Applying for a visa
Your Tier 4 (General) application
The University of Essex is a licensed Tier 4 Sponsor for Tier 4 (General).
You must make sure that you are eligible to apply, complete the correct application form, send the
correct fee and read and understand the Tier 4
Immigration Rules and Policy Guidance.
If you are from a 'low risk' country specified by the Home Office you may not have to
supply all the documents at the time of the application but will have to provide
them if the Home Office request them.
If you are starting a new course, the earliest you can make your Tier 4 application is 3 (three) months
before the course start date stated on your CAS.
CAS (Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies)
You will need a CAS from the University. When you receive your CAS, check that all the details are correct. A CAS can only be used for one application.
Evidence of your qualifications
If there are qualifications mentioned in your CAS under "evidence used to obtain offer" then you must provide these with your application. Documents
must be original and meet the Home Office requirements.
You must provide the required original evidence that you have sufficient funds for your tuition fees and to meet the maintenance costs specified in
the Home Office Tier 4 Policy Guidance. All
University of Essex campuses are considered to be "outside London" for the purposes of Tier 4.
If you are self-funding and relying on bank statements as evidence, they must show the full amount required for tuition fees and maintenance costs,
less tuition fees paid as stated on CAS, plus up to £1020 of accommodation paid as stated on the CAS. The bank statements must meet ALL the requirements
and you must hold the whole amount for a continuous 28 days. The balance must not fall below the minimum amount on any day.
Available funds for maintenance while studying at Essex
If this is your first time studying in the UK you must show you have £820 per calendar month for each month
of your course up to a maximum of nine months, maximum is £7380. If the course duration includes a part of a
month this will be rounded up, for example if your course is 7 months and 2 weeks long you must show you have enough
money for 8 months. If you have been studying in the UK and hold a valid Tier 4 (General) visa you may have an
"established presence", if so you can show less; a maximum of £1640. It is important that you check the Tier 4
Policy Guidance to ensure you meet all the criteria. If you have recently had a Tier 4 application rejected or refused
in the UK and have become an overstayer you will not have established presence.
University accommodation fees: The Home Office will allow you to count a maximum of £1020 of fees you have
paid to the University for accommodation towards your total maintenance requirements. If you have already paid the
University some or all of your accommodation fees this can be shown on your CAS. If you pay after your CAS is produced
or if you believe the amount shown is incorrect, please ask for it to be amended.
For example, if you have paid £3,000 to the University for your accommodation, only £1020 will be taken from the total maintenance amount by the
Home Office and you must show that you have the remaining £6360 or, £620 if you have established presence.
Available funds for tuition fees
You must be able to show you have a year's tuition fees.
If you have paid part or all of your tuition fees the amount you have paid should show on your CAS. If you pay tuition fees after your CAS is produced or if you
believe the amount shown is incorrect, please ask for it to be amended.
Read the UKCISA guidance on applying
for a Tier 4 (General) visa from overseas or applying from
within the UK.
Immigration Health Surcharge
From the 6 April 2015 most Tier 4 (General) applicants will have to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge, unless you are exempt. If you are applying for Entry Clearance
overseas you will have to pay the charge if your course is for more than six months. If you are applying in the UK you will have to pay the charge regardless of the length of
the course. The amount you will be charged will be based on the length of your visa and is currently £150 per year for each year of your visa, for incomplete years the charge
will be halved if it is less than six months otherwise the full yearly fee will be charged. For example, if your CAS states that your course starts on the 1 October 15 and
finishes on the 22 July 18 your visa will be from 1 September 15 to 22 November 18 and you should expect to pay £525. If you are bringing dependants with you to the UK, each
dependant will have to pay the surcharge for the length of their visa.
All students making Tier 4 (General) applications on or after the 6 April 2015 will need to first create an account on the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) portal to
obtain a reference number that should be written into your Tier 4 application form. If you are required to pay a fee you must do so. If you do not pay the correct fee you
should be contacted by the Home Office requesting payment. If you fail to pay the fee by the deadline given your application will be rejected as invalid if you are applying
in the UK or, refused if you are applying overseas.
This surcharge will give you access to NHS hospital care whilst you are studying in the UK. For more information about NHS healthcare for overseas nationals please see the UKCISA website. The University’s website will provide you with information regarding local services and facilities for your campus: .
Students studying courses of less than six months duration are not entitled to free NHS hospital care in the UK so must ensure they have adequate private health insurance.
How to apply for a Tier 4 (General) visa