first time: your CAS will be issued on the basis that the College or University used a previous qualification to assess that you are suitable to take the course.This qualification will be noted on your CAS file.You must include any such ORIGINAL degree certificate, qualification or transcript.
ATAS certification If your course requires ATAS clearance, you must provide a print out of this certificate. ATAS clearance is only required for specific courses and most likely you will not require this.
10 Maintenance (funds) Requirement You will need to demonstrate your ability to fund your tuition fees for the academic year plus a set amount for your living costs.Evidence for maintenance funds usually are Bank Statements.
All documents you provide to demonstrate your maintenance funds must be ORIGINAL.


Tier 4 UK Visa Funds Requirements

You must be able to show that you are able to fund your studies in the UK.  The funds must be held in your account for a consecutive 28 day period.  The last date on the bank statement should be no more than one month before your visa application.

Your bank statement must show:

  • the student’s name (or parents/guardians name)
  • account number
  • the date of the statement
  • the financial institution’s name and logo
  • the amount of money available

If you use your parents/legal guardians name on the bank statement then you will also need to show proof of relationship between you and your parents/guardians.

You must show enough funding to pay their remaining balance on course fees and board or lodging fees (living costs) for a duration of 10 months (at least £1000/year).



In some cases, you can bring your partner or children (under dependent visas) with you during your studies but you must show that you have sufficient funds to provide for them. They will be able to apply under the Tier 4 student visa as a dependent. From 4 July 2011, you cannot bring your dependents to the UK unless:

  • you are sponsored by a higher education institution on a course at NQF level 7 or above which lasts 12 months or more or;
  • a new government-sponsored student following a course which lasts longer than 6 months.

Please also note that Tier 4 student visa applicants may be required to complete an English test if they are not nationals of an English-speaking country or have not completed any academic courses in English.