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CAS Guidance for Tier 4 Student Visa Applicants

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CAS Guidance for Tier 4 Student Visa Applicants Issuing a CAS To apply for a Tier 4 (General) student visa you will need to be issued a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) by the Institute. Each
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CAS Guidance for Tier 4 Student Visa Applicants Issuing a CAS To apply for a Tier 4 (General) student visa you will need to be issued a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) by the Institute. Each CAS has a unique reference number and contains information about the course of study for which it has been issued and the student s personal details. The following pages are a step-by-step guide to each piece of documentation that you will need for your visa application. Once you have all the documentation ready to submit, please send clear, colour scanned copies to your Admissions Advisor. Please note that course fees are required to be paid in full prior to the Institute issuing a CAS. If your course is longer than 1 year then payment in full of the first year s course fees are required. Once the course fees are settled and a complete set of documentation has been submitted it will be reviewed by a committee including members of senior management before a CAS is issued. To issue you a CAS the Institute will need to be satisfied that you are eligible for a Tier 4 (General) student visa and that all of your supporting documentation is fully compliant with UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) policy. You can find UKVI policy published online HERE: Further guidance on UKVI and applying for a Tier 4 (General) student visa can be found online by going to the Home Office website. You will also find lots of useful information on the visa application process and studying in the UK published on the website for the UK Council of International Student Affairs (UKCISA). What documents are required? 1. Passport 2. Academic Certificates (Qualifications) 3. English Language Test (where appropriate) 4. Bank Statement Maintenance Money Further Guidance 5. Making The Visa Application 6. Additional Information Passport You will need to provide us with a copy of the photo page of the passport that you will be using to apply for your visa. Please ensure that: It will be in date at least 6 months into study It is a clear colour copy of the photo page of a valid passport It includes English translations of each sub-heading on the passport or that it is accompanied by a certified English translation* *Fully certified translation by a professional translator/translation company. This translation must include: details of the translator/translation company s credentials; and confirmation that it is an accurate translation of the original document; and the translator/translation company s contact details. It must also be dated and include the original signature of the translator or an authorised official of the translation company. Academic Certificates You need to prove that you are suitably academically qualified for the course which you have applied for a visa to study on. Both the Institute and UKVI use a system called UK Naric to assess equivalency of a student s qualifications to that of the UK Qualification Framework. Please supply us with a clear copy of either: The original certificate(s) of qualification which must clearly show: your name; and the title of the award; and the date of the award; and the name of the awarding institution (Provisional certificates will not be accepted) Or The original transcript of results which must clearly show: your name; and the name of the academic institution; and your course title; and the confirmation of the award If your certificate or transcript is not written in English then it must be accompanied by a certified translation*. * Please see Page 3 (passport) for details on the criteria concerning certified translations English Language Test The following countries are recognised as Majority English Speaking Countries by UKVI: Antigua and Barbuda Australia The Bahamas Barbados Belize Canada Dominica Grenada Guyana Jamaica New Zealand St Kitts and Nevis St Lucia St Vincent and the Grenadines Trinidad and Tobago The United States of America If you are not a national of any of the above countries then you will be required to complete an English Language Test*. The only acceptable test that is available internationally is the IELTS test. An IELTS test has a validity period and must have been completed within the 2 years prior to the date of your visa application. Courses up to Level 5 (HNC, Higher Diploma or Cert HE) require an English language test equivalent to IELTS level 5.5, with no less than 5.0 being awarded in each section. Courses at Level 6 and above (BMus, BA or MMus) require a full B2 Level English test, with IELTS this is a minimum of 5.5 in each section with no exceptions: Category IELTS Scores Minimum scores level 4/5 Minimum scores level 6/7 Listening Speaking Reading Writing Overall * The only circumstances that allow an exception to this is rule is for students who are applying for a course at Level 6 or above who have successfully completed a degree (equivalent to a UK Bachelors Degree) which was taught in English in a majority English speaking country. Bank Statement - Maintenance Money In addition to the course fees, you will need to be able to prove to UKVI that you have sufficient money to support yourself while studying. For students who don t already have an established presence* in the UK, the amount of money that you need to show is the equivalent to a minimum of Applicants must show that they have held this money in an account(s) for a minimum of 28 consecutive days within which the available funds in the account(s) cannot have dropped below the equivalent to 7380 at any point. Credit cards or overdrafts will not be counted, funds cannot be tied up in bonds or shares and the account(s) cannot have any restrictions on withdrawal amount. Proof of available maintenance money can be a bank statement** or a letter from the bank***. Any documents that are not written in English will need to be accompanied by a certified translation**** and must be dated within 31 days of the visa application. You can use money held in the account of your parent(s) or legal guardian(s) provided that you can supply a signed letter from them stating that they will be supporting you financially for the duration of your study, a