- General Student: for adults ages 16 and older who want to study for more than 6 months
- Child Student: for children from 4 to 15 years old who want to study for more than 6 months
If you have a Student Visitor Visa, you will not be able to switch and apply for a General Student Visa while you are in the United Kingdom as a student visitor. If you want to apply for a General Student Visa, you must apply from the country you live in.
Not sure if you need a visa to study in the UK?View a list of nationalities that need a visa to enter the UK
Please note that this information is intended as a guide only. As visa rules and regulations are often subject to change, Language International cannot be held responsible for any mistakes or inaccuracies. We would advise you to visit the UK Border Agency website or local visa application post for the most up-to-date information.
Step 1: Student applies to Language InternationalOnce you have registered online, the following application materials must be emailed to your student advisor or faxed to Language International at +1 (617) 849-5554.
- Copy of your passport: Please note, your passport must be valid 6 months after your course end date.
- Proof of payment: If you are paying by bank transfer, please send us a copy of your bank transfer receipt. If you are paying by credit card, we need to wait for a credit card authorization before proceeding to the next step.
- Proof of current English level (only for students studying for more than 6 months and applying for a Tier 4 student visa): The minimum level is set at Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) Level B2. What proof do I need to show?
Step 2: Student obtains a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) reference numberOnce all items above are submitted to Language International, and it is confirmed that the student is eligible for CAS enrollment, your language school will assign a CAS to you. This confirms that you have been given an unconditional offer of a place on a course of study with a licensed Tier 4 sponsor. All schools in the Language International network are licensed Tier 4 sponsors.If you have a valid CAS, you get 30 points in the UK points assessment system. Students must meet the full requirements of the Immigration Rules and have 40 points in total. A student cannot make his/her Tier 4 application more than three months before the start of his/her course.
Step 3: Student gathers documents to prove the money requirementWhen assigning your CAS, your Tier 4 sponsor can include details of any money that you have already paid. If your CAS includes details of money paid to your Tier 4 sponsor, you do not need to provide any further documents to show that you have paid this money. If you do not know whether your CAS includes this information, you must ask your student advisor at Language International.If you have paid any money to cover your course and accommodation fees, but your CAS does not indicate that this has been paid, or if you are not eligible for a CAS, you must include evidence of payment in your application. You must send an original paper receipt issued by Language International confirming that you have paid all of your fees; or the amount you have paid.You get 10 points in the UK points assessment system for showing that you can cover your course fees and living costs. Students must meet the full requirements of the Immigration Rules and have 40 points in total.
Are you a government sponsored student?Find out what evidence to show if you are sponsored by your government
Step 4: Student completes the application form
For Tier 4 Student Visas:Download the application form and supporting requirement documents for the Tier 4 Student Visa
Find out about the visa fees for a Tier 4 Student Visa
Step 5: Student applies for a visa at the UK Embassy/ConsulateOnce the student receives the CAS, you will need to visit the UK Embassy/Consulate to obtain the Tier 4 Student Visa. Find out the nearest visa issuing post to you
Take or send your application form(s), visa fee, and supporting evidence to the UK Embassy/Consulate. You must also arrange to enrol your biometric information (fingerprints and photograph), which is usually done at the UK Embassy/Consulate, in order to receive an identity card for foreign nationals. Your identity card is proof of your permission to stay in the UK and shows any conditions you must meet while you are in the UK. The card enables you to confirm your identity and the rights you have to study or work here, and to access public services.Learn more about biometrics and UK identity cards
For more specific information regarding the appropriate documentation and procedures required for visa issuance, please contact the Embassy/ Consulate directly, as regulations vary per country. Please note, issuance of the visa is not guaranteed, even when a CAS has been issued through Language International. Approval to issue the visa is made solely by the UK government at the Embassy/Consulate.
Step 6: Student begins study in the UKThe student must report to the center that issued the CAS on or before the course start date and present the identity card. A failure to report on the start date can result in termination of the student's CAS record, thereby placing the student out of legal status.
Additional UK visa informationBelow we outline more information about how to obtain a visa to study in the UK. Tier 4 is the visa class that you need to apply if you intend to study in the UK for more than 6 months. If you have questions that this document does not answer, please visit the UK Border Agency website.
Am I responsible for obtaining a UK visa in order to study at a language school in the UK?Yes. While Language International is happy to advise on and support your application process, you must make the application and provide all required documentation yourself.
Part 1: Obtaining a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS)
What do I need in order to obtain a CAS?We need to receive a copy of your passport, a complete online registration or paper application form, full payment of your program in order to obtain a CAS, and proof of your English level. It costs £10 to issue a CAS.View a list of exams that are recognized by the UK Border Agency »
What is the application deadline?All English language schools in the UK have rolling admissions, which means there are no specific deadlines. However, you should allow at least 2 weeks for Language International and the school to process your application and to issue your CAS. The process may take longer if you originally submit an incomplete application. Once you receive your CAS you should allow 2 months to receive your visa.
Why is a CAS important?The CAS, also called a “Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies", confirms that you have been given an official and unconditional offer of a place on a course of study with a language school that is a licensed Tier 4 sponsor. All schools in the Language International network are licensed Tier 4 sponsors. If you have a valid CAS, you get 30 points in the UK points assessment system. Students must meet the full requirements of the Immigration Rules and have 40 points in total.
