1. What is a visa?
Most students who are studying a course that is longer than 6 months will need to apply for a Student visa to come and study at the University of Worcester. This includes nationals of the EU and EEA who will be arriving in the UK from the 1st January 2021 onwards.
2. How will I know if I need a visa?
It is very important that you check whether you require a visa to enter the UK to study before you travel. There is a very quick service available on the GOV.UK website that will allow you to check this. Students from EEA/EU countries who were living in the UK prior to 11pm on the 31st December 2020 should not require a visa to study in the UK but if anyone is unsure, we would recommend they contact one of our International Student Advisers at firstname.lastname@example.org
Further information can also be found at the UKCISA website.
3. Information for EU members
Anyone who was resident in the UK before 11pm on the 31st December 2020 should be eligible to register under the EU Settlement Scheme. You will be eligible to apply for either settled status or pre-settled status depending on how long you have lived in the UK for. The deadline to apply is the 30th June 2021.
Those who arrive in the UK from the 1st January 2021 onwards will not be eligible to register under the EU Settlement Scheme and will instead need to make sure they have the appropriate visa (if required) before they travel.
4. Information for all other applicants including those from the EU arriving from the 1st January 2021
For full-time study that is longer than six months, it is compulsory for you to apply for entry clearance for a Student Visa under the Points Based System before travelling to the UK. To apply for a student visa, you will need a CAS (Confirmation of Acceptance for Study) number issued by the University of Worcester. For full-time study of less than six months, perhaps as an exchange or study abroad student, you will either:
- Enter the UK as a normal visitor where you will be granted permission to stay for 6 months,
- Apply for a Standard visitor visa prior to travelling, which will then allow you to study for up to 6 months
The need to apply for a visitor visa prior to travelling will depend on your nationality. Visa nationals are required to obtain entry clearance prior to travelling whereas non-visa nationals can be granted entry clearance upon their arrival. More information on whether you are a visa national or a non-visa national can be found here.
5. How do I apply?
You can apply for entry clearance (visa) for both a Student visa and a visitor visa at the British Embassy or High Commission (or Consulate) nearest to where you live. Your application will be submitted via the UKVI online portal and you will then be directed to one of their overseas commercial partners, to arrange your biometrics appointment at an overseas visa application centre (VAC). Please see the UK Visa and Immigration website for information on how to apply. If you are an EU/EEA national, you may not need to attend a biometrics appointment as most of you should be able to use the ‘UK Immigration: ID Check’ app to verify your identity. More information on how to use this service and who it applies to can be found here.
For those students who will need to attend a biometrics appointment, VAC procedures and processing times may vary, but these can be checked online. When applying, please read the eligibility requirements carefully.
When applying for a Student visa, you must score 70 points in total to apply. These points are made up from:
- 50 points for a CAS – (you will receive the CAS number from the University of Worcester when your offer is unconditional)
- 10 points for having enough money (also known as maintenance or funds) for your course fees and living costs as detailed on the application form guidance notes
- 10 points for meeting the English Language requirement
Biometric data collection:
All applicants will be required to supply 10-digit finger scans and a digital photograph when applying for a UK visa, unless you are able to use the UK Immigration: ID check app. The process of supplying your finger scans and photograph is known as biometrics and you will need to attend an appointment in person in order to do this.
Once you have completed your online visa application form, you will be directed to a page that will allow you to book your biometrics appointment at a visa application centre (VAC) nearest to where you are living. Only those who are not eligible to use the UK Immigration: ID check app will be prompted to do this. If you need confirmation of where your nearest VAC is, more information can be found here.
CAS (Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies)
What is a CAS letter?
CAS stands for Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies. The UK immigration rules require the University to sponsor your application for a student visa (this is not the same as financial sponsorship). A CAS letter contains your unique reference CAS number, this is issued to confirm that:
- We have made you an Unconditional offer of a place to study with us and you have accepted this offer
- That any necessary deposits have been paid
- That it is less than three months before the beginning date of the course that you have applied to
When will I get my CAS letter?
We contact the Home Office in order to create a CAS letter for you and this can take a short while. If you do not receive your CAS number within 20 days, you should send an email to the International Team and bring their attention to the delay on the below addresses:
International Team: email@example.com
International Student Advisers: firstname.lastname@example.org
Your Immigration Status
If you will be with us for longer than 6 months, then you will be classed as a sponsored student. You will be able to access the NHS should you need medical treatment, but you will not be able to access public funds and your working hours will be restricted to the following:
- No more than 20 hours per week during term time
- Full time during holidays
If you will be with us for less than 6 months, then you will be classed as a visitor. Visitor status means you will not be able to access free medical treatment, claim public funds or be employed in any capacity including as a volunteer.
Students with Families
For those students who are coming for less than 6 months, any family members would need to apply for their own visit visa and ensure they were able to show:
- The purpose of their trip
- Their intention to leave the UK once the trip was over
- Enough funds to cover all expected costs
For those students who will be coming on a Student visa, their family members may be able to join them as dependants but only if the student is studying at master’s level or above. The family member in question must be a spouse or a dependent child under 18 and they must have a certain level of funding available to cover their family’s maintenance. Any family members will be granted permission to stay in line with the main student and will be permitted to work, but they must ensure they are living with the student and not at a separate address.
More information on applying for family members can be found on the UKCISA Website or by contacting an International Student Adviser at email@example.com
If you have any questions about obtaining your visa, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone us on +44 (0)1905 855146.
Indian visa applications
This short video follows the real experience of Indian student visa applicants and provides a great insight into the process.
Chinese visa applications
This short video follows the real experience of Chinese student visa applicants, with unique access to the visa application process supported by the UK government.
Student Sponsor Status
The University of Worcester has Student Sponsor Status to sponsor international students to study in the UK. This is renewed annually by the Home Office, which is standard across all UK Universities.
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