Current and prospective International Students

Are you an international student & would you like to learn more about studying in the UK at the University of Cumbria?

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STUDENT VISA

General Overview

A Student visa is suitable for those who would like to study in the UK at the University of Cumbria on programmes lasting more than 6 months. The Student visa replaced Tier 4 visas in October 2020.

EU, EEA and Swiss nationals also need to obtain a Student visa if they want to study in the UK longer than 6 months and if they do not have residency rights under the EU Settlement Scheme in the UK.

Students on this type of visa are sponsored by their institutions and will need to have a Confirmation of Acceptance (CAS) before submitting the application. The CAS is issued by the University of Cumbria to successful applicants holding an unconditional offer to study one of our programmes and who have passed credibility checks conducted by the university compliance team (where applicable).

You can apply for a Student visa outside the UK as well as inside the UK if you are eligible, for example, if you have another residency right in the UK.

You can apply 6 months in advance if you are applying from outside the UK. The standard processing time for your application is 3 weeks but we recommend applying as soon as possible to avoid delays.

You can apply 3 months in advance if you submit your application in the UK. Standard processing time is 8 weeks, but this can fluctuate.

During the application process you will need to submit an online application and visit the visa centre (VAC) to provide biometrics and submit your documents. In some cases, (for example EU nationals) you can use a mobile app to verify your documents instead of visiting the VAC. The system will tell you exactly what to do.

The fee for a Student visa is currently £348 if you are applying outside the UK and £475 if applying in the UK. All students are required to pay an Immigration Healthcare Surcharge (IHS). This will allow them to use the National Health Service (NHS) if they need medical assistance. You will need to pay £470 per year or £232 per 6 months.

We strongly recommend you to familiarise yourself with official information provided by the Home Office:

Student Visa
Student Visa Guidance

Confirmation of Studies (CAS)

University of Cumbria holds a sponsor licence issued by the UKVI and has a status of a university with a track record of compliance. Every international student who needs to obtain a Student visa should have a Confirmation of Acceptance (CAS) document issued by the University of Cumbria Compliance team.

CAS is an individual electronic document containing important information about the University, your course, location, level of study as well as your personal details. A CAS is valid for 6 months and can only be used once.
To receive your CAS you need to: 

  1. Have an unconditional offer to study your programme
  2. Provide all the documents requested by the Compliance team
  3. Pay a minimum deposit of 50% of the first year’s tuition fees (unless your offer letter tells you differently)
  4. Pass the University of Cumbria credibility interview (where applicable)
  5. Document you need to provide:
  • Completed and signed CAS Request Form including the UK Immigration History Questionnaire
  • Copies of previous UK visas, BRP cards, refusal letters
  • A tuberculosis certificate accredited by the UKVI (where required)
  • An official financial document confirming that you have a required minimum amount of money held on your account for 28 days: this would be the outstanding tuition fees for the first year of study plus £1,023 per month (up to 9 months) for maintenance costs
  • Notarised copies of entry qualification (upon request)
  • Official consent if you are sponsored by your parents/legal guardians along with a Birth Certificate/Adoption Certificate
  • Any other documents requested by the Compliance team
  • Some students will need to pass the credibility interview arranged by the University of Cumbria Compliance team

University of Cumbria will not issue a CAS to a student if all required documents are not provided. We also reserve the right not to issue a CAS if there are concerns about the genuineness of student’s intentions to study in the UK or if the student has a history of visa refusals, withdrawals, relevant criminal convictions.

Supporting Documents

Depending on your nationality, you will need to provide certain supporting documents along with your Student visa application. Please make sure that you check official information released by the Home Office and you have all mandatory documents before you submit your visa application. Below you can find a list of the most common documents required for a successful Student visa application:

  • Valid passport with at least one blank page
  • Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) issued by the University of Cumbria
  • Entry Qualifications: you need to provide original certificates used to obtain your unconditional offer to study at the University of Cumbria. These documents will be listed on your CAS
  • Proof of your English language proficiency, for example, one of the tests approved by the UKVI: IELTS UKVI, PTE Academic, etc. If your CAS states that the university has made an internal assessment of your English language proficiency, you do not need to provide any documents to support this. You also do not need to provide any evidence of your English level, if you are a national of a majority English speaking country: check the full list here, or you have already met the English requirement at the required level in your previous UK visa application
  • Financial evidence: proof that you have money to pay your course fees and living expenses in the UK. You must show that you have the first year outstanding tuition fees plus £1,023 for each calendar month of the course (for up to 9 months). These funds should be held in your account for a consecutive 28-day period ending no more than 31 days before the date of your application. If your funds are not in GBP, then please be aware that exchange rates fluctuate. We strongly advise you to have extra money in your bank account just in case.

