Tier 4 Application Guidance

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					ISAS – April 2011




INTERNATIONAL STUDENT ADVICE SERVICE


Tier 4: Application Guidance
The following guidance is produced by the ISAS team and provides our current interpretation of UKBA
policy for the Tier 4 student visa application. It is designed for students extending their student visa in the
UK and is intended to supplement the UKBA Tier 4 Policy Guidance document, which is available at:
www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk


CAS – Confirmation of Acceptance of Studies
To apply for a student visa extension under the Points Based System, you will need to request a CAS
(Confirmation of Acceptance of Studies) from the university. If you have registered on your course, you
should request your CAS from your campus Student Centre. You must do this at least one month before
you plan to send your Tier 4 application to the UKBA.

The CAS is a virtual electronic document and replaces the ‘visa letter’ which was previously used to make
Tier 4 applications. You can no longer use a visa letter to make a Tier 4 application.

Once you request a CAS from your student centre, the student centre staff will then confirm the relevant
details of your programme of study to the UKBA. UKBA will then provide a unique CAS reference number
for you. Once this is confirmed, the student centre staff will send you a CAS confirmation email, which will
tell you your unique CAS reference number and also confirm all of the details which have already been
provided to UKBA.

It is therefore very important to make sure that the information you provide in your Tier 4 application form
matches exactly the information in the CAS confirmation email you receive from the university.

The CAS is valid for six months up to the date of application. Therefore, you need to use your CAS within a
six month period. If you use the CAS within the six month period it will not expire after you have made
your application.




                            As the CAS is an electronic / virtual document, you do not get a paper
                            document from the university when you request a CAS. The confirmation
                            email sent to you from the university contains a copy of all of the
                            information which has already been provided to the UKBA. You may want
                            print this email for your own reference, but you do not have to.



University of Greenwich, International Advisory Service: Notes on - Tier 4 (General) Application Guidance

Written by Katie Jenkins                                                                                    1
ISAS – April 2011




Other documents needed to make a Tier 4 Application
                           Note that all documents must be originals and not copies. Photocopied and scanned
                           documents are not accepted by UKBA and usually result in a visa refusal


A copy if the Tier 4 (General) application form which you need to print from the UKBA website:
http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/ The form must then be filled in with black pen, in capital letters.
See the last section of this leaflet for instructions on how to fill in this form.

Certificate(s). If your CAS statement lists any of your qualifications, you need to include the original copies
of the certificates for these qualifications with your Tier 4 application. You will usually only need to show
qualifications when you are new to a course. Check your CAS statement, under the ‘Evidence Provided’
section. If qualifications are listed, you must include them with your application. If your CAS does not list
any qualifications, you do not need to include any.

Bank statements covering a 28 day period (see the section on ‘Fees, living expenses and bank statements’
in this guide for advice about bank statements.) Alternatively a bank letter can be provided. If you receive
official financial sponsorship, you may be able to provide a letter from the organisation / company /
government which sponsors you instead. Make sure to read the guidance about official sponsorship in this
leaflet first.

Two photographs taken within the past month, with your name on the back. You should take care that
your photographs meet UKBA requirements as your application will be returned to you as invalid by the
UKBA if they don’t. You are strongly recommended to check your photos are correct by checking the
‘Photo Guidance Document’ available at: www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk

Your passport(s) – You need to include your current passport and any other passports you have used since
coming to the UK. Please talk to one of the advisers if you have a problem with providing your passport/s.

Your UK biometric ID card (if you have been issued one.) Some students have one of these, others don’t.

Payment. We strongly advise that you use postal orders made payable to “HOME OFFICE” for £386. When
posting your application you can use any of the listed methods of payment, but postal orders are far more
reliable. There have been a lot of problems with card payments so we strongly recommend you do not use


University of Greenwich, International Advisory Service: Notes on - Tier 4 (General) Application Guidance

Written by Katie Jenkins                                                                                    2
ISAS – April 2011




a debit or credit card. If you are making your application in person at a Public Enquiry Office the charge is
£702.

Police Registration Certificate. If your current immigration stamp, sticker or card states that you need to
register with the police, you will need to include your up-to-date registration certificate. This certificate
should show your current address.

ATAS Certificate. If you are studying MSc Marine Engineering Management (H300), MSc Mechanical and
Manufacturing Engineering (H300), MEng Mechanical Engineering or research degrees in particular areas
of research ( MRes, MPhil or PhD) you will need to submit an Academic Technology Approval Scheme
(ATAS) certificate with your application.

