A guide to applying for a Tier 4 (general) student visa

Non-EEA students coming to study in the UK will need a Tier 4 (general) visa - the UK's main 'student' visa category. Your Tier 4 visa will allow you to study in the UK for the duration of your course.

Tier 4 visa applications

The Admissions team can provide guidance for those of you who need to apply for a student visa to study in the UK, supporting you with your application for a Tier 4 student visa and other immigration issues that may affect you.

We provide answers to the most common questions below, if you do have any additional questions please contact us on admissions@aecc.ac.uk

For the most up to date guidance, we recommend that you check the UK Government website for the most up to date information. 

Official Government UKVI website

Tier 4 Policy Guidance

Making your application

Only students who meet the following criteria will be eligible to apply for a Tier 4 Visa

  • You have applied to a course of study at AECC University College
  • You have been given an unconditional offer (no further conditions to meet)
  • You have accepted the offer 


How we can support you

If you have any questions about the application process please contact us on admissions@aecc.ac.uk. Where necessary, we facilitate Skype calls to help with answering any questions that you have. 

How to apply: 

Applications for Tier 4 student visas are submitted online and you will need to choose 'Tier 4 General student visa' when you complete your application.

Official Government Visa and Immigration website

When and where can I apply: 

Applications can be made no earlier than 3 months before the scheduled start date of your course. Applications should be submitted with enough time to ensure that should it be successful, you will be able to arrive in the UK in time for the scheduled start of the course. 
Countries have varying visa processing times and for more information about the average processing time for your country please find the visa application centre closest to you. 

Find a visa application centre


Supporting documents 

Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS)
If you meet the conditions of your offer and you accept that offer, AECC University College will issue you with a CAS statement which contains a 14-digit code that you need to use when making your Tier 4 visa application. As you cannot apply for a visa more than 3 months before the start of the course, a CAS statement will only be produced at the earliest within 3 months of the start of the course. The CAS statement is valid for 6 months and must be used within this time or it will expire.

Original qualification documents
You will need to provide the originals of the qualifications that you have been offered a place based on, as listed on your CAS statement. Where these documents are not in English you will also require a verified translation. This could for example, be a degree certificate and transcript but will more likely be your A-level equivalent qualifications.

English language qualification
Your CAS statement will state whether you need to need provide evidence that you meet the UKVI English language requirements. If so, you will need to provide the original of this document as part of your application.


You will need to supply your biometrics in the form of fingerprints and facial image. This process will take place at your Visa Centre.

Credibility Interviews
It is possible that you will need to undergo an interview as part of the application process. This interview would be as part of the same appointment at your Visa Centre that you would undertake your biometrics. Normally these interviews will last around 5-10 minutes and will ask you about your understanding of the course you have applied for, AECC University College and the local area, motivation to study and other topics.

TB clearance certificate
Depending on the country that you are applying from, you may be required to obtain a certificate that confirms you are free of Tuberculosis (TB).

UK Government provide a list here of countries required to obtain this certificate. 


You will need to provide your current passport and if relevant to the application, any previous passports. You will also need to provide two suitable photographs. 
Passport photo guidance PDF from HM Passport Office

Maintenance (money) requirements

Immigration Health Surcharge

As part of the application process, you will need to pay an Immigration Health Surcharge of £300 for each year of the course that you intend to study on to entitle you to healthcare under the National Health Service (NHS). You will also need to pay £150 for any additional 1-6 months leave to remain. For more information please visit the link below. 

Pay for UK Healthcare as part of your immigration application


You must be able to demonstrate that you have the necessary funds to be able to support yourself whilst you study in the UK. The maintenance requirements for students studying outside of London are £1,015 per month (for 9 months) for living costs. In addition, you will need to demonstrate that you have the requisite funds in your account to pay your tuition fees. Please note that these funds must be in your nominated bank account for at least 28 consecutive days before you submit your visa application. For example, for 2019 entry you would need to show you had £14,100 (tuition fees) + £9,135 (maintenance costs) = £23,235.
For more information about maintenance requirement please visit the link below. 

Immigration Rules Appendix C Maintenance Funds

Planning your arrival

Travel to the UK

You will receive a temporary visa (vignette) in your passport that lasts for 30 days and it will clearly state when it is due to expire. You must travel to the UK within this timeframe otherwise you will not be able to enter the UK.

 If you don’t travel to the UK during this 30-day period, you must apply and pay for another vignette if you still want to travel to the UK. You need to give your biometric information again, but you don’t have to submit a new Tier 4 application.

If you travel to the UK after your 30-day period has expired, we will not be able to enrol you onto the course. 

When you arrive 

Upon arriving in the UK, you will need to collect your Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) from the designated Post Office listed on you decision letter. You must collect your BRP within 10 days of arriving in the UK. If you do not collect it within this timeframe, it may be returned the UKVI and your leave to remain in the UK will be curtailed.

When you arrive in the UK, you must show the following documents:

  • your 30-day vignette
  • the letter that came with your vignette
  • copies of your financial documents.

The UK has expanded who can use e-Gates (automated self-service barriers) to enter the UK to include nationals of Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea and the United States of America.

If you enter the UK via an e-Gate you will not receive a date stamp on your 30-day vignette. As we need to verify that you have entered the UK within the validity of your 30 day visa, you must bring your flight ticket or boarding pass to registration, so we can take a copy. We will not be able to register you without this.

Download UK Gov leaflet explaining a BRP is and what it can be used for 


To be able to enrol onto your course of study at AECC University College, you need to bring your BRP with you to enrolment day, along with your passport. If you did not receive a date stamp on your vignette when you arrived in the UK, you will also need to bring your flight tickets or boarding pass. 

Visa end date

If you are applying to study on a course that is more than one year in length, you will be given a 4-month grace period at the end of your course in which to remain in the UK. You need to ensure that you have either submitted a new application for leave to remain or have left the UK by the last date listed on your BRP.