copy of their passport showing signature and your birth certificate or a court document proving legal guardianship. UKVI publish a list of banks in a selection of countries who do not satisfactorily verify statements and those who do. You can find this list published HERE: * Students with established presence need show the equivalent to a minimum of You have an established presence studying in the UK if you have current entry clearance, leave to enter or leave to remain as a Tier 4 migrant or as a student, and on the date of your application: - you have finished a single course that was at least six months long within your last period of entry clearance, leave to enter or leave to remain, or - you are applying for a continued study on a single course where you have completed at least six months of that course ** Please see Section 210 of UKVI Policy Guidance to ensure your bank statement meets requirements: *** Please request a template letter from your Admissions Advisor for the bank to follow **** Please see Page 3 (passport) for details on the criteria concerning certified translations Making The Visa Application The visa that you are applying for is a Tier 4 (General) student visa. You will be able to make your application up to three months prior to your date of travel to the UK. Your date of travel to the UK can be up to one month before your course begins. Most students will need to make their application from their home country using the Home Office website. You will need to supply a UK address that you intend to stay at upon arrival in the country (this can be a temporary address if you intend to move into something more permanent in the weeks following your arrival). Students applying to extend or switch their visas may be able to do so from the UK. Decisions on these applications should be made available to the applicant within 8 weeks. If you are applying to continue your studies in the UK, your new course must start within 28 days of the expiry of your permission to stay or, if you have overstayed, within 28 days of when that period of overstaying began. You can calculate the fee charged by the Home Office for your visa application using the fee calculator. You should get your decision on your visa within three weeks of your application. Please check the Visa Processing Times guide to find the current timeframe for your country. If your application is successful then you will receive a letter informing you of the decision. This will also give you the address of the UK Post Office where you will need to pick up your biometric residence permit within 10 days of your arrival. The branch of the post office will be designated based on its proximity to the address you have provided in your visa application. Most applications go smoothly however occasionally delays do happen. In these circumstances students can be accepted onto courses at the Institute up to the end of the forth week of teaching (not including induction week). If you are expecting or experiencing delays which may affect your start on the course, then please keep us informed. Additional Information Accommodation A downloadable accommodation guide is available from the Institute website along with an accommodation Facebook Group. Scholarships The Institute offers limited scholarships to overseas students for our Higher Diploma, Songwriting and Music Business courses. Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) Upon arrival in the UK your passport will be endorsed with a 30 day travel vignette. This will allow you to enter the country at which point you will have 10 days to visit your designated Post Office to collect your Biometric Residence Permit (BRP). Induction In the first week of term the Institute organises various events inside and outside of the school to welcome you to the school, student life in London and help you to get to know other students. The Institute will arrange for a specific event during induction week for overseas students that will include information on subjects such as health services, opening a bank account and travel. More information on the services that the Institute provides for our international students can be found HERE. Term Dates Term dates for all courses are published on our website HERE. Attendance It is important that you attend at least 83% of your timetabled classes. Attendance is monitored by contact points (a contact point can be a class, a meeting, handing in an assignment etc.). Missing ten consecutive contact points without prior agreement or notification will be reported to UKVI and may result in the termination of your visa. Additional Information Academic Progression UKVI rules state that students who have already been studying in the UK must demonstrate academic progression for each new course of study. This does not apply to students who have already been studying at any level outside of the UK. Healthcare You will be subject to a charge of 150 per year to cover the cost of using the National Health Service (NHS) in the UK. This charge will cover the duration of your permission to stay in the UK as per the allowance on your visa, rather than the length of your course. For example, a student who applies for leave to study a 12-month course will be charged 225, not 150, as the student s permission to stay will exceed the 12 month period of the course. The charge is calculated as 150 (1 year) plus 75 (any additional period of 6 months or less is charged at the rate of half the annual amount). The health surcharge is payable in full at the time of the immigration application. It is very important that you ensure have paid the surcharge before you submit or send your immigration application. Once you have arrived in the UK you will need to register with your local GP (General Practitioner - Doctor). Medical walk-in centres are also available if you are taken ill prior to registering or when visiting another part of the country. Healthcare is free at the point of delivery in the UK. Prescribed medication costs 8.05 per prescription. Working While Studying As a private institution your study visa will not permit you to work while studying in the UK at the Institute. After Your Studies When you finish your course you will have a period of time with which you are permitted to stay in the UK. For a course of up to 12 months or less this will be a period of 2 months or for a course exceeding 12 months in length it will be 4 months. Within this time you can apply to switch or extend your visa if eligible.
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