Kent Union Logo

International Students and Visas

How we can help

Our Student Advisers are trained to give immigration advice to students of the University of Kent and those studying franchised courses at other colleges. We are regulated by the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC).

Please note that whilst we review these pages regularly the UKVI frequently change immigration rules and requirements. It is your responsibility to check the most recent version of the Policy guidance to confirm that you can meet the requirements of the rules.

Remember, YOUR UK Immigration staus is YOUR responsibility.

      IMPORTANT - RECENT CHANGES TO VISA APPLICATIONS:

1.  From 6th April 2016 the Home Office have made it more difficult for you to apply to extend your visa in the UK.  You can now ONLY make an application in the UK if you have completed the course that your current visa was granted for and you want to apply for a new visa for a NEW course.  If you need more time to finish your CURRENT course, in most circumstances you will need to go back to your home country to make your application. 

2.The Home Office increased the Fees for making a Tier 4 visa application, with effect from the 6th April 2017, to £457 in the UK (£1047 if you apply in person) and £335 if you are making your application in your home country.

3. If you have dependants with you in the UK and you need to extend your visa the rules have now changed about how much money you must have for your dependants.  You must  now show £680 for each dependant for month of leave you will be granted on the new visa, rather than for the remining time left on your course. Most leave will extend beyond the end of your studies.
 
4. SCAM  - UKVI warn that there is a telephone scam targeting students.  The caller claims to be from UKVI and asks for large sums of money.  Please see the information on the University  website here  
 
5. Most students applying for a Tier 4 visa in their own country will now need to collect a Biometric Residence Permit card (BRP) from the post office or from the University when they arrive in the UK.  You must collect the card       within 10 days of your arrival.  You can find more information about this here.

 

We can advise you on the following areas

  • Extending your student visa in the UK
  • Applying for entry clearance from your home country
  • Registering with the police
  • Working while studying

 

How can I Extend my tier 4 visa in the UK?

How do I give my Biometric Information? What is a Biometric Residence Card?

How much money do I need to extend my Tier 4 visa?

When will I get my new visa?

How do I Apply for Tier 4 student entry clearance visa in my home country?

Can I come to the UK on a Short Term Student visa?

Do I need an ATAS certificate?

My student visa has expired. What can I do?

Can I move to a different university?

When will the University report me to the UKVI?

How can I tell UKVI If I change my address?

Can I apply for any financial assistance?

Frequently asked questions

How can I Register with the police?

Can I Work in the UK after my studies?

Extending your Tier 4 visa IN THE UK

If your Tier 4 visa is due to expire at the end of your current course, and you wish to remain in the UK to take a NEW course, you will need to apply to extend your visa. You will only be able to do this if your current visa does not expire more than 28 days before your new course is due to start.

 If you have NOT completed your course but need further time in the UK to finish it, you will probaly have to return home to make your visa application.

If you CAN apply in the UK you must submit your application before it expires.  Start preparing for your visa application 3 months before your current visa is due to expire. Do not wait until the last minute, as you will need a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) number from the university to submit your application and you need to collect all the documents to send with your application. This can take time!

The UK Government will only let you study in the UK for a limited time. If you have already studied in the UK with a Tier 4 (General) Student visa OR with a Student visa (issued before Tier 4 was introduced on 31 March 2009) check if your new course will take you over the maximum time allowed. If it does, you will not be eligible for a Tier 4 visa. The University will check your immigration history before they issue you with a CAS.

For more information Please see the UK Council for International Student Affairs website here.

If you are applying for a visa to continue a course you have already started at Kent, you must get your CAS from the Visa Compliance office.  You can email them at casextensions@kent.ac.uk . They are very busy and cannot issue a CAS more than 3 months before your current visa ends. It normally takes at least 5 working days to produce a CAS, but you may need to wait longer (up to 10 working days) at busy times of year (this includes the summer).

If you are starting a new course, Admissions will automatically issue you with a CAS.

To enquire about a CAS:

- Ask at the reception desk in the Registry

- Email: casextensions@kent.ac.uk (if you have already started your course at Kent), or

- Email: admissionscas@kent.ac.uk  (if you are starting a new course at Kent)

- You must also provide a number of documents to support your CAS application.

Both we and the UKVI are extremely busy from September to January due to the high number of student visa applications. At busy times, it will take several months for your application to be processed by the UKVI.

Completing the Tier 4 application form.

