Points Based System (Tier 4)
Students applying to come to the UK will now be assessed under the Points Based System (Tier 4). Tier 4 is the Student Tier. There is a single application process, whether inside or outside the UK. There are three ways of making an application under this tier of the system:
- Entering the UK under the Student Tier
- Extending a stay in the UK in the Student Tier
- Switching status while in the UK into the Student Tier (not always possible-check policy guidlines)
Students are required to show:
- All original education qualification certificates used to obtain an offer from the Sponsor (University)
- Financial Evidence to demonstrate that you have sufficient funds. For the purpose of verifying applicants' maintenance funds under Tier 4 of the points-based system, the UK Border Agency maintains a list of financial institutions that do not satisfactorily verify financial statements.
Students are expected to make their final choice of University before they make an application for a student visa. They must have a valid Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) and should have met all the criteria for their particular student visa.
To obtain a 'General student' visa, applicants have to score points against two sets of objective criteria with an overall pass mark of 40 points. They must also be able to support themselves and any dependants, as they do not qualify for state benefit. All applicants are required to provide documentary evidence to support their claim for points. Please note that applications for visa cannot not be made more than three months before the beginning of the course.
The University of Portsmouth is on the UK government's Register of Education and Training Providers and has Highly Trusted Sponsor (HTS) status. Our Sponsor Licence Number (SLN) on this register is 926WMQQ73. This number is needed to support a Tier 4 visa application. The application also requires the address of our Academic Registry, which is:
University of Portsmouth
Winston Churchill Avenue
Portsmouth PO1 2UP
Any student who decides to change University after arriving in the UK will need a CAS from their new University of choice.
Important: The UK Border Agency has recently put a restriction on the total time that students may spend in the UK. For the majority of cases, this now stands at a maximum of 5 years of study at degree level or above. This information may affect you if you are intending to study in the UK under a Tier 4 visa or have previously studied in the UK under this or any other type of student visa. If you have been studying in the UK for 5 years or more, or if accepting your offer to study at the University of Portsmouth will take you over the 5 year limit, please contact email@example.com immediately for advice.
Please visit the following websites for further advice:
How points are awarded for the student tier:
|Criteria for Points||Requirements||Points awarded|
A valid Confirmation of Acceptance of Studies (CAS): Issued if the institution believe the student is capable of doing the course, intends to do the course, and the course is at the appropriate level.
Students studying at institutions outside London on courses lasting longer than 9 months (most undergraduate and postgraduate courses) need to provide evidence of access to maintenance funds totalling £7200 per year plus evidence of funds to pay tuition fees.
Urgent information - scam warning
UKCISA have received reports from some UK universities that a telephone fraud is targeting international students. Typically, a student will receive a call from someone who says they work for the UK Border Agency. Callers have used the names "Eric Wilson", "Mike Watson" and others. The caller may appear genuine, and they may have some limited information about you, for example your passport number. The caller may say that there is a problem with your pending immigration application or with your current visa, and they may ask for debit or credit card details to pay a fine immediately, which they will say is to prevent further action or investigation by the UKBA.
We can confirm that the UKBA would not approach an applicant or migrant in this way, nor does the UKBA have any system of fines or penalties. For more information and advice on dealing with this scam, please visit the UKCISA Latest News page
Immigration compliance and issuing a CAS
The University of Portsmouth takes its responsibilities as an educational sponsor under the Tier 4 Immigration System very seriously. We may have to make checks on academic progression, length of time spent studying in the UK and financial capabilities of students prior to issuing a CAS.
As a sponsor, we are bound by law to abide by the regulations set out under the Tier 4 Sponsor Guidance, which states:
Highly Trusted Sponsor status is designed to ensure that all education providers are taking their obligations on immigration compliance seriously. It recognises sponsors who show a good history of compliance with their sponsor duties and whose students meet the standards of compliance with the terms of their visa or permission to stay in the UK.
A CAS is your way of confirming, as a licensed sponsor, that:
- you wish to bring an overseas student to the UK to study; and
- to the best of your knowledge, that the student meets the requirements of the rules for a valid CAS and will be able to make a successful application for leave to come or stay in the UK
*UKBA Tier 4 of the Points Based System - Policy Guidance/Sponsor Version 04/12 for use from 6 April 2012 (pp 4-5)
To this end, the University of Portsmouth reserves the right to refuse to issue a CAS statement to any existing or prospective student for whom we cannot guarantee the above points.
If you have any questions relating to this, please contact the International Admissions staff in Academic Registry - firstname.lastname@example.org
Accommodation payments under Tier 4
Please note that from April 2012 the following restriction has come into place with regards to students paying for accommodation:
MONEY ALREADY PAID TO THE TIER 4 SPONSOR
163. If the Tier 4 (General) student can show that he/she has already paid all or some of his/her accommodation fees to his/her Tier 4 sponsor before making his/her application, this amount will also be taken away from the total amount of money he/she will need to show for living costs. The amount taken away cannot exceed a maximum of £1000, even if the student has paid more than £1000 in advance for accommodation.