Sackville School

Applying for a visa

Applying for a visa:

How to apply for a student visa:

When you confirm an ‘unconditional offer’ of a place on a course at Sackville School, the next step for most students is to apply for a visa. The application procedure can be time consuming, so you must submit your application well in advance of the start of the course (at least four weeks).

Depending on the course you are applying for and your country of residence, there are different visas you can apply for. Take the UK visas questionnaire to find out the type of visa you need.

Most international students apply to come to the UK on a Tier 4 student visa. Watch this short video about Tier 4 visas and how to apply.

Tier 4 visas

In 2009 the United Kingdom Border Agency (UKBA) introduced a points-based system for visa applications.  Within this new system, Tier 4 relates to overseas students (not UK or EU) who want to study in the UK. Tier 4 visa applicants need to be sponsored by an institution registered with the Border Agency.  All Tier 4 visa applications also need to include a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) reference number. This is issued by Sackville School when you confirm your place on a course.

Submitting the correct documents

It is important that you fill out your application form carefully and include all of the required documents when you submit your visa application. The documents required change from case-to-case but might include photographs, educational certificates, information about your accommodation in the UK, evidence that you can pay for your studies and your Certificate of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) reference number issued by Sackville School. Many applications are decided on paper only so failure to include all the necessary information may result in your application being rejected.

When you fill out the form please also make sure that the qualifications listed in and enclosed with, your visa application match what is written in the 'Documents assessed' section on your CAS statement (your CAS is issued by Sackville School when your offer of a place is confirmed). Please note: If your VISA is refused your CAS will no longer be valid and you will need a new CAS to be able to re-apply for a visa. Sackville School can only issue a maximum of two CAS' per student.

Once you have all the necessary information and have filled out the application form, you can then submit it to your nearest British Embassy, usually in your country. You will need to submit your application at least four weeks before your course start date. The address of your local British Embassy can be found on the following websites:

Student Credibility Interviews:

In December 2012 the Home Secretary announced that Credibility Interviews with UKBA Entry Clearance Officers (ECO’s) will now be introduced worldwide with the intention to interview 100,000 students applying from outside the UK. This will not include “low risk nationals”. Click here to read the full list of “low risk” nationals.

To achieve this, the Home Office will be introducing a new video interview whereby all students will be asked to sit a short video interview with a member of Home Office staff based in the UK and this will form part of the usual visa application process. The Home Office will begin the new video interviews across all regions throughout May 2013 and will be fully implemented worldwide by June 2013.

Sackville School is seeking to work closely with the Home Office and other relevant bodies and associations to assist in producing information and training materials to help students and understand the new Credibility Interview process.

In addition, we have produced our own information guides, including example questions, to provide support and help for our partners and students.

Visa Checklist

  • Proof of sufficient funds for your studies: e.g. bank statement

  • CAS (Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies): You will receive this when you have confirmed your ‘unconditional offer’
  • Visa fee
  • Current passport or travel document
Completed application form
  • Educational certificates and transcripts
  • Evidence of English language level (e.g. IELTS)
  • Details of government or private sponsorship if you are sponsored

English Level Assessment:

In order to qualify for a UK student visa you must have your English language level assessed. There are three recognised awarding bodies: IELTS, TOEFL and Pearson.

You may be able to take a test online, or alternatively visit the following pages to find your nearest test centre: