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New course - Applying for a visa from inside the UK

Step 1 - Tier 4 (General)

Tier 4 of the Points Based System (PBS) was introduced on 31st March 2009.  To be granted Tier 4 immigration permission you need to score 40 points: 30 points are achieved by having a valid Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) and 10 points are awarded for meeting tuition fee and maintenance requirements.  


You can find more information about a Tier 4 (General) student visa here and here.  


What is a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) and why do I need one?


A CAS is a unique reference number that you must have before making a Tier 4 application.  You must write the CAS number in the appropriate field on the Tier 4 application form.  The Home Office will check this number to confirm that you are due to commence a new course of study with the University.

How do I apply for my CAS?

You need to apply for your CAS online via Salford Advantage.

How long is the CAS valid for?

Your CAS is valid for six months from the date it was assigned by Salford University, after this your CAS will automatically expire if it has not been used.  You cannot make a Tier 4 application more than three months before the start of your course with a CAS number that has already expired or a CAS number that has already been used in an application.

I already have a CAS from another university do I need one for the University of Salford?

You can receive a CAS from more than one University but you must then decide where you intend to study.  Once you have made your decision, you must use the CAS for that institution in your Tier 4 visa application.  Once you have used one CAS, any other CAS that you have been issued will become invalid. You cannot enrol at the University of Salford with a visa that has been issued for study at another University. 

I currently have immigration permission in another category, do I need a CAS and do I need to apply for a Tier 4 visa?

In most instances you are able to switch immigration categories from within the UK and apply for a Tier 4 visa. However, please ensure you check the latest immigration categories you are able to switch from in the UK by clicking here and here.

If you still have an outstanding visa application or immigration appeal when you are made an offer to study at the University or when you arrive to register onto your own programme of study, then in most instances you will not be issued with a CAS until the outcome of the application or appeal is known.  Please contact us if you feel this may affect you.

If you are making an appication with dependants, please see further information here.

Step 2 - Getting your CAS

Once you have met all of the conditions of your offer, you will be sent a draft of the information your CAS number will show and a link for the form to request your CAS. You must check the information carefully and fill out the request form.

If I have an offer, why do I need to request a CAS?

An offer issued to you does not automatically entitle you to a CAS and, as part of the CAS request, we will require more information from you.  

You must ensure you provide all the necessary information as soon as possible.  If there is anything that needs to be addressed before you submit a visa application then it is much easier for us to help you if you submit your CAS request in a timely manner.

What information do I need to supply with my request?

In order to apply for your CAS number, you will need to provide certain information, including:

1. Details of any student visas you have held to study in the United Kingdom.

2. Evidence that you have enough money to support yourself whilst studying in the UK: 

  • If you are sponsored by an official financial sponsor, you will need an official sponsor letter as evidence.
  • If you are supporting yourself, you will need to show that the required maintenance amount and any outstanding tuition fee amounts have been held in your bank account for 28 consecutive days.
  • If your financial evidence is not in English or Welsh, you will need to submit an original certified translation.  

You can find information on how much money you need to show to meet the Home Office’s requirements and how to demonstrate this on the UK Council for International Student Affairs website and in the Home Office’s Tier 4 Policy Guidance.

3.Your Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) certificate (where applicable).  If you require an ATAS, please read our guide here.

Academic Progression

If you have previously applied for entry clearance or leave to remain under Tier 4, in order to make a visa application from within the UK in most instances you will be required to show that you have ‘academically progressed’.  This means that the course for which you are making a new visa application should be at a higher level than your previous course or should demonstrate some form of deeper specialisation or contribute to your genuine career aspirations.  

How long will it take for my CAS to be issued?

The Home Office Compliance team will need to complete various checks before your CAS can be issued.  Your CAS will therefore take five working days to issue once all required information has been provided. 

What will my CAS look like?


Your CAS will be emailed to you.  When you receive this, please check all the information carefully to make sure everything is correct.  If there are any errors or you have paid further tuition fees, please let us know as soon as possible by emailing Salford-CAS@salford.ac.uk.

What is the University’s policy on issuing CAS following a visa refusal?


The University may be able to issue you with a new CAS following a refusal of leave.  As Immigration Rules are subject to change, each refusal will be considered on a case by case basis before deciding if a new CAS can be issued.  


For example, you will not be issued with a new CAS if your visa refusal was based on any of the following:

  • You have failed a credibility interview.
  • You have submitted different documents to those checked by the University before we issued you a CAS.
  • You have submitted fraudulent documents, either intentionally or unintentionally. In this case the full study deposit you paid to University will also be retained by the University.
  • You have overstayed either intentionally or unintentionally on a previous visa before submitting your new visa application.

Please note that the University of Salford also adheres to a maximum two CAS per course policy.  This means that if your Tier 4 application has been refused and the University is able to issue you with a second CAS number for the course of study you are applying for, this will also be your last CAS for any course of study at the University of Salford. If you receive another Tier 4 refusal we will not sponsor you under Tier 4.

Step 3 - Applying for your visa

Once you have received your CAS, you can make your Tier 4 (General) application to apply for ‘leave to remain’. You must apply before your current visa expires. 

You must ensure you make your application before you commence your new programme of study and before your current leave expires. However, you cannot submit the application more than three months before your course start date and you can only apply in the UK if your current visa expires no more than 28 days before your new course start date. If your visa expires more than 28 days before your new course start date you must return to your home country to make the visa application.  At present, the only exception to this rule is for Syrian nationals.

