Documents required for Visa Application

Documents required for Visa Application

When you make your application, you must provide all the necessary documents. The only documents that we will accept as evidence are those listed in this section. You must provide the documents with your application form.

The Can you apply? section explains how to score the 40 points you need in our points assessment. For information about the documents that you must send UKBA in order to score points, see the following pages of this section:

You must also send UKBA your identity documents and photographs of you.

You may need to send UKBA additional documents if you are 16 or 17 years old, and/or you have an official financial sponsor. (See 'More information' below.)

'Low risk' applicants

If we consider that you are 'low risk', you will not normally need to provide all the supporting documents stated in this section. The pages in this section explain which documents you are normally exempt from providing if you are 'low risk'. However, we reserve the right to request all the documents from you. If we ask you to submit any documents, we will refuse your application unless you submit them by the date stated in our request. 

To be considered 'low risk', you must be sponsored by a Highly Trusted Sponsor, and you must be already in the UK or applying for a Tier 4 visa in your country of nationality.

Additionally, you must be a British national (overseas) or a national of one of the countries below:

  • Argentina
  • Australia
  • Botswana
  • Brunei
  • Canada
  • Chile
  • Croatia
  • Hong Kong
  • Japan
  • Malaysia 
  • New Zealand
  • Singapore
  • South Korea
  • Taiwan (if you hold a passport issued by Taiwan that includes the number of the identification card issued by the competent authority in Taiwan)
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • USA 

We will confirm your nationality using your passport. We will normally review the list of 'low risk' nationalities annually.

Original Documents

Documents must be:

  • issued by an authorised official of the issuing organisation;
  • original (unless we say otherwise); and 
  • on the organisation's official letter-headed paper or stationery.
Translated Documents
For applicants who are already in the UK

If one of your documents is not in English or Welsh, you must send UKBA the original and a fully certified translation by a professional translator or translation company. This translation must include:

  • details of the translator or translation company's credentials;
  • confirmation that it is an accurate translation of the original document; and
  • the translator or translation company's contact details.

It must also be dated and include the original signature of the translator or an authorised officialof the translation company.

For applicants who are overseas

If you send UKBA a document that is not in English or Welsh in support of your claim for points, this document must be accompanied by a full translation that can be independently verified by us. The original translation must contain:

  • confirmation from the translator or translation company that it is an accurate translation of the original document;
  • the date of the translation;
  • the full name and signature of the translator or of an authorised official of the translation company; and
  • the translator or translation company's contact details.

If you send UKBA a translation of an overseas qualification or award certificate, we will not consider it as a direct translation of the academic level of that award. We will always use UK NARIC to assess the equivalency of overseas qualifications.


Additional requirement if you have official financial sponsorship


An 'official financial sponsor' is an organisation that wholly supports you to study in the UK by giving you money to cover your course fees and your living costs. The UK government, your home government, the British Council or any international organisation, international company, university or UK independent school can be an official financial sponsor.

You will need your official financial sponsor's permission to continue studying in the UK as a Tier 4 student if it is currently supporting you (or was supporting you w ithin the past 12 months) to study here as :

  • a Tier 4 (General) or Tier 4 (Child) student; or
  • a student under the Immigration Rules that were in force before 31 March 2009; or
  • a student nurse; or
  • a student re-sitting an examination; or
  • a student writing up a thesis; or
  • a postgraduate doctor or dentist.

You will need to provide UKBA with your financial sponsor's unconditional permission in writing. The financial sponsor must confirm that it has no objection to you continuing your studies in the UK. If the financial sponsor does not give its consent, we will refuse your application.

Additional requirement if you are 16 or 17 years old


If you are 16 or 17 years old, you have the legal right to live independently in the UK, and you may make your own arrangements for accommodation. However, you will need the permission of your parent(s) or legal guardian if you want to:

  • live independently while you are in the UK; and
  • travel to the UK (if you are applying from overseas).

If you will be living independently, you must send UKBA a letter from your parent(s) or legal guardian, confirming:

  • their relationship with you;
  • that they have given their permission for your application; and
  • that they have given their permission for you to live independently in the UK; and
  • that they have given their permision for your independent travel to the UK.

If the letter is signed by only 1 parent or legal guardian, it must confirm that they have legal custody or sole responsibility for you. If they do not have sole custody, the letter must confirm that each parent or legal guardian agrees to the contents of the letter, and must be signed by each parent or legal guardian.