Two male international students walking down steps with others behind them

Important information about your student visa

Need a visa to study in the UK? Here's what you need to know

If you are joining a full-time, on-campus undergraduate or postgraduate course with us, you must apply for a Tier 4 (General) student visa to study in the UK. You will also need this visa if you are joining a part-time postgraduate course but you cannot take on employment (including work placements) or have dependants.   

This is part of the UK's Points Based Immigration (PBI) system, and you must attain 40 points.


To be eligible for this, you must:

  • have been offered a place on a course
  • speak, read, write and understand English
  • have a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) from the University – this is worth 30 points
  • have enough money to support yourself and pay for your course (the amount will vary depending on your circumstances) – this is worth 10 points
  • meet any other eligibility requirements

You will get a CAS from the University's Student Life CAS team once you have met all the academic and non-academic conditions of your offer. This will contain a unique number that you'll need to input on your visa application.

Check all the details on your CAS are correct as soon as you can. These include your name, date of birth, nationality and course details. If anything is incorrect, please email to get them corrected.

Proof of funds

You will also need to show evidence that you have access to maintenance funds and evidence of funds to pay your tuition fees.

If this money is held in your bank account, it will need to be held there for 28 days consecutive days, and you will need to provide your most recent bank statement (no older than 1 month old).

This must be an original (not photocopied) statement in English (or supplied with an official translation), supplied and stamped by your bank.

If your course lasts 9 months or less, you'll need to show that you have £1,015 per month. If your course lasts longer than 9 months, you will need to show that you have a total of at least £9,135.

You do not need to have the funds listed in £GBP. The statement can show your funds in your home currency, but please use a currency converter to check the amount in £GBP.

Using your parents' funds

If you are using your parents' funds, you must provide:

  • Your parents’ bank statement showing the required funds
  • Your original Birth Certificate, showing yours and your parents' names
  • A letter from your parents signed and dated confirming they are sponsoring you.

You can only use your parent's bank account – you can not show funds in the account of any other relatives or friends.

If your government or officially recognised international company are sponsoring you, you can show an Official Financial Sponsorship Letter to cover some of your funds. If you are not being sponsored for the full amount of £9,135, you will need to show the remaining funds in your bank account.

If you are bringing dependants with you, you will also need to show that they have £680 for each month to cover their living costs. So for courses of 9 months, you will need £6,120.

See the UKCISA Website for more details.

How to apply for a Tier 4 (General) student visa

You must apply online for a Tier 4 (General) student visa.

You will need to have your fingerprints and photograph taken at a visa application centre (to get a biometric residence permit) as part of your application.

You will have to collect your biometric residence permit within 10 days of when you said you would arrive in the UK (even if you actually arrive at a later date).

You may be able to get your visa faster or other services depending on what country you are in – check with your visa application centre.

You may need to attend a short credibility interview as part of your application.

Learn more about our UKVI Compliance procedures.


It costs £348 for a standard application. This will take around 15 working days to process, but may take longer during the peak periods of June to September.

In some cases, you can pay an additional £212 if you want to use the Priority Visa Service, which will process your application in 5 working days. You can not use this service if you have previously been refused a visa.

You will also need to pay a National Health Service (NHS) Immigration Health Surcharge. This will be £300 per person per year, or £150 for 6 months. For example, if you are studying a 3-year course, you will need to pay £1,050 to cover the 3 years of study and the additional 4 months at the end of your visa. For applications made from 1 October 2020 the IHS fee will be £470 a year.


You will need the following documents and items to submit your Tier 4 visa application. You must send original documents, not photocopies or scans:

  • A valid passport
  • Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS)
  • Your International English Language Test System (IELTS) certificate
  • Your original qualification certificates and transcripts
  • Documents to prove you have the correct funds to cover living costs and tuition fees available in your or your parents' bank account
  • An Official Financial Sponsor letter if you're sponsored by your Government or University
  • Parental/guardian consent if you are under 18
  • Academic Tech Approval Scheme (ATAS) clearance certificate if your course requires this
  • Tuberculosis (TB) test results certificate, if you're from a country that requires this

You might be asked for an institution code or Alternative Collection Location (ACL) code. Enter 2HE479 when you are asked for it, so the University can arrange for the BRP card to be sent to your UK home address. If you do not input this, you will need to collect your BRP from a local post office.

You might be asked for an official Sponsor Licence Number (SLN). This is 926WMQQ73.

If any of the required documents have not been produced in English, you will also need to provide an official translation.

