The UK Home Office have produced comprehensive online guidance on how to apply for your student visa.  The guidance is regularly updated and gives full details of the requirements, included the documentation needed to support your application.  It is your responsibility to check that your application is in accordance with the official requirements. 

More guidance is available from the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) on student immigration and applying for a student visa.

To successfully apply for a student visa, you must score 70 out of 70 points.

This is calculated as follows:


Points Points awarded for: Evidence Required
50 Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS)

CAS number issued by Keele University.  This will be emailed to you once you have achieved the conditions of your offer, paid your deposit, and met the specific conditions around Visa Sponsorship including financial and credibility.

Academic Qualifications

This is the academic qualification that the University used to assess your suitability for the course.  The qualification will be noted on your CAS.

You must include your ORIGINAL certificate or transcripts detailed in the CAS Statement with your visa application.

If you are a low risk national you may not be requested to provide original documents but you must have them available in case they are requested.

Higher Education Achievement Report (HEAR)

Please note that the HEAR is an online document which the UKVI has not included in the UK Immigration Rules as an original certificate, transcript or document and could refuse your visa application.  To make your visa application, we strongly recommend that you use an original certificate and official transcript from your university.  If you are a Keele student, please contact Student Records and Exams ( to arrange this.

Academic Progression

If you have studied in the UK previously, your CAS must confirm how the new course represents academic progression from the previous course.  For example, an undergraduate degree (successfully completed) to a postgraduate degree.

If the previous study in the UK is not listed on a CAS, the visa will automatically be refused with no right of appeal.   If you are a continuing student and we have agreed to extend your visa, the reason for this will be given in the CAS.

ATAS certification

If your course requires ATAS (Academic Technology Approval Scheme) clearance, you must provide a copy of the certificate issued for the course

Work Placement

If your course has a mandatory work placement that is part of the assessed portion of the programme, the percentage (%) of the work placement in relation to the course start and end date on the CAS must be given.  This information will be present on your CAS.  If it is not, please contact Immigration Compliance and Advice by emailing

10 English Language

Your CAS will state how the University assessed that your English language ability is to the required standard.

You must submit the ORIGINAL certificate for your qualification, as detailed in the CAS with your visa application.

Some students will not need to submit evidence of their English language ability.  If you do not need to submit evidence, your CAS will state that you:

  • Are from a UK Home Office (UKVI) defined majority English speaking country, or
  • Have completed a degree from a UKVI approved English speaking country, or
  • Have been assessed as suitable by the University's own criteria and methods.


10 Maintenance (funds) 

If you have been in the UK with a valid visa for 12 months or more prior to making your visa application, you are considered to have automatically met the maintenance requirement and will not have to provide documentation to evidence this.  Students who are officially sponsored will be required to show evidence of this sponsorship and that they have permission from the sponsor to continue.

If you do not qualify for this concession, you will need to demonstrate your ability to fund your tuition fees for the academic year plus a set amount for your living costs.

Your CAS statement will state the full tuition fee payable for the academic year.  The living costs for Keele University are defined as £1,023 per month (up to a maximum of nine months - £9,207).  If you are in Keele University accommodation and have made payments to the University for this, a maximum of £1,334 of this payment can be deducted from your living costs.

The total amount (tuition fee plus living costs) must have been available to you for 28 consecutive days.  This means that the balance in your bank account must not have fallen below the total required amount during the whole 28 day period.  If it is below the required amount, your application will be refused.  The last transaction date (on the bank statement) of that 28 day period must not be more than one month before the date of your visa application.  For more information on please see below.

All documents you provide to demonstrate your maintenance funds must be ORIGINAL.  Electronic bank statements for all types of bank accounts will be considered by the UK Home Office, however, we advise you to get these stamped as a true copy by your bank and ensure the statements meet the prescribed format.  Further details can be found below.

If you have maintained residence in the UK, then there are no medical checks or tests required when applying for a visa from within the UK.

The information and guidance on funding that follows is based upon the UK Immigration Rules and student visa requirements.  All funds being used for a student visa application must meet the requirements of Immigration Rules Appendix Finance.

As stated previously, if you have been in the UK with a valid visa for 12 months or more prior to making your visa application, you are considered to have automatically met the maintenance requirement and will not have to provide documentation to evidence this.  Students who are officially sponsored will be required to show evidence of this sponsorship and that they have permission from the sponsor to continue.