                           If your course requires ATAS, a new ATAS certificate is needed every time you make a
                           Tier 4 extension application for that course.


If you are studying a MRes, MPhil or PhD, you should contact the Research Office for confirmation of your
programme’s JACS code and formal confirmation of your research title. Your JACS code will determine
whether you need and ATAS certificate. You will need to apply for your certificate on the Foreign and
Commonwealth Office (http://www.fco.gov.uk/atas). You should apply for your ATAS certificate at least
two months before you need to apply for your student extension. This is because you will not be able to
get a CAS until you have an ATAS certificate.

Letter from official financial sponsor

You must provide this if you receive ‘official financial sponsorship’ See page 6 of this document for an
explanation of ‘official financial sponsorship’

Official translations of any documents not fully in English or Welsh. These translations must include

“details of the translator’s credentials, confirmation that it is an accurate translation, the translators’
contact details.” (UKBA Policy Guidance.)

Translations must also be dated and have the original signature of the translator.

If the translation does not include the above information, your application is likely to be refused so it is
important to take care with translations.
Evidence of Change of Name.


University of Greenwich, International Advisory Service: Notes on - Tier 4 (General) Application Guidance

Written by Katie Jenkins                                                                                       3
ISAS – April 2011




If you have ever changed your name you need to include official evidence of your previous name. An old
passport, a birth certificate or a marriage certificate would all be acceptable forms of evidence.




Tuition Fees, Living Expenses and Bank Accounts




You must be able to show that you have enough money to study and meet your living costs whilst you are
in the UK. To do this you must show that you have a specific amount of money. See below for guidance on
how to calculate how much money you will need to show.



                           You will need to show a specific amount of money is in your bank account for a continuous
                           28 day period before making your Tier 4 application. If the correct funds are not in your
                           account for a full 28 day period, UKBA will refuse your visa application. The correct level
                           of money must run until the closing balance date of the statement – this is extremely
                           important.




There are two parts to the total amount you need to show, this is:

                    Outstanding tuition fee for the current academic year + Living costs

Tuition fees

You must show that you have the money to pay for any outstanding fees for this whole academic year. If
you have already paid all of your fees for the whole year, you will therefore not need to show money for
tuition fees.




University of Greenwich, International Advisory Service: Notes on - Tier 4 (General) Application Guidance

Written by Katie Jenkins                                                                                       4
ISAS – April 2011




Living expenses
The amount you need to show for living expenses or ‘maintenance’ depends on whether you have what
UKBA call an ‘established presence in the UK’ and whether you are studying in inner London or not. People
studying in ‘outer London’ have to show £600 per month, for a certain number of months. For the
purposes of your application, the whole of the University of Greenwich is in ‘outer London.’ The amount of
months you need to show £600 for depends on whether you have an ‘established presence in the UK’ or
not.

Established Presence
According to the Immigration Rules if you have:

              -     completed more than six months of your current course and have not interrupted your
                    studies

              or

              -     you completed a different course which lasted at least six months within your most recent
                    visa,

Then you have what the UKBA call an ‘established presence studying in the UK’ and will need to show:

              -       £1,200 (according to UKBA this will cover two months of living costs in the UK)



NB: If you are going to show the lower level of maintenance because you recently completed another
course, please read the following:

If you have completed a course of minimum six months long on your most recent visa and the qualification
you gained on that course is not listed in your CAS confirmation, ISAS strongly recommends that you
include evidence that you completed this course with your application. This is to demonstrate that you do
qualify for the reduced maintenance level.

                            Switching from a PSW visa to a Tier 4 visa:
                            If you are switching from a PSW (Tier 1) visa to a Tier 4 visa, you will always need
                            to show the higher maintenance level.


           To show the reduced maintenance figure, you must have a valid visa. If your visa has
           already expired you must show the higher level of maintenance.
University of Greenwich, International Advisory Service: Notes on - Tier 4 (General) Application Guidance

Written by Katie Jenkins                                                                                           5
ISAS – April 2011




Everyone who does not meet the above criteria

If you do not meet the above criteria, then you do not have an ‘established presence studying in the UK’
and will have to show that you have £600 for each month of your course up to a maximum of nine months.
So you should take the entire duration of your course and multiply this by £600. Therefore if the duration
is 9 months or more, you will need to show £5400, but never any more than this

Official Sponsorship

If you have an official financial sponsor and they will pay for all or part of you fees or living expenses, then
you can deduct the relevant amount from what you have to show. If this sponsorship covers all of the
amount you need to show, you will not need to demonstrate any funds in your own bank account.

