InternationalVisas and immigration

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 and SELT pages 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 successful 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 your 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 section of our website.

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