For how long will my CAS be valid?Your CAS will expire if it is not used for a leave application within 6 months of it being issued. If a student makes an application using a CAS that has expired, the application will be refused. The student must get a new CAS from the school.
Part 2: Obtaining a visa
What is a Tier 4 student visa?A Tier 4 student visa is an immigration document that permits a foreign citizen to come to the UK to study full-time for a temporary period of time.
Does Language International issue visas?No. All visas are issued by the UK Border Agency at a UK Embassy/Consulate abroad.
How do I get a visa?You must first apply to Language International. If eligible for admission, Language International will facilitate the issuance of a CAS. Upon receipt of the CAS, you will then need to visit the UK Embassy/Consulate in your home country to obtain a visa.
Which Embassy do I visit?In general, you are expected to visit the UK Embassy/Consulate in the country for which you hold citizenship (i.e. the country that issued your passport). If your country does not have a UK Embassy/Consulate or if you are currently located in a different country to the one that issues your passport, you should contact the closest UK Embassy to see if they can accept your visa application. Find out the nearest visa issuing post to you
What documents must I present to get a visa?
Download the application form and supporting requirement documents for the Tier 4 Student Visa
How long does it take to get a visa?The average wait time varies from country to country. Once you receive your CAS you should allow at least 2 months to receive your visa.
For how long will my visa be valid?Language International does not issue your visa and therefore cannot confirm for how long it will be valid. Instead, you should confirm this information with your local UK Embassy/Consulate.
Can Language International help me complete the government's application for a visa?No. Students are solely responsible for completing all government documents.
What is the likelihood that my visa application will be approved?Language International does not issue visas and therefore cannot confirm the likelihood of approval. However, you should note that visa issuance is not guaranteed.
What happens if I am denied a visa?If denied your visa, you should ask the Consular Officer the reason for denial before you leave the Embassy. You have the right to request the denial in writing as well. If the reason for denial was caused by a mistake on your CAS, the school can revise your CAS and write a support letter to help you get your visa during a second interview. If no reason or a different reason is stated, Language International or the school will likely be unable to assist you further. In most cases, the government's decision is final and there is little Language International or the school can do to change their decision.
Will I get a refund if my visa is denied?You will be refunded in full minus the courier fee, application fee, bank fee, health insurance fee, and any currency exchange differences. You must provide the letter of visa denial from the Embassy. Please review our refund policy for more details.
Other requirements: Evidence of money
Does Language International require details of my financial circumstances to support my application?Yes. Most schools require a bank statement/letter showing that you and/or your sponsor have enough funds to cover your cost of study and living expenses. In addition, it must show that all funds are readily available without penalty for withdrawal. For this reason, statements from current and/or savings accounts are best. Income statements, property deeds and other similar forms of investments are typically not acceptable.
Can I submit multiple bank statements if I do not have enough funds in one account?Yes. You can show funds through multiple accounts and/or multiple sponsors, if necessary.
Do I have to show a bank statement even if I have paid?Depending on the school, if the amount paid to Language International is equal to or greater than the cost of study as indicated on your CAS, you may not be required to submit a bank statement/letter. If the amount paid is less than the cost of study, you will be required to submit a bank statement.
How much money do I need to show on my bank statement?It is the cost of study (tuition, fees, accommodation) plus at least £800 a month to cover living expenses in central London or £600 per month outside of central London. Please note, we require all of our students to pay in full before the start date.
- your name
- the official financial sponsor's name and contact details;
- the date of the letter;
- the length of the sponsorship; and
- the amount of money that the official financial sponsor is giving to you, or a statement that it will cover all of your course fees and living costs.
Part 3: Entry into the uK
Can I enter the UK after my start date?If you travel to the UK after your start date, you will probably face problems at the Border, since it appears you failed to meet the requirement of reporting to the school that sponsored your visa by your start date. To prevent problems at the Border, you should contact Language International and ask that we postpone your start date if you are unable to arrive before this date.
When do I need to start my studies?You are required to arrive at the school and begin full-time studies on or before the start date indicated on your CAS. If you do not meet this requirement, your CAS may be terminated, you will fall out of legal status and will have to leave the UK immediately. If you are outside the UK and unable to travel to the UK before your start date, contact Language International right away.
Visa terms questions
How soon can I start my course?If you are applying for a visa you need to allow 2 months before your desired start date of your course in the UK to ensure that your visa is in place and your accommodation can be arranged.
I didn't write a start date on my application because I want to start as soon as I get approved for a student visa. Is that acceptable?We need to have a start date in order to process an application and issue a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS). Give yourself enough time for your visa to be processed and to secure accommodation.
What are the study requirements at the school?As a Tier 4 student, you will be required to study at the school that issued your CAS for at least 15 hours per week. You will learn more about the school's attendance requirements on your first day of class.
What happens if I do not meet the school’s full-time study requirements?If you do not meet the school’s full-time study requirements, you risk falling out of legal status with the following consequences:
- Your CAS will be terminated.
- You will no longer be eligible to study at the school.
- You will not be eligible for a refund.
- You will be required to leave the UK immediately after termination of your CAS.