The UKVI has introduced an NEW online application system for Tier 4 from 1st February 2016.

To apply you need to:

  • Make your application online here
  • You will need to enter your email address and create a password to set up your account.
  • UKVI will email you with a link to your application and this is the only way in which you can return to your completed application so save the email carefully to make sure that you can return to it at a later date.
  • You can find our guide to completing the online form here
  • Before sending the application and paying the fee you can return to the application to edit your answers.
  • WARNING – the new form was introduced on 01/02/16 and has many errors in it.  The UKVI are carrying out changes to the form on a regular basis – if you would like help with the application please make an appointment to see an adviser before submitting it so that we can check your answers.
  • Obtain all the documents you need to support your application.  Download a list of documents. It is vital that you read the Tier 4 Policy guidance carefully

If you would like help with your application please

1. Prepare all your documents and complete the form.

2. Make an appointment to see an Adviser

3. Attend your appointment on time and bring with you:

  • The credit/debit card you intend to use to pay the UKVI Tier 4 visa application fee
  • A print out of your Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS). The University will send this to you by email. PLease print this before your appointment
  • 1 passport photograph- this must be no more than one month old. Please read the photograph guidance to check that your photograph is OK.
  • All of your documents  + translations if any of the documents are not in English.
  • Your UKVI emial with the link to your application and your password so that we can access your online form for checking.

4. At the appointment we will check the form and all your documents and take copies of all the documents for our files. You can submit your application and pay the fee after the Adviser has checked your form and documents. 

5. If your application is complete and is ready to submit, you can make payment of the Immigration Health Surcharge and the application fee during your appointment and we will print off the cover sheet for you to post to the UKVI.

Sending the form to the UKVI

We recommend that you send your application Special Delivery so that you can track and trace the safe delivery of your application.  Alternatively you can make your application in person at a Home Office Premium Service Centre. It costs a lot more to make the application in person, but you should normally have your new visa within 10 days of the date of your appointment at the Premium Service Centre.

See Tier 4 application fees

At busy times of year we run visa workshops in which we show you how to complete the form and tell you what documents you need. If possible, please come to a Tier 4 workshop before your appointment so that you know how to complete the form and what documents to bring. This will save you and us a lot of time.

If you are unable to come to a workshop, please complete as much of the form as you can before coming to see an adviser.

Further information and guidance

UK Council for International student affairs

Where and how to give your biometrics

Everyone who makes an application for a Tier 4  visa in the UK has to give biometric information (biometrics).  This consists fo your fingerprints, a digital ohotograph and your signature.  If you apply by post, the UKVI will send you a letter telling you to give your biometrics at a participating Post Office. The nearest Post Office to the Canterbury Campus where you can give your biometrics is in Ashford.You will  have fingerprints and a photograph taken.You do not need to make an appointment.

If you have chosen to make your application in person, you will give your biometrics when you attend the Public Enquiry Office for your appointment.

What is a Biometric Residence Permit?

Your new Tier 4 visa will be on a credit card sized ID card called a Biometric Residence Permit (BRP), which has your photo on the front, together with information about how long you are allowed to stay in the UK and the University's sponsor licence number. It also shows whether you are allowed to do any work, and tells you if you are required to register with the police. The card includes a microchip which contains two of your fingerprints. Look after the card and make sure that you take it with you when you travel outside the UK.

There will NOT be a sticker in your passport to show that you have valid immigration leave.

What to do if your Biometric Residence Permit is lost or stolen

If you lose your card or it is stolen in the UK, you must:

  • report the loss/theft to the police and get a report/crime reference number
  • report the loss/theft to the UKVI by emailing: BRPlost@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk
  • apply for a new one.

If you lose your card or it is stolen outside the UK, you must:

  • report the loss/theft to the local police and get a report
  • report the loss/theft to the UKVI by emailing: BRPlost@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk
  • apply for a single entry visa on form VAF9
  • state that you are applying because you have lost (or had stolen) your BRP
  • pay a £72 fee
  • submit your biometrics and the police report
  • do not book travel back to the UK until you have your visa- you will not be allowed to travel back to the UK until you get a single entry visa.
  • apply for a replacement BRP as soon as you return to the UK

We can help you apply for the replacement BRP - please fill in the application form and make an appointment with an Adviser.

What to do if you change your address or any other personal circumstances change

You must notify the UKVI if you change your address or your personal circumstances, or if your personal details, such as your name or nationality, change.