Nationals from the EU, EEA and Switzerland have been added to the list of 'low risk' nationals. Students from these countries are not required to submit evidence to show that they meet the financial requirements. A full list of countries which are exempt from providing evidence of financial requirements under ‘differential evidence requirement’ can be found here.

  • Tuberculosis test: nationals from any country listed here, must provide a TB test issued by the UKVI approved centre.
  • You should pay the fees for the visa application and the Immigration Healthcare Surcharge.
  • If you are below 18: Consent letter from your parents/legal guardians allowing you to travel to the UK. The letter must state the relationship between you and your parents/legal guardians, and that they have given their consent to your visa application, and allow you to travel and to live independently in the UK. You must also provide evidence of your relationship with your parents/legal guardians, such as an original birth certificate.

All documents must be in English. Any documents that you need to submit that are not in English must be accompanied by a full translation that can be independently verified by the Home Office. The translation must provide confirmation from the translator/translation company that it is an accurate translation of the original document; the date of the translation; the translator/an official of the translation company’s full name and signature; and the translator/translation company’s contact details.

Financial Requirement

As a part of your Student visa application, you will need to prove that you have enough funds to cover the first year’s tuition fees and maintenance costs.

 Exceptions:

  • Nationals from the list of 'low risk' countries are not required to submit financial evidence at the time of making the application. Please note that the UKVI case worker may still ask you to provide financial evidence at a later stage. We recommend all student to have these documents ready. Full list of countries which are exempt from providing evidence of financial requirements under ‘differential evidence requirement’ can be found via this link.
  • You’ve had a UK visa for 12 months prior to the date of your Student visa application and you are currently in the UK
How much money do I need to show?

You must show that you have money to pay your course fees and living expenses in the UK. You must show that you have the first year’s outstanding tuition fees plus £1,023 for each calendar month of the course (for up to 9 months). These funds should be held in your account for a consecutive 28-day period ending no more than 31 days before the date of your application. If your funds are not in GBP, then please be aware that exchange rates fluctuate. We strongly advise you to have extra money in your bank account just in case.

For example,
Your course is 12 months long and your annual tuition fee is £12,800. You paid £7000 as a deposit and it is stated on your CAS letter. You will need to show: £12,800 – £7,000+ (£1,023x9) = £15,007

 

Discounted accommodation

If you have booked and paid for on-campus accommodation provided by the University, you can discount up to a maximum of £1,334 from the total maintenance required. Your CAS letter should indicate the amount paid.

For example,
Your course is 36 months long and your annual tuition fee is £12,800. You paid £7000 as a deposit and it is stated on your CAS letter. You also paid £5000 for your on-campus accommodation provided by the University of Cumbria. You will need to show: £12,800 - £7,000 - 1,334 + (9 x £1,023) = £13,673

 

What documents can I use to prove my financial situation?

You can show the funds are available to you through:

  • Bank account
  • Student loan
  • Evidence of official financial sponsorship
Bank accounts

Funds may be held in any form of personal bank or building society account (including current, deposit, savings, pension from which the funds can be withdrawn or investment account) provided the account allows the funds to be accessed immediately. Your personal bank or building society statements must show your name, the account number, the financial institution’s name and logo and the amount of money available.

The bank account must be either in your name or your parent’s or legal guardian’s name. If your parent’s or legal guardian’s are sponsoring you, you will also need to provide a consent letter from them, allowing you to access the funds, and a legal document confirming your relationship: a birth certificate or adoption certificate.
The required level of funds must be held in the account for a consecutive period of 28 days, with the last day being within 31 days prior to your visa application.

Documents that are not accepted: funds held in other accounts or financial instruments such as overdrafts, shares, bonds, credit cards, pensions from which the funds cannot be withdrawn immediately, regardless of notice period.

 

Student loan

If you provide a Student Loan Letter as a proof that you meet the financial requirement, it has to meet all of the following criteria outlined by the UKVI:

  • Be dated no more than 6 months before the date of application
  • Confirm the loan is a student loan provided to you by either the relevant government or a government sponsored student loan company or an academic or educational loans scheme
  • Confirm there are no conditions on release of the loan funds other than a successful application to study in the UK
  • Confirm the amount of the loan
  • Confirm the loan is issued to you
  • Confirm the funds will be available to you before you travel to the UK or paid directly to the student sponsor before you travel to the UK, with any living cost portion of the loan being made available to you by the time you arrive in the UK.
Evidence of official financial sponsorship

You can receive the official sponsorship from one of the below bodies:

  • Her Majesty’s Government-sponsored programmes
  • The applicant’s national government
  • The British Council
  • An international organisation
  • An international company
  • A university
  • An independent school

If the amount you are receiving does not cover the full amount you are required to show, you will still need to evidence you hold the required funds by providing a compliant bank statement.

