Applying for a Visa

Which Visa will I need?

The Student route (previously called Tier 4):

If your programme is longer than 6 months you will need a Student visa.

Study up to six months:

You can apply for a Visitor visa.

Student Visa

If you are coming to the UK to study for more than six months, you will need to apply for a Student visa. In order to get a Student Visa you must meet strict criteria for the application, which we will request as part of your application to study before a Confirmation of Acceptance of Study (CAS) is issued. Please be aware that you are required to pay a minimum of 50% tuition fees prior to CAS being issued.

Our quick guide to Student Visas below gives an overview of the application process.


In order to apply for a Student Visa, UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) require evidence that you have enough money to support yourself while studying in the UK, including your tuition fees and living costs. This is referred to as ‘maintenance’.

When applying for a Student Visa you will need to show maintenance for both your Tuition fees and living costs.

Tuition fees:

You are required to show the first years programme fee (if the programme is 1 year or less you will be require to show the full fee)

Living costs:

You are required to show a monthly living costs amount up to a maximum of 9 months.

Evidence of finances

The UKVI will only accept certain documents to show you have sufficient finance for your studies in the UK. Most students show a bank or building society statement or confirmation letter from the bank. This can be from a personal account or belonging to a parent or legal guardian. If you are providing a bank statement as evidence of funds it must show the following:

  • Your name or your parent/guardian’s name(s)
  • The account number
  • The date of the statement-this MUST be dated within one calendar month prior to the date of application
  • The financial institutions name and logo
  • The amount of money available-this should have been at the required amount for at least 28 days and the money should still be available to you at the time of application and when your application is being considered
  • The statement can be no older than 31 days on the date of visa application

Other documents such as Building Society pass book, letter from bank/building society/financial institution confirming funds or a loan letter if you are in the UK are acceptable. For more information on these documents please see the UKCISA webpage

If you are submitting your parents or legal guardian’s financial documents you must also include one of the following original documents and translation if necessary:

  • Your birth certificate – ensure your parents names are the same on the birth certificate as the bank statement, if not provide evidence of why, for example a marriage certificate
  • Certificate of adoption showing names of both parents or legal guardian
  • Court document naming the legal guardian.

Your parents or guardian should also provide a letter confirming the following:

  • Their name
  • The relationship between you and them
  • The amount of money available to you, ideally this should be the same as on their bank statement
  • That they give consent to the money being used for your education in the UK.

A template which your parents can change to suit your situation is available.

Please note: the UKVI does not accept financial evidence from certain financial institutions in certain countries, before submitting any financial documents please ensure they are approved by the UKVI. Visit the UKVI webpage for more information.

Sponsored students

If you are sponsored by Edge Hill University fully for your tuition and maintenance you do not need to show any further evidence to the UKVI as this will be stated on your CAS. Please note if you are sponsored as a Graduate Teaching Assistant for Doctoral Studies and the scholarship does not cover full living costs, then you will be required to demonstrate the shortfall through personal finances.

If you are sponsored by an official sponsor, for example your home government, the British Council, an international organization, international company, university or independent school; you will need to provide evidence of this. The evidence must be in the form of a letter with the following details:

  • Your name
  • The name and contact details of your official sponsor
  • The date of the letter
  • The length of sponsorship
  • The amount of money the sponsor is giving you, or a statement saying that your official sponsor will cover all your tuition and maintenance costs.

If your sponsor will only cover part of your tuition/maintenance costs you will need to provide evidence for the remaining amount, for example personal bank statements.

TB testing

Students from certain countries studying at Edge Hill for a programme of 6 months or more must be tested for Tuberculosis before they arrive. For more information and a list of the countries where you need a TB test to enter the UK please click here.

Academic qualifications

If your course is below degree level, then you will be required to submit any academic qualifications which have been used to gain entry to Edge Hill University with your visa application, as listed on your CAS. If you are unsure which qualification(s) you will need to submit please email [email protected]

English Language requirements

All applicants for the International Foundation Programme (and for all below-degree-level courses) are required to provide a Secure English Language Test (SELT). These are the only UKVI approved tests.

For all Undergraduate and higher programmes (RQF level 6 or above) you may use any of the Edge Hill University accepted English Language Qualifications are the required level, available here

If you are from a UKVI defined majority English speaking country or have a qualification that is the equivalent of a UK Bachelor’s degree from a majority English speaking county you may be exempt.

Other qualifications can be considered by Edge Hill University on an individual basis along with your application if you have any question regarding this please contact us via the enquiry form.

Student Visa credibility interviews

Student Visa Credibility Interviews take place both within and outside the UK and form one part of the Visa application process. You will be sent an email asking you to attend an interview as part of the application process. Please ensure that you are checking your emails regularly (including your junk/spam folder).

