Student applications from non-EEA nationals will need to apply for either a Short-term study visa or a Tier 4 (General) Student visa.
All applicants are encouraged to visit the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) website and to read the 'Practical Guide' carefully.
A. Short-term study visa
If you are a non-EU national, over 18 years old, and want to study a Preparation for IELTS course for up to 11 months at Central Bedfordshire College, you can apply for a ‘Short-term study visa’. Information on how to apply for a Short-term study visa in your home country, and whether a visa is required, is available at: www.ukvisas.gov.uk/en/howtoapply. Please contact the International Office for information on how to apply for this visa.
B. Tier 4 (General) Student visa
Central Bedfordshire College is registered with the UK Home Office as a 'Tier 4 Sponsor'.
If you want to study at Central Bedfordshire College for a course at level 3 or above, other than a English Language course, you must apply for a Tier 4 visa. The following types of courses that meet the immigration requirements are:
- Vocational courses at Level 3 or above
- Higher Education courses including HNC, HND, and Foundation degrees
You must be able to show the following evidence to apply for a Tier 4 student visa:
1. You have been accepted for a course of study.
You will need to have the course acceptance confirmed with a CAS (Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies) number. The College can issue this CAS number within in a statement confirming the details of the course and how you meet the requirements once we have received all the relevant documentation.
2. Assessment of your English Language Ability
You will need to show evidence of your English language ability at a minimum level of B2 of CEFR by providing an 'IELTS for UKVI' test certificate. All IELTS certificates must show a UKVI number.
You do not need to show evidence of your English language ability if you are a national of a majority English-speaking country. Your passport will be evidence of this.
3. You can meet the costs of your course, accommodation & living expenses
When you apply for your visa you will need to show evidence that you have sufficient cash funds to study in the UK. The amount will be your tuition fee for 1 year plus your maintenance or living costs. For instance, the maintenance fees for a student studying on the International Foundation Programme would need to have the following funds available:
Tuition Fee* (£9,700) + Maintenance** (£9,315) = £19,015
**Maintenance fees are calculated each month for up to 9 months.
**If you have already paid some or the full tuition fee, this amount will be taken away from the total amount you need to show. Your bank statements may be in international currency and if so you will need to show the closing balance in pounds sterling (write this on your visa application).
This amount must have been in your account, available in cash, for a minimum period of 28 days up to the date of the closing balance. If the balance drops below the required amount for even 1 day your visa will be refused. Your bank statement must not be more than 1 month old on the date of your visa application.
The Immigration Rules state that your financial documents must show a closing balance dated no more than 31 days before the date that you submit your application. The account should be in your name, joint names or your parent(s) names. If the account is in the name of your parent you need to show evidence that you are the child of the account holder when you apply for your visa i.e. birth certificate.
The majority of visa refusals are based on this financial requirement – make sure you can afford your course and the living expenses before you submit you application.
For further information and advice on obtaining visas, please visit https://www.gov.uk/tier-4-general-visa/overview.