Note that an official financial sponsor is defined by the UKBA as: the UK Government, your home
government, the British Council or any international organisation, international company, university or
an independent school.

Financial sponsorship from your family or friends is not ‘Official Sponsorship’

If you do receive official sponsorship, you will have to provide evidence with your Tier 4 application of this
sponsorship in order to be granted a visa. If you are sponsored by the University of Greenwich, make sure
that the information about your financial sponsorship is written in your CAS document. If you are
sponsored by one of the other types of official sponsor as listed above, you will need to provide an official
letter. You will need to check the UKBA Tier 4 policy guidance to see what information must be included in
this letter in order that it is accepted. Speak to an adviser if unsure.

University Accommodation

If you are living in accommodation provided by the University of Greenwich you can deduct any credit
balance from your maintenance. You will need to calculate the amount you have paid in advance for the
maintenance period in question. Please seek advice if you are not sure.




University of Greenwich, International Advisory Service: Notes on - Tier 4 (General) Application Guidance

Written by Katie Jenkins                                                                                     6
ISAS – April 2011




Bank Statements
  It’s very important to ensure that the bank statements you provide to UKBA are in the correct format.
  If you provide bank statements to UKBA which do not meet their specifications, your visa is most
  likely to be refused.


Your bank statement must have the following features:


 Your statement must show
  the name and logo of your                                                                                   Your statement must show
            bank                            Star Bank                                  01 June 09              your name and account
                                                                                                                       number
                                                        John Smith     00-00-00 12345678


                                                         Date   Item    Cr        Db    Bal
                                            02 May important to
                                         It’s very Opening balance                      1,200
                                                                       ensure that the bank statements you provide to UKBA are in t
                                                                                                 The bank statement must cover
                                                 04 May Ma + Pa            600                1,800               a 28 day period.
                                                        05 May Cash              50    1,750
                                                        12 May Rent              250   1,500
 The issue date or closing balance
                                                        18 May Shop              70    1,430                 Your balance must be the
must be dated less than one month
                                                        22 May Pay     200             1,630                amount you need to show for
      before the date of your
                                                        27 May Cash              30    1,600            fees and living expenses for a full
            application.
                                                 01 June Closing balance                      1,600         28 continuous days (Refer to
                                                                                                            page 4 & 5 of this guidance)




University of Greenwich, International Advisory Service: Notes on - Tier 4 (General) Application Guidance

Written by Katie Jenkins                                                                                                                   7
ISAS – April 2011




You must provide original bank statements which cover a 28 day period. Scanned, faxed or otherwise
copied documents will not be accepted. You can ask your bank to print statements for you in a local
branch but each page must contain all of the information specified above and be printed on the bank’s
letterhead. If your bank print you statements at the counter which are not on official letter headed paper,
each page must be stamped by the bank or the bank must provide a letter confirming their authenticity.
You may also use printouts from online banking, but each page must be stamped as authentic by your bank
and contain all of the information as described above. Alternatively, the bank can provide a letter
confirming their authenticity. Some banks will be happy to stamp statements, others do not offer this
service. ISAS recommends that if you are having difficulty getting statements stamped that you try one of
three things:
   1) Print the relevant pages from the Tier 4 Policy Guidance document or this leaflet (available at
      www.ukba.gov.uk) and take them to the bank
   2) Visit a different branch. Some branches have different local policies.
   3) Ask your bank for a letter (see below.)


Bank Letters
You can provide a letter from the bank in the place of bank statements. If you are providing a letter from
your bank it must include:
Your name
The account number
The bank’s name and logo
The date of the letter
Confirmation that you have held the correct amount of money that applies to you, covering any
outstanding fees and the maintenance figure, for a 28 day period.



Financial documents showing foreign currency
If your financial documents show currency other than English sterling, the UKBA will expect you to write
the closing balance on the documents in pounds sterling. You should use the ‘OANDA’ website to convert
currency: www.oanda.com

Providing Parents’ Bank Statements




University of Greenwich, International Advisory Service: Notes on - Tier 4 (General) Application Guidance

Written by Katie Jenkins                                                                                    8
ISAS – April 2011




You can also use parents’ bank statements to prove that you have sufficient funds available. Bank
statements provided from parents must be original and must meet the same requirements as other bank
statements, as explained in the previous section ‘fees, living expenses and bank statements.’

However it is not sufficient to provide just bank statements. Students using parents’ bank statements
must also provide;
-A birth certificate, showing the name(s) of the parent(s) on the bank statements (or adoption certificate if
you are adopted.)

