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Applying for your visa

How to obtain a Visa

The UK Government has a Points Based System (PBS) of immigration for students. You will need to prove that you have the required number of points in order to make an application for your visa. You need to have 40 points altogether; 30 of these are obtained by providing a CAS (Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies) number from Leeds Beckett University. The remaining 10 points are obtained by proving you have the correct finances to support your study and your living and accommodation costs.

The University will provide you with information on how to obtain your CAS.

English language requirements for Tier 4 visas

For applicants requiring a Tier 4 visa for study for one of our courses at degree level and above (NQF level 6 and above) we will accept these English language qualifications as being equivalent to IELTS 6.5.  

Please note that some courses will have a higher English language requirement – please refer to the online prospectus for more information. If you are applying for a course below degree level (NQF level 5 and below) then you must have an English language qualification from the UKVI list of Secure English Language Tests (SELT) – further information on this can be found here.  


Applying for your visa

Watch our video for help and advice

Financial evidence for Tier 4 visas

In order to qualify for a Tier 4 visa you will need to provide evidence that you have enough money to pay for your course fees and your living costs while you are in the UK. The Home Office refers to this as the maintenance (funds) requirements.

Maintenance must be in the form of cash funds. You cannot use evidence of other types of finances, such as shares, bonds or a pension fund. You also cannot use an overdraft facility. The amount of money that you need to have for your maintenance will depend on:

  • how long your course lasts and
  • where you will be studying in the UK

Please ensure you read the following downloadable information carefully as it is important that you know how to provide evidence that you meet the maintenance requirement when making your Tier 4 visa application.

Immigration Health Surcharge

From 6 April 2015 all students applying for Tier 4 visas in order to study in the UK for six months or longer must pay an Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) to enable them to access any National Health Service (NHS) services.  For further information please refer to the following links:

Biometric Residence Permits

As of 18 March 2015 the Home Office introduced Biometric Residence Permits (BRP) for those applying for Tier 4 visas from outside of the UK. For more information please refer to the following links:

Successful applicants of Tier 4 visas for study of six months or more will be required to collect their BRP from a UK Post Office. In order to work out which Post Office to collect your BRP from you will need to enter accurate information in your visa application regarding your accommodation in the UK. 

For more information on BRPs can be found on the gov.uk website and UKCISA - international student advice website.

Further information on collecting your BRP when you arrive in the UK can be found in the following link

Credibility interviews

As part of the Tier 4 visa application process the Home Office has introduced credibility interviews. As part of your visa application you may be required to attend an online interview where you will be asked a series of questions about your intended course and study destination in the UK. We highly recommend that you prepare for these interviews in advance so that you are confident in answering any questions about your intention to study in the UK. To help with this we have provided some points that you should consider when preparing for a credibility interview.


Students applying from outside of the European Economic Area (EEA) for study in certain subject areas will need to apply for an Academic TechnologyApproval Scheme (ATAS) certificate before they can study in the UK. These can include both taught and research postgraduate courses, and are predominantly in subject areas such as science, engineering and medical subject areas.

When you receive an offer for your course of study, it will be stated on your offer letter if your course requires ATAS.

Courses requiring an ATAS certificate

To find out whether your course of study requires an ATAS certificate, you will first need to know the JACS code for that course. If you are a new student, this should be stated on your offer letter.

A full list of JACS codes which require an ATAS certificate can be found on the ATAS webpages.

If you do require an ATAS certificate it is important that you do not make an immigration application before you have your ATAS certificate as your application will be refused.  Remember, you must obtain an ATAS certificate before you begin your studies if you need to have  immigration permissions including Tier 4 and non-Tier 4.

There is no additional charge for the ATAS certificate but the application process can take up to 30 working days. You can find more detail about the ATAS and application on ATAS website: online application system

If you think your course/research may require ATAS and you have not received any information regarding the JACS code for your course please contact International Admissions at: internationaladmissions@leedsbeckett.ac.uk

The application process for ATAS certificates is completely online. When your application is granted, you will be emailed your certificate. Your certificate will be valid for six months. If you change your course of study, university or need to apply for more time as a student, you will need to apply for ATAS again.

Further information can be found here  

Visas support and advice

At Leeds Beckett we can provide support and advice about many issues which may affect you as an international student - our Student Immigration Advice and Compliance team (SIAC) has an office in Leighton Hall on our Headingley Campus.

Here are just a few of the things SIAC can help you with:

  • immigration & visas (including visa extensions)
  • family visits
  • police registration
  • changing immigration status
  • employment
  • work after studies

Our advice is available free of charge and follows the rules of the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC) and the United Kingdom Visa and Immigration Agency.

Immigration Advice Team 

If you're a student at Leeds Beckett and need help with any aspect of your visa or immigration status you can contact our Student Immigration Advice and Compliance on siac@leedsbeckett.ac.uk.

Appointments and workshops are available at City Campus and at Headingley Campus. Ask us a question at our Drop-in workshops every week. There is no need to book, just turn up and ask at the Student Hub desk.

Wednesdays 15:00-17:00

Student Hub, Rose Bowl, City Campus

Fridays 10:00-12:00

Student Hub, Rose Bowl, City Campus

 For more information on the Student Immigration Advice and Compliance team click here.

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