Once you have submitted your visa application online you will receive email confirmation from UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI).

If you are a continuing student

Please go to the MyPort Article Hub and search 'Tier 4 VISA - extension information' for further information about making a visa extension application in the UK.


Who qualifies as a dependant?

Your partner and your children qualify; for further definitions and restrictions, please refer to the UKCISA website.

Am I allowed to bring my dependants with me?

As a Tier 4 (General) student, you can only bring your family as dependants if you are:

  • A student sponsored by your government, on a full-time course for 6 months or more
  • A student studying a full-time postgraduate level course for 9 months or more

In both cases, you must also:

  • Already have a Tier 4 (General) visa, or start the Tier 4 (General) visa application process at the same time and in the same country as your dependent, when they make their application.

What documents will my dependants need?

They will need:

  • A valid passport
  • Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS)
  • Financial documents
  • Marriage certificate or equivalent for spouse or partner
  • Birth certificate for dependent children
  • Tuberculosis (TB) test results certificate, if you're from a country that requires this

Your dependant(s) may also be asked for an institution code or ACL code when making their application: enter 2HE479 when asked for it, so they can collect their biometric residence permit (BRP) from the University.

If they don't enter our ACL or institution code, they'll need to collect their BRP from a local post office.

Financial requirements for bringing your dependants into the UK

If you ant to bring your dependants, you must show the following financial evidence:

  • Each dependent will need £680 for every month of the Tier 4 student's immigration permission (course end date + 4 months), up to a maximum of 9 months

  • If your official financial sponsor is also sponsoring your dependants, you will need an official letter from your sponsor stating that they will cover the full maintenance cost for each dependant

  • The evidence of funds can be shown in your bank account or your dependant's bank account. If the dependant is your child then the funds can be held by the other parent, but only if they are applying at the same time

  • The money must be held for 28 consecutive days.

See more information on this on the UKCISA website. If any of the required documents aren't in English, you will also need to provide an official translation.

Accommodation for families/family visits

Unfortunately, your dependants can not apply to live in the University’s Halls of Residence, and the same applies if your family visits you when you are studying.

You will have to find private accommodation instead, but our Housing Support team is on hand to help you find the right place.

Can my dependants work?

Your dependants will be able to work if you're either:

  • A student sponsored by your government, on a full-time course for 6 months or more
  • A student studying a full-time postgraduate level course for 9 months or more

Just to be on the safe side, we also advise your dependants to check their visa for any specific conditions. Immigration rules change frequently, so it is important to make sure that you keep up to date with the latest regulations.

For an up-to-date immigration policy, please refer to the UKCISA website.

Biometric Residence Permit (BRP)

You need a biometric residence permit (BRP) when you apply to stay in the UK for more than 6 months. You don't need to apply for a BRP as well as your visa – you will get one automatically once your visa application is approved.

You can use your BRP to confirm your identity, your right to study in the UK, and your right to any public services or benefits.

If you have applied for your Tier 4 General Student Visa outside of the UK, you must collect your BRP. Collect your BRP before your vignette expires or within 10 days of your arrival in the UK – whichever is the latest.

Obtaining your BRP:

  • From the Post Office: Take your passport and Entry Clearance Office decision letter with you to the Post Office. The Post Office is open Monday to Saturday 9.00am–5.30pm (Tuesdays 9.30am–5.30pm).
  • If you have given the ACL Code:

If you are planning to join us for the start of term you will need to complete the ID submission form once you have arrived in the UK as you will need to upload your UK visa with an entry stamp to confirm you have arrived in the country. The form will ask you to confirm your term time address. It is important to include your permanent UK address so that your BRP card can be posted to you, at this address.

If you will be studying remotely for a period before travelling to the UK, you still need to complete the ID submission form and you should do so as soon as you receive it. You will only be required to upload a copy of your passport at this time.

For more information please visit

If you fail to produce the requested documentation, you are at risk of exclusion.

Other information

The University of Portsmouth is on the UK government's Register of Education and Training Providers and is on the UK Visa and Immigration service's Register of Sponsors Licensed under the Points Based System. Our Sponsor Licence Number (SLN) on this register is 926WMQQ73.

The application also needs the address of our Information Hub, which is:

MyPort Information Hub

c/o Tier 4 Compliance

University of Portsmouth

Nuffield Centre

St Michael's Road



Further information

If you have any queries about making a Tier 4 visa application please contact the International Student Advice team by emailing

This site uses cookies. Click here to view our cookie policy message.

Accept and close