Find out what changes you must report to the UKVI and how to do this.

UKBA information on biometric enrolment

How and where to enrol your biometrics

All Tier 4 applicants must show that they have enough money to pay their course fees plus living costs in the UK.

From 12th November 2015 you must show that you have enough money for your course fees for the first year of your course (or the next year of your course if you are applying for a visa extension) plus £9135 for living costs or £1015 for each month of your course, if less than 9 months.Part months count as whole months so if your course starts on 15th September and ends on the 15th January you will have to show that you have the money for 5 montths - not 4!

If you are sponsored by an official body such as a government department or educational institution you must provide proof that your official financial sponsor has paid your fees or that your sponsorship covers fees and living costs. If you are using your own money, you must provide proof that you have paid your fees or that you have enough money to pay the fees and that you have enough money for living costs.

Please see the Home Office Tier 4 Policy Guidance and our list of documents for more details on what documents you must provide as proof of your finances/financial sponsorship.Please also check the Tier 4 Policy Guidance at the date of your application to make sure that you are using the latest Home Office figures for maintenance funds.

You must be able to show that you have held the required maintenance funds for at least 28 days before you make your application.

If you are bringing Dependants to the UK you will also need to show that you have £680 per month, for each dependant, for 9 months (£6120) or for each month of your course if less than 9 months.

 

Visa processing times in the UK

There can be long delays in processing visa applications. Most applications should be processed within 20 working days of the applicant's biometric appointment, but during busy periods it will take several months for your application to be processed unless you apply in person. In view of this, we would encourage all students whose visas expire before the end of their current course of study to apply as soon as possible. If you are planning to travel outside the UK you will need to think carefully about when and how to apply and consider either:

  1. making an application in person at the UKVI Premium Service Centre (the fee is currently £848) or;
  2. leaving the UK before your current visa expires and applying for Entry Clearance from your home country (you will need to take all of the necessary documents with you and make sure that they are up to date at the time of your application).

If you wish to apply in person, you will need to book an appointment online as part of the online application process. Making an in person application does not guarantee that your visa will be processed quickly, as the UKVI may ask you for further information or documents.

Please contact the student advice centre so that we can advise you on the best option for you and let you know if you are able to make an application now.

Visa processing times outside the UK

UKVI Guide to visa application processing times

If you have any questions about your application you can email visas@kent.ac.uk. You will receive an automatic response, giving you all the information you need to make your application. There are also links to other sources of information to help you.

If, after reading through all of the information and following the links, you still have questions relating to your application, please contact us at advice@kent.ac.uk and we will do our best to answer your questions. However, please be aware that the Advice Service is very busy during the summer vacation and we will expect you to have looked at the information through visas@kent.ac.uk before you contact us.

Who needs a Tier 4 visa?

If you are from a country outside the European Economic Area and you are outside the UK, you need to apply for a Tier 4 visa (also known as entry clearance) before you travel to the UK to study a course which lasts longer than 6 months.

You may also apply overseas for a visa to continue a course that you have already started. You will make a new Entry Clearance application.

If you are starting a new course, do not apply for your visa more than 3 months before the start date, as your application will be refused if you apply too early. If you apply too late, you may miss the start of your course.

You may be required to attend an interview as part of the application process.

Read more about interviews for Tier 4 visa applicants.

There are some videos of the application process in China and India which you may find useful. You can find them here:

Making an application in China

Making an application in India

Students with Tier 4 visas for previous courses

You must make a new application for a Tier 4 visa using a CAS from Kent, if you currently have a Tier 4 visa for a course at a different educational institution (Tier 4 sponsor), BEFORE travelling back to the UK. You are unlikely to be allowed to enter the UK if you try to use your existing Tier 4 visa.

Due to recent changes in the Immigration rules you CANNOT register for your course at Kent until you have applied for a Visa for your course here. You should also note that we are very busy with visa applications during August to January and we cannot guarantee to give you individual personal help with your application during this period.  Throughout this period it can take a very long time for UKVI to process an application made in the UK so getting a visa for the new course in your home country will save a lot of time and will mean that you will be able to travel during the Christmas vacation.

Students doing pre-sessional English courses

If you are coming to do a pre-sessional course, you should apply for a Tier 4 visa (NOT a Short Term Study Visa) so that you can extend it in the UK before you start your main course.

