Applying for a Tier 4 student visa from outside the UK
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Applying for a Tier 4 student visa from outside the UK

Your requirements for applying for Tier 4 entry clearance

You hold an unconditional offer for a full-time course (or are a continuing student) at Plymouth University and have been issued with a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS).

If your Plymouth University course requires ATAS clearance (mostly PhD courses) you must have applied for and received an ATAS clearance certificate.  The process can take several weeks so apply well in advance.  

You can prove that you can pay for your course and living costs.   

At the time of completing your  new course you will not have spent more than 5 years studying at degree level in the UK on a student visa (with exceptions for longer courses).   

How ISAS can help

We are available for advice by telephone or by email.

Email us:  
We aim to respond to your email within 2 working days.
Call us:
+44 (0)1752 587740

If you are unsure how to answer a question on the application, how much money you need to show or whether your documents are suitable please contact us.  We want your application to be successful! 

Amount of money you need to show for a successful Tier 4 application​

 For new students and for students whose previous student visa for the UK has expired this means showing you have 1 year’s full tuition fees plus £800 (£820 from 1/7/2014) per month for the remainder of your course for living costs up to a maximum of £7200 (£7380 from 1/7/2014). 

For students who have been on their current course in the UK for more than 6 months or whose previous course in the UK was more than 6 months in length and you still have a valid student visa this means showing you have 1 year’s full tuition fees plus £1600 (£1640 from 1/7/2014) for living costs. 

For financially sponsored students, your sponsor must be an officially recognised sponsor (e.g. British Council, a government, an international organisation or company, a university)  If the sponsor is not meeting all your costs then you must provide proof that you have the remaining funds available to you.

Documents you need to provide for a successful Tier 4 application​

The following is a guide.  Please check with your visa application centre for the exact documents required.  All documents should be originals and officially translated into English if necessary.

ISAS Document Guide

1) Plymouth University will issue you with a CAS (Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies) identification number to include with your application.  This will be sent with your unconditional offer.  Continuing students should apply for a CAS by emailing 
2) Your valid passport 
3) One passport photograph of yourself
4) Your ATAS clearance certificate if required
5) Any relevant diplomas or educational certificates used to obtain your Plymouth University offer* (these will be listed on your CAS statement)
6) Financial evidence*
UK or overseas bank statements in your name that show you have maintained the required amount of funds for at least 28 consecutive days                              

OR UK or overseas bank statements in your parent’s name that show they have maintained the required amount of funds for at least 28 consecutive days PLUS your original birth certificate PLUS a letter of  parental consent                             

OR If you are being officially sponsored, a recent formal letter from your sponsor confirming the details of your sponsorship.

*Low risk nationals do not need to provide these documents although they can occasionally be requested.  

Making your Tier 4 entry clearance application​

Make an ATAS application if your course requires one.  Once issued, ATAS certificates are valid for 6 months.

Complete a TB (Tuberculosis) test if required for your country.  Once issued, TB certificates are valid for 6 months.    

Complete the online application form

ISAS Guide to online application

Submit your application
You should apply for Tier 4 (G) student entry clearance in the country of which you are a national or where you legally live.
The application process will depend on your location but it will be similar to this:

1)  You will submit your application online and then will be required to pay the application fee (£310) online before you can book your appointment to hand in your supporting documents. 

2) Attend your appointment at the Visa Application Centre.  Your appointment will include:

  • Handing in your supprting documents
  • Completeing biometric enrolment: All UK visa applicants (limited exemptions apply) are required to provide 10-digit finger scans and a digital photograph.
  • Having a credibility video interview 

3) Wait for the outcome of your application and then return to the Visa Application Centre to pick up your documents.

When you receive your visa back

Check your personal details are correct.                                                     Check the type of visa is correct ("Tier 4 student") and that it includes the correct sponsor licence number for Plymouth University.                                             Check the dates of the visa are correct.

If a mistake has been made on your visa then contact the Visa Application Centre immediately.

If your visa application is taking too long or has been refused 

Contact immediately for further advice.