Sponsored students

If you are a student that is sponsored for living expenses and/or tuition fees by an official financial sponsor, you will NOT need to show the sponsorship amount in your bank account.  An official financial sponsor is Her Majesty's Government, the student's home government, the British Council, an international organisation, international company (the UK Home Office requires an international company to be a company with a trading presence/registered office in more than one country), a university or UK independent school.  For a visa application, an official financial sponsor is not a spouse, friend, family member nor an NHS hospital, foundation trust or organisation.  Instead, you will need to obtain a letter from your financial sponsor confirming how they are supporting you.  This letter must be recently dated (a copy of which must be sent to Admissions prior to your Visa & Confirmation Checklist), on official letter-headed paper and must contain:

  • Your name
  • The name of your official financial sponsor
  • The contact details of your official financial sponsor
  • The length of financial sponsorship
  • A statement confirming that your financial sponsor will cover all fees and living costs (if applicable)
  • A statement confirming that the sponsorship is for Keele University and for your course of study

If your sponsorship is for tuition fees only and does not include living expenses, you will need to provide a bank statement, as per the requirements at the top of this section.  This is because you will have to demonstrate that you have the funds available to meet your living costs.

If you are studying at postgraduate degree level or specific integrated undergraduate courses in certain subject areas, you may require an ATAS clearance certificate.  At Keele University, this will mainly apply if you are undertaking a research degree.  If you require an ATAS certificate, your research institute should inform you of this during the admissions process.  Once the certificate is issued by the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO), the only time a student should need to submit a new ATAS application will be; to support a new visa application; or a student changes their studies or research during the study period; or extends their studies by a period of more than three months; or changes their UK Visa (Immigration status).

ATAS is a requirement for any student who is not a UK National, a national from the list of exempt countries or does not have Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK, regardless of tuition fee status.

ATAS is based on the Common Aggregation Hierarchy Code (CAH3).  You will need the full CAH3 code to apply for your ATAS certificate.  At the University, the CAH3 code you will be assigned will relate to the specific research area you propose to undertake rather than just your course title.  

An ATAS clearance certificate must be provided to the University before you will receive a Visa & Confirmation Checklist (Pre CAS - Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies), along with payment of your tuition fee deposit / provision of financial documentation and any other outstanding conditions of your offer.  This is also applicable for visiting research students who require ATAS, as no supporting documents will be issued until an ATAS certificate is provided.  You will not be enrolled onto your course of study until an ATAS is provided.

The ATAS certificate has two timeframes:

  1. The 'active' six month timeframe, which exists solely to serve as a deadline for students to complete their visa applications.  Once this process is finalised, the active element of the certificate falls away. 
  2. The 'inherent' timeframe, which covers the student's studies for the duration of time given in the online application form.  The course start and end date, which are provided by the University on admission, are entered into the application form by the student at the time of applying.  The ATAS certificate is subsequently valid for the duration of time provided on the CAS.

UKVI recommend that you apply for a new ATAS certificate at least 4 months in advance of any visa application.  Once granted, an ATAS certificate is valid for six months from the date of issue and must be valid at the point of submission of a visa application.

For more information about ATAS and how to apply, please visit the Foreign & Commonwealth Office website.  Your supervisor and research institute can assist you in applying for a new ATAS certificate.  As soon as a new ATAS certificate is received, please send a copy to 

When making a visa application from within the UK, the online application process includes a section to 'Confirm your identity'.  It is in this section that you will usually be invited to use the IDV App to submit your biometric information and also images of your passport and current BRP.  Later in the application, after paying the Immigration Health Surcharge and visa application fee, you will be invited to upload the documentation for your supporting evidence (e.g required qualifications or letters of sponsorship etc).

If you are not invited to use the IDV App or cannot use it for any reason, you will be asked to make an appointment at a UK Visa and Citizenship Application Services (UKVCAS) centre.  This is a separate website and you will need to register before selecting a location and viewing appointment availability.  These centres consist of core service points (standard fee included in your visa application fee) or enhanced service points (additional fee and more availability). The nearest core service point to the University is at Manchester Central Library, St. Peters Square, Manchester City Centre, M2 5PD.  Ensure that you attend an appointment to submit your biometrics by the deadline specified by the UK Home Office.

How will I get my new BRP?

