Important updates

Current visa application fees

Student visa application fee for applications made from inside the UK are as follows:

  • £494.20 for standard application (decision within 8 weeks)
  • £994.20 for priority application (decision within 5 working days)
  • £1294.20 for super priority application (decision within 1 working day)

Changes to the Immigration Health Surcharge

Please note that as of 27th October 2020, the Immigration health surcharge has increased to £470 per year for the length of the visa granted. This will be rounded up to the nearest 6 months.

Extending your Student leave leave from inside the UK

The Home Office made changes to the Immigration Rules in January 2018 which means that it is now possible for students to apply to extend their Student visas from inside the UK if they are adding a work or study placement into their existing course. Previously, students who wanted to add some sort of placement to their course (for example a sandwich placement or study abroad year) had to go home to get a new visa. This change means that these students will now be able to apply for an extension in the UK as normal if they wish.

From the 5th October 2020, if you are applying for your visa in the UK and have been in the UK for 12 months or more at point you make the application, then you already meet the financial requirements and do not need to provide any further documents.

If this does not apply to you, e.g. you’re making a visa application from overseas or you have lived in the UK for less than 12 months, then you have to meet the general financial requirements.

Is there a limit on how long I can spend studying in the UK?

There are limits on how long students can spend studying in the UK using Student visas. General student visas. If you have already spent time studying in the UK and you will need to extend your visa to begin a new course or because you have had to repeat studies for your existing course then you will need to make sure that the total time you will be spending studying at degree level will not exceed the UKVI limits. The length of time you have spent studying is calculated based on the length of visas that you have been granted for all of the courses of study at degree level plus the length of the visa that you be granted for your new course. 

For most students studying for Bachelor's degrees the limit is 5 years.  If the ordinary length of your undergraduate degree was 4 years or more (for example the 4 year MPharm or a 4 year Bachelor's degree with a placement year) then your limit may be 6 years.  If you will be studying for a course below degree level (for example a Year Zero or Foundation course) then the limit is most likely to be 2 years.

Course at postgraduate level, Masters or PhD courses, are not subject to this time limit.

How many points do I need to apply for a student visa?

You need 70 points: 50 points are awarded for having a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) and 10 Points are awarded for having the correct level of funds available and 10 points are awarded for meeting the English Language Requirement.

What is a CAS and how do I get one?

A CAS is a Confirmation of Acceptance for Study: a unique code which links you to Aston University on the UK Home Office database. Your CAS confirms that Aston University is your educational "sponsor". 

If you are already enrolled as a student at Aston University, then the immigration advisers in the Advice Zone will be able to arrange a CAS for you. You will need to complete the online pre-CAS questionnaire about your previous studies in the UK and will also need to show that you have enough money available to meet the requirements for a Student visa. 

If you need a CAS number for a new course at Aston University it will be provided by the admissions staff in your Academic School at Aston University.

CAS numbers must be no more than six months old on the date you apply for your visa.

Funds to cover your course fees and living costs

Financial evidence is a key part of the visa application and the most common reason for visa refusals. It is very specific, and we advise all students to check their financial evidence with us as part of our Visa Checking service

From the 5th October 2020, if your applying for your visa in the UK and have been in the UK for 12 months or more at point you make the application, then you already meet the financial requirements and do not need to provide any further documents.

If this does not apply to you, e.g. you’re making a visa application from overseas or you have lived in the UK for less than 12 months, then you have to meet the general financial requirement explained in our “Financial Requirements” page.

Documents to prove you have the required funds

You can prove you have these funds available by providing:

  • A personal bank statement, no more than one month old, in your name OR
  • A printed personal bank statement, no more than one month old, in your parents' name. You must also supply your birth certificate and an original signed and dated letter from your parent(s) confirming they are your parent(s) and they consent to their money being used to fund your UK studies OR
  • There are other methods but the above options are the most common. Contact us for information if you are a sponsored student.

The UKVI has strict guidelines about the format for your bank statements.  If the bank statement is printed in a Branch (ad hoc) then it needs to be printed on letter headed paper.  Electronic bank statements printed from an internet banking account can be accepted but they will need to be stamped by the bank.

In all cases statements must include the following information:

  • Transactions covering at least 28 days.
  • The name of the account holder.
  • The full account number.
  • The Bank's name and logo.
  • The amount of money available.