Please read and use the resources below before you start your Tier 4 application outside the UK:

Making an Online application:

Nationals of most countries can now make their Tier 4 Application online. To start the online process please follow the steps below:

  • You should register on the visa4uk website: ttps://www.visa4uk.fco.gov.uk/
  • Click on "register an account" in the bottom left hand corner and follow the steps to create an account.  Visa4uk will then send you an email for you to activate your account and log on. Make sure that you keep a careful note of the user name and password that you used to set up your account in the space below.  You will need these each time you log on.
  • Select "Apply for Myself". You will then need to complete your personal details and select "study" as the reason for your visit.
  • Then select "PBS Tier 4 Student" as the Visa type and finally, "Tier 4 (General) student"  as the visa sub-type or "Tier 4 (General) (Sponsored) student"  if you are fully finacially sponsored by your home government or university.
  • Click Create Application" at the bottom of the page and fill in the form.  Save your answers to each section of the form
  • You can find our guide to completing the online application form here

If you are a national of North Korea, you CANNOT use the online application and must submit a paper form which can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/tier-4-general-visa/apply

 

Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS)

You MUST have a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) from the university. This will be emailed to you. Your CAS has a unique number - you must enter this number on the online form.

You must make a Tier visa application within 6 months of the date the CAS is issued, otherwise, it will be invalid and your visa application refused.

There is a limit on the number of years you are allowed to study in the UK. If you have already studied in the UK with a Tier 4 (General) Student visa OR with a Student visa (the type of student visa issued before Tier 4 was introduced on 31 March 2009) you should check if your new course will take you over the maximum time allowed. If it will, you will not be eligible for a Tier 4 (General) Student visa. Before they can issue you with a CAS, the university will also check this. Read more

If you are starting a new course at the University of Kent your CAS will be issued by the Admissions Office. Please note that CASs can only be issued to new students who have an unconditional offer of a place at Kent. They will be issued automatically and it should not be necessary for you to request a CAS.

If you will be returning to continue a course which you have already started at the University of Kent, you will need to request a CAS from the Visa Compliance office. You can email them at casextensions@kent.ac.uk or you can dowload the CAS application form here.

The Visa Compliance team are very busy and cannot issue a CAS more than 3 months before your current visa ends. It takes at least 5 working days to produce a CAS, but you may need to wait longer at busy times of year (this includes the summer).

Documents

You need to provide a number of documents to support your application, unless you are considered to be a "low risk". Please refer to the list of countries in Appendix H of the Immigration Rules and see the Tier 4 Policy guidance to check if this applies to you. All applicants must submit their passport(s) and 2 new passport photographs with their application.

If you are applying as a national on the list of countries considered to be "low risk" , you will NOT be treated as "low risk" unless you are making your Tier 4 visa application in your home country (or in the UK, if you are extending your visa).

Even if you are "low risk" and not required to submit documents with your application, you MUST have them available as the Home Office may ask for them, before they make a decsion on your application.

List of documents for Tier 4 applications made outside the UK

Useful information and links to Tier 4 application forms for applications made outside the UK

UKCISA flowchart explaining Tier 4 Entry Clearance process

Online application form for applications made outside the UK

Kent Union Guide to completing your online application form

VAF9 Form

VAF9 Appendix 8 form

UKVI guide to processing times outside the UK

UKVI guide to Tier 4 supporting documents

Entry Clearance application fees.

UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) information and guidance

 

Short Term Student visas

We do not advise you to apply for a Short Term student Visa unless you are certain that you will not want to do any paid or voluntary work while you are here and that you will only be here for a maximum of 6 months (11 months for students studying English Language only). 

UKVI Guide to visa application processing times

If you are coming to study a course which is no more than 6 months long (or 11 months if you are only coming to study an English Language course) you may apply for a Short Term Student visa.

Holders of Short Term Student visas are not allowed to do any employment in the UK. This includes voluntary work.

It is not possible to extend these visas or switch from a Short Term Student Visa to a Tier 4 visa.

Exam re-sits

If you need to come back to the UK just to re-sit exams, you will need to apply for a Short Term Student visa. If you then need to apply for more time in the UK to continue your course after passing your exams, you will need to leave the UK and apply for a Tier 4 (General) visa.

Applying for a short term student visa

If you are a non-visa national, you may apply for entry clearance as a Short Term Student visa in any country outside the UK or you may apply for leave to enter when you arrive in the UK. This only applies if your course is for no more than 6 months - if you are coming to study English Language and you wish to apply for an extended short term student visa for up to 11 months, you must apply for entry clearance before you travel to the UK.

