Student Guide to making a Tier 4 visa application online in the UK The Student Advice Centre has created these guidance notes to assist with the Tier 4 (General) visa application process using screen-shots from the Home Office website and online form. This guidance is not endorsed by UK Visas & Immigration.
Register and create an online account • Go online to register and create an account on the UKVI website here: https://apply.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/iapply.portal
You will need to set up your account with a user name, email address and Memorable word Once you have done this the UKVI will email you to activate your account
Creating an account and logging in iOnce you have created your account you must make a note of your username, password, email address and memorable word and keep them safe, as you will need to log in each time you want to access your application. You can access your online application to make changes at any time, but once you have agreed to the final declaration and payment has been taken, the application has been submittedand you will no longer be able to make amendments. We suggest that you gather all the required documents before you begin the online application.
iComplete the log in process by entering details of your memorable word as requested. The system will time-out after 20 minutes of inactivity, so you will need to log-in again if you leave your computer unattended for too long. For security reasons, if you do not access your application for more than 56 days, it will be permanently deleted, all your data will be lost and you will not be able to recover it. If you provide the wrong login details too many times during one session you will be locked out of your account for 20 minutes, for security reasons. If this happens during your immigration appointment we will not be able to check your application, so make a note of your login details and bring this with you.
Choosing the right application form iFrom this page you can select which visa application form you require by clicking on the Forms A-Z box.
iChoose the Tier 4 Student online application, highlighted here. It is very important that you select the correct application form. The date of your visa application will be the date that you make the application fee payment online. For a postal application this is currently £422, and you will have 15 working days in which to send your documents to the Home Office.
Customise application – Student only version In the first section you will be asked questions about you and about the Tier 4 application you wish to make. iThe information you give in this section will determine the contents of the rest of the online form, so make sure that you answer all the questions fully and accurately. You may also refer to the online Home Office online help text if you do not understand one of the questions. iYou may only use this form if applying from inside the UK. iYou may be eligible to have Dependant family members in the UK but do not have any, or they are not in the UK. This application guidance is aimed at students without Dependants. iYou will only have a biometric residence permit, or BRP card, if your most recent visa application was made inside the UK. If you applied for your current visa from overseas, select ‘No’. Select your age range from the drop down list. iThe Student Advice Centre is not acting as your representative .
Review section status Now complete the following sections. You may browse the sections before you begin and they may be completed in any order. iAs you complete sections of the form, your progress will be updated on this home screen. At the end of each section you can check what you have entered by clicking a button ‘Check this section’. The form will highlight in red any question where information is incorrect or incomplete. You will not be able to submit the form with any errors. You can review the form, make changes, save, exit and re-enter your in-progress application as much as you like. We would advise that you save each section after completion so that the information is stored whenever you log out.
iSelect your title from the drop down list and enter your full name as shown on your passport. If you only have one name in your passport you should enter your name as a Family name and add a single hyphen ‘ - ‘ as your given name e.g: Family name: Jones, Given Name: - Make sure you get your surname (family name) and first name the right way round! Personal details – Student only version In this section you will be asked to provide information about your personal situation, for example your name, date of birth and nationality and information about any other names you have used, or other nationalities you have held. iThe day section of the date of birth is shown here as being ‘optional’. We advise that you enter your full date of birth as shown on your passport. iIf you answer ‘Yes’ to any of these questions, additional boxes will appear and you will be asked to provide details of any previous names or nationalities, and the dates during which you held these.
iIf your address contains hyphens (-) or slashes (/), leave these out as they may not be characters recognised by the online system. Contact details in the UK In this section you will be asked to provide information about how we can contact you, including your correspondence address in the UK, contact telephone numbers, email address, etc. iIf you enter the post code in the wrong format, you will get an error message. iIf you are studying on the Pre-sessional English course, or the advice centre has agreed to send your application for you, you should answer ‘No’ and give the following as your correspondence address: Teresa Ashley Kent Union Advice Centre, Mandela Building, University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent. CT2 7NW iEnter this number and select ‘work’ as your preferred contact number from the drop down list, so that the Home Office will telephone the Advice Centre Service if they have any queries about your application. 01227 827724 firstname.lastname@example.org
Reference numbers In this section you will be asked to provide information about any UK Border Agency or Home Office reference numbers that you might have. These can be found on documents and correspondence they have previously sent to you. You will also be asked to provide any current and any previous National Insurance number(s). iYour reference number can be found on any Home Office correspondence relating to earlier visa applications. The Home Office will use this reference number to track and link past visa applications. If you have more than one reference number, click ‘Add another’ to open a second box. iDo not worry if you cannot find your Home Office reference number, just select ‘No’. iIf you undertake paid work in the UK you should have an National Insurance (NI) number for tax purposes. If you are unsure of whether you have an NI number, contact your employer’s HR department for more information.