If you would like your BRP to be delivered to the Immigration Compliance and Advice Team for collection in a pre-arranged appointment, please enter the following address as the correspondence address in the application:

C/O Immigration Compliance and Advice
Tawney Building
Keele University

Be sure to let the UK Home Office know that this is not your residential address and provide them with your actual residential address too.  The benefit of this is that we are always available to accept delivery of the BRP, we can scan and upload the BRP to your student record and also check for any errors on the BRP and commence any correction process required.

To collect your (and your dependent's) BRP, you will need to bring your original passport and also your visa application decision letter from the UK Home Office.  To collect the BRPs of any dependents, the student must bring the decision letter and their passport along with the decision letter and passports for all dependents.  Without both the decision letter and the passport, you will not be issued with your BRP nor that of any dependents.

Alternatively, if you enter your residential address as your correspondence address, your BRP Card will be sent to your accommodation by courier.  You will need to sign for delivery and arrange re-delivery if you are not in your accommodation when delivery is attempted.  If you live on campus, your BRP will be received by the University Post Room and you will be invited to attend the Post Room to collect it once it arrives.

Once you have submitted your visa application, you must email a pdf of the submitted application including your responses, to 

All of the documents you submit to support your visa application must be original.  If any documentation is not in English, a certified translation must be provided with the original.  You may be required to submit the following documents:

  • a current passport or other valid travel documentation
  • proof that you have sufficient funds to support yourself and pay for your course or/and a letter confirming any official financial sponsorship
  • a valid ATAS certificate if your course and nationality require it
  • qualification certificates or transcripts

You may need to provide additional documents depending on your circumstances.  Further guidance can be found in the UK Home Office guidance here.

If you have been in the UK with a valid visa for 12 months or more prior to making your visa application, you are considered to have automatically met the maintenance requirement and will not have to provide documentation to evidence this.  

Low risk applicants

Some students are not required to submit evidence of qualifications or finances when making a visa application. The UK Home Office calls this 'differentiation arrangements' for 'low-risk applicants'.

Low-risk applicants can be identified as being nationals of the countries or territories listed in paragraph ST 22.1 of Appendix Student of the Immigration Rules.

We strongly encourage you to prepare evidence of your qualifications and your finances, even though you are not required to submit them. This is because the Home Office can request this evidence at any time while considering your application and will refuse your application if you cannot provide them by the given deadline when they are requested.

The Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) is a fee that has been introduced by the UK Government requiring all those that are applying for a visa to be in the UK to pay an upfront fee to have access to health services in the UK.  The IHS must be paid at the time of visa application and the mandatory health surcharge is calculated for a student (and each dependent) as £470 per year for the length of time on the student's visa.  For example, a 1-year postgraduate taught student would need to pay £470 and a postgraduate research student on a 4-year programme would need to pay £1,880 when making a visa application.  This amount is in addition to the visa application fee.  If you are required to demonstrate evidence of funds in your visa application, The Immigration Health Surcharge must not be deducted from the funds you have available as evidence of the ability to pay your tuition fees and living (maintenance) costs.

You may be asked to attend a credibility interview as part of the visa application process.  You will be contacted by the UK Home Office and informed of this and whether the interview will be online or in person.  Again, be sure to check your emails regularly as your application is likely to be refused if you are asked to attend an interview and then fail to do so.

For more information on credibility interviews and how to prepare for one if invited to to attend, please see go to Applying Outside the UK.

Once you have a decision on your visa application, you must send a scanned copy of the decision letter by email to  The University will send you an automated email based upon the UK Home Office's database when we notice a change in the status of your CAS/visa application.


If you satisfy the points required for an application and submit the required evidence, you should expect that your student visa will be granted.  However, if you have not provided the University with accurate information and details of previous study in the UK, your visa may be refused.  It is therefore very important to make sure that you get your application right first time.

If you do not submit all the original documents that are required, the UK Home Office will not contact you to ask for missing documents.  An incomplete or incorrect application will be refused.  If your application is refused, you must send a copy of your refusal letter to

There is no right of appeal against a student visa refusal.  If your visa application is refused and you wish to rebut the UK Home Office's decision, the only option is to submit an Administrative Review.  When you send your refusal notice to us, we will assess the refusal and advise accordingly.

Student visa

The information within this page is designed to help you prepare for your student visa application from within the UK