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Academic Progress

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Section 1: Purpose and Contents of this page:

This page has been created to explain the Student Visa Academic Progress Requirement, including how this applies to new and continuing students at Warwick. It applies to students who need to make a Student Visa application in the UK, and have previously been granted a UK Student Visa or Tier 4 (General) Visa at any time in the past. 


Section 2: Does the Academic Progress Requirement apply to me? Who is exempt?

You must show Academic Progress from the course for which you were last granted a Student Visa or Tier 4 (General) Visa if:

  • You are applying for a Student Visa inside of the UK; AND
  • You have previously been granted a Student Visa or Tier 4 (General) Visa at any point in the past, even if it is not your current visa (Note: Child Student, Tier 4 (Child) visas and PBS Dependent Visas are not relevant);
unless one of the exemptions below applies to your situation.

If you fail to meet the Academic Progress requirement and are not exempt, your visa application will be refused by the UKVI. 

You are exempt from the requirement and do not need to show Academic Progress if:

  • You are applying for a Student Visa outside of the UK; OR
  • You have never been granted a Student Visa or Tier 4 (General) Visa before; OR
  • Another specific exemption within the UK Immigration Rules applies to your circumstance, and is stated on your Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS). For example, you are a continuing student and you require a further visa because:
    - You have or will be resitting or repeating examinations or modules; or
    - You are a Doctoral Student in extension and require more time to complete the course; or
    - You have or will be untertaking a study abroad programme or work placement as part of your course; or
    - You are beginning, or returning to studies following, a period as a Student Union Sabbatical Officer

The University will assess whether you meet, or are exempt from, the Academic Progress requirement before it assigns a CAS (Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies) to you. Your CAS will state the basis on which the University believes you either meet the requirement, or are exempt from it.

It is therefore vitally important that you carefully detail any previous UK Student Visas or Tier 4 (General) Visas you have been granted when completing your CAS request. You must tell us about any Student or Tier 4 (General) Visa you were granted, whether or not you used them for study.

Section 3: I am a new Warwick student (applicant). What does Academic Progress mean for me?

Who will assess Academic Progress?

Your Warwick Admissions Team will assess whether you meet this requirement by looking at:
  • Your application details
  • Any previous Student or Tier 4 (General) visas declared during the CAS request process
  • The documentation you have submitted (certificates, transcripts, letters) related to the course for which your previous Student or Tier 4 (General) Visa was granted.

If you meet the Academic Progress requirement, the Admissions Team will assign a CAS to you which states how they have assessed this. It is not necessary for you to provide documentation or evidence in relation to this requirement with your visa application unless you are studying at below-degree level (e.g. Foundation Studies).

If you do not meet the Academic Progress requirement, you will need to make your visa application from a country outside of the UK in which you have residence rights. Your Admissions Team will not be able to issue a CAS to you unless you confirm you will be doing this.

When will I be deemed to be making Academic Progress?

You will be deemed to be making Academic Progress if both of the following are true:

  • You have successfully completed the course for which you were last granted a Student or Tier 4 (General) visa, or, you are currently sponsored for a course at degree level or above by a "Student Sponsor - Track Record" and your current institution confirms in writing that you are highly likely to successfully complete the course based on performance; AND
  • Your course at Warwick will lead to a qualification at a higher level on the UK's Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF) than the course for which your last Student or Tier 4 (General) Visa was granted. In some limited cases, a course that will lead to a qualification at the same level is also accepted, see below.

What do I need to do?

  1. To evidence that you have Completed or are Highly Likely to Successfully Complete the course for which your previous Student or Tier 4 (General) Visa was granted:

    If you have already been awarded the qualification

    Provide your certificate or transcript to your Warwick Admissions Team.

    If you are a current Warwick Student and your qualification is still pending

    Ask your current Warwick academic department to request a "Highly Likely to Successfully Complete" letter from Student Immigration (no more than 3 months before your current course end date).

    If you are studying at another institution and your qualification is still pending

    Request a letter from your current Student Visa sponsor and provide it to your Warwick Admissions Team.
    The letter must state:

    • Your full name; and
    • The name of the course and Regulated Qualification Framework level of the course; and
    • The date (month or day) the qualification is due to be awarded, which must be within 3 months of the start of your Warwick course; and
    • That you are highly likely to successfully complete the qualification based on performance


    Your current sponsor must be listed hereLink opens in a new window as a "Student Sponsor - Track Record"

    The letter must be printed on letter-headed paper and be signed or stamped by your Academic Department or Institution

    Please be aware:

    If you wish to apply for a Student Visa in the UK and the University assigns a CAS to you on the basis of a pending qualification, as above, this qualification must be awarded within 3 months of the start of your Warwick course. If the University does not receive your final certificate or transcript, confirming successful completion of this previous course, in this timeframe, it will be forced to cease sponsorship of any new Student Visa.

    If there is any doubt at the whether this deadline can be met, it would therefore be safer to make a Student Visa application outside of the UK to be exempt from the Academic Progress requirement.

