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International - Overview
International

Here you'll find all you need to know about applying to AUB as an international student.

Visas and immigration

If you are coming to study in the UK from outside the EU/EEA, it is likely that you will need to apply for a student visa. We must ensure that all students enrolled at AUB are entitled to study in the UK, therefore it is very important that you find out whether you will need a visa and make sure you apply for the correct kind of student visa before you travel to the UK, or you won’t be able to begin your course.

There are two categories of student visas for the UK, Tier 4 and Short-term study.

Applying for a Tier 4 Visa

Here you can find a step-by-step summary of what you must do and prepare to apply for a Tier 4 (General) visa for your study at AUB.

Arts University Bournemouth has Tier 4 Sponsor Status (Licence Number 2EAF7PTH3) on the Home Office approved register of sponsors. If you wish to see us on the register of sponsors we are listed as Arts University Bournemouth.

We suggest that you take a look through the information available and contact the International Student Adviser if you have any questions.

Are you eligible for a Tier 4 Visa?

Before you apply, you need to make sure that you are eligible for a Tier 4 visa.

You can apply for a Tier 4 visa to study at AUB if you meet the following requirements. Please click on each requirement to find out more.

If you have any questions or aren’t sure whether you meet one of the requirements, please contact the International Student Adviser to seek advice.

You will study full time for an approved qualification

AUB courses that fall into this category are:

  • Pre-Sessional English language courses
  • Diploma in Art and Design – Foundation Studies
  • Undergraduate and Masters degrees

You can find out more about studying with us on our courses pages.

You can only study full time with a Tier 4 visa, so unfortunately you will be unable to study any of the above courses on a part time basis.

You meet AUB and the Home Office's English Language Requirements for your course

Different levels of study will require a different standard of English language, with certain levels of study also requiring a Secure English Language Test (SELT) to support your visa application. Please see our English Language Requirements to ensure you have the appropriate test and at the required level.

You have not or will not exceed the 'cap' on how long you can study in the UK

5-Year Cap (for degree level study and above)

The visa rules limit you to studying for 5 years at degree/masters level with a Tier 4 visa.

  • Add up all of the time you have held a Tier 4 visa for study at degree level and above (you need to count from the visa start date, until the visa expiry date)
  • Add on the amount of leave you will be granted to study your new course at AUB (remember to include one month leave before the start of your course and four months additional leave at the end of your course)

If the total exceeds 5 years, then you may be ineligible for further study at degree level in the UK. In this instance, please contact the International Student Adviser for advice.

2-Year Cap (for study below degree level)

The visa rules limit you to studying for 2 years below degree level with a Tier 4 visa, after your 18th birthday. This is only applicable to students considering studying our Diploma in Art and Design Foundation Studies course.

  • Add up all of the time you have held a Tier 4 visa for study below degree level since your 18th birthday (you need to count from the visa start date/your 18th birthday, until the visa expiry date)
  • Add on the amount of leave you will be granted to study the Foundation programme at AUB (remember to include one month leave before the start of your course and two month’s additional leave at the end of your course)

If the total exceeds 2 years, then you may be ineligible for further study below degree level in the UK. In this instance, please contact the International Student Adviser for advice.

Calculating your study history can be quite difficult and there are some exceptions to the rule, but this is a very complicated area. More information is available on the UKCISA website, but if you are unsure if you exceed the limit, please contact the International Student Adviser as early as possible and they can help you calculate.

You meet UKVI's requirements for 'Academic Progression'

These rules state that any new Tier 4 visa application must generally be to study at a higher academic level than any previous study in the UK. For example, previously studied A-Levels and are applying to AUB to study an undergraduate degree.

Study at the same academic level

If you wish to study at the same academic level to your previous study in the UK, this may be exceptionally allowed if:

  • Your new course with AUB is related to your previous course (this means that your studies have to be connected and as part of the same subject group)

OR

  • Your new course with AUB, combined with your previous course on a Tier 4 visa, genuinely supports your career aspirations.

