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The University of Southampton
Student and Academic AdministrationAdmissions

CAS Guidance for Staff

Student visa overview

Since 2010, all students applying for a student visa from both within the UK and overseas require a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS). Each CAS is unique and is issued to a student by the University as their Sponsor. The CAS is not a document but a unique reference number and is frequently known as the CAS number. The CAS is transmitted to the student by email in the form of a statement which includes other information that the University has transmitted to the UKVI.  On 5 October 2020, the Student visa replaced the Tier 4 (General) student visa.  The CAS requirement remains unchanged.

As the student’s Sponsor, the University makes a statement to the UK Visas and Immigration Service (UKVI) describing the students’ suitability for their course of study and lists the evidence which they have used to determine this. This information is recorded in Banner and uploaded centrally to the UKVI on a daily basis. The UKVI allocate the CAS which is recorded in Banner and then issued to the student by email.

Students cannot apply for a Student visa without having a valid CAS. In addition to the CAS, students may also need to provide the UKVI with the following evidence: an ATAS certificate (if applicable), a TB certificate (if applicable), and proof of funds (to cover the first year of their tuition fees and maintenance ie monthly living costs). The amount that a student needs to evidence for maintenance is set by the UKVI.  As part of their visa application, students must pay the Immigration Health Charge to access healthcare.


Visa & Immigration Student Advice Service (VISAS)

All enquiries relating to CAS, ATAS, immigration and visa enquiries should be directed to the Visa & Immigration Student Advice Service; these are the only members of staff at the University who are permitted to give advice in these areas. Please direct students to the Visa and Immigration Student Advice Service contact page for information.

Immigration Advice in the UK is regulated by the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC). The Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 made it unlawful for anyone to provide unregulated immigration advice or immigration services.

Giving advice, which relates to an individual's particular circumstances in connection with an immigration matter, constitutes 'immigration advice' for the purposes of the legislation.

Higher Education Institutions are authorised under a Ministerial Order (Part V of the Immigration and Asylum Act, 1999) to provide immigration advice and services without the need to register with the OISC but must comply with the OISC Code of Standards.  The Visa & Immigration Student Advice Service complies with the OISC Code of Standards and the only team at the University of Southampton who are authorised to provide immigration advice and services. 

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