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The University of Southampton
Student Services

FAQ Applying for your first UK visa

This page features frequently asked questions about applying for your first UK Tier 4 visa.

It is important that you carefully read the questions on this page before contacting the University's Visas and Immigration Student Advice Service. However, if your question has not been answered then please contact us through our online enquiry form.

Do I need a visa to study in the UK?

 Non-EEA nationals need some type of visa (or have an Electronic Visa Waiver) to study in the UK. Please click here to check on the type of visa you will need to obtain.

Dual or multiple nationality: Where an applicant applying under the differentiation arrangements holds dual or multiple nationalities, they must submit a passport issued by one of the countries listed in Appendix H of the Immigration Rules. This can be found here.

What is the Tier 4 (General) Student Visa?

This is a points based visa issued to students for a full-time programme of study that is longer than 6 months in duration*. Applicants need to score 40 points out of 40 to be awarded the visa. 30 points are awarded for having a valid CAS number (Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies); this is issued by the University's CAS team (casteam@soton.ac.uk). 10 points are awarded for being able to demonstrate that you have enough money to support yourself and pay your tuition fees; this is known as maintenance or funds (living fees). Please see the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) website for further information.

*The University will also issue CAS to students attending our pre-sessional English language courses so that they can apply for a Tier 4 visa.

What is a CAS?

CAS stands for Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies and it is an electronic document which you must request from the University after you firmly accept an unconditional offer to study here. You must have a CAS number prior to applying for your Tier 4 visa as you will need this for the application form. For further information, please visit our CAS Guidance page.

I have been awarded a scholarship/studentship by the University of Southampton. When I apply for Tier 4 (General) Student Visa should I select ‘Sponsored’?

If this is the only scholarship/studentship you have been awarded then, NO, do not select 'Sponsored' as this is aimed at government funded students.

What is the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS)?

Non-EEA nationals that come to the UK to study on a course longer than 6 months in duration are required to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge; this is a financial contribution to the National Health Service. This charge is currently £300 per 12 months of stay in the UK and is payable when a student makes their visa application.

More information can be found on the UK Government website

Do I need ATAS (Academic Technology Approval Scheme) clearance?

Students coming to the UK to study on certain courses must obtain ATAS approval. For further information please refer to the FCO website relating to ATAS. You will need to enter the JACS code(s) for your course which can be found on your University of Southampton offer letter. 

Please note: If you are applying for a Tier 4 (General) Student Visa and you need ATAS clearance for your programme of study, then you must obtain this before you make your application or you will be refused your visa. This will take at least 1 month to process and you can apply before your offer becomes unconditional.

What if my application is refused?

Your refusal letter will state if you have grounds for an administrative review.

If you do not have this option to review then you will need to make a new application; to do this you will need a new CAS. To get a new CAS please email the University's CAS team (casteam@soton.ac.uk) including a copy of the refusal letter. They will NOT issue another CAS without this.

Do I need to undergo TB screening?

If you are making your Tier 4 application outside of the UK then you may need to undergo TB screening. Please click here for further information.

I am 16/17 years old. Can I apply for a Tier 4 (Child) Student Visa?

No. If you are 16 or over then you must apply for a Tier 4 (General) Student Visa as we can only sponsor students with a CAS for a Tier 4 (General) Student Visa. If you are aged between 16 and 18 then you will need to provide a letter of consent from your official guardian(s) stating that they permit your study in the UK; you can find the required form in the useful downloads section here

I am currently a student elsewhere in the UK but have a place to study at the University of Southampton in the next academic year. Can the University help me to apply for a new visa for my new programme of study?

Yes. You can make an appointment to see or talk to an advisor through our Student Services Centre in Building 37, Highfield Campus (tel 023 80599599). Please be aware you may need to return to your home country to submit a Tier 4 visa application.

How much maintenance (money in a bank account) do I need to show?

For information and guidance on the amount of funds that you need to show, please visit our Maintenance page on our website

I currently have a visa issued for a course of study at another institution. Can I enrol at the University of Southampton with that visa?