As part of the CAS issuing process, you will be asked to provide evidence if you want to rely on either of the above exceptions.

You must also have successfully completed your last course.

If you wish to study at the same academic level or did not successfully complete your previous course in the UK, please contact the International Student Adviser as soon as possible to seek advice on whether you will be eligible to study with us.

If you are unable to meet the requirements for academic progression, we will not be able to issue you with a CAS, which means you will not be able to apply for a Tier 4 visa.

You meet the Visa application requirements

If you have ever had a visa refused to come to the UK, you are advised to contact the International Student Adviser early in the application process to determine if we can issue you with a CAS.

Once you have been issued with a CAS you will also need to meet additional requirements, including strict financial ones. Information is available on the How to apply for a Tier 4 visa How to apply for a Tier 4 visa section of our website.

Please note, in some cases, we will request to check your financial evidence before we issue you with a CAS.

How to apply for a Tier 4 Visa?

Applying from outside the UK

This is also known as applying for ‘Entry Clearance’.

You must apply online for a Tier 4 (General) visa unless you are applying from North Korea.

You will be able to apply for your visa up to 3 months before your course start date; we recommend you make your application as early as possible to avoid any delay in your enrolling at AUB. You can use the UKVI’s Guide to visa Processing Times to find out how long your visa application should take.

As part of the application process, you will be required to enrol your biometric information; your fingerprints and a digital photograph taken. How this is arranged will depend on the country that you are applying from. Usually, you will need to do this in person at your nearest Visa Application Centre.

As part of your visa application, you may be asked to attend a credibility interview.

Once your visa has been issued, you will be issued with a 30-day travel vignette in your passport and an accompanying letter confirming your visa conditions and information about how you can collect your Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) card on your arrival in the UK. You must travel to the UK within the duration of your 30-day travel vignette.

After you have arrived in the UK, you will need to collect your BRP card within 10 days. Your BRP will act as your visa and must be kept in a safe place – it will contain information such as the period and conditions of your leave and must be taken with you when you leave the UK so you are able to re-enter on your return.

Applying from inside the UK

If you are currently in the UK, you may be able to ‘extend’ or ‘switch’ your leave; this means applying for a new period of leave (visa) from within the UK.

To find out whether you will be able to apply from inside the UK, we recommend you read UKCISA’s advice page, ‘Can you apply in the UK?’, which clearly explains who is eligible for this option.

If you are eligible to ‘extend’ your visa or ‘switch’ to Tier 4 in the UK, you should do so during the last 3 months of your current permission to stay. Please be aware of when your permission to be in the UK is due to expire and plan ahead to make sure you are able to apply on-time.

To find out how you can apply from inside the UK, please download and read our How to Extend your Visa guide, which also contains information about the different stages of the process and how AUB can help you to submit your application.

Before you apply for a Tier 4 (General) visa, we recommend you read the Tier 4 Policy Guidance document and prepare all your supporting documentation, such as:

If you have any questions about your application, please contact the International Student Adviser by emailing intadvice@aub.ac.uk.

Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS)

You will need to be issued with a CAS before you can apply for your Tier 4 visa.

What is CAS?
A Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) is not a document but a unique 13 digit number, requested by the University and issued by the Home Office.

A CAS contains information regarding your course, qualifications, academic progression, English language level and fees.

How do I get a CAS?
You can request your CAS any time after May for courses starting in August/September, or any time after March if you are joining a Pre-Sessional English course at AUB.

To be issued with a CAS by AUB you need to hold an unconditional offer and have paid one term’s tuition fee.

If you are planning to enrol on a Pre-Sessional English course, in most cases you will need to pay the full cost of the Pre-Sessional English course plus one term’s tuition fee. We will tell you if you are expected to pay less.

When both of the above requirements are met, please download and complete our CAS Request Form and return it to CAS@aub.ac.uk. with the required documents.

We aim to process all CAS requests within 5 working days. Once your CAS has been issued you will be sent a CAS Statement via email, which will confirm all of the information on your CAS and will also provide further information about using your CAS in your visa application.