If you decide to apply when you arrive in the UK, you must make sure that you have documents in your hand luggage proving that you are starting a course at the University of Kent which is no longer than 6 months. You will need a letter with the university's Tier 4 sponsor licence number on it, as well as details of your course, including the strart and end dates and the tuition fees. You must also be able to show that you have enough money to live on while you are in the UK (e.g bank statements). You will need to show these to the Border Force Officer when you arrive in the UK. Even if you apply for your visa in advance, you should carry these documents in your hand luggage in case you are asked to show them on arrival.

If you have ever had problems with a UK visa before, we and the UKVI advise you to apply for your visa before you travel, as there is an increased risk that you will be refused entry to the UK.

How do I know if I am a non-visa national?

Read the UKVI information for non-visa nationals. (you will need to open up the heading 'Appendix 2. visa national list'; and if you see an asterisk next to your country, open up the next heading, 'Holders of specified travel documents' to see if you fall into any of the exceptions listed there)

Use the UKVI visa checker

More information on Short Term Student visas

UKVI information on Short Term Student visas

 

Postgraduate students studying sciences and technical/engineering subjects:

If you are a Masters or PhD student you must get a clearance certificate before submitting your visa application if you are studying a subject which is on a list under the Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS). It currently takes at least 20 working days to obtain the certificate, so we recommend that you apply at least 6 weeks before you submit your visa application.

You can find out if your course is on the list by visiting the ATAS pages at the Gov.UK website. You will first need to find out the JACS code from your departmental office or your personal tutor.

If you are undertaking a period of study or research in the UK for 6 months or more, and that study or research in the UK forms part of your postgraduate qualification in another country, you must apply for an ATAS clearance certificate if you are studying any of the subjects listed on the FCO website under the heading Visiting research student.

If you are applying for your Tier 4 visa under the Doctorate Extension Scheme (DES) and you had an ATAS certificate for your course you will only need to apply for a new ATAS certificate for your DES application if your new course end date is more than 3 months after the course end date which you used when you made your original visa application.

 

Urgent information if your visa has expired

'Overstayers' are people whose visas have expired and who have remained here without applying to renew it. It is a criminal offence to remain in the UK without a valid visa.

If you make an application to renew your visa after it has expired you will not have the right to appeal if the Home Office refuses to extend it.

If you overstay for more than 28 days, any immigration application you make in the UK will be refused automatically. You will have to leave the UK not more than 90 days after the end of your immigration leave and make a new entry clearance application. If you stay in the UK for more than 90 days after your immigration leave ends, you will automatically be refused entry clearance for a period of one year. We strongly advise anyone who has overstayed their UK immigration leave to leave the UK as soon as possible and keep evidence of their date of departure, e.g airline ticket.

Contact us for advice before making an immigration application if you are an overstayer.

Read more about overstaying in the UK.

 

If you wish to start a course at a different university or college, or if you have a Tier 4 visa for a course with a different university or college and you want to move to the University of Kent, you must either get permission from the UKVI or make a new immigration application before you can change. What you must do depends on when you applied for your current Tier 4 or student (pre- Tier 4) visa and the status of the new Tier 4 sponsor (university or college).

If you made the application for your current Tier 4 visa on or after 5 October 2009

You must make a new visa application before starting your new course. You will need to prove that you have made the application by producing a copy of the acknowledgement letter from the UKVI when you register for the new course.

If the new course is at an educational institution with Highly Trusted Sponsor (HTS) status, you are allowed to start the course before your application is decided. If the new course is at an educational institution which does not have HTS status, you must not start until you have been granted a new visa by the Home Office. The University of Kent is a Highly Trusted Sponsor.

If you applied for your current Tier 4 visa on or after 31 March 2009 but before 5 October 2009

You must get permission to change institution from the UKVI. You must use the Tier 4 (PTS) form and pay a fee. However, if you will need to extend your immigration leave to complete the new course, you should apply to extend your leave before starting the new course - you will not be expected to seek permission to switch as well.

If you applied for your current student visa before 31 March 2009, you have a pre- Tier 4 student visa and you need not inform the UKVI of the change, but they encourage you to do so. As you will need extra time to complete the course, you will need to apply for a Tier 4 visa using a CAS from your new Tier 4 sponsor.

