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Immigration and Visa Guidance

Procuring a student visa from anywhere in the world is a complicated task.

As in other countries, the UK government wants to ensure that only legitimate students are granted permission to study. As a result the system by which they grant visas is extremely thorough. We know from experience how challenging this process can be. But applying to UK Visas and Immigration for the Tier 4 (General) student visa can be a straightforward process if you take it seriously and stay organised.

We offer the following advice:

  • Make a checklist of all the documents you need to submit upon completion of the online application.
  • Identify the documents that you don’t have and how you can get them.
  • Mark which documents need to be originals and where copies are acceptable.
  • Double-check that the rules you are applying are up to date. The UKBA constantly updates its requirements and something may have changed since you started your application.
  • Avoid costly mistakes by double-checking everything. The UKBA will not return application fees if the application is rejected for any reason. To make sure that you are submitting a complete and correct application you must get a second opinion. Ask someone with fresh eyes to look over the application and read it back to you. They may find mistakes you missed.
  • Write down important deadlines and dates in your diary and set reminders. If you miss an exam appointment or deadline you are unlikely to get a refund for any fees you have paid and may miss a crucial window for submitting an element of the application. Similarly, if you are forced to submit your application last minute you will pay a much higher fee and delay enrolment.
  • Leave yourself plenty of time. It is important that you take the time necessary to make the right decision about which university to attend. But factor into your thinking the fact that you must complete the process of applying for a visa, acquiring a biometric data card and – in some cases – attending a credibility interview.
  • Identify which requirements are specific to applicants from your country. It is crucial that you carefully read the entire UKBA Tier 4 (General) instructions to find out important information specific to your application. We do not list every country’s unique requirements and do not take responsibility for this aspect of your application.

If you are struggling to complete your application to the UKBA we will work with you to resolve your questions. Please let us know right away if any problems arise before or after your submit your application.

“NUA is like a big family and there is a strong sense of support from the Norwich community. At the start of my course NUA arranged a tour of Norwich and the surrounding area and helped us to settle in. Having a studio environment really helps you get to know people quickly.”

Gabriel Loy
BA Fine Art student, Singapore

Key Facts for Tier 4 visa Holders

  • All Tier 4 visa holders must attend the International Student Arrivals Lounge on the Thursday and Friday before Enrolment Week. It is important that you make travel arrangements to accommodate this requirement.
  • You will need evidence that you have paid some or all of your fees. When you pay put your name or student number in the reference and then email the NUA Finance Office for a receipt of payment: finance@nua.ac.uk
  • You have the right to work in the UK for up to 20 hours per week during term time. If you work more than this amount you will compromise your right to remain in the UK. More details will be available in August of the year of entry.
  • The University will monitor your attendance as part of its responsibilities to the UKBA and report breaches of your visa requirements.
  • If you need to register with local police your visa will reflect this requirement. The International Office can help you to do so when you arrive.
  • You have access to free NHS health care throughout your studies. However, you are not eligible for public funds including Jobseeker’s Allowance or Housing Allowance.
  • You are exempt from paying Council Tax while you are a student at NUA.

Useful Links for Tier 4 Visa Applicants

Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies

Before you can apply for your Tier 4 visa you must be issued with a CAS, a document that confirms that you have been offered and accepted a place for full time education with a licensed Tier 4 sponsor (the University.) The CAS will be issued electronically by our Registry Office when you have fully satisfied our academic and language requirements, submitted a portfolio and completed an interview. It is also important that we can be sure you will meet the UKBA’s Tier 4 visa requirements. Once you have received your CAS you can complete your application for permission to study in the UK. More about the CAS can be found here.