No. You must have a visa or have proof that you have applied for visa for your programme of study at this University.  

The VISAS Team can help you to make your new visa application. Please make an appointment to see one of our advisors through our Student Services Centre (tel 023 80599599).

 

Can I bring my family with me?

If your programme of study is 12 months or longer in duration and at QCF/NQF level 7 and above then you are permitted to bring dependants (partners and/or children) with you. New government sponsored students following a course longer than 6 months are also permitted to bring dependants.

What is a Biometric Resident Permit (BRP) card?

Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) cards are a form of visa issued to students coming to the UK to study on a programme that is longer than 6 months in duration. They are credit card sized and contain your biometric information embedded within them. Click here for further information on BRP cards.

I have applied for a Tier 4 (General) Student Visa. Can I arrange to collect my BRP card from the University?

If you are coming to the University of Southampton to study on a course that is longer than 6 months in duration then you can choose to collect your Biometric Residence Permit from the University. The Alternative Collection Location (ACL) code for the University is: 2HE382.

Can I work while I study?

Tier 4 students cannot be self employed but they are permitted to undertake paid work during studies. However, the amount of hours work per week is restricted during term-time. Your visa will confirm the permitted hours per week that you are allowed to work. For more information, please visit our working restrictions frequently asked questions (FAQs).

Do I need to register with the police?

Students on a programme of study more than 6 months in length who are from certain countries need to register with the police. Please see here for more information.

I am a new Pre-sessional English Language student. How do I register my visa and passport?

You will receive an email for either Pre-sessional Course A (June Registration) or Pre-sessional Course B (July Registration). The email will include details of what you will need to do before you arrive and a link for you to book a registration appointment.

I am a new student starting at the beginning of Semester 1 (September) or at the beginning of Semester 2 (January). How do I register my visa and passport?

If you are starting your Programme of study in September/October you will receive an email for Main Registration. The email will include details of what you will need to do before you arrive and a link for you to book a registration appointment. Please see here for more information.

If you are starting in January you will receive an email regarding Semester 2 Registration. The email will include details of what you will need to do before you arrive and a link for you to book a registration appointment.

 

I am a new student starting outside of the September and January Registration periods, how do I register my visa and passport?

 

You will need to contact us to arrange an appointment to register and enrol. You must ensure you do this as soon as possible after your arrival in Southampton as you will not be permitted to start your Programme of Study until you have registered with us first.

 Please contact Saavisa@soton.ac.uk to arrange an appointment to register.

 

 

I have an Administrative Hold 'Visa Check Required' on my student account which is preventing me from enrolling online, what should I do?

If you are a new International student from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) you will not be able to enrol online until you have arrived in Southampton and registered your visa and passport.

Once we have seen your original documents we will remove the Visa Hold from your account and you will be able to continue with enrolment. There will be enrolment helpers to assist you with this if needed.

I have an ATAS Hold on my student account which is preventing me from enrolling online, what should I do?

 If you are a new International student from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) you will not be able to enrol online until you have arrived in Southampton and registered your visa and passport. If you also need an ATAS Certificate for your Programme of Study then this will need to be verified before the ATAS Hold can be removed. Please see here regarding ATAS.

Once we have seen your ATAS Certificate and your original Visa and Passport documents we will remove the ATAS and Visa Holds from your account and you will be able to continue with enrolment. There will be enrolment helpers to assist you with this if needed.

 

 

Frequently asked questions

Frequently asked questions

If you are uncertain about anything or you have a query, then our comprehensive frequently asked questions (FAQs) page may have the answer.

Visa drop-in

Visa drop-in and appointments

You can talk to one of our visa advisors by coming to a visa drop-in session, or you can book an appointment for an in-depth discussion.

Online enquiry form

Enquiry form

You can contact us through our online enquiry form. We strongly encourage people to contact us through the online enquiry form rather than to directly email us.

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