Applying to enter the UK as a Tier 4 (General) Student without a current student visa.

Latest News:


  • Changes to Entry Clearance: The system of issuing a visa for the whole course is changing; instead you will soon be issued with a temporary entry permit valid for 30 days from your intended date of travel. At point of application for your visa you will be allocated a Post Office from which to collect the Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) card. You MUST collect your full visa issued on a BRP card within 10 days of arrival in the UK.  A phased introduction of this system is taking place between now and the end of July; you can find details of the timeframe and further information here.         
  • Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS): This is a new provision meaning nearly all applicants for a Tier 4 visa for an Undergraduate or Masters Degree at Aston University will need to pay this and include the reference number on their application form.  This requires an upfront payment of £150 per year of their visa for students and their dependants when making a visa application. See here for more information. 
  • Tuberculosis testing: Please check if you need a Tuberculosis test certificate before you apply for your visa.  Countries including Nigeria, China, India, South Korea, Hong Kong, Pakistan and many others now need a test before applying.  Your visa will be refused if you do not have a TB Certificate when required to do so.  A list of Home Office Approved TB testing clinics can be found at the Home Office website.

 Key Facts

1)The cost of a Tier 4 visa from outside of the UK is currently £322

2) Most countries (except North Korea) require you to complete an online Tier 4 application; you can access the online application form here 

3) An example of the completed online form is available here:Example online application form

4) You can find out the likely processing times here: https://www.gov.uk/visa-processing-times

NHS Surcharge

  • The Home Office have announced that it will be introducing a health surcharge for all non-EEA nationals coming to live in the UK in excess of six months. This new health surcharge will be introduced for all applications made after 6th April 2015, and will enable non-EEA nationals to gain access to the NHS.
  • At present non-EEA nationals coming to the UK have access to the NHS, as if they are permanent residents. By introducing this surcharge the Home Office want such individuals to make an appropriate financial contribution to the cost of healthcare in the UK.
  • The health surcharge will be £150 per year for students and £200 per year for all other individuals. Effectively, this will mean that all visa applications from 6th April 2015 will have to be accompanied by this amount, and it will be payable for the length of the UK visa being applied for. The amount will therefore be collected as part of the immigration application and the payment will be mandatory.
  • You must ensure that the NHS surcharge is paid before your Tier 4 General application.  To calculate your NHS surcharge please use the NHS surcharge calculator. You will need to know your course start and end dates as mentioned on your CAS.
  • You can pay your NHS Surcharge using the Home Office link here.  
  • Once you have paid the NHS surcharge fee, you will then be given a "IHS" reference number which you need for your Tier 4 general application.
Remember, to help you with the calculations for your maintenance requirement, you can check the 2015/16 tuition fees for your course on our website. 

As well as your completed online form and bank statements (plus birth certificate and parental letter if using parental bank statements); you also need to provide several other documents with your application. You will need to provide one photocopy of each document, as well as the original. You will also need to provide professional translations of documents which are not written in English.

  • The fee for your application 
  • Passport(s)
  • Passport photographs
  • The original qualification (shown in your Aston CAS e-mail) that Aston used to assess your suitability for the course 
  • You may need a tuberculosis test: https://www.gov.uk/tb-test-visa
  • Your Biometric Residence Permit for the UK – but only if you already have one 
  • You may need an Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) certificate. ATAS only affects a few students, mainly research students studying in the School of Engineering & Applied Science or the School of Life & Health Sciences. Find out more about ATAS
  • You should check to see if your country has specific bank statements which will be accepted by the Home Office; download the list of countries and institutions here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/immigration-rules-appendix-p

Please ensure your documents meet the criteria as listed in the Tier 4 application guidance before applying; if you have any worries please contact us for advice. The Tier 4 application guidance is available here



 Key Facts

Please note from 6th April 2014 nationals of all countries, including low risk, may be invited to attend a credibilty interview.

I still feel like I need some help, who do I contact? 

We offer free confidential immigration advice and support for applicants for Aston University; if at any point in the application process you need further advice or support please do not hesitate to contact us.

Page last updated 21/01/2015 JM

Excellent Different Distinctive