Immigration and visas

Student route: CAS

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Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS)

A CAS is required before you can make an application for Student immigration permission. It is an electronic document created by your immigration sponsor when they are satisfied you and your course meet all the Home Office requirements and are eligible for sponsorship, as outlined in the Student Immigration Rules and Student Sponsor Guidance.

As a Student Sponsor, the University of Essex must adhere to all the requirements set out in the Home Office, Student Sponsor Guidance document to maintain our sponsor status. Before we can confirm you are eligible for our immigration sponsorship and issue a CAS to you, we must satisfy ourselves that you are a genuine student and can meet all the requirements to make a successful Student route application. We will need to gather information and documents from you in order to carry out the necessary checks, these checks can take a while to complete.

When we’ve completed our checks and are satisfied you are eligible for our immigration sponsorship, we will issue you with a CAS and your CAS statement will be available to view on your myEssex portal. Your CAS is valid for six months from the date of issue and can only be used to make one Student route application. As a sponsored student (immigration), you will have many additional responsibilities and considerations and should read all the information within our During Studies Student Directory pages to find out all you need to know.

As a Student Sponsor, we reserve the right to refuse to sponsor you and issue a CAS. We will withdraw our sponsorship/a CAS if we believe you are not a genuine student or cannot meet all the requirements of the Student Immigration Rules and Student Sponsor Guidance.

If your course is up to 6 months long we would not usually sponsor you for Student immigration permission, you may be able to study as a Visitor, read our guidance to find out more.

How can I obtain a CAS?

When and how you can request our sponsorship and a CAS will depend on whether you are starting a new Essex course or, need to extend your immigration permission to finish an Essex course you have already started.

You must make sure you are able to meet all the requirements of the Student Immigration Rules on the date you will submit your Student route application online and have all the evidence in the required format plus translations. There are very strict requirements about the money you need to show is available to you for your fees and living expenses so start preparing everything as early as possible, at least 2 months before your course is due to start. Read our Student route application page for more information about the money and evidence you will require. If you are in the UK, don’t assume you can apply in the UK as it is often not possible, read the UKCISA guidance ‘Can you apply in the UK?'.

If you are starting a new Essex course

Our Admissions team are responsible for issuing CAS to eligible applicants who will be:

  • making a Student application to start a new course at the University of Essex. Including, current Essex sponsored students holding an offer to begin a new Essex course and some pre-sessional students studying with Kaplan at the University of Essex International College.

Please continue to read the information below as this applies to you.

If you are continuing your Essex course

Our International Services Team are responsible for issuing CAS to eligible registered Essex students who wish to make:

  • a Student application to complete their current Essex course
  • a Student application before changing to a different course part way through their programme (following advice from IST)

If you are a current Essex student and you require Student immigration permission to complete the course you have already started, the information below doesn’t apply to you. You can find out how to request a CAS in our Student Directory pages. Please note, If you are in the UK you will need to make sure you request your CAS at least 3 months before your current visa is due to expire.

If you have started a new Essex course remotely from overseas and require a CAS to make your first Student route application overseas

Your CAS will be issued by our International Services Team however, initial checks will need to be made by our Admissions team. Please contact our Admissions Team in the first instance to request your CAS.

If you have had your Student route application rejected or refused

If you would like to make a new Student route application, you will need to send us a copy of the outcome notification and seek advice before we can confirm if we are able to issue you with a new CAS. Please follow the instructions on the Student route outcome page.

The CAS process - starting a new course

Our Admissions team are responsible for issuing CAS to eligible applicants who will be making a Student application to start a new course at the University of Essex. Including, current Essex sponsored students holding an offer to begin a new Essex course and some pre-sessional students studying with Kaplan at the University of Essex International College.

As explained above, we are unable to issue your CAS until we completed all our required checks to ensure we can sponsor you. Therefore, it is not possible for your CAS to be issued as soon as 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.

Deposits for tuition fees

Most postgraduate applicants and direct undergraduate applicants are required to pay a deposit before we start our CAS process, there are some exemptions. Please read the Payment of Tuition Fee Deposits Policy (.pdf) on our website to find out more. UCAS applicants are not required to pay a deposit.

ATAS (some Postgraduate students)

The Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) applies to all international students and researchers (apart from exempt nationalities) who are subject to UK immigration control and are intending to study or research at postgraduate level in certain sensitive subjects.

The subjects and research areas are those where knowledge could be used in programmes to develop Advanced Conventional Military Technology (ACMT), weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) or their means of delivery. Researchers and students in these sensitive subjects must apply for an Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) certificate before they can study or start research in the UK.

Students and researchers who are nationals of EU countries, the European Economic Area (EEA), Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, Switzerland or the United States of America do not need an ATAS certificate.

If you need Student immigration permission to study with us and require an ATAS certificate, we will let you know when you apply to study with us and must include it on your CAS. Please be aware that the FCDO (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office) advise that applications will take 20 to 30 working days to be processed and you will need the ATAS certificate before you can make your Student route application.

