Your studies and Tier 4
Points Based Immigration System
Tier 4 is the tier of the Points Based Immigration System that applies to those
wishing to come to the UK from outside the European Economic Area to study. Tier 4
replaced the old student immigration rules on the 31 March 2009.
UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI)
is part of the Home Office and is the section of the UK Government that is responsible
The University and Tier 4
UK institutions that wish to recruit international students to courses,
including English Language courses, that are for longer than 6 months duration
must be licensed by the Government as Tier 4 registered sponsors for immigration
purposes. The University of Essex is a Tier 4 Sponsor.
To sponsor a student under Tier 4 we issue a Confirmation of Acceptance for
Studies (CAS). CAS replaced visa letters for immigration applications made on or
after the 22 February 2010. The University must follow strict Home Office guidelines when
issuing CAS. Unfortunately this means it is not always possible to do so.
As a Tier 4 sponsor we must meet stringent criteria set by the Home Office and must
comply with the requirements of the
policy guidance for Tier 4 sponsors plus the various appendices.
The University has many responsibilities for students who we sponsor under Tier 4, including
reporting students who do not enrol, monitoring attendance, reporting changes to planned study
and reporting any suspected breaches to conditions.
Students and Tier 4
Students applying for Tier 4 have to be able to demonstrate that they can meet the
40 points required for a student visa.
30 points will be awarded for a CAS, issued
by your sponsoring institution and 10 points for meeting the maintenance and funds requirement.
The Tier 4 visa will be linked to the institution that issued the CAS used to make the
application. Students must study with this institution or they will be in breach of their
immigration conditions. If a student wishes to change to a different sponsor, then they must make
a new Tier 4 application, before they can start their studies.
If you are in the UK with immigration permission under Tier 4 you must ensure you do not
breach your immigration conditions. You are required to contact the Home Office if you
change your studies, as stated in the Home Office
Tier 4 Policy Guidance.
I'm already a student at the University, does this affect me?
- Yes, if you have a Tier 4 visa.
If you have a student visa issued under old immigration rules and not Tier 4 this does not
affect you at the moment. However, you must continue to meet the requirements of the Immigration
Rules your visa was issued under and must not breach the conditions of that visa. If you wish to
extend your visa to remain in the UK to study further you will have to make an application under
the new Tier 4 Immigration Rules and must make sure you can meet the requirements.