 

 

As a Tier 4 Sponsor, the University of Kent has a duty to keep certain records for international students including:

  • passports
  • visas and Biometric Residence Permits
  • ATAS certificates (if required)
  • attendance records
  • contact details (so you must keep your contact details up to date)

The University also has a legal duty to ensure that it complies with UKVI requirements. This includes a duty to report to the UKVI: 

  • any students who fail to enrol on their course;
  • any students who are absent for a prolonged period or who miss 10 expected contact points;
  • any students who discontinue their studies (including intermitting and deferrals);
  • any significant changes in a student's circumstances, such as a reduction in the length of the course or change of programme of studies;
  • any students the university stops sponsoring for any reason: this includes any students who move into a different immigration category or who complete a course sooner than expected;
  • any suspicions the university may have and any evidence that a student is breaking the conditions of their stay in the UK (e.g. working more than 20 hours per week during term time)

For further details, please:

 

If you move to a new address after you have made a Tier 4 application in the UK, you must inform the UKVI by completing an online form.  They will use the information on your form to send your passport and other documents back to you.  If you do not tell them that you have moved your documents may get delivered to your old address or be returned to the UKVI by the Post Office.  It is your responsibility to make sure that the UKVI have your current address.

 

 

As an International student you are not entitled to Public Funds, also known as State Benefits, under the tems of your visa. If you are short of funds it is very difficult for you to remain in the UK and you may need to Intermit from your studies and return home until such time as your financial situation can be resolved.

The University does have a very small International Hardship fund which may be able to assist you in an emergency. You will need to complete the application form which you can find on the University website here. Any payment is discretionary. If you would like help in completing the application form please make an appointment to see an adviser.

If you are an international student from Asia and you are in financial difficulty, you may be able to get help from the Hammond Trust. The funds are limited and you must be in the last six months of your course or need extra time to complete your research in order to be eligible. The fund cannot pay for tuition fees.

I have my Tier 4 visa - how should I prepare for arrival in the UK?

Read the UKVI information on arriving in the UK - this should help avoid difficulties when you arrive at the airport.

I have a Tier 4 visa for a course at a different university/college - can I use this to study at Kent?

No. If you applied for your current Tier 4 visa on or after 5 October 2009, you MUST apply for a new Tier 4 visa using a CAS issued by Kent before you are allowed to start your course here.

If you applied for your current Tier 4 visa before 5 October 2009, you may make an application for Permission to Transfer Sponsor OR apply for a new Tier 4 visa, but as you will need to extend your visa to complete the course at Kent anyway, it is best to apply for a new visa before you start the course.

 

What documents do I need to submit with my Tier 4 (General) student application?

The documents you need to submit depend on your individual circumstances. Please read the application form carefully and refer to the following lists and policy guidance. This will help you decide which documents you need.

UKVI information and guidance:

UKVI Supporting documents guidance (applications made OUTSIDE the UK)

Tier 4 Policy guidance (applications made inside or outside the UK)

What do I need to do if I change my address or other details while my Tier 4 application is at the UKVI?

You need to inform the UKVI by using their online form.

If I come to the UK as a Short Term Student , can I extend my stay if I need to or switch to Tier 4 Student leave in the UK?

No. Short term student visas cannot be extended, nor can you switch from Short Term Student  to Tier 4 leave in the UK. If you come to the UK with a Short Term Student  visa you will need to return to your home country (or the country where you reside) and apply for Tier 4 entry clearance if you need to extend your stay in the UK.

Can I make a Tier 4 application in a country which is not my home country?

Not unless you live there. If you are just visiting a foreign country, you will have to return to your home country to apply for a Tier 4 visa.

My aunt/uncle is paying for my studies in the UK - can I use his/her bank statement or a letter of sponsorship to support my Tier 4 application?

No. They will need to deposit the money in an account in your name or that of your parent or legal guardian. You cannot rely on a bank statement from a family member unlesss that person is your parent or legal guardian. If you are using funds held in your parent/legal guardian's account, you must also provide proof of the parental relationship, e.g. birth certificate or certificate of adoption and a letter confirming both that the person is your parent/legal guardian and that the person consents to you using their funds to study in the UK. Read the Tier 4 Policy guidance to make sure that your financial and other evidence is acceptable to the Home Office.

 

If your visa states that you must register with the police, you must do so within 7 days of arriving in the UK.

Failure to register, if you are required to do so, is a criminal offence and could result in your removal from the UK. It only applies to people with certain nationalities. View list of countries.