Please check Immigration Rules Appendix Finance for more details about meeting the financial requirement.

English Language

As an International student you will need to show that you have the required level of English language proficiency, which is B2 level of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) for courses at UK bachelor degree and above.

Exceptions:

  • You are a national of a majority English speaking country: list of countries
  • You have already met the English requirement at the required level in your previous UK visa application
  • You completed an academic qualification at a bachelor’s level or above awarded in the UK or an equivalent from a majority English-speaking countries (except Canada).
Secure English Language Test (SELT)

You can pass one of the UKVI approved English tests to the required level. These tests are valid for 2 years prior to your application. A full list of approved providers is available here.

Internal Assessment

The University of Cumbria has a track record of compliance. This means that we can do an internal assessment of students’ English language proficiency in all four components: reading, speaking, listening and writing. If you pass our assessment, this will be indicated on your CAS letter and you will not need to provide any evidence of this in your visa application.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to register with the police?

If your biometric residence permit or decision letter says that you need to register with the police then you must do this, normally within seven days of arrival. If you arrive before Welcome Week, do not delay your police registration.

 

What are my responsibilities under a Student Visa Route?

It is a privilege to hold a Student visa. It is your visa and your responsibility to protect your right to remain in the UK. Your responsibilities include:

  • Informing the university and the Home Office of any changes of address
  • Engaging fully with your academic programme. This means attending your classes regularly and completing all work required by your course tutors
  • Informing Programme Administration and your course tutor of any absences e.g. through illness
  • Living sufficiently close (a maximum of one hour travel) to the university campus to ensure you are not late for class and engage fully with all learning opportunities e.g. library work, group study outside classes etc.
Can I take a part-time job while I am studying in the UK?

If you are studying on a Standard Visitor visa, you are not allowed to take any work, paid or voluntary. If you are on a Student visa, the amount of work you may take is written on the visa. This will normally be 20 hours per week during term time, so if you work for more than one employer, or undertake some voluntary work alongside paid work, the total hours of work must not exceed 20 hours. Exceeding 20 hours is a very serious breach of your visa conditions and you will be reported to the Home Office and may lose your right to remain in the UK.

 

Can I travel to Europe on my Student visa?

No. Your Student visa does not allow you to travel to Europe. You will need to apply for a Schengen visa.

 

What should I do if I need to return home during my studies?

Any travel must be undertaken during university holiday periods. If you need to return home because of a family emergency or illness, you must discuss this with your tutor and Programme Administration. We may recommend that you take a break in your studies (intercalate) and return to study at a later date.

 

Can I stay in the UK after graduation?

You cannot remain in the UK on your Student visa after you have graduated and your BRP expired. In July 2021, the UK government introduced the Graduate Immigration Route which will allow students to apply for a 2-year post study work visa. This is a new immigration visa for international students who wish to extend their stay in the UK to work, or look for work, after they have completed their studies.

STANDARD VISITOR VISA

General Overview

From December 2020, international students can study for up to 6 months in the UK under the Standard Visitor Visa (replaced Short Term Study Visa). You are eligible to apply if you want to: 

  • Study a short course no longer than 6 months in duration
  • Undertake a short period of research (6 months or less)
  • Undertake examination re-sits or retake a module (6 months or less)
  • Complete a study-abroad programme in the UK as part of an overseas course
  • Attend a viva as part of a postgraduate course
  • Attend a graduation ceremony

If you enter the UK as a short-term student on a Standard Visitor Visa, you are not allowed to:

  • Study a full-time course for more than 6 months
  • Undertake an internship, work experience or work placement in the UK
  • Take any employment whether paid or unpaid
  • Undertake any business activities
  • Bring family members
  • Extend your stay in the UK
  • Switch to a Student visa in the UK
    Study in the UK for extended periods through frequent or successive periods as a short-term student

Do I need to obtain a Standard Visitor Visa prior to travelling to the UK?

Not all students will need to obtain Standard Visitor Visa in advance. It depends on your nationality. The UK Government defines “visa nationals” and “non-visa nationals” and you can check which category you fall into via a short questionnaire on the gov.uk website UKVI visa check or via Visa Nationals list.

If you are from a country on the Visa National List, you will need to apply and obtain your visa in advance.

If you are not on the list of Visa Nationals, you do not need to apply for your Standard Visitor Visa in advance. You can apply for it at the UK border at the port of entry. Please note that you must have all required supporting documents with you to successfully obtain your visa.

Application Process and Supporting Documents

Visa nationals only

You must apply online before you come to the UK. As part of your application, you’ll need to book an appointment at a visa application centre to prove your identity and provide your documents. The visa application centre may keep your passport and documents while processing your application.

To apply please visit the official Standard Visitor Visa page.

The Visa fee is £95.

You can apply for a Standard Visitor Visa up to three months before you plan to arrive in the UK.