We advise that you check all the information included on your CAS is correct before you use it for your visa application and email CAS@aub.ac.uk if any corrections are needed.

Keeping your CAS up-to-date
Your CAS will contain information about your course fees and how much money you have already paid to AUB for your tuition and accommodation.

After the CAS is issued, if you make any additional payments to AUB, it is your responsibility to email CAS@aub.ac.uk to request that your CAS is updated with the new information before you make your visa application – your CAS will not be updated automatically. Please wait until you receive confirmation that your CAS has been updated before making your visa application.

Using your CAS
You can use your CAS to apply for your Tier 4 visa up to 3 months before your course start date.

The information given on your CAS will help you complete the online visa application form. The Home Office expects the information that you give during your visa application to match any information that is included on your CAS.

A CAS can only be used once. In the unlikely event that you are refused a visa, you will need to request a new CAS before you can make a new visa application.

Proof of Identity

You will always be required to submit valid identification with your visa application.

The exact documents that you need to submit will vary from person to person and will include some or all of the following:

A valid passport or travel document
All applicants are required to submit a valid passport or travel document with their visa application.

The passport you use in your application must still be valid on your intended date of travel to the UK and we also advise that it remains valid for the full length of your course; whilst it will usually be possible for you to apply for a new passport in the UK during your course, it may be more costly and a more complicated process than you would experience in your home country.

If you have previously travelled to the UK using a different passport, you will also usually be required to submit your old passports containing your previous UK visas and stamps with your application

Previous BRP card
If you have previously been issued with a BRP card on coming to the UK, you will usually be required to submit it with your new application.

Police Registration Certificate
If you have previously registered with the police you will be required to submit your Police Registration Certificate with your application.

If you are applying to Extend your Leave in the UK, we strongly recommend that you ensure that all details on your Police Registration Certificate are up-to-date before you submit your application.

Passport Photo
You are also required to supply 1 or 2 (depending on where you are applying) passport-sized photographs of yourself with your full name written on the back of each. If you need to submit more than one, make sure they are identical.

Financial Evidence for Application

We're here to help you understand what documents you will need to provide with your Tier 4 visa application to demonstrate you have enough funds to support yourself during your study in the UK.

Below is a short overview of the money and evidence required for your visa application. Please read the Tier 4 Policy Guidance, paragraphs 155 – 208 for full details about Maintenance Funds and acceptable evidence.

If you are unsure about whether your evidence will be accepted, please contact the International Student Adviser.

How much funds will I need to show?

To be granted a visa you will need to provide evidence that you have access to sufficient funds. How much you need will depend on the length of your course:

  • More than 9 months – Outstanding tuition fees for the year as stated in the CAS, plus £9,135 (£1,015 x 9 months) for living costs.
  • Less than 9 months – Outstanding tuition fees for the course of study as stated in the CAS, plus £1,015 per month for the duration of the course for living costs (any part-months must be rounded up).

The amount of money you need to show will be reduced by the total sum of any fees already paid to AUB for tuition plus any fees already paid to AUB for accommodation, as indicated on your CAS (please note that only a maximum of £1,265 can be deducted for pre-paid accommodation).

Using a personal bank statement

If you choose to evidence your funds with a personal bank statement, it will need to show that the required funds have been available to you continually for a consecutive 28-day period up to the closing balance (balance on the statement date). For the personal bank statement to be accepted, you must submit your visa application within 31 days of the statement date. Find out if your bank statements are acceptable.

Can I use my parents’ bank statements?

You can use money held in an account owned by you or by your parent(s)/legal guardian(s). If you are using funds held by your parent(s)/legal guardian(s), you will need to show evidence that you are related to your parent(s)/legal guardian(s) and that you have their permission to use their funds to support you during your study.

What if my funds are not in GBP?