Any financial documents which do not fulfil these requirements may not be accepted by the UKVI and could result in your visa application being confused.

You must provide professional translations of documents which are not written in English.

If your bank account is not in the UK, you must include a conversion of the closing balance to Sterling quoting the OANDA website and the exchange rate that applies on the day you submit your online application. You will also need to provide an official translation of your bank statement.

UKVI will only accept evidence from some banks in India, Cameroon, Ghana, Pakistan, Philippines, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Iran.  UKVI has published lists of institutions in those countries that do satisfactorily verify financial statements. Please contact us if your money is in a bank account in one of these countries and we will check the UKVI list for you.

Students from some nationalities considered to be "low risk" may not need to send every document with their application. Evidence is always required but not always requested, so please contact us before you send your application if you think this applies to you.

Example bank statement:  We now have an example copy of what your bank statements should include. Please note this is an example and must not be used with any visa application. 

This section contains a lot of information, but it is very important that you understand it. Please click for our separate financial evidence page

Documents required for Student applications

There are a number of documents you need to include in your Student visa application.

UKVI will only accept original documents and you cannot send copies.  You will also need to provide professional translations of documents which are not written in English.

You will need to complete a "Student visa online application."  Our immigration advisers can help you with this application and can send the application through our Visa Checking service.

You will need to send the following documents with your visa application:

  • Your current and previous passports
  • A printed and signed copy of the declaration page of your application
  • Your police registration certificate, if you have one
  • Documents to prove you have the required funds (see section above) 
  • Your Biometric Residence Permit for the UK, if you have one 
  • Any qualifications that have been listed in your CAS
  • If your current visa was granted for you to study for a course that is not listed on your CAS then you may also need to provide evidence that you have successfully completed this course.
What is the Immigration Health Surcharge?

As part of your Tier 4 General student visa application you will need to pay an Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS). This will cost £470 for every year that your new visa will last and £235 for every period of up to 6 months that your new visa will last. You will be asked to pay this fee as part of your online application and you do not need to register to do this separately.  Your visa adviser will be able to help you with this when you are ready to submit your application.

How do I apply?

You first must complete an online application form, upload your documents via an online portal and the submit your biometric information. For Visa applications in the UK, the UKVI have partnered with Sopra Steria to create "Visa Application Centres" to collect your biometric information. You will be prompted to book an appointment to attend a visa application centre after you complete your online visa application.

You may also be selected to use an app which you can download on your phone which can bypass the appointment. This is only for those who may have submitted their biometric information in a previous application

But the online application comes first. It is very important that you check that all of the information in your online application form is correct. It may not be possible to make changes after the application has been submitted! 

You will need to arrange an appointment to see an immigration adviser at The Hub Advice Zone so that we can check your application and arrange a CAS for you.  You will need to complete the online Pre-CAS questionnaire.  You will also need to bring your login details and the following documents with you to your appointment with your immigration adviser:

  • Your current passport and any other passports that you have used to travel to the UK
  • Your Biometric Residence Permit, if you have one (this is your visa ID card). 
  • Your Police Registration Certificate (only if you are required to register with the police). 
  • Your bank statements or other financial evidence
  • Any qualifications that you used as the basis for your offer to study at Aston (only if you are applying for a visa for a new course or have not yet completed 6 months of your current course)
  • Your completed Pre-CAS questionnaire 

We will support your visa application through our visa checking service.   

Visa Checking Service

If you will be using our visa checking service to complete an online visa application, an international student adviser will check your documents, check your online form and advise what documents you are required to upload/bring to your visa appointment. Please remember, the responsibility for completing the form and supplying the correct documents is still yours. We will then act as your contact for the application. The person making the decision at the UKVI may contact us if they have any questions about your application before they make their decision.

After your International Student Adviser has checked your online application, documents and Pre-CAS questionnaire they will arrange CAS for you and ask to you make another appointment to submit your online application and have your documents checked.

Any Home Office letters, your documents, passport/s and your new visa will be delivered to us in International Student Services at The Hub, and we will email you when they have arrived.

There were changes made to the Immigration Rules a few years ago to allow UK Visas and Immigration to introduce credibility interviews as part of the Student visa application process. Not all students will be asked to attend these interviews and applicants are randomly selected. If you are asked to attend a credibility interview, please do not worry as it does not automatically mean that there is a problem with your application.  During the interview you could be asked questions about your application, your studies and your life in the UK.  We will contact you by email if we receive an interview request letter and will tell you what you need to do next.