Processing time is approximately 3 weeks after submitting an application.

 

SUPPORTING DOCUMENTS

All international students
  • A valid passport. You will need a passport that is valid for the full period of your study and a page in your passport that is blank on both sides for your visa
  • A Visa letter issued by the University of Cumbria outlining the reason of your stay, for example status letter for re-sits, invitation for a Graduation ceremony, short course acceptance letter
  • Accommodation details including details about where you will stay and your travel plans
  • Evidence that you have enough money to support yourself while you are in the UK. You need to show you can pay for your tuition fees, accommodation and living expenses. We recommend that you have £1,023 per month of your stay. If someone is sponsoring you, you need to provide Sponsorship Certificate. Common accepted evidence is either 6 months bank statements or 6 months payslips
  • If you are under 18 years old, you must show that suitable arrangements have been made for your travel, reception and care in the UK
  • If you are under 18, you must provide proof that you have a parent or guardian in your home country or country of habitual residence who is responsible for your care and who confirms that they consent to the arrangements for your travel, reception and care in the UK. You must provide contact details for at least one parent or guardian in your home country, details of travel, accommodation and care arrangements in the UK and written consent from a parent or legal guardian
  • Evidence that you intend to leave the UK or that you can meet the cost of your return journey

Also note that

  • All documents must be in English. Any original document that is not in English must be accompanied by a fully certified translation by a professional translator/translation company. This translation must include the details of the translator/translation company’s credentials, confirmation that it is an accurate translation of the original document, and the translator/translation company’s contact details.
  • You may need to provide additional documents depending on your circumstances. Please check this link for further details and updates: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/visitor-visa-guide-to-supporting-documents
RECEIVING YOUR STANDARD VISITOR VISA

If permission is granted you should receive a Standard Visitor visa sticker in your passport. The visa will be valid for 6 months, and the start and end dates will be stated on it. You must check that the dates are correct and cover the course.

If you apply for a Standard Visitor visa at the border, the Immigration Officer will stamp your passport.

Non Visa Nationals

If you are a non-visa national, you do not need to obtain a Standard Visitor Visa in advance. If you are a non-visa national and you cannot use e-gates at the port of entry in the UK, you need to see the border officer and the border officer should stamp your passport. You can stay in the UK for 6 months from the date on your entry stamp. You do not need to pay for your visa.

When you arrive in the UK, you must provide a valid passport or travel document. Your passport should be valid for the whole of your stay in the UK. You may also be asked to prove that: 

  • you’ve been accepted on to a course by an accredited institution, for example a letter of acceptance on official headed paper stating the course name, duration and cost
  • you’re able to support yourself during your trip (or have funding from someone else to support you)
  • you’re able to pay for your return or onward journey (or have funding from someone else)
  • you’ve arranged accommodation for your stay
  • you’ll leave the UK at the end of your visit

If you are a non-visa national and you can use e-gates (Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, United States, EU states), you can proceed without seeing a border control officer. We recommend you have all supporting documents mentioned above in case you are stopped at the border.

GRADUATE IMMIGRATION ROUTE

General Overview

The Graduate Immigration Route is for international students who want to work following the successful completion of a course of study at UK bachelor’s degree-level or above. 

The new Graduate route is open for applications from 1 July 2021.

Students on the Graduate route will be able to work or look for work after their studies for a maximum period of 2 years, or 3 years for Doctoral students. 

The Graduate route will be unsponsored, meaning applicants will not need a job offer to apply for the route.


Eligibility requirements
  • You have studied and successfully completed a Bachelors or a Masters degree at the University of Cumbria. Advanced Diploma, and other non-degree awarding qualifications except the PGCE, are not eligible for the Graduate route.
  • You have a valid Tier 4/Student visa on the day of the application and you apply from the UK
  • If in the 12 months before the date of application you have been awarded a scholarship or sponsorship by a Government or international scholarship agency covering both fees and living costs for study in the UK, you must provide a letter of consent from the sponsor organisation to support the application.
Visa Conditions
  • No access to public funds
  • You are allowed to work (including self-employment and voluntary work), apart from work as a professional sportsperson
  • Study is only permitted on courses that would not meet requirements for a student visa sponsorship
  • It is not possible to extend your visa under the Graduate route. From the Graduate route, you would be able to switch to a Skilled Worker visa from within the UK if you are offered a suitable job with an employer who holds a sponsor licence
  • It is only possible to be granted a visa under the Graduate route once
  • Students with dependant family members in the UK who already have immigration permission as a Tier 4 or Student dependant can apply to extend their permission as a dependant
Application costs

The visa fee is £700. In addition, you will also be required to pay the immigration health surcharge, which is £624 per year.

EU, EEA and Swiss Students

For more details please see the information provided on our EU/EEA page.

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