Pages 14 to 16 of this UKVI document cover the ‘Genuine Student Rule’

  • During the interviews a member of the  Home Office will ask you a series of questions about your course, where you want to study, and your reasons for studying in the UK.
  • Interviews are conducted in English and possibly by via video link. The report of your interview will be sent to either your Caseworker or the Entry Clearance Officer who will make a decision on your visa application.
  • The Entry Clearance Officer must be satisfied that you are a genuine student, and that your English language ability is at the correct level, otherwise you might be called for a further interview and/or your entry clearance application may be refused.

The Home Office advises that this new interview process is designed to detect potential abuse of the visa system – not to trip up genuine students. You will, however, need to have done a lot of – and be able to talk in detail about – research into other countries (including your own), other universities and other courses, and convincingly explain why the UK, Edge Hill, and your course were chosen and why the others were not chosen. Your answers must be individual. The UKVI will dismiss generic statements that anyone could google and repeat.

Typical questions may include:

Q: Why did you choose Edge Hill University?
Answer preparation: Think about why you chose the UK rather than your home country, other English-speaking countries or countries which other students of your nationality choose to study in.
Q: Why did you choose your course?
Answer preparation: There may be many courses in the same subject area as the one you plan to study at Edge Hill University. What is it specifically about the course which you prefer and which suits you over other course choices? Think about your decision process. Did you apply for other courses – why did you choose Edge Hill University over them?
Q: How do your studies fit into your career plans?
Answer preparation: Think about what your plans are after you graduate – how will the knowledge and skills you gain from your course at Edge Hill University help you with the type of work you hope to do. Does your course lead to any professional exemptions or qualifications and are these recognised in your country? Do you know what others graduating from the course you will be following went on to do e.g. the types of roles and organisations they work for? If the course you plan to study is at a similar academic level to previous studies, how does it represent progression and does it have a vocational focus? If this is the case, be prepared to explain this.
Q: If the costs of pursuing your course of study are higher in the UK than in your home country, why have you decided to incur the extra costs involved with studying in the UK?
Answer preparation: Think about the advantages that a degree from the UK might give you and why you and/or your family are prepared to make this investment. Have you made a realistic assessment of all the costs involved and how you plan to pay for them. These cost include the course fees and living costs, including accommodation.
Q: You have previously studied in the UK – why have you chosen to return?
Answer preparation: Think about how the new course relates to previous studies and how it might build on your previous learning. You can also talk about the benefits of your previous course.
Q: You have had a long break in your studies, why are you returning to study now?
Answer preparation: Think about how you explain your decision in the context of your long-term career plans.
Q: Do you plan to work in the UK?
Answer preparation: You cannot rely on funds from working to pay your course fees and living costs so you need to be aware of this. The main purpose for being in the UK is your studies so, if you do hope to work, think about how this would enhance your academic studies. You also need to demonstrate an understanding of the hours you are allowed to work and typical rates of pay.
Q: How will you fund your studies? (you should not be asked this unless you are called back for a second interview)
Answer preparation: The purpose of this question is to check that your funds are genuinely available to you for your studies. As part of your application you will have submitted proof of your finances – ensure that you are very clear about the source and availability of these funds, also how you plan to pay for subsequent years fees if your course is more than a year in duration. If you have official financial sponsorship make sure you are aware of the amounts and exactly what is covered. If you have a loan, how will you afford to pay this back? How much will your accommodation cost and are you clear about the cost of living in the UK?

The interviewer will also be checking your ability to converse well in English, if there is any issue with hearing them clearly e.g. via the video link, you should ensure that you raise this so that they are aware that it is a technical issue not one of comprehension.

Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS)

Student Visa applicants studying a programme which has a duration of longer than 6 months are required to pay the IHS. This is due to increase in October 2020 to £470 per year (£235 for any period of time up to 6 months), this is calculated against the length of leave granted not the length of the programme.

For more information please click here.

Time limits

Please be aware that the UKVI have set time limits as to how long you can be sponsored as on a student visa. At below degree level you can study for a maximum of 2 years and at degree level (this includes Undergraduate but not Master’s or PhD) you are limited to 5 years studying in the UK.

If you have studied in the UK you will need to provide copies of all previous visas and Confirmations of Acceptance of Study (CAS). Edge Hill will then provide you with further guidance.

Academic progression

Academic progression is an important part of the Student visa application, and it will dictate whether you can make your visa application in the UK.

If you make your Student visa application from inside the UK, your new period of studies must represent academic progression from your studies in the UK to date.

Academic progression means that:

  • You have successfully completed (i.e. achieved the award for) the most recent programme of study in the UK for which you were given a student visa
  • Your new course is:

At a higher level than your previous programme, OR

Complementary study (this means it must be a specialisation of your previous studies, or a new programme which, combined with previous studies, will allow you to achieve your career goals)

You do not need to show academic progression if:

  • You are making a Student application from outside the UK
  • You are applying to resit and exam or repeat a course, or you have previously resat an exam or repeated a course, and you need extra time to complete your programme
  • You are applying for more time to complete your PhD for which you were last granted a student visa (including at a new sponsor)
  • You are applying to undertake a role as a Sabbatical Officer
  • You are applying under the Doctorate Extension Scheme

Students who are applying to move to a higher level on certain integrated programmes do not need to have successfully completed their most recent programme to demonstrate academic progression.