You can use an overseas bank account however, if your funds are not in pounds sterling (£/GBP), you will need to convert the closing balance and write this sum on your personal bank statement or other forms of evidence. The Home Office uses the OANDA website to convert currencies into pounds sterling, so you should use this exchange rate too. The Home Office will always use the exchange rate as of the day you made your application when assessing your funds.

For information about using a personal bank statement, please read paragraphs 155 – 208 of the Tier 4 Policy Guidance.

What other documents can be used?

Other types of documents that can be used to show evidence of funds available to you include:

  • A letter from your bank
  • A building society passbook
  • A letter from a financial institution
  • A letter from a regulated financial institution confirming a loan
  • If you are being financially sponsored: A letter of confirmation from your Official Financial Sponsor

For information about these forms of evidence, including the information that each should contain and confirm, please read paragraphs 155 – 208 of the Tier 4 Policy Guidance.

Secure English Language Test (SELT)

Some applicants will need to take a Secure English Language Test before they apply for their visa. Whether you will need to or not will depend on the level of your course.

What is SELT?

A Secure English Language Test is an English Language test that is approved by the Home Office for the purpose of immigration applications. There are two types of SELT: IELTS for UKVI and Trinity.

Who will need to take a SELT?

If you are a Tier 4 student applying to study below degree level, or on one of our Pre-sessional courses, you will need to take a Secure English Language Test (SELT) before you apply for your visa.

If you are applying to study at degree level or above (with no pre-sessional), the AUB can choose how we assess your English Language and so you will not need to take a SELT or submit an English Language Test certificate with your visa application, although we may still require you to take an English Language test if English is not your first language. Find out whether you need to take an English Language test.

If you are applying to study at degree level or above but aren’t sure whether you will meet our English Language requirements, we recommend that you consider choosing a SELT as your method of assessment, instead of a non-UKVI approved test. If you then do not quite meet our requirements, you will still be able to join one of our pre-sessional courses without having to take a second, UKVI approved assessment before applying for your visa.

If you are not sure which test you should take, please contact our International Student Adviser, who will be happy to help.

How do I take a SELT?

It is vital that you ensure the test you take is an approved SELT, otherwise your visa application will be refused. You can find a list of approved SELTs and their providers here.

As with any English Language assessment, we strongly recommend that you make arrangements to take the test in advance. Test centres can become very busy during peak times in the build-up to enrolment and you will need to ensure you have enough time to retake the test if you are not able to meet our English Language requirements the first time around.

After you have taken your test, keep your certificate safe – you will need to use this in your visa application.

Academic Qualifications

You will need to provide evidence of the academic qualifications that we used to offer you a place on your course at AUB

These qualifications will be listed in your offer text or in the ‘Evidence Supporting Offer’ section of your CAS report. If you aren’t sure which qualifications you need to submit evidence of, please contact the International Student Adviser.

A qualification can be evidenced by submitting a certificate or transcript. You must always submit the original copy of your certificate or transcript unless it is otherwise stated.

If your certificate or transcript are not in English or Welsh, you will need to submit a translation with your application. Any translation must be completed by a professional translator and must include the following information: that it is an accurate translation of the original document; the date of the translation; the translators full name and signature; and the translators contact details. You must always submit the original translation with your application.

You do not need to submit your Portfolio of Artwork with your visa application.

Tuberculosis Screening

Depending on which country you are resident in, you may need to undergo TB Screening before you can apply for your visa.

Pre-entry TB screening is compulsory for Tier 4 students who are coming to study at AUB from a country where TB is common.

You can find a full list of countries that require TB screening along with links to UKVI approved test centres in those countries on the Gov.uk website.

You will not need to be screened if you have previously lived in a country where TB screening is not required and you have been away from that country for less than 6 months.

If you are unsure of whether you will need to undergo TB Screening, please contact the International Student Adviser by emailing intadvice@aub.ac.uk. If you do not undergo screening but are required to, your visa will be refused and we may not issue you with a new CAS.

Please refer to the UKVI’s TB screening for the UK guide, for more information about the screening process.