-A letter from your parent(s) confirming that they are your parent(s) and that they give their consent to
you using the money in their account for your studies in the UK. The letter must be signed and dated.

                           If you are using your parent’s bank statements, but do not provide a birth certificate
                           and a letter from your parents your visa application is most likely to be refused by
                           UKBA




Applications Including Dependants

If you are applying with dependants (your spouse, civil partner, partner or children) then you will need to
complete an additional application form for each applicant. You can find the application form at
www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk

The fee for dependants’ applications is currently £193 per dependant for postal applications and £351 per
dependant for in person appointments. These are the fees that apply if the dependant is making an
application at the same time as you.

Additional money you must show for each of your dependants’ living expenses
You will need to show additional money for the living expenses of your dependants. This money must be in
a bank account in your name or the name of your dependant.

Additional money to be shown for each dependant

If you qualify to show the lower maintenance requirement – (this is explained earlier in this leaflet) then
you will need to show:
University of Greenwich, International Advisory Service: Notes on - Tier 4 (General) Application Guidance

Written by Katie Jenkins                                                                                       9
ISAS – April 2011




£800 of additional funds for each of your dependants

Everyone else

If you do not meet the lower maintenance requirements (explained on page 3 of these guidance notes),
then you will have to show that you have £400 of additional funds for each of your dependants for each
month of your course up to a maximum of nine months. If you have more than eight months of your
course remaining, you need to show that you have £3,600 of additional funds for each of your dependants.
(This is because, no matter how long your course is, you never have to show more than 9 months.)




Submitting your application
You can submit your application to the UK Border Agency for consideration by post or in person:

By post
You can post your application. We strongly recommend that you send you application by Royal Mail Special
Delivery. The address is on the front of the application form.

In person
If you need your application processed very quickly, then you can apply in person. Most people get a
decision on their application on the day of the appointment, then it will take approximately one week for
your biometric id card to be delivered your address, after the appointment. It is more expensive and you
will need to book an appointment in advance. The Public Enquiry Offices are often booked up for some
time so you should book one very early. You can book an appointment if one is available by calling 0870
606 7766. You can also book an appointment via the UKBA website:

http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/contact/applyinginperson/

University of Greenwich, International Advisory Service: Notes on - Tier 4 (General) Application Guidance

Written by Katie Jenkins                                                                                    10
ISAS – April 2011




Support – Workshops provided by the ISAS team
The International Student Advice Service provides workshops which guide you on all aspects of the Tier 4
(General) application.

You can book a place at a workshop by contacting your campus Student Centre.




        Special Note

        The guidance in this document is based on the latest Tier 4 visa requirements as of 21st April
        2011. Applicants must check information on the UKBA website for subsequent changes to
        policy and requirements: www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk




Filling in the application form
A0. The University of Greenwich is a Highly Trusted Sponsor, so you should tick yes here.

A2. Enter your address here. You may use a contact address here if you do not wish to use your own
address. Do not use the university address here.

B5. You only need to fill in this question if you have had changed your name before.

B15. Write your Identity Card number here only if you have one (Also called a Biometric Residence
Permit.) This refers to the UKBA biometric I.D card and not any other type of ID card.

B16. This is your UK address.

B22. Again, you may use a contact address here if you do not wish to use your own address for the return
of your documents and visa. Do not use the university address here.

B25. You must answer this question – don’t forget it!


University of Greenwich, International Advisory Service: Notes on - Tier 4 (General) Application Guidance

Written by Katie Jenkins                                                                                    11
ISAS – April 2011




C7&C8. You only need to fill these questions if your passport is not available, or if a previous passport you
have used in the UK is not available.

C9. You must answer this question. If the answer is yes, you must fill in annex C question AC1 at the back
of the form.

Section D 1 to D4 – Note that these questions refer to the original entry clearance visa you got from your
embassy. If you have been issued with more than one entry clearance visa, refer to the most recent one.

D3. The UKBA have not confirmed which reference number they need. Therefore it is advisable to write
both the ‘VAF No’ written on the right hand side of the visa and the entry clearance visa number written in
red in the top right hand corner.

D5. Expiry date of your current visa

D6. Is your current passport unavailable? If so you must fill in AD1 in the annex, at the back of the form.
Please also speak to an International Adviser before sending your application to the UKBA.