If you are from one of the countries on the list, you should only be required to register if your visa is for more than 6 months. If you have a visa for less than 6 months and your visa states that you must register with the police, or you are not a national of one of the countries on the list, contact us for advice as it may be a mistake and we may be able to help you get it corrected.

In order to register, you need:

  • your passport
  • your BRP or decsion letter which shows that you are required to register.
  • 2 passport photographs
  • £34 registration fee in cash
  • proof of your current address
  • your unconditional offer letter from Kent

Kent Police Nationality Dept information leaflet and contact details

Kent Police information on registration

Getting there

View map showing location of Police station

Take bus number 17 from Canterbury bus station. Download bus timetable

Ask the driver to drop you at the bus stop for the Channel Tunnel service entrance or Longport Police Station. This stop is not listed on the bus timetable, but it is between Etchinghill and Cheriton Post Office. It takes about one hour to get there.

Once you have registered, you must notify the police of any of the following changes in your circumstances within 7 days:

  • change of address or educational institution
  • extension of your immigration leave
  • new landing conditions
  • new passport details
  • change of marital status

You can do this by post. You will need proof of the change, for example your new address or new course.  You will need to send your passport and biometric residence permit if you have one, if you have a new passport or your immigration leave has been extended. You can find our guide to updating your Police registration certificate here.  We have also prepared a standard letter which you can use to send with your documents.  You can find this here

When you leave the country for good, e.g. at the end of your course, you should return the certificate to the police and inform them that you have left the UK.

 

If you are a non- EEA national, there are limited options for getting a visa to work in the UK after you have finished your studies. The following information outlines the visas which are most likely to apply to you and those which students ask us about the most. It is NOT a full list of options.

Tier 4 Doctorate Extension Scheme

This is a visa for students who have almost finished their PhD in the UK. If you qualify you get a further Tier 4 visa for an extra 12 months so that you can look for and start work in the UK.

To qualify you must:

  • Be studying for a PhD or other Doctorate qualification
  • Have a valid Tier 4 visa at the time you apply
  • Apply from inside the UK
  • Meet the financial requirements
  • Have a CAS from the University

You must apply up to 60 days before the expected course end date stated on your new CAS from the University. The expected course end date is the date after you have completed all corrections and revisions and your name is ready to go on to the pass list.

We recently provided a workshop on the Doctorate Extension scheme. You can find the presentation here.

Youn can find our guide to completing the Tier 4 application form here

For more information on the Doctorate Extension scheme please:

See our Doctorate Extension Scheme checklist

Read our FAQs

See the UKCISA information on the Doctorate Extension scheme

Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur

This is a new type of visa to allow students to extend their stay in the UK to establish a business here.

To qualify, you will need to apply for and be accepted on to the University of Kent’s Graduate Entrepreneur Scheme. This is a one-year start-up scheme to help Kent graduates set up a business in the UK. It costs £7,500 to take part in the scheme, which entails participating in a series of lectures and workshops. You will also have access to business advisers. To find out more, contact the HUB for Innovation and Enterprise (HIVE) using the contact details here

UKCISA information on Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur visa

Tier 2 (General)

This replaced work permits. Employers must have a Tier 2 sponsor licence from the Home Office.

You must meet all of the following requirements:

  • Your employer must have a Tier 2 sponsor licence. You can find the list of employers who hold a sponsor licence here
  • Your job must have a particular skills level, minimum wage level and have been advertised as required by the Home Office, or be exempt from this advertising requirement (resident labour market test)
  • You must have the required level of English and meet maintenance requirements
  • If you want to, or must, apply outside the UK, or if you apply in the UK and you have immigration permission as a Tier 4 partner, your job must score a minimum number of points

If you want to make your immigration application in the UK, you must meet certain requirements.

It is very important to read the Tier 2 policy guidance before you make your application. If you do not provide the documents specified in the guidance, your application will be refused. If you are not sure whether you meet all the requirements for Tier 2, talk to the employer who has offered you the job and consider consulting an immigration adviser who specialises in Tier 2 immigration applications. We cannot give detailed advice on Tier 2 applications or assist you with your application.

More information is on the UKCISA website

Important!

The requirements for all visas are strict; if you do not meet all of the requirements, your application will be refused.

For information on all of the options for visas which allow you to work in the UK, please go to:

UKVI website

UKCISA website