Passport or travel document – In this section you will be asked to provide information about your current and previous passports or travel documents. If you have lost or had any passports or travel documents stolen then you should have reported this to the Police and you will be asked to provide information about this. iIf you do not have your current or previous passport, you should select ‘No’. Additional questions will appear so that you can provide details of why you do not have your travel document(s). If your passport was stolen or lost, you will be asked if it was reported to the police, and if so, to provide a crime reference number. If you have a photocopy of a previous lost or stolen passport, you should enter details from that, eg. passport number, expiry date. iAnswer these questions using the information as it appears on your passport or travel document. iYou must provide all previous passports that have been used to travel to the UK, even those which have expired.
Biometric residence permit In this section you will be asked to provide information about the Biometric Residence Permit(s) that have previously been issued to you. iYou will only see this screen if your last UK visa application was made inside the UK and you answered previous questions to confirm that you hold a BRP card. If your current visa was issued outside the UK (Entry Clearance) and you stated this in earlier questions, you will not see this screen. iThe BRP number is found on the front of the card, in the top right hand corner. iIf you do not have your current BRP, you should answer ‘No’. Additional questions will appear so that you can provide details of why you do not have your BRP. f your BRP was stolen or lost, you will be asked if it was reported to the Home Office and police, and if so, when. If you have a photocopy of a lost or stolen BRP, you should enter details from that.
Previous addresses In this section you will be asked to provide information about any previous addresses in the UK, including Northern Ireland, where you have lived in the last five years. iIf you have previously lived in Northern Ireland you should select ‘Yes’. You will then be prompted to give further details. After your application is processed, the Home Office will contact you to arrange for access to be granted to police records in Northern Ireland so that additional security checks can be done. The Advice Centre can help you with this. iYou must enter all UK addresses for the last 5 years. If you are required to register with the police, but have not always updated your certificate each time you changed address, you are still required to provide the Home Office with full details of your previous addresses. iYou must complete all the fields with a red asterisk. You will be unable to submit the form if any essential information is left out. If you enter a post code which does not belong to the county you have selected, it will register as an error. Dates may be approximate if you cannot remember exactly when you lived somewhere. If you have more than 1 previous address, click the ‘Add another’ button to enter additional details.
Personal history In this section you will be asked to provide information about any criminal convictions you have, any civil judgements or immigration civil penalties against you and details of any involvement you may have had in war crimes, genocide, crimes against humanity or terrorism. iYou must answer all the questions in this section fully and honestly. It is a criminal offence to lie on a visa application. iThis first question also includes traffic offences, see note iClicking on ‘More guidance’ will open a second window which provides more in depth information, as shown here in the above example. If you answer ‘Yes’ to any of these questions, additional boxes will appear so that you can provide more information. Additional guidance and definitions are available for each of the questions by clicking on the yellow boxes on the right hand side of the page, as in the example above. If you are unsure what a question means, we suggest that you check the UKBA guidance available.
Immigration history – In this section you will be asked to provide information about your current and previous immigration status in the UK, including previous applications that you have made. iIf applying while your current visa is still valid, select ‘I have leave to enter/remain for a limited period’. iIf you answer ‘Yes’ to any of these questions, additional boxes will appear so that you can provide more information. You must answer all questions truthfully. If you have ever had a visa application refused, either overseas or in the UK, you must answer ‘Yes’ and provide more details. Additional guidance and definitions are available online for each of the questions. If you are unsure what a question means, we suggest that you check the Home Office guidance available or contact the Immigration Service for further advice. Failure to disclose any such information may result in your visa application being refused if the Home Office have reason to believe you have used deception.