  2. To evidence that your new course represents Academic Progress from the course for which your last Student or Tier 4 (General) visa was granted:

    If your new course leads to a qualification at a higher RQF Level

    Provide your certificate or transcript to your Warwick Admissions Team. You may be asked for a copy of the CAS issued for your previous course if it is an unusual qualification.

    If you exited your previous course with a lower-level Bachelors or Masters degree which was part of an integrated course, and your new course leads to a qualification at a higher level than the qualification awarded, you will meet this requirement.

    If your new course leads to a qualification at the same RQF level
    (applies to new courses at degree-level and above only)

    Your Admissions Team will review your application, and consult with your prospective academic department, to produce a statement confirming that either:

    • Your new course of study is related to your previous course of study (meaning it either connected to the previous course, part of the same subject group, or involves deeper specialisation); or
    • The combination of the previous course of study and the new course of study support your genuine career aspirations

    If unable to produce such a statement without your input, your Admissions Team will contact you to ask you for an "Academic Progression" statement. If this is required, we recommend you write no more than one side of A4 addressing the above two points.

    The Admissions Team will assess whether your statement is acceptable. If it is, it will be included on your CAS, and you should be aware that your application may come under more scrutiny and you may be invited to attend a "credibility interview", where you will be asked about your rationale for wishing to study the new course.

    If neither of the above apply

    It is likely that you will need to make a Student Visa application from outside of the UK in order that you be exempt from the Academic Progress requirement altogether. Your Admissions Team will ask you to confirm this before issuing a CAS to you. If you are not progressing to a higher-level course, you should be aware that your application may come under more scrutiny and you may be invited to attend a "credibility interview", where you will be asked about your rationale for wishing to return to the UK to study the new course.

Section 4: I am continuing the same course and need a new visa. What does Academic Progress mean for me?

Who will assess Academic Progress?

The Student Immigration Team will assess whether you meet the Academic Progress requirement using:
  • The information provided when you make a UK CAS request
  • Your student record

When your UK CAS request is processed, an International Student Adviser will inform you if the Academic Progress requirement means you are not eligible to make your new Student Visa application from within the UK. If you are able to make a Student Visa application from within the UK, the reason you meet or are exempt from the Academic Progress requirement will be shown on your CAS.

How does the Academic Progress Requirement affect my application - can I make a Student Visa application in the UK?

If there has been no break in your studies and you have been granted Academic Extension

Usually yes. You will normally be exempt from the Academic Progress requirement, and therefore be able to apply for a new Student Visa in the UK, on the basis that:

  • You have or will be resitting or repeating examinations* or modules (this applies to Masters students given an additional period in which to submit their dissertation after the original deadline date); or
  • You are a Doctoral Student in extension and require more time to complete the course

*If you are studying at Bachelors or Masters level and have previously changed course without being required to obtain a new visa, you will need to submit transcripts with your visa application evidencing that your resit/resubmission is in relation to the course you changed to.

If you previously held a Student or Tier 4 (General) Visa for this course, and are returning after a break in studies (e.g. Temporary Withdrawal, Resit Without Residence)

Usually no. You will normally need to apply for your new Student Visa from outside of the UK. The Academic Progress requirement prevents you from applying from within the UK because you did not successfully complete the course using your previous visa.

If you are Switching to a Student Visa from another Immigration Category part-way through your course

Student Immigration will assess your case based on whether you have successfully completed, and whether your course represents academic progress from, any previous course for which you were granted a Student or Tier 4 (General) visa.

Section 5: I am changing course and need a new visa. What does Academic Progress mean for me?

Remember that not all course changes require you to make a new visa application, and some course changes may not require you to make a new visa application until your current visa expires. Please see our detailed information on changing course for more information.

If you are required to obtain a new Student Visa due to a change in course, the Academic Progress requirement affects where you can make this application (whether you have the option of applying from within the UK).

Who will assess Academic Progress?

The Student Immigration Team will assess whether you meet the Academic Progress requirement using:
  • The information provided when you make a UK CAS request
  • Your student record

When your UK CAS request is processed, an International Student Adviser will inform you if the Academic Progress requirement means you are not eligible to make your new Student Visa application from within the UK. If you are able to make a Student Visa application from within the UK, the reason you meet or are exempt from the Academic Progress requirement will be shown on your CAS.

How does the Academic Progress Requirement affect my application - can I make a Student Visa application in the UK?

You will normally be able to meet the Academic Progress requirement and apply for a new visa in the UK if you are:

  • Adding, or have completed, a Study Abroad or Work Placement year
  • Progressing from a Bachelors to Masters degree as part of an Undergraduate Integrated Masters
  • Progressing to a Masters degree to a PhD as part of an Integrated PhD Programme

Where your course change is for a different reason, and you are required to make a new visa application, this must be made outside of the UK.

Page Change Log:

Page Audit Review:
Previous Review Date Reviewed By Next Review Date
16/May/2022 ISA: SM 16/May/2023
Page Updates:
Section Updated Sub Section Short summary of update Updated By Updated When
All All Page restructured ISA: SM 16/May/2022