The United Kingdom operates a points based immigration system. If you are national of a non-European Economic Area country, including non-visa nationals, and you do not already hold an immigration permission that entitles you to study in the UK you will need to apply for a visa to study at the RVC. The list of countries whose nationals will require a visa prior to travelling is available on the UK Government website.
The Royal Veterinary College holds Highly Trusted Status under Tier 4 of the points based system; with this status we are able to sponsor non EU/EEA students to study in the UK.
If you require a Tier 4 General student visa or student visitor visa, please read carefully the guidance below. You can also contact our dedicated student support team about visa related questions: Advice Centre
Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS)
A Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) is a unique reference number given to you by the RVC for you to study a specific course at the RVC. This is required in order to apply for a Tier 4 visa.
The CAS will expire six months after it is issued and is only valid for one visa application. You will receive a CAS by email once you have met all conditions of your offer, including paying your deposit and have sent a copy of your passport to the Admissions Office.
It is important that you check the information listed on your CAS is correct. If your visa is refused, you will need to contact the Admissions Office. If you have applied to more than one institution in the UK you may hold more than one CAS. Please ensure you use the correct CAS in your visa application.
Applying for a Tier 4 Student visa
Students that are studying in the UK for more than 6 months will need to apply for a Tier 4 General Student Visa. You will need to apply online and will also need to attend a visa application centre as part of the application process. Extended guidance on making a Tier 4 application can be found on the UK Government website.
The UKCISA website also provides guidance on the application process. When making a Tier 4 application, you will need to ensure that:
- You have a CAS from the RVC
- You have paid the application fees
- You hold a valid passport
- You have two passport photographs
- You have fulfilled the English language requirements (all courses at the RVC have an English language requirement. This is listed on the relevant course page under 'entry requirements'. All students must show evidence that they meet the English requirement for their course of study, even if English is the native language of your home country. If English is the native language of your home country, an equivalent pass in your high school qualification may be acceptable. Please contact the Admissions Office for further information. If you do need to take an English Language test, we strongly recommend that you make arrangements to take one as early as possible, to ensure that you meet any conditions of offer and have sufficient time to complete the visa application process)
- You can attend a visa application centre to provide biometric information (fingerprints and facial image)
- You are prepared to undertake a credibility interview if requested, which may include a short video interview with the Home Office. These are only carried out occasionally as spot-checks.
- You have an Unconditional Offer, and are within 3 months of starting your course. (Your visa application start date is the day you complete the online application form and pay the application fees online. It is not the day you take your in-person or biometric appointment.)
- You have proof of your qualifications - you will be required to include original certificates or transcripts for each of your qualifications, as listed on your CAS, and official translation if it is not in English
- You fulfil the maintenance requirements, and are able to provide proof that you have sufficient finances to pay for your tuition fees and a specific amount of money to cover living costs (see Finances section below)
- Check whether you need TB screening and a screening certificate
An Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) must be paid as part of Tier 4 (and some other) visa applications, even if you have your own private medical insurance and do not intend to use the National Health Service (NHS).
The charge (as of July 2018) is £200 for each year or part year over six months of the visa being applied for, and £100 for part of a year that is less than six months. If you are making a visa application from within the UK, you will be required to pay the IHS even if the period applied for is less than six months. The charge is taken at the point of your Tier 4 visa application; however more details of how charging (and refunds) are administered can be found on the UKCISA website.
Your eligibility to apply for a Tier 4 General Student visa depends on you having the required finances to cover your first year's tuition fees and living costs of £1,265* per month for the first 9 months of your course (£11,385*) in your bank account for at least 28 days.
* Figures correct for 2018/9 entry and should be used as a guide only. Please contact Admissions for further information
If you are self-financed and will be using your own bank statement as proof of finances, you must prove that you have the total amount of money in cash funds in a bank account in your name. This amount must be kept for at least 28 days in your account before you complete your visa application. Your bank statement must also be dated within 30 days of your application and show your name, account number, date, financial institution's name and logo, amount of finances available and confirmation the funds have been held for at least 28 days.
You can use an online bank statement providing all of the details listed above are covered. However, in support you should also provide an official letter from your bank confirming that the statement is authentic or request that the document is stamped officially by the bank.
You are also eligible to use a parent's bank statement as proof of finances. You must meet the above guidelines mentioned. You will also need to provide your original birth certificate plus a letter of parental consent confirming that the finances will be used for your study purposes. This needs to be written in English.
If you paid any of your tuition fees, over and above the deposit, in advance of your visa application this amount can be shown on your CAS and reduce the amount of funds you are required to keep in your bank account for your tuition fees. If this is the case, it is vital that you contact the Admissions Office to have your CAS updated.
Using a loan letter
You can use a loan letter as proof of finances but only from a regulated financial institution, the loan letter must confirm you have a loan that is provided by the national or regional government, the state or a government-sponsored student loan company. This could also be part of an academic or educational loans scheme. The loan needs to be in your own name and the letter must be dated no more than 6 months before you commence your application. The loan must be available to you before you travel to the UK if you are applying from overseas.
An exception is made if the loan is an academic/student loan from your country's national government and will be otherwise released to you by your national government or your education provider upon arrival in the UK.
Financial sponsored students
If you are sponsored by your government, an international company or another scholarship agency, you will need to provide a letter from the sponsor confirming details of the sponsorship, including the amount you will receive. This should be an official document, stamped and dated by the sponsor within the last 6 months.
If you are sponsored by the RVC, your CAS statement must show this, including the amount. If your sponsorship covers all your tuition fees and at least the required amount of maintenance detailed above, you will not need to show a bank statement. If your sponsorship only covers your tuition fees, you will have to provide your bank statement to show the required amount of maintenance.
Applicants with differential documentary requirements
Nationals from certain countries are not required to include some evidential documents in their application for UK visas and immigration. If you are a national of one of these countries you must, however, confirm on your application form that you meet the requirements set out and that you hold documentary evidence in the manner required. The list of exempt countries can be found in the UK Government's Immigration Rules.
The UKVI (UK Visas and Immigration) requires all universities to monitor the attendance of international students who require a Tier 4 visa to study here. Additionally, attendance of students in receipt of Direct Loans from the U.S. Department of Education will also be monitored. Attendance at exams, the handing in of projects, AHEMS/EMS and regular meetings with tutors are some examples of points of contact required to be monitored. However we need to monitor more regularly, therefore we take attendance registers during classes at certain times of the year to help you and the College satisfy these requirements.