International Study

Tier 4 Visa from Outside UK

Tier 4 Visa from Outside the UK

About

Find out how to apply for a Tier 4 Visa from Outside of the UK.

To make an application for Tier 4 General entry clearance, you will need to apply in time so that you can gain entry for the start of your course and any welcome inductions. For your application to be processed you will need to provide the necessary evidence which confirms that you are able to meet the entry clearance immigration requirements for students.

How to make a Tier 4 (General) entry clearance application

In order to be eligible for Tier 4 General entry clearance, applicants have to achieve a score of 40 points under the Points Based System.

In order to achieve your points you must follow the below steps:

  1. Obtain your Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) from Newcastle University.
  2. Provide your ATAS certificate if required. 
  3. Obtain appropriate evidence to meet the Maintenance/funding requirements for Tier 4 (PDF: 208KB).
  4. Collect the original qualifications listed on your CAS letter. Please also include appropriate translations, if required. 
  5. Complete the relevant visa application form online (Unless you are a national of Cuba or North Korea)
  6. If you wish to bring an applicable family member or partner with you as a dependant, please remember to include them in your application form and that there is a separate fee. Please read the PBS Dependant guidance on the additional maintenance requirements for dependants.

All applicants will be required to have their fingerprints taken as part of the application process. There may be special requirements in some countries, such as the need to take a tuberculosis test. 

The current visa application fee for each applicant is the equivalent of £335.

You are also required to make a payment for the Immigration Health Surcharge which is currently £150 per year of the visa granted. These fees may change so always check the UK visas website for the latest guidance.

Credibility interviews

As part of your Tier 4 visa application, you may be required to attend an interview with the UK Home Office. The interviews will be conducted by the Home Office in the UK via a video link. 

The interview will focus on your reasons for coming to the UK - this is known as a credibility interview. A report of the interview will be sent to the visa officer who will consider it alongside your visa application and supporting documents. You may be called for a further interview if the visa officer needs more information.

For further information on the credibility interview, please refer to the Home Office Frequently Asked Questions document (PDF: 61KB).

The following guide will provide you with more details about the type and format of the credibility interview: Home Office Credibility Interviews for Tier 4 visa ‌(PDF: 45KB).

When you should make your application

You need to make sure that your application can be processed in time for you to attend the start of your course and any course inductions and welcome talks.

However, you may not make a Tier 4 application using a CAS more than three months before the start of your course. If you do so, your application may be rejected.

Where you should make an application

You should make your application through the visa application centre or your nearest British Diplomatic post (for example Embassy, High Commission Consulate in your Home country).

Find details of your nearest visa centre and further guidance on the application process.

CAS

A Confirmation of Acceptance of Studies (CAS) is an electronic document produced by the University as confirmation that we are prepared to sponsor your stay in the UK for study purposes.

How do I get a CAS?

If you are a prospective student, your CAS will be sent to you automatically by e-mail from the relevant admissions department after your offer has been made unconditional. This may take a few weeks during the summer when the admissions departments are very busy.

What is on my CAS?

When you receive your CAS, you must check the details on the CAS carefully. If there are any errors, you should inform the University immediately. 

Your CAS will state your personal details and details of your programme of study, such as:

  • programme title and level
  • tuition fees charged and paid
  • qualifications used for admissions
  • Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) certificate, if required

Qualifications listed on your CAS

You must provide the original qualification documents listed on your CAS when you submit your Tier 4 visa application. Any documents which are not in English or Welsh, must be professionally translated into English. 

You must refer to the Home Office Tier 4 Policy Guidance for further details on appropriate translations.

ATAS

For some undergraduate and postgraduate courses you will require an Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) certificate before you can study in the UK.

Programmes that require ATAS can include integrated undergraduate programmes, and taught and research postgraduate programmes. These programmes are predominantly in the science, engineering and medical subject areas. When you receive an offer for your programme of study, and if your programme requires ATAS, this will be stated on your offer letter.