Read the government website for information about the ATAS requirements and our ATAS information.

Changing your course

Please let us know that you wish to change your course as soon as possible, do not wait for your CAS to be issued first. It is essential that your CAS is issued with the correct course details, any changes we are unaware of could mean that you aren't able to obtain a Student visa in time to start the course.

If you’ve been issued with a CAS and submitted your Student route application, you will need to contact us immediately. If you’ve had the outcome and been issued with Student immigration permission it will be to study the course on your CAS and you may not be able to change your course without obtaining a new CAS/Student visa first.

Booking travel to the UK

We and the Home Office do not recommend that you book travel to the UK ahead of receiving your Student immigration permission, there is a chance that you will not have your visa in time to travel. Read our Coming to the UK pages for more guidance on what you should do before travelling to the UK.

CAS for 2022/23

Timeframe Status
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.
5-6 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.
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.

Pre-sessional English courses

The 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, you will be considered for a CAS for your pre-sessional English course only. Once you have successfully completed your pre-sessional programme, we will issue a CAS to cover your degree course, if eligible, and you will need to make a new Student route 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.

When can I expect to receive my CAS?

Once we have received your completed questionnaire and any additional information we may request from you, it can take up to 4 weeks to issue CAS. This time allows us to check the information thoroughly to ensure you are eligible for our sponsorship and avoid problems occurring with your Student route application.

If you haven't been issued your CAS within 4 weeks, it is likely that we are double-checking part of your application or waiting for additional information from you. If you have any concerns, please contact us with your applicant number and we will reply within a week to report the progress of your CAS.

Once we have issued your CAS, you will receive an email to let you know that your CAS statement is available to view in your myEssex portal.

As a sponsored student (immigration), you will have many responsibilities both to us and the Home Office. Please ensure you are aware of what your responsibilities are and keep up to date with changes to the Immigration Rules and guidance as they occur.

Urgent CAS request

If you require your CAS in a shorter timeframe, for instance because you are in the UK and your immigration permission will expire soon, please email us, include ‘urgent’ in the subject and in the email provide your application number and explain why your request is urgent.

What to do when your CAS is issued

Checking the information on your CAS

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 help resolve any issues as early as possible. If anything is incorrect please let us know before you make your Student route application.

We are unable to make amendments to the CAS once it has been marked as ‘used’ by the Home Office.

Changing your course

If your Student visa application is successful, one of the conditions of your Student immigration permission is that you must study the course stated on your CAS 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 route application.

If you ask to change your course after submitting your Student route application online and we agree, you may have to make a new Student route application and are likely to have to do so overseas.

If you do not think you will be able to arrive in the UK and start your course by the Latest Accept Date on your CAS, or you have decided to study at a different institution, please let us know as soon as possible.

Payments made to the university

Please read our Student route application page for more information about the money you will need to have available, acceptable accounts and how long it must be in an account for before you apply. The most common reason for a refusal of an application is due to applicants not being able to demonstrate they meet the financial requirements.

You should plan to make any payments for tuition fees and accommodation before we issue your CAS. When it is issued, your CAS statement should include a record of any payments to date, you should contact us immediately if it needs to be amended.

If you make payments towards your fees after your CAS has been issued, please let us know immediately and before you submit your Student route application. These payments can then be verified with our Finance team and added to your live CAS record (on the Home Office online system), provided your CAS has not yet been used to make a Student route application.

Any payments made to the University after you have made your Student route application will not be taken into account by the Home Office and you must make sure your financial documents show you had the required amount of money on the date you submitted your application online.

Get ready to make your Student route application

You should have already read our guidance, checked you meet the Student Immigration Rules and gathered all the evidence you require.

Before you apply you must check to make sure you will meet all the requirements on the date you will submit your Student route application online and have all the evidence in the required format, plus translations if your documents are not in English or Welsh. If you meet the Home Office definition to be considered for differentiation as a low risk national, you must check what documents you should submit with your application, you must still have all the other documents and supply them if the Home Office/UKVI asks for them. After you have submitted your Student route application online, you may have to have a credibility interview with the Home Office/UKVI. Read all our guidance to help you prepare.

Before you submit your application, please read our Student route application page and follow links to UKCISA guidance. We hope you will find all the information you will need including, how much money you will need to show you have available for living expenses to study at one of our campuses and some other details that you will need when completing the online application form.

If you ensure that you meet all Student Immigration Rules and requirements when you make your application, then there is a very low risk of refusal. If your application is refused or rejected, you will need to send us a copy of the outcome as soon as you receive it so that we can guide you and assist if possible, even if you have contacted a lawyer or been in touch with the Home Office/UKVI yourself. Read our Student route outcome page to find out more.

Please note, where a refusal has been made on the grounds of ‘credibility’ we will not be able to sponsor you again or issue a further CAS, unless the refusal is successfully overturned as a result of an Administrative Review of the decision.