Visa information

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Most students who want to study on the University of Bath International Foundation Year will need to apply for a Tier 4 (general) student visa before they arrive to begin their studies. Bath College is the sponsor for the visa, and will provide you with a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) to show this. As sponsors of your visa, the college is responsible for the following:

  • making sure you have the appropriate immigration permission to study on the International Foundation Year
  • keeping records of your passport and visa permissions, and contact details in the UK
  • monitoring your attendance, and informing UK Visas and Immigration if there are problems
  • monitoring your academic progress


Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS)

Sending the CAS

The CAS is sent to you by email after you have you received your unconditional offer and have paid the deposit of tuition fees to confirm your place. You will need the CAS number for your visa application. We begin to prepare the CAS from the end of May or beginning of June.

Check your personal details for the CAS

Before we issue the CAS, we will send you a pre-CAS document with all the information which will be on your CAS, so that you can check it to make sure the details are all correct (eg date of birth, passport number). Your CAS will show your personal details, details of the course including the course name and dates, cost of the the course and the amount you have already paid at the time of issuing the CAS, details of any previous study in the UK, and the documents such as your school transcripts and IELTS certificate that we saw when we made an offer to you.

We may ask to see the bank documents you will use to support your visa application before we issue the CAS.

Preparing the visa application documents

You can apply for your visa up to three months before the start of the programme. It is very important that you take time to complete the forms correctly and check that you have supplied all the necessary documents. You need to supply original supporting documents, not photocopies. (If you do not supply the correct documents, there is a possibility that your visa will be refused, and you may not have time to apply again before the programme starts.) You may want to consider getting an agent to help you with the visa application process.

Supporting  documents

Read the application form instructions carefully, and follow them exactly. The documents you need include the following:

  •  Original copies and the certified translations of the documents showing your academic qualifications and proof of your level of English (eg certificates and school transcripts). These must be the same documents that are listed on your CAS.
  • Evidence to show that you have enough money to pay any remaining tuition fees and also living expenses for the duration of the International Foundation Year.  (If you are a sponsored students, you will need to show a letter from your sponsor showing that they will pay your course fee and/or living expenses.) See below for more information on financial documents.
  • Your completed application form, showing your CAS number.
  • Your current and valid passport

Check your application

Remember to take extra time and care when you are preparing for your visa application. If you make a mistake and your application is refused, there may not be time to make another application before the course begins.

To check that you have all the documents for your visa application, go to the UK Visas and Immigration website .


Translations

You must provide official translations of any documents which are not originally in English, along with the original documents.

The translations must show the translator’s full name and signature, the date of the translation, the translator’s or translation company’s contact details, and a statement from the translator confirming that it is an accurate translation.

Financial documents

Why you need to send bank statements

Your financial documents (eg bank statements) are used to show that you have enough money to pay any remaining tuition fees, accommodation fees and living expenses for the time you are in the UK. The UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) currently considers £1,015 per month to be sufficient for daily living expenses outside London, so you will need to show that you have at least £9,135 to cover living expenses for the 9 months of this programme.

The immigration officer will check the CAS to see if you still owe any tuition fees. You must be able to show that you have enough money to pay the remaining fees. (If you paid the balance of tuition fees after the CAS was issued, this will not be shown on the CAS. You must follow what is shown on the CAS, as this is the document that the immigration officer will use for the calculations.)

Date of the bank statements

Your financial documents must show that the money has been in a bank account in your name for at least 28 days continuously before you apply for a visa, or in an account held by your parent/s or legal guardian. If you use the bank account of your parents you must also include an original birth certificate, as well as a letter from your parent to show that the money will be used for your studies.

The bank statement must be no more than one month old when you apply for your visa.

Checking your financial documents

We may ask you to provide us with evidence of your ability to pay your fees in the form of bank statements or other financial documents.

Please note that you cannot use the bank statement of other family members such as aunt, uncle, brother or sister, and you cannot use company accounts.

For the most up-to-date information, please check the UK Visas and Immigration’s  Guide to Supporting Documents.

Visa refusals

The most common reasons for a visa refusal for a Tier 4 visa application are:

  • financial documents do not show the required amount of money
  • financial documents do not show the money has been available for at least 28 consecutive days
  • financial evidence is not in the correct format (eg not an appropriate bank account)

It is therefore very important to take extra care and time to check all the documents and make sure you have followed the guidelines before you submit your application.

Credibility interview

You may have a credibility interview with an immigration officer during the visa application process, either in person or by video link. The purpose of the interview is to confirm that you are a genuine student with sufficient English ability to study at this level, and so it will focus on your reasons for wanting to come to the UK. You should answer all the questions honestly to the best of your knowledge. Make sure that you know all about the International Foundation Year, such as when it starts and ends, how many hours you will study each week, and how you will be assessed. You may also be asked about what you plan to do when the course finishes. Click on the link below to see examples of the kind of question you might be asked.

Arrival in the UK

Keep the original supporting documents you used for your visa application in your hand luggage, along with a copy of the CAS and your unconditional offer letter, just in case you need to show them at Immigration Control when you arrive in the UK.

You may also be asked some questions about your course by the Immigration Officer. This is to ensure that you are a genuine student. Do not worry about this, you can answer confidently and clearly about your status as a student on the University of Bath International Foundation Year. However, you might want to think about how you would answer these questions. Please see the questions under ‘Credibility interviews’ above for examples of the kind of question you may be asked.

You must bring the original documents (not copies) that you used for your application (eg IELTS certificate, school graduation certificate) to show us when you begin your course. You should also be sure to tell us of any changes to personal details such as address.

More information

Go to the UKCISA (UK Council of International Student Affairs) website for more information on Tier 4 visas.

Go to YouTube for a video on how to apply for a Tier 4 visa. (If you want to watch the video in another language, click on the UK Border Agency logo and you will get the option of other languages.)

For policy guidance, see the UK Visas and Immigration website.

For general Tier 4 advice, and a checklist to see if you are ready to apply (including information on financial documents), see the visa page on the University of Bath website.

The information on this page is reviewed regularly to make sure it is up to date. However, immigration laws and procedures are subject to change so we cannot accept any responsibility for any inaccuracies. Please check with the UK Visas and Immigraton website to make sure that you have the most up-to-date information.