Who will require an ATAS certificate

All Non-EEA nationals with limited leave to remain, including but not limited to the following visa categories:

Tier 4 (General); PBS dependant; Tier 1; Tier 2; Tier 5; Short-term Study; ancestry visa; discretionary leave; asylum seekers leave; spouse visa.

Courses requiring an ATAS certificate

To find out whether your programme of study requires an ATAS certificate, you will first need to know the JACS code for that programme. This should be stated on your offer letter.

A full list of JACS codes which require an ATAS certificate can be found on the ATAS webpages.

How to apply for an ATAS certificate

You will need to make the ATAS application in good time before applying for your visa if you intend to study on a Tier 4 (General Visa); or prior to the start date of your course if you intend to study on a visa of a different category.

An ATAS application can take up to 30 working days to be processed.

Find more information on how to apply for an ATAS certificate.

If you are a Tier 4 student, you will not receive a CAS from the University before providing your ATAS certificate.

If you are not on a Tier 4 visa but studying on a programme which requires an ATAS certificate, then we will need to ensure that you have obtained it before starting your course of study.

When you will need a new ATAS certificate

If you change your programme or area of research, you will need to obtain a new ATAS certificate.

Biometric Residence Permit

The Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) card is your visa and shows your immigration status and conditions while you are in the UK.

If you have applied to come to the UK for a period of six months or more, you will normally be given a visa in your passport to allow you to enter the UK.

Newcastle University students will be required to collect their BRP cards from a designated Post Office. The University will not be providing an Alternative Collection Location (ACL) code. Entry clearance applicants should provide the University's postcode to ensure that they are able to collect their BRP card from a local Post Office.

Entering the UK with your 30-day visa and collecting your BRP card

You must not travel to the UK before the start date of your visa or after the expiry date of your 30 day visa. Please also refer to our guidance which may facilitate your entry into the UK. 

Once you have arrived in the UK, you must collect your BRP card within 10 days of arrival. You must refer to your decision letter to determine where and when you will need to go to collect your BRP card.

You must take your passport, decision letter and proof of your current UK address to the Post Office to collect your BRP card.

Students aged under 18

If you are not 18 years of age when you are required to collect your BRP card, you will normally be contacted by Newcastle University to provide your date of arrival, details on your decision letter and your passport number. If you are not contacted by the university four weeks before the start date of your course please email the Visa Team.

You can find further details on BRP collection for students aged under 18 in the Home Office guidance.

Course registration and ID checking

You will need both your BRP card and passport to register for your course of study. Please visit the Pre-arrival webpages for further information on the documents you require for registration. 

Example of a Biometric Residence Permit (BRP).

Dependants

If you are going to be a student here at Newcastle University you may be eligible to bring your family with you to the UK for the duration of your course of study as a dependant.

Dependants are:

  • your husband, wife, civil partner, unmarried partner or same-sex partner
  • your children aged under 18 years old.

As a Tier 4 student you can bring the above family members to the UK as your dependants if you are:

  • studying at the University on a postgraduate course (NQF7 or above) for 12 months or longer
  • a new government sponsored student following a course of at least six months.

For further guidance on whether you can bring your family with you to the UK as your dependant, please see the UKCISA website on Tier 4 Dependants.

How to apply

Dependants from outside the UK should ideally apply at the same time as you. Their application should make clear that they are accompanying you and that you will be here as a student. Dependants applying from outside the UK should complete the online form. Please refer to the full PBS Dependant guidance for further information.

If you are already in the UK on a Tier 4 visa, dependants can apply separately to join you in the UK. They will need to use the online form, and will need to show that they have the necessary maintenance which meets the PBS dependant policy guidelines. If your dependants are applying separately from you sometimes you may be required to provide additional evidence of your relationship.

Once they have arrived in the UK, your dependants must collect their BRP card within 10 days of arrival. They will need to refer to their decision letter to determine where and when to go to collect the BRP card.

If you are collecting a BRP card for a dependant aged under 18, you must nominate a responsible adult to collect the BRP card. You can do so by sending an email to the Home Office, details of which can be found on the decision letter when the visa is granted.