The University will assess whether you meet the academic progression requirements before they issue you with a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies. Please note that for applications outside the UK academic progression must still be demonstrated for credibility grounds in order to demonstrate that you are a genuine student.



ATAS stands for Academic Technology Approval Scheme, this is required by all International Students hoping to study a Postgraduate qualification in certain sensitive subjects. The need for ATAS is not limited to Student Visas and is also required by those with existing immigration permissions.

You will be informed upon application to Edge Hill University if you need to apply for an ATAS certificate. The ATAS application must be made before the CAS can be issued.

More information and how to apply

Study up to six months

If you are going to be studying for no more than six months you can apply for a visitor visa

A Visitor Visa does NOT allow you to:

  • extend your stay in the UK to study longer
  • switch into another immigration category in the UK
  • work whilst in the UK.
  • If you are going to study on an 11-month English-Language-only programme, you will need to apply for the Short-term Study visa.


 How to apply:

Visa Nationals

Visa nationals are those from specific countries who are required to apply for a Visa to come to the UK prior to arrival. If a visa national is coming to the UK for less than 6 months they must still apply for a visa prior to departure and would do this at a visa application centre in the country in which they reside.

To see a list of visa nationals please visit the UKVI webpage detailing the immigration rule with the list.

If you are a visa national you will need to apply for the visa before you depart your home country. You should do this as soon as you received your Visa Acceptance Letter from Edge Hill University, but not more than 3 months before the date you plan to travel to the UK.

The application process depends on which country your will be applying from, for further details about the process of applying for this from your home country please visit the UKVI webpage.

Non-Visa Nationals

If you are a non-visa national, you can apply from your home country before travelling to the UK or you can receive a visitor visa at the port of entry. We recommend applying for your visa before you travel.

You must ensure that you carry your acceptance letter from Edge Hill University and that you do not travel through the Republic of Ireland, as this is part of the Common Travel Area and you will not be subjected to immigration check when you enter the UK.

If you are allowed to use the eGates on arrival then you will need to provide evidence of your date of entry to the UK to the Compliance and Immigration Manager.

Please note that if you are applying for the 11 month Short-term Study Visa you must apply for prior entry clearance as this cannot be requested upon arrival to the UK.

Documents required:

The UKVI have provided a list of suggested documents. As a minimum you should have the following:

  • Passport
  • One passport-sized colour photograph
  • Evidence of your current studies, for example Study Abroad students should provide a letter from their home institution.
  • Bank statements or evidence of funds to support yourself in the UK.
  • Visa acceptance letter from Edge Hill University. For Study Abroad Students this will specify the cost of your programme and whether you have already paid Edge Hill or if you will pay your home institution. If you have not already paid for your Study Abroad programme, the UKVI officer will want evidence of the money being available to pay, for example Federal Aid letter or bank statements.
  • If you are not from a majority English speaking country, for example the US, evidence of your English ability may be needed such as an IELTS/Pearson certificate.

Please note: there is no set amount of money which is required. You should have enough to cover all costs of your trip including any tuition fees that you need to pay.


Inside the UK

Please contact the International Office immediately with the refusal notice, you will then be advised of options available to you.

+44 1695 657122
[email protected]

Outside the UK

You should inform Edge Hill University immediately if your visa is refused. Please forward the full refusal notice that has been issued to you to the International Office. [email protected]

You may be given the right of an administrative review by the UKVI.

An administrative review means your application is considered by another UKVI  officer who was not involved in the initial decision. An administrative review is free and must be requested within 28 days of the refusal notice being issued. Edge Hill University may be able to support you through an administrative review, depending on the reasons you were refused initially. Therefore, please do keep the International Office informed.

In some instances an administrative review may not be the best course of action due to the time a review can take or the situation of your refusal; in these cases Edge Hill will advise you whether a new application could be submitted.

I already have a Visa

If you already have a valid visa in the UK this may allow you to study or to switch to a student visa from within the UK. When you make your application to study please provide a copy of your current visa and we will provide individual advice as to whether you can use this to study or if you are able to switch visas from within the UK.

Examples of visas which allow study in the UK include, but are not limited to:

  • Indefinite Leave to Remain
  • PBS Dependent visa
  • Ancestry Visa
  • Refugee
  • Asylum Seeker

Extending your visa

Most students have no problems during their studies and are able to complete their programme on time. However, on occasion students face problems which interrupt studies or cause issues and delays for the student programme. Some students may have the re-sit exams, repeat a year of studies, or ask for special consideration due to personal issues.

For Student Visas please contact the Compliance and Immigration Manager in the first instance as there may be visa implications.

For all enrolled students there is information regarding resits and programme extensions on the Academic Registry webpage. Alternatively, call in to the Student Administration Centre for advice.

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