What about my dependants?

Not all Student Visa holders can bring their dependants to the UK with them.  You will normally only be able to have dependants with you in the UK if you are studying at Aston for a postgraduate course that lasts more than 9 months or you are a government sponsored students studying for a course that lasts at least 6 months.  There are some other special circumstances in which dependants that currently have or have recently had permission to be in the UK as a Tier 4 student’s dependant may also qualify but this is rather complicated and you should contact us for further advice.

If your dependants are in the UK with you and will be applying to extend their visas at the same time as you, you will be able to include them in your Student visa (General) online application.  It currently costs £475 per dependant to apply online and send documents by post and £952 for each dependant when you pay for the priority postal service.

From the 5th October 2020, if you and your dependants are applying for your visa in the UK and have been in the UK for 12 months or more at point you make the application, then you already meet the financial requirements and do not need to provide any further documents.

If this does not apply to you, e.g. you’re making a visa application from overseas or you have lived in the UK for less than 12 months, you will need to show that there is enough money available to cover your dependants living costs in addition to your living costs and the tuition fees for your course.

You will need to show that there is enough money available to cover your dependants living costs in addition to your living costs and the tuition fees for your course.  You will need to show that this money has been available throughout a 28 day period that ends no more than one month before you apply for your visa.  The money must be held in an account in your name and/or the dependant’s name and this includes joint accounts. You cannot use money held in an account that is solely in your dependant’s name as evidence that you have enough money to meet your own maintenance requirements for your Tier 4 application.

If you already have a Student visa and are applying for a visa extension then you will need to show that there is at least £6,120 available for each dependant’s living costs.  If your dependant's new visa will last for less than 9 months then you should only need to show that you have at least £680 available for each dependant for each month (including part months) that the new visa will be granted for.

For example:

If your partner and child are in the UK as your dependants, you are applying to extend your visas together and you have more than 9 months left of your course you would need to show a total of £21,375 for you and your dependants’ living costs (£9,135 for you and £6,120 for each dependant). You will also need to show that you have enough money to pay your tuition fees. 

I am a new Aston student and I want to extend my visa from inside the UK

We strongly advise our students to make an application for a new Student visa to study at Aston whilst they are in their home country if at all possible. This is because we cannot guarantee that you would be able to gain re-entry to the UK using a visa which will be expiring soon and which was issued for another sponsor and for a course that you are no longer studying for. If your previous visa sponsor has made a report to the Home Office in relation to your studies with them (for example if you finished your course early) then there may also have been changes made to your current visa which mean that it would no longer be valid for you to use it to return to the UK.  

If you truly cannot apply at home and will be trying to return to the UK then you should make sure that you carry a copy of your CAS email for Aston University along with all of the supporting documents you will need for your visa application in your hand luggage when you travel back to the UK. You will at least be able to show that you will be ready to make an application for a new visa as soon as you arrive in the UK if you are stopped by an Immigration Officer at the airport.

If you are a new student who already has a student visa and wants to extend your visa from inside the UK, we can still help you with your visa application. Please remember that you will not be able to make an application to extend your visa from inside the UK if there is a gap of more than 28 days between the end of your current visa and the start of your new course. 

You may not be able to extend your visa from inside the UK if you have a student visa and you did not complete your previous course. If you have a current student visa then you will also only be able to apply for a visa extension in the UK if your current visa was sponsored by a UK publicly funded body or University or you were on an exchange programme from an overseas university or you were sponsored by an embedded college or an independent school.  

You will need to make sure that you make your application to extend your student visa as soon as possible. If your current student visa has been sponsored by your previous university, college or school the we not be able to enrol you as an Aston student unless we can show that you have already made a new visa application using your Aston CAS. We highly recommend that you use our Visa Checking service (see above) so that we can verify that your application has been sent and so that we can also provide certified copies of your documents for enrolment.   

You can use the completed example as a guide to help you to complete your online application but your answers to some of the questions may need to be a little bit different. Don't worry if you are not sure about any of the answers, just answer as best as you can and make sure you save your application (but don't submit it!).  Once you have your CAS number and have filled out your online application, an adviser can check the online application for you and also check your supporting documents.  You can arrange an appointment with one of our visa advisers by calling International Student Services on 0121 204 4567 or 0121 204 4007.