Please note: you should always refer to the most recent Home Office rules and guidance before making a Tier 4 Visa application.



How to apply to extend your Tier 4 Visa


To make a successful application in the UK you must be able to demonstrate that you meet the requirements of the Tier 4 (General) Points Based System. This means that you must be able to provide:

  • CAS number
    You must write the CAS number in the appropriate field on the Tier 4 application form.  The Home Office will check this number to confirm that you are continuing on your course of study with Salford University.
  • ATAS
    If your CAS indicates that you require an ATAS Certificate, please read the ATAS Guide.
  • Certificates and Transcripts
    If your CAS indicates that you need to submit documents to the Home Office, you must send the original documents.
  • Financial Evidence
    You must submit original evidence that you have enough money to support yourself whilst studying in the UK (this should be the financial evidence that we have checked before issuing you a CAS).
  • Photographs
    You must submit two passport sized, colour photographs of yourself that have been taken within the last month and comply with the Home Office's photo guidance. Please note: we would not recommend you use photographs that have been used in any other application.   
  • Translations
    If your immigration application includes any documents which are not in English (or Welsh), you must also include an original certified translation of each document which meets specific requirements.

Completing your Tier 4 (General) application


To apply for a Tier 4 (General) visa you will need to complete an online application. If you would like help with your Tier 4 visa application, you may like to use our Check and Send scheme.

Please note: if you have ever overstayed and/or breached any of the conditions of your immigration permission during a previous stay in the UK, you must disclose this on all applications you submit to the Home Office.  If you do not disclose this information, you risk being refused a visa for a long period.  

Preparing and completing the application
  1. Before completing your Tier 4 Visa application, please familiarise yourself with the most recent Home Office rules and guidance.
  2. Complete the online application form using our application guide.

Please note: If you would like to use our Check and Send scheme, only complete up to stage 3 of the application form.   


Submitting the application


Once your application is fully complete and correct, you can submit it to the Home Office. At this point you may need to pay an immigration health surcharge. The UKVI website has a calculator to find out if you need to pay the immigration health surcharge and how much you need to pay.


You will also need to pay for your application.  The amount you pay will depend on which service you decide upon: 

  • Standard service: you must submit your documents by post within 15 working days of your application date.  For this type of application, most applicants receive a decision on their application within eight weeks (however this can take longer during busy periods)  
  • Priority service: you must submit your documents by post so that the Home Office receive them within two days of your application date.  For this type of application, most applicants receive a decision on their application within ten working days.
  • Premium service: you submit your documents in person at a premium service centre within 45 working days of your application date.  For this type of application, in most cases, a decision is made on the same day.  If your application is successful, you should receive your Visa (BRP) within two weeks of the appointment date.

Once you have paid for your application, the Home Office’s system will produce a summary of your application that you need to print (your Tier 4 ‘cover sheet’).  If you chose the ‘standard’ or ‘priority’ service, you need to send the cover sheet and supporting evidence listed to the Home Office within the required time frame.  If you chose the ‘premium’ service, you will need to take these to your appointment.

Step 4 - Enrolling your biometrics


If you have used the ‘standard’ service, you will be contacted approximately four weeks after you have submitted your Tier 4 application.  The Home Office will write to you and ask you to enrol your biometrics information at an approved Post Office.   You must provide your biometrics information as soon as possible and it must be no later than 15 working days from the date on the letter.   

Once you have provided your biometric information, a decision will be made on your application by a Home Office caseworker.  The Home Office aims to process your application within eight weeks of you submitting your application (however this can take longer during busy periods).  We are unable to speed up this process.

My application is still outstanding and I need to enroll for my course, what do I do? 


If you are still waiting for a decision on your application then you may be able to enrol for your new course of study if you are able to show that your application was made on time. It is therefore advisable that you keep a photocopy of all of the following documentation before submitting your documents to the Home Office:

  • Your previous visa and current passport or travel document.
  • Your application cover sheet.
  • A post office receipt confirming the date your supporting documents were sent to the Home Office.
  • Your biometric enrollment letter (if received).
  • The post office receipt confirming the date you enrolled for your biometrics (if you have completed this).
  • Any further correspondence you have received from the Home Office since completing your Tier 4 application.

Step 5 - Home Office decision

My application has been successful

Congratulations! Your new leave to remain will be issued as a Biometric Residence Permit (BRP).  A BRP is a small plastic card which states your personal information, your biometric information and your immigration status and conditions.  You need to check your BRP carefully to check it includes all the correct information and that there are no errors.

We need to know your immigration status.  We will need to see you, in person, with your new BRP, so you should make a same day appointment to see the team.

My application has been rejected as invalid

If the Home Office reject your application as invalid you should contact Salford-CAS@Salford.ac.uk immediately to discuss your options. 

My application has been refused

If the Home Office refuse your application you should contact Salford-CAS@Salford.ac.uk immediately to discuss your options.

If your Tier 4 Visa application was submitted before your current Visa expired you should be given the right to an administrative review. If your application has been refused on the grounds of an error made by the caseworker based on the evidence available to them when the decision was made then it may be advisable to submit an administrative review.

Step 6 - Your responsibilities under Tier 4

As soon as you have been issued with a visa showing Salford University’s sponsor license number, both your and the University have a responsibility to comply with Tier 4 immigration rules. 

Please familiarise yourself with your key responsibilities here and here.  Remember – your visa, your responsibility.