Immigration Health Surcharge

The Immigration Health Surcharge is an additional payment on top of your visa application fee that covers your National Health Service (NHS) medical care for the duration of your leave.

You will normally be required to make this payment in full at the time of your application; you can pay by debit or credit card in the same way you pay for your visa application.

The IHS is calculated at £300 for every year of your leave (not course). You can use the Immigration Health Surcharge tool to calculate how much you will be required to pay

In the event of your visa application being refused, your IHS will be automatically refunded.

For more information about medical care during your studies, we recommend you read UKCISA’s advice about Health and Healthcare during your studies.

'Low Risk' Students

Some nationalities do not need to provide documentary evidence of their finance or academic qualifications with their application.

The Home Office calls this ‘differentiation arrangements’, which applies to ‘Low Risk’ students only. You are a Low Risk student if both of the following are true:

  • you are a national of any country listed in Appendix H of the Immigration Rules
  • you are applying for Leave to Remain in the UK or Entry Clearance in your country of nationality

Being a ‘Low Risk’ student does not mean you won’t be required to prepare all of your documentary evidence. You must still ensure that you hold all of the required evidence before you make your application, just as you would if you needed to submit it. The Home Office will occasionally request documentation from ‘Low Risk’ students as part of the application process and will refuse your visa application if it is not provided. Financial Evidence must be valid on the date of your application.

If you submit your documentary evidence with your application but are not required to do so, the Home Office official reviewing your case should not use it to make their decision. Therefore, it is recommended that you do not submit your documentation unless it is specifically requested.

If you have any questions about being a ‘Low Risk’ student, please contact the International Student Adviser.

Credibility Interview

Some students will be asked to attend a credibility interview as part of their visa application.

The information on this page is intended to help you understand what a credibility interview is and how you may be able to prepare for an interview – we cannot guarantee that it is a completely accurate and all-inclusive guide.

A credibility interview is a short interview carried out by UKVI to help them determine whether they believe you are a genuine student or not. Tier 4 visa applicants are selected at random to attend an interview – only about 1/4 of all applicants are asked to attend an interview.

If you are applying for Entry Clearance outside the UK, your interview will normally take place at the same time as you submit your biometrics and usually over Skype or video-link with a UKVI official in the UK.

Students applying to Extend their Leave in the UK will either be invited to attend an interview via video-link or face-to-face at a Home Office centre.

If you are asked to attend a Credibility Interview, you must do so, otherwise it is very likely that your visa application will be refused.

What to do if you're asked to attend a credibility interview?

Do not panic if you are invited to attend a credibility interview; the process is designed to stop non-genuine students from coming to study in the UK, so if you are a genuine student and have chosen your course at AUB for the right reason, you should not have a problem. It is important however to make sure you are prepared for your interview so you are not nervous and are able to answer any questions you are asked in a confident manner.

Although we cannot tell you the exact questions you will be asked, we do know they are likely to include:

  • Why you have chosen to study in the UK, rather than your home country or a different country
  • Why you chose AUB, Bournemouth and the course you are hoping to study and how it fits with your previous study
  • How you believe the course will help your career plans
  • How you intend to fund your studies
  • Other arrangements you have made for your studies, such as accommodation
  • You may also be asked to give information on your course in more detail, like its content and study units, or start date

The interview is also seen as an opportunity for the UKVI official to assess whether your English Language is at the level that is required; you will be interviewed in English and must give you answers in English. A record of the interview and the answers you give will be kept in the form of a transcript.

INTO Higher have produced two videos, showing examples of Credibility Interviews. The video to the right shows an interview where the student is well prepared. You can also view a video showing an unprepared student by clicking here. These videos are only examples and not a recording of a real interview, but they should help you understand the kind of information you might need to know before you attend your interview and how you should conduct yourself during the interview.

