Applying for a visa

The University of Leicester is licensed by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) to sponsor international students under Tier 4 of the Points Based System and is classified as a Tier 4 sponsor. Our sponsor licence number is JTV8BV799. As part of your visa application you will need to quote the University of Leicester post code which is LE1 7RH.

Most international students (non-EU) who will spend more than six months studying in the UK will need to apply for a visa and provide evidence of study to be able to enter the UK as a student. Nationals of some countries will need a visa even if their course lasts less than six months.

If you need a visa, you must apply to the UK immigration authorities. This can be a complicated and long process, therefore it is advisable that you allow plenty of time for this and you ensure that the documents you submit with your application are accurate. When your visa application is assessed by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI), they will consider the following aspects:

  • The college or university at which you wish to study
  • Your chosen course and your ability to follow it
  • Your finances
  • Your intentions during and after your studies

Many new students will be applying for visas, and Visa Sections are often very busy so, to avoid delays, we do advise you to apply as soon as possible.

Pilot scheme for postgraduate applicants

If you are applying for a one-year Masters degree, the Tier 4 visa application is slightly different from that outlined below. This is a pilot scheme to make the process faster and smoother.

Ensure you have enough money for your studies

As part of your visa application you will need to provide evidence of how you will support yourself whilst you are studying in the UK. These costs are:

The visa office or embassy assessing your application will use the official exchange rate published by Oando to work out if you have enough money for your studies.

You will also need to ensure that you have enough money to pay the NHS Immigration Health Surcharge, which is paid up-front before you apply for your visa and is in addition to the amounts above. This is not a visa fee and you cannot pay the money to us.

How to show that you have enough money to apply for a visa

You can pay your tuition or accommodation fees to us directly if you wish. We can show the following payments on your CAS Statement:
  • Tuition fee payments (up to the cost of your degree programme)
  • University-owned accommodation (up to a maximum of £1,265)

Please note that we are unable to accept any money for living costs. You should ensure that you have enough money to cover this and any remaining course fees. You can pay your fees online through our e-pay system or see other methods of payment.

Bank or building society statements to show your ability to pay for the course and your living costs in the UK: the account must be in your name, or in your parents’ or a legal guardian’s name only. If the account is not in your name, you will need to demonstrate how you are related to them and that you have their permission to use the money for the purposes of your education. The statements must confirm that you have held the required money for a consecutive 28 day period (finishing on the date of the closing balance) ending no more than 31 days before your application. You can find out what documents are acceptable to show that you hold the required funds by visiting the UKVI website.

If you are a sponsored student, you will need to show evidence of government or employer sponsorship. This should be a letter of confirmation on official headed paper and must bear the organisation’s official stamp. It must show:

  • Your name
  • The name and contact details of the official sponsor
  • The date of the letter
  • The length of the sponsorship
  • The amount of money the sponsor is giving or a statement that they will cover all of your fees and living costs.

Documents required for a visa application

As a general guide, your visa application should contain the following supporting information:

  • Your Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) number from the University of Leicester: this will be sent to you in a document called a CAS statement. Although you are able to apply for a CAS from more than one university, you must select only one university at the point you make a visa application. Your chosen university effectively sponsors you for the duration of your studies, therefore your visa is tied to this institution. You are not permitted to change institution without seeking approval from UKVI first.
  • Original copies of the academic qualifications used by admissions staff to make an admissions decision. Specifically this refers to evidence of your highest or most relevant academic qualification and of your English Language ability, if required. It is important that you submit the documents that we have listed in your CAS statement otherwise your visa application may be refused - for example, ATAS Certificate (if applicable).

Any documents that are not in English (or Welsh) need to be submitted with an official translation. The translated document must include:

  • confirmation from the translator or translation company that it is an accurate translation of the original document
  • the date of the translation
  • the full name and original signature of the translator, or of an authorised official of the translation company
  • the contact details of the translator or translation company
  • (if you are already in the UK and are applying for further leave) certification by a qualified translator and details of the translator or translation company’s credentials.

It is important that you also familiarise yourself with the latest information on making a visa application (as this is not an exhaustive list) by consulting the UKVI guidance.

A further source of support is UKCISA (the UK Council for International Student Affairs) which is a national advisory board which offers useful guidance on the visa application process amongst other things.