To be able to study in the UK, you must have an unconditional offer for a place on a course with a licenced student sponsor. Once the offer has been made, the course provider will need to assign you a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (“CAS”), which will generate a reference number that you will need to include on your online visa application.
The CAS is not a physical document and is issued electronically. A licensed student sponsor will have access to an online platform, giving them the tools to assign a CAS to a prospective student. The CAS will contain the particulars of your course, the start date, the end date and whether you will be studying part-time or full-time. Importantly, the CAS will address the course you will undertake, the tuition fees, maintenance fees and the English language requirement.
To be eligible for a Student visa, you must be coming to the UK to study at an educational institution that holds a sponsor licence for an eligible course. The CAS will include reference to the course and confirm whether it is at the appropriate level for the Home Office to consider eligibility.
If you have not already been in the UK for at least 12 months, you will usually be required to demonstrate that you have sufficient funds to pay outstanding course fees as stated on the CAS, and £1,023 (or £1,334 if your course is in London) per each month of the course up to a maximum of 9 months. The CAS will detail how much you have already contributed to your tuition fees, and the Home Office will offset this against the financial requirement when assessing your eligibility.
The English language requirement for a Student visa may be assessed by a Secure English Language Test or by an assessment set by the student sponsor. The student sponsor will need to indicate whether the English language requirement was met internally to enable the Home Office to assess your eligibility under this requirement. You may also be required to obtain a tuberculosis test and an ATAS certificate, depending on your circumstances.
The Home Office will assess each of these points from the information on your CAS, and for this reason the CAS is arguably the most important document when you are applying for a Student visa. If your application is approved, the Home Office will look at the CAS to determine the appropriate duration of your visa.
How Gherson can assist
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The information in this blog is for general information purposes only and does not purport to be comprehensive or to provide legal advice. Whilst every effort is made to ensure the information and law is current as of the date of publication it should be stressed that, due to the passage of time, this does not necessarily reflect the present legal position. Gherson accepts no responsibility for loss which may arise from accessing or reliance on information contained in this blog. For formal advice on the current law please do not hesitate to contact Gherson. Legal advice is only provided pursuant to a written agreement, identified as such, and signed by the client and by or on behalf of Gherson.