D7. Some students have had more than one passport since coming to the UK. If you have had more than
one passport since coming to the UK and the previous passport(s) it is now unavailable you should tick yes
here and also fill in AD1 at the back of the form in the annex.
D8. If you applied for your current student visa any time after the 31/03/09 your status is Tier 4 student. If
you applied for your current student visa before this time then your status is ‘student.’ If you fall under
any of the other categories then tick as appropriate. If you currently hold a visa which is not a student or a
Tier 4 student visa, it is recommended that you speak to an Adviser before making your ap
D9. Tick ‘No’ unless your stay and studies are being funded by a government or scholarship agency

D10. If your current visa has now expired for any reason, please speak to an adviser as soon as possible. If
you have ever overstayed for any reason, it is highly important to tick yes here.

D20. If you tick yes to this question because you have an application with the Home Office that has not yet
been decided or if you have an appeal which has not yet been decided, then you should talk to one of the
International Advisers.

E8. You should tick ‘No’ if you are a good person.

H1. This should be ‘THE UNIVERSITY OF GREENWICH’

H2. This should be: “Old Royal Naval College, Park Row, Greenwich, London, SE10 9LS”

H3. This should be “4E4NJQDA7”



University of Greenwich, International Advisory Service: Notes on - Tier 4 (General) Application Guidance

Written by Katie Jenkins                                                                                    12
ISAS – April 2011




J2. If you are making a visa extension application to continue studying on a course you have already
started you will find 2 different start dates on your CAS. Firstly there will be a ‘start’ date in the near future
(usually your visa expiry date + 1 day). This date must be entered into J3. You will also find on your CAS an
‘Actual Course Start Date’. This will be written in the ‘Evidence Provided’ section. You should write this on
the form in the space underneath question J3. Write as follows: “Actual course start date (DATE)”

K1. Write down your CAS reference number

K3. If your CAS confirmation email lists any of your qualifications you will need to tick the top box here to
confirm you are including the certificates with your application. If your CAS statement does not list
qualifications then you should tick the bottom box to confirm you have been ‘assessed by other means.’

K5. If you are new on a course and you have been offered a place based on an academic / professional
reference, your CAS confirmation email will detail this and you will need to provide that reference. If this
question does not apply to you do not answer.

K6. Your CAS confirmation email tells you if your course requires you to have an ATAS certificate.

L1. You should write the total tuition fees you were due to pay the University at the beginning of the
current academic year. This is not the amount that you owe to the University now, but the total amount
you were due to pay for the whole year. This amount is written on the CAS confirmation email as ‘Course
fees charged for first year of the course’ (this means the current year)
L2. How much course fees have you paid for this academic year? Your CAS confirmation email shows this
as ‘Course fees paid to date.’ This is the second figure in your CAS statement.

L3. You should tick the ‘Available from CAS record’ option

L4. Refer to page 3 of this guidance which explains whether you need the lower or higher amount of
maintenance. If you are switching to a student visa from another immigration category, your application is
an ‘initial application.’

Please note when answering questions in section ‘L’ that all three of the University’s campuses including
Greenwich campus are ‘Outer London.’

L14. You should only tick yes if you receive money from an official sponsor – as explained earlier in this
leaflet.

L20. Unless you have an official sponsor (see above) who is paying for all of your living costs – you will
need to tick ‘Yes’ here. All students, unless all of their tuition fees and maintenance as determined by
UKBA is paid for by an official sponsor have ‘outstanding maintenance’ therefore must tick yes here.

L21. Maintenance: This is the figure explained earlier in this leaflet.


University of Greenwich, International Advisory Service: Notes on - Tier 4 (General) Application Guidance

Written by Katie Jenkins                                                                                     13
ISAS – April 2011




L24. You can only tick ‘No money owed, no evidence needed’ if an official sponsor is paying for all of your
fees and living expenses.

Section M: International students are very rarely able to claim public funds, you should be able to tick ‘No’
to question M1 and go to part N. If you are in any doubt, check with an Adviser.

Section N: You should read the statement carefully and print, sign and date to confirm that you agree to
the conditions.

Summary Sheet. Here you should list each document you are sending and how many pages. If an item is
not listed in the table already, you should write a description of the document in Part B and how many
pages.

The Points scoring section should resemble the following:

Points Scoring Area                    Points Claimed              Documents Provided

Possession of a Confirmation                   30                  You should write here: ‘Shown in CAS record’
of Acceptance of Studies

Maintenance                                     10                  Documents you are providing to
prove sufficient funds




University of Greenwich, International Advisory Service: Notes on - Tier 4 (General) Application Guidance

Written by Katie Jenkins                                                                                          14

				
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