Fri | Jan 18, 2019

Immigration Corner | Can I get a student visa?

Published:Tuesday | December 26, 2017 | 1:17 AM


Dear Mr Bassie,

With respect to the tier four (general) student visa, what are the eligibility criteria?

- MA


Dear MA,

If persons wish to qualify for the tier four (general) student visa they must have: an unconditional offer of a place on a course with a licensed sponsor; enough money to support themselves and pay for the cost of the course (this will vary depending on the applicant's circumstances). It is advisable that the applicant read the guide and appendix for the full list of documents and how much money he/she will need.

Persons can do a course that is one of the following: full-time leading to a qualification that’s at least level six on the Ofqual register; an overseas course of degree-level study that is equal to a United Kingdom higher education course and is run by an overseas higher education institution; full-time, with at least 15 hours per week of organised daytime study, leading to a qualification which is at least level three on the Ofqual register; a recognised foundation programme as a postgraduate doctor or dentist.

Persons can apply for this visa if they are postgraduate doctors and dentists and if they are sponsored to do a recognised foundation programme and they have: finished a recognised United Kingdom degree in medicine or dentistry; received that degree from a registered tier four sponsor; spent their final year and at least one other year of studies leading to that degree in the United Kingdom.

The applicant’s education provider will send him/her a reference number called a confirmation of acceptance for studies (CAS) once he/she has been offered a place on a course. The applicant will need to enter this number on their visa application. Please note that persons must apply for their visa no more than six months after he/she is in receipt of the CAS.

However, it should be noted that persons can only get a CAS for a new course if they have studied in the United Kingdom before and they are: re-sitting exams or repeating modules; applying for the first time to a new institution to complete a course they started at an institution that has lost its tier four sponsorship; or applying to complete a PhD or other doctorate that they started studying under their last tier four (general) student visa.

They can also get one: studying for a new qualification at a higher academic level; studying for a new qualification at the same level and related to their previous course or career aspirations - it must be degree level or above at a higher education institution; or applying after working as a student union sabbatical officer to complete a qualification that was started studying under their last tier four (general) student visa.


- John S. Bassie is a barrister/attorney-at-law who practises law in Jamaica. He is a justice of the peace, a Supreme Court-appointed mediator, a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, a chartered arbitrator and a member of the Immigration Law Practitioners Association (U.K.).