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Study Abroad Staff Pages

This page is setup to help Study Abroad staff through the Immigration and CAS issuing process for inbound Study Abroad students who are non EU/EEA nationals.

Please us this guide in conjunction with the Visa flowchart and the 'How to create a VCR' document.

Processing Student Application(s) steps:

Study Abroad team should make sure students meet all entry requirements before making an unconditional offer.

This includes the english language component.

If a student may require a visa they must have met the english language requirements set out in the Important information for Inbound Students before an offer is made.

If a student has not yet met the english language level, i.e. they have not yet taken the test or need to re-take a test, they can be made a Conditional Offer.

This offer MUST contain the conditions of acquiring the relevant english language document.

What English Language test(s) are accepted?

Depending on the length of time the student will be studying, this will determine the requirments for English Language tests.

Student Will Be Studying For ONE Term:

- All of these students will ONLY be issued with a Short Term Study Visa Letter.

- You can accept any English Language Qualifications listed on the UG Admissions website (e.g. IELTS, GCSE etc) or the PG Admissions website.

- Refer to more details on Short Term Student Visa below.

Student Will Be Studying For TWO Terms:

- Students will only be issued with a Short Term Study Visa Support Letter.

- You can accept any English Language Qualifications listed on the UG Admissions website (e.g. IELTS, GCSE etc) or the PG Admissions website.

- Refer to more details on Short Term Student Visa below.

Tier 4 Visa for TWO Terms:

- If a student is studying for two terms and would like to apply for a Tier 4 visa, you must ascertain their reasons why they would like a Tier 4 visa.

  • Reason 1:
    • They wish to undertake work while they are here.
  • Reason 2:
    • They have a pre-existing medical condition, and therefore they wish to pay the IHS to ensure they have medical cover.
      • Note:

In most cases, Study Abroad students would have medical insurance, and therefore, this should not be needed.

Due to the length of time, certain medical conditions may not be covered by travel insurance schemes, hence they may request a Tier 4 instead.

- Students must meet the Tier 4 Visa English Language requriements as listed below.

- If students cannot meet the Tier 4 Visa English Language requriements

- English requirement for Tier 4:

English language requirement for all degree level and above students is proficiency at CEFR B2 in all four components, speaking, listening, reading and writing, with the exception of the following:

- ‘Gifted students’ (as approved by University Registrar)

- Those exempt from being proficient in a component because of a disability

- You must communicate with them that they are not eligible for a Tier 4 Visa, only a Short Term Study Visa at point of offer.

Student will be studying for FULL YEAR:

- Students ONLY have an option for a Tier 4 Visa.

- Refer to the guidance below on Tier 4 Visa.

- Unconditional offer should onlt be made if the students have submitted a valid english langauge test as per the Tier 4 Visa guidance below.

A student has submitted an English Language test, how do I know if this is valid?

For an English Language test to be valid and acceptable for admission and visa purposes it must have met the following criteria:

Short Term Student Visa:

- Must be listed on the UG Admissions or PG Admissions page(s).

Anything study abroad team deem acceptable

Study Abroad Team have complete discretion as to what is required and what is acceptable

- Updated by immigration May 2019

- Must meet the minimum B2 level for all components.

Remember that there are still Academic departmental levels set that will need to be met

- discretion can be applied if the department are willing to drop slightly from their minimum level.

- Validity of qualificaiton -> Academic qualifications such as GCSE/HKDSE = No time limit

-> English Language test report = 2 years to course start date - department has

discretion to accept as they see fit for academic reasons

Tier 4 Visa:

- 7 English Language tests accepted ONLY:

    • Cambridge Advanced (CAE)
    • Cambridge Proficiency (CPE)
    • IELTs (Academic)
    • IELTs for UKVI (Academic)
    • Trinity for UKVI (B2 SELT ISE II)
    • Pearson Academic (PTE)
    • TOEFL (iBT)

- Any other Academic English Language qualification

= Not accepted

- Validity of Qualifcation

= 2 years to course start date EXACTLY.