Top Tips for your Interview

  • Be prepared; it may be useful to do some extra research about AUB, Bournemouth and your course
  • Try not to worry or be nervous, this might affect how you answer the questions
  • Listen carefully to each question
  • Take time to think and answer the questions with confidence; try not to give vague answers
  • Be honest; say if you do not know the answer, do not try to make up an answer
  • Speak slowly and clearly
  • Avoid using answers like ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; try to give as much detail as possible
  • Make a good impression; dress smartly and be polite at all times

Dependants of Tier 4 Applicants

Some students can bring dependants with them to the UK. This section covers who can bring dependants and the visa application process for Tier 4 dependants.

Which Tier 4 Students can bring family members to the UK?

You can apply to bring dependants to the UK if you’re:

  • sponsored by a higher education institution on a course at NQF level 7 or above that lasts 1 year or more.
  • a new government-sponsored student on a course that lasts 6 months or longer.

If you meet either of the above two criteria you can apply to bring the following family members as your dependants:

  • your husband, wife or civil partner
  • your unmarried or same-sex partner
  • your child under 18 years old

Please see the UKCISA for more information and further requirements.

How to apply

Before applying you and your dependents should refer to the Dependants Policy Guidance.

If your dependents are currently outside the UK:

  • Your dependents must apply for ‘entry clearance’ from the British authorities in their home country before they travel to the UK.
  • Your family members must apply online.
  • They’ll need to have their fingerprints and photograph (known as ‘biometric information’) taken at a visa application centre.
  • Dependants form North Korea should download the VAF10 application form to apply.

The UKCISA website provides more information regarding how to apply as a dependant.

If your dependents are already in the UK, with immigration permission as your dependant:

  • Your dependant can make an application online from within the UK to extend their stay.
  • We suggest your dependants apply at the same time as you and book an appointment with the International Student Adviser to check through the application before submitting it to the Home Office. You should complete as much of the application form as possible on your own and stop before you agree to the declaration.

If your dependents are already in the UK as visitors

If your dependant has immigration permission to be in the UK as a visitor, they must return home to apply for ‘entry clearance’ from the British authorities, before travelling back to the UK with that entry clearance. See the information above regarding applying overseas.

Financial Requirements for Dependents

You will need to show that you have the required maintenance for you (the main applicant) and each of your dependents who are applying for immigration permission; if you do not meet these financial requirements all applications, including yours, will be refused.

The amount of money that each dependant must show is as follows:

  • If you will study outside London £680 for each month of your course, up to a maximum of 9 months (that is, a maximum figure of £6,120). Please note, this is in addition to the money you are required to show for your application.

Please refer to the UKCISA website and Policy Guidance for Dependants for further information regarding available funds and the evidence required to demonstrate this and contact the International Student Adviser if you have any questions.

Other types of Visas

If your course is less than 6 months in duration, you may be entitled to a Short-term Study Visa.

If you want to find out about the kind of work you can do in the UK, during and after your studies, we also have information on part-time work and placements and working after your study.

Current Tier 4 visa students who would like to travel to Europe should read our information on the Schengen Visa Scheme and how we can help you apply for your Schengen visa.

In addition to the information on our website, UKCISA and the Home Office also provide lots of useful information regarding student visas and how to apply.

Student working in studio

Short-term Study Visa

Here we explain who can apply for a Short-Term Study Visa and how to apply

International student working on laptop with graphics tablet

Part-time work and placements

Here we explain your working options as a International student during your study

Student working in studio

Working after your studies

Here's everything you need to know about working in the UK after graduating as an International student

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Schengen Visa

If you would like to travel to Europe during your time at AUB, you may need a Schengen Visa

Explore more

Overview

We're here to guide you through the process of becoming an International AUB student from the start and end of your course
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Your Country/Region

Coming to AUB from an international country can be confusing, but our country representatives are here to give you a helping hand
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English Language

We offer a range of English Language support for international students, both in preparation for and during their time at AUB
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Course Webinars

We're running course webinar lead course leaders talking about their relevant course, include our foundation, undergraduate and postgraduate
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Contact us

Please contact the International team if you have any concerns about studying in the UK