Public funds In this section you will be asked to provide information about whether or not you have claimed public funds (benefits and housing) in the UK . iInternational students are not normally eligible to claim public funds: this will be stated on your visa or BRP card as a condition of your leave. However, you must answer this question truthfully. If you answer ‘Yes’, additional guidance and questions will appear as in the example below. iYou will not see these questions if your first answer was ‘No’. If you answered ‘Yes’ in error, you can return to the previous question and change your answer to ‘No’ which will clear this screen. The following link will direct you to the Home Office public funds guidance if you require more information on this: http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/sitecontent/documents/policyandlaw/modernised/cross-cut/public-funds/funds.pdf?view=Binary
Course details #1 In this section you will be asked to provide information about your sponsor, and the Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) they have issued to you, further details about the course you are studying and about how you can demonstrate that you meet the English Language requirement. iCopy and paste the sponsor licence number from your CAS email and then click the ‘look up’ button. iCopy and paste the CAS number from your CAS email to ensure that it is correct. A CAS may only be used once - do not attempt to re-use an old CAS number as this will lead to your visa application being refused. If you are a studying a Pre-Sessional English Course you will not receive your CAS until after the results are published. Once you have passed the course the Admissions office will send you a DRAFT CAS by email for checking. Please ensure that you check the draft carefully to ensure that all the details are correct. Once you have confirmed to the Admissions office that the CAS is in order, they will assign your CAS and email you with the CAS number and a copy of all the information on the CAS. You must use this information to complete your form. If you are attending a Visa application workshop, please PRINT a copy of your CAS and bring it to the workshop. iEnter the University address as show here. iThe NQF level of your course is shown in your CAS. Select the appropriate NQF level from the drop down box. iCopy and paste the course title from your CAS email.
Course details #2 iThe online application form is also used to apply for leave under the Doctorate Extension Scheme (DES). Answer this question ‘No’, as you are applying for an extension of current Tier4 (General) Student leave, not DES. iThe start and end dates of your course of study are stated in your CAS. Make sure you read your CAS statement carefully and enter these dates correctly as it will determine the length of your visa. iUndergraduate applicants should answer ‘Yes’, and copy and paste their UCAS ID number below. Postgraduate students should answer ‘No’, and will not be asked for a UCAS number. iYour CAS will state how your English Language proficiency has been assessed and you should choose the appropriate option from the drop down list. It may be that more than one scenario applies to you but you must select the option that is reflected in your CAS.
Money #1 The amount of money, or funds, you need to show in your visa application is made up of your tuition fees and maintenance(money needed for daily living expenses). iEnter the amount of your tuition fees exactly as it is stated on your CAS. iAny money which you have paid to the University for your academic fees can be deducted from the total amount you need to evidence in your visa application. If you have paid some or all of your fees something towards your fees you should wait to receive an acknowledgment email from admissions which confirms that the payment has been added to your CAS, before completing this section of the form.
Money#2 This part of the money section deals with whether the lead applicant qualifies as having an established presence in the UK. Students who meet the UKBA definition of being ‘established’ are eligible to show a reduced amount of maintenance funds in their visa application. iIf you are applying while you still have a valid Tier 4 or General Student visa you should select ‘Yes’. If you hold another visa type, such as Tier 1, select ‘No’. iMake sure that you read this question and answer carefully, as the answer you provide will be used to calculate whether you qualify as having as established presence, and will inform the amount of money you are required to show towards your maintenance. If you are in the UK on a valid Tier 4 visa issued for another course of study which has finished, and you are making a new application using a CAS issued by the University of Kent in order to start a new programme of study, you should choose the first option. You will then be asked an additional question concerning the length of your previous course (the course for which your current Tier 4 visa was issued). Make sure that you answer correctly. iYour study location also affects the amount of money you need to show for living costs, or maintenance. The University of Kent is located in Canterbury which is in Kent, so you should select ‘Outer London or anywhere else’ from the drop down list.
Money #3 This section allows you to give details of any money you have paid towards University owned accommodation. iIf you are living in University Accommodation on campus (This does NOT include Liberty Quays at Medway Campus) your accommodation fees will be stated on your CAS. If you have paid some of your accommodation fees, you should answer ‘Yes’ and state the full amount of money you have paid. If you are not in University housing, you should answer this question ‘No’. From 1 July 2014 you can deduct a maximum of £1,020 paid to the University for accommodation from the total amount of money you need to evidence in your visa application. Any monies paid to the University can be added to your CAS.