There is no flexibility to change this.

All English Language tests must be verified on the relevant online checking website for test.

How to identify if an applicant requires a visa to enter the UK?

  • If the applicant has entered ‘Nationality’,’ COB’ or ‘COD’ from outside the EEA, then they may require a visa to enter/study in the UK.
  • Complete visa required field (A09 Visa required) as YES, NO or QUERY.

If selected as QUERY the Senior Programmes Coordinator will follow up on this student to make an assessment.

  • If SA Co-ordinator is unsure if visa is required based on students declared nationality, COB or COD then they should check the Gov.UK website visa check.

Alternatively discuss with Senior Programmes Coordinator or Student Immigration & Compliance Team.

  • Run A10 visa

- This will identify all students who need SA/UNCOCAS email

Note there may be some duplicates when pulled through to ACD using linebeak this is okay just ensure you select ‘no to all duplicates’.

This A10 query is setup to only show UF students.

  • All students requiring a visa document MUST provide a scanned copy of the photo page of their passport.

Student has accepted offer - how do we now communicate Visa information?

Student will be studying for up to TWO terms:

- Students should be sent the Short Term Study Visa SRL - for them to check personal details.

- Once details confirmed issue SA/STV SRL

- If details require an update, you can make amendments and then re-send Short Term Study Visa SRL.

If the student requests a Tier 4 visa and are here for TWO terms.

Ascertain reason for Tier 4 visa.

If not one of the two reasons listed above the student is not eligible for a Tier 4 and should be advised that they are only eligible for an STSV.

If the reason for the request is not one of the above, but you feel that they have a compelling reason, escalate to the SIC Team.

Student will be studying for FULL YEAR:

- Send SA/UNCOCAS email:

SA team will check responses from SA/UNCOCAS on a regular basis during summer (July-August).

All students that recieve the UNCOCAS email to ask them to confirm their details are correct and select their action, SA team will then take the necessary action as follows:

Details need updating:

  • Check submission for details that need updating, make amendments in ACD (PPT etc). Re-send SA/UNCOCAS.
    • If students are updating passport details you MUST request scanned copy of passport before amending details.

CAS required - YES UK study:

  • Check details of previous U.K. study. Check for any uploaded visas.

Email student to request visa and details if not submitted.

Only students who have previous studied on Tier 4 visa will need to declare previous UK study.

Liaise with SIC Team if unsure.

Update access query A11 to note student has selected Tier 4.

CAS required - NO UK study

STV visa request

  • Update query A12 to select STV. Run SRL SA/STV.

This will automatically email the STV letter as an email to student (including signatures and header.

  • As part of email, attached copy of STV flyer provided by immigration will be sent alongside pdf copy of supporting email written by Study Abroad team.


Verifying English language tests for Tier 4

Team can use relevant TOEFL or IELTS verification site to check the certificate provided matches the results on screen.

  • Any discrepancies check with Senior Programmes Co-ordinator/Immigration Services team
  • Three tests can be verified online:

TOEFL iBT (Link to be added)



Ensure the following details are checked and verified on English Language tests:
  • Is the test a valid test that can be used for Tier 4 or Short Term Study Visa?

Check the following details:

    • Grades

Has student met B2 CEFR minimum overall and in all four components, Reading, Writing, Listening, and Speaking?

What grade has the student achieved?

To obtain a grade, all components must meet the minimum requirement.

If the grade is higher than B2 CEFR, such as C1, input in SITS.

    • In Date

Has the English test expired by the latest start date of the course, or is it valid?

    • Personal Details

Does the personal information match the original details on scanned copy provided, such as names, date of birth, date test taken, Centre Number, date results released.

Tier 4 Visa - VCR Latest start date

Generated automatically when CAS created.

Ensure you update Latest start date on annual basis via: SLP code: SRF_VCR_LADD_DATE_SA

Autumn starters - Update Latest start date in July

Spring starters - Update Latest start date in October

For any students starting outside normal terms, ensure you manually overwrite the latest start date when VCR created (before issuing CAS).