Applying for a visa
Applying for Tier 4 (General) – from overseas
The University of Essex is a Tier 4 Sponsor.
If you need to come to the UK as a Tier 4 student to pursue your course, you must make your entry clearance (visa) application before you travel to the UK.
If you are in the UK please read our information on applying for Tier 4 (General) from within the UK.
Before making an application overseas
- Make sure you are eligible and meet ALL the requirements - read the essential information and guidance from UKCISA
and the Home Office.
- Make sure you have the correct finances in place to meet the Tier 4 requirements as well as additional funds to
pay your visa application fee and the Immigration Health Surcharge.
- Make sure you can receive your visa in time, check the Home Office visa processing times.
- If you are aged 16 to 18 when you make your visa application, you must meet additional requirements and supply additional evidence. We are
not licensed as a Tier 4 (Child) sponsor. You should not submit your Tier 4 (General) application before your 16th birthday otherwise it will
- Your dependants - if you have family that you would like to bring with you to the UK check they are eligible to apply.
Where and when can I apply?
- You can apply in the country where you normally live, up to three months before your course start date. It can take some time to obtain your visa so apply as soon as you are able.
- You can only apply if you have a valid CAS.
- It is recommended that you book your flight after you have received your passport and visa.
- Check your entry clearance sticker to make sure all the information and conditions are correct, if there is an error contact the Entry Clearance Post and ask for it to be
amended. See UKCISA guidance for details of what conditions you should expect to receive.
How do I apply?
- You must submit your completed immigration application to your nearest Visa Application Centre.
- For details of your nearest application centre and how to apply, see the Home Office's information about where to apply and select your
- Read the guidance, including the guidance on supporting documents published by the Home Office.
- If required, apply for and pay the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS),
you will need the reference number for your Tier 4 application.
- Complete application form online, attend your biometric appointment.
- Read the UKCISA guidance Making a Tier 4 (General) Application.