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:
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 continuing on your course of study with Salford University.
Your CAS is valid for six months from the date it was assigned by Salford University and, 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 with a CAS number that has already been used in an application.
If you are currently registered on a course and you want to extend your visa, you will need to request a CAS number online (see below).
You can only request a CAS up to three months before your current visa is due to expire. However, you should arrange to gather the evidence you need in advance.
You need to apply for your CAS online via Salford Advantage.
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:
3.Your Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) certificate (where applicable). If you require an ATAS, please read our guide here.
4. Provide evidence that you have left the country (such as scanned copies of an exit stamp in your passport, boarding pass or air ticket) to HomeOfficeCompliance@salford.ac.uk
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.
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, please let us know as soon as possible by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
The University may be able to issue you with a new CAS following a visa refusal. 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:
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.
Once you have received you CAS, you can make your Tier 4 (General) application to apply for ‘entry clearance’.
To make a successful entry clearance application 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:
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.
If your CAS indicates that you require an ATAS Certificate, please read the ATAS guide.
If your CAS indicates that you need to submit documents to the Home Office, you must send the original documents.
You must submit original evidence that you have enough money to support yourself whilst studying in the UK (this must be the financial evidence that we have checked before issuing you a CAS).
You do not need to apply for a TB certificate if:
Depending on your situation, there may be certain instances where you will need to take another tuberculosis (TB) test. Please see here for more information.
You must submit one passport sized, colour photograph of yourself that has been taken within the last month and complies with the Home Office's photo guidance.
Please note: We would not recommend you use photographs that have been used in any other application.
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.
To apply for a Tier 4 (General) visa you will need to complete an online application.
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
Submitting the application
To find out the cost of your visa application, see here. Some visa application centres also charge an additional ‘User pays fee’.
In some countries, you can pay an additional ‘priority fee’ or a ‘super priority fee’ to have your Tier 4 application processed quicker. To find your local visa application centre and check which services are available, select your home country from the list of visa application centres.
Once you have completed your application form, you will be instructed to make an appointment. At this appointment, you will have to provide your biometric information.
Tier 4 applicants must attend a credibility interview at a visa application centre. This interview is to ensure you are entering the UK for genuine reasons. Your interview will be with a Home Office staff member and you will be asked a variety of questions. You should make sure that you are fully prepared for your credibility interview.
The report of your credibility interview will be sent to the entry clearance officer who is making a decision on your Tier 4 application.
Visa applications made outside of your home country
You must make the visa application from your home country unless you currently hold some form of residency for the country you wish to make your application from. Libyan nationals are currently advised to make their visa applications from Tunis as there is no British Embassy currently operating within Libya.
The time required to get a decision on your visa application will depend on where you are making your application. To find out how long it may take for your application to be processed you should check the visa processing times for your home country.
Congratulations! Your entry clearance will be issued as a vignette (sticker) in your passport.
If your Tier 4 application was for six months or less, your vignette will be valid for your whole period of leave. Otherwise, your vignette will only be valid for 30 days. Your vignette will be valid 30 days before the course start date on your CAS or seven days before the date that you specified on your application as your intended date of travel to the UK; whichever is later. You will receive your 30 day vignette with a ‘decision letter’. When you enter the UK you should show the border force officer your 30-day vignette and this letter.
You must collect your biometric residency permit (BRP) within ten days of arriving in the UK. Your decision letter will indicate where you should collect your BRP from and when it will be available. Please see here for details on how to collect your BRP. 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 vignette, decision letter and new BRP, so you should make a same day appointment to see the team.
You should also keep your own records up to date. We recommend keeping a photocopy of your vignette and your BRP. You should also put a note in your diary three months before your visa will expire to remind you to make the necessary preparations.
If the Home Office refuse your application you should contact the Home Office Compliance team immediately to discuss your options.
If the Home Office refuse your application and you think that, based on the evidence you submitted with your application, the refusal was incorrect, you can ask for an administrative review. The administrative review process is explained in Annex 4 of the Home Office's Tier 4 Policy Guidance.
There is no fee for this but you must request the administrative review within 28 days of the date you receive your refusal notice. Except in certain circumstances, you cannot submit new or different documents but we recommend that you include a detailed letter explaining why you believe the decision is incorrect.
Depending on your individual circumstances, you may also be able to make a new entry clearance application. You can discuss your options with the Home Office Compliance team.
As soon as you have been issued with a visa showing Salford University’s sponsor license number, you and the University both have a responsibility to comply with Tier 4 immigration rules.