To apply for a Student Visa, you will need a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) from the University. This is an electronic document stored on a Home Office database, but we will also provide you with a CAS statement. This includes a unique reference number which you will need to enter onto your online Student Visa application form and sets out all the information that we have provided to the Home Office.
If you will be starting a course at Essex and will need a CAS, here’s some useful information for you.
The University can only issue a CAS where we are confident that you meet the requirements set out in the Student and Child Student Guidance and the relevant Immigration Rules, so we will need to ask you some questions as part of the process to make sure you’re eligible for our sponsorship for immigration purposes.
These necessary checks mean that we are unable to issue your CAS statement immediately once you have paid your deposit (where a deposit is required) or had your place at Essex confirmed. However, we will always work hard to issue your CAS statement as quickly as possible.
|5- 6 months before the start of course||Admissions will start to send out CAS questionnaires and request any outstanding information and documents. Look out for emails from us! If your CAS questionnaire confirms that you intend to apply for your visa within the UK, we will need to pause your CAS issue process and restart 3 months before the start of your course, due to Home Office rules.|
|5 months before the start of course||Admissions will start to issue CAS to eligible applicants intending to apply for their Student visa outside of the UK.|
|2-3 months before the start of course||Admissions will start to issue CAS to eligible applicants intending to apply for their Student visa in the UK.|
|1 month before the start of course||We will have issued the majority of our CAS, and will normally only issue new CAS on a case-by-case basis at this point.|
University of Essex International College offers a range of pre-sessional English courses which you may choose to take, before you start your main course of study. These programmes aim to support applicants to achieve the English language conditions of their offer and/or improve academic study skills commonly used in the UK.
These programmes are available to take either on campus in the UK or online from your home country.
If you need to improve your English you will need to hold a Secure English Language Test (SELT) if you wish to study the Pre-Sessional programme on campus, in the UK.
If you meet the eligibility criteria, we will issue you a single CAS to cover both your pre-sessional English course and your main course of study. Where we are not able to issue you with a single CAS to cover both your pre-sessional English course and main course, we will issue a CAS for your pre-sessional English course only. Once you have successfully completed your pre-sessional programme, we will issue another CAS to cover your degree course, if eligible, and you will need to make a new Student Visa application to cover this period of study. You will be able to make this application inside the UK provided you are eligible.
If you study your pre-sessional programme online we will issue you a CAS for your main course programme once we receive confirmation that you have successfully completed your pre-sessional programme and your offer is unconditional.
If your Student visa application is successful, one of the conditions of your visa is that you must study the course stated on your CAS statement with the sponsor that issued it. It is therefore important that you carefully consider the course you have chosen. If you are unsure about your course choice or are considering adding a year abroad or work placement year (if applicable), please contact the Admissions Adviser named on your offer letter before you proceed with your Student visa application. If you want to change your course and/or institution after making your visa application you may have to obtain a new visa first and are unlikely to be able to do so from within the UK.
If you do not think you will be able to arrive in the UK and start your course by the Latest Arrival Date on your CAS, please let us know as soon as possible by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org.
Your CAS statement will include a record of any payments to date. It is important that this information is correct. You should plan to make any payments before we issue your CAS, so that we can then show these on your CAS. Sometimes changes need to be made to a CAS because payments have been made towards fees after it has been issued (there is more about paying fees and other money you need to hold below).
Before you make your visa application, contact email@example.com to let us know once any fees have been paid to the University. These payments can then be verified and added to your live CAS record (on the Home Office online system), but only if your CAS has not yet been used to make a visa application.
Any payments made to the University after you have made your Student visa application will not be taken into account by the Home Office. We are unable to add payments to the CAS once it has been marked as ‘used’ by the Home Office.
We will check your CAS very carefully before uploading it to the Home Office system, but we ask that you also check your CAS statement carefully when you receive it so that we can resolve any issues as early as possible.
You must make sure that you have all the original evidence specified by the Home Office that shows you meet all the Student visa requirements on the date you make your visa application. You must provide all the documents required by the Home Office including financial proofs and a valid TB certificate, if you need one. You should also hold proof of the qualification stated on your CAS, but should not submit this unless you are asked to do so.
You should expect to be interviewed, as part of the visa application process.
You’re likely to be asked to explain the reasons why you have chosen to study in the UK and at the University of Essex, and why you have chosen the course that you will be studying. You may also be asked about what your plans are after you have finished studying, and how you intend to fund your study.
You can see more information about interviews, and how you can prepare for them, on our immigration page.
The University has a very low rate of visa refusals. If you ensure that you meet all Student visa requirements when you make your application, then there is a very low risk of refusal.
It is important that you let the University know as soon as possible if your visa application is rejected or refused, even if you are also getting advice elsewhere (e.g. from a lawyer), or have been in touch with the Home Office yourself. This is because we want you to be able to join us at Essex if possible, and would like to assist you as much as we are able to. Not taking prompt action could result in you not being able to obtain a visa to study in the UK this year. Please see our immigration webpages for more information.
Where a refusal has been made on the grounds of ‘credibility’ we will not issue a further CAS, unless the refusal is successfully overturned as a result of an Administrative Review of the decision.
If you have a specific question about your University of Essex CAS or are concerned you may not be able to meet all the Student visa requirements, please contact us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.