Money #4 This section allows you to give details of any scholarships or financial awards you may be in receipt of. iIf you are in receipt of a scholarship from the University of Kent, or any other organisation as listed in the guidance below, answer, ‘Yes’. • iIf you are funded by your Government or other agency as above, you will need to obtain an original letter stating how much money you receive towards your tuition fees and/or living allowance. • Your sponsorship letter should be stamped and dated, and on official headed paper. It should confirm: • Your name • The name and contact details of your financial sponsor • The date of the letter • The length of your sponsorship • How much you receive towards your tuition fees (if you are fully sponsored, the letter can state ‘full tuition fees’) • and/or • How much your monthly allowance is • and/or • The total sum of money you have been allocated
Money #5 Evidencing your funds with your own bank account, or that of a parent. iIf you are using your own bank account, answer ‘Yes’. iYou must show that you have held sufficient funds in your bank account for a period of 28 consecutive days during which the balance must not go below the required amount. You may use either statements or a letter from your bank, but it must be no older than 31 days on the date that your visa application is submitted (the date that the visa application fee is paid). Please refer to the information below to ensure that your financial documents meet UKVI Policy Guidance: • Bank statements must show • Your name • The account number • The date of the statement • The financial institution’s name and logo • The amount of money available • Bank letter must show • Your name • The account number • The date of the letter • The financial institution’s name and logo • The amount of money available • That there is enough money in the account for the full 28 day period Ad hoc bank statements printed by the bank on their letterhead are acceptable. Electronic statements from an online account are acceptable provided they meet the requirements outlined and that each page bears an official stamp from the bank, or you submit a verification letter from the bank. iIf using a parent’s financial documents, answer ‘No’ and then ‘Yes’ to the next question. iIf you are using a parent’s bank account to evidence your funds, you will need an original letter written, signed and dated by them which confirms that they give their consent for the money to be used to fund your studies in the UK. You will also need your original birth certificate/registration document or adoption certificate which proves your relationship. All documents not in English or Welsh will need to be accompanied by a translation which meets Home Office guidelines The format of the bank statements or letter must meet the Home Office guidance as stated above. If the account shows funds in any currency other than GBP, you will need to provide a conversion from www.oanda.com which confirms that the equivalent funds are available for the required period.
General attributes In this section you will be asked to provide information about the course you are intending to study. iThis will be stated on your CAS. Select the appropriate level from the drop down list iIf your course is subject to ATAS clearance it will be stated on your CAS. New students joining courses where ATAS is required must obtain clearance before their offer to study is made unconditional, and should enter the number on their ATAS certificate in the box above. ATAS certificates are only valid for use in a visa application for six months from the date of issue. If you are a continuing student applying to extend your current Tier 4 visa and your course of study attracts ATAS, you must apply for new clearance before submitting your visa application. iFully sponsored students who are applying to extend their Tier 4 visa (such as Government sponsored PhD students) will need to include an original letter from their financial sponsor which confirms consent to continue/complete their course of study.
Checking your application Once you have completed the online form you can ask the system to check for any mistakes... iIf you want the Immigration Service to check your application before it is submitted DO NOT GO BEYOND THIS POINT. Once you go past this screen we cannot check your answers or correct any mistakes you may have made. iClick the ‘Check application’ button and the system will check for any questions you have missed.It will check all applications, and any errors will be displayed on the Home page so that they can be easily corrected (see example below). It is not possible to submit a complete visa application with any errors.
Paying for your application This section explains the different methods of submitting your visa application, and how much it will cost. i The standard service, or ‘postal application’ is the cheaper option. We normally advise to allow 6-8 weeks for a decision to be made on your application, although during peak times, it may take longer. The premium service, or ‘in-person application’ is more expensive and involves the applicant (and any Dependants) travelling to a Home Office Public Enquiry Office to hand over their supporting documents. 90% of cases are decided on the same day with the new visa being dispatched 7-10 days later (you can choose to have the BRP sent to the International Office if you would prefer). We recommend that only straightforward applications be submitted using the premium route. If you are a new student joining the University of Kent you will be permitted to register and start your course before a decision has been made on your application provided you can supply evidence to confirm that you have submitted an on time application BEFORE you register. Normally the University will need to see a copy of the cover sheet for your application and evidence that you have posted the necessary documents to the UKVI £422 £822 iYou will have approximately 10 minutes on the payment screen before it times-out for security reasons, so ensure that you have your debit or credit card to hand and that you have sufficient funds to cover the application fee(s). If the debit/credit card is for the same bank account that you are using to evidence your funds, you must ensure that paying the application fee(s) will not put the balance below the amount you are required to show in your application.
Booking a premium application appointment This section explains how to search for and book a premium application appointment. i Please note, you cannot search for an appointment within 48 hours of your application date and must book an appointment no more than 45 days after the date of your online visa application (that date that you pay the application fee). If an appropriate appointment is not available, you can return to the previous screen and select the standard service (postal application) instead. To maximise the chances of getting an appointment try to be as flexible as possible when selecting your availability. Please note, there is a limit to the number of times you can search for appointments during the same session, so it is helpful to already have an idea of what dates are good for you, and a copy of your timetable if necessary. There are 7 PEOs located in the UK. You should consider the time and cost involved in getting to your appointment. Croydon is located closest to the University; Cardiff, Solihull, Sheffield and Liverpool are all north of London and will involve a lengthy train journey; Belfast is in Northern Ireland and Glasgow is in Scotland. i After selecting a range of suitable dates, the next page will display all available appointments. If there are no appointments for a chosen location it will return a blank search, as shown in the example below. You have not booked your appointment until payment has been taken.