International Students

Moving to a new country can feel daunting, so we've put together a range of guidance and tips to help you prepare.

Getting your Student Visa

On our international student pages, we've compiled some information to help you understand the visas you might need as well as things you'll need to do before you arrive in London.

Please read carefully the following information, if you are considering applying to graduate taught programmes at SAS as an international student.

The website of UKCISA (UK Council for International Student Affairs) has the latest information about visas, and plenty of other useful advice for international students.

For assistance and advice regarding the impact of Coronavirus (COVID-19) on visa applicants and temporary UK residents please follow this guidance

For more information about UK Student Visas at the School of Advanced Study, please contact the Admissions office:  

2nd Floor Registry office, Stewart House, 32 Russell Square, London, WC1B 5DN


T: +44 (0)20 7862 8661.

Do I need a visa to study in the UK?

You can check if you need a visa to study by using the UK Visa Check Tool.

Students Visa (Formerly Student General Tier 4 Visa)

This information is correct when it is published – however UKVI frequently changes the rules so we advise that you also check the UK Government website, including the Student Guidance which you should read thoroughly.

The UK has exited the European Union.

EEA Nationals looking to study in at the School, who have commenced living in the UK on or before the 31st of December 2020, should initially visit the Settlement Scheme page before submitting a request for a CAS. 

Overseas students, including EEA Nationals who do not qualify for pre-settled or settled status, looking to study courses that are six months or longer in duration, need to apply for a student visa under the UK Home Office’s Points Based System (PBS). To obtain a Student visa under the PBS, as its name suggests students need to score 70 points, consisting of:

Points typeRelevant requirements to be metNumber of points
Study (must meet all)• Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies requirement
• Course requirement
• Approved qualification requirement
• Level of study requirement
• Place of study requirement
Financial• Financial requirement10
English language• English language requirement10


In addition to scoring the above points, you may be invited to attend a credibility interview where you will be asked a range of questions about your education history, the programme you will be studying at the School of Advanced Study (SAS), how your studies with us fit in with your overall career plans and how you are funding your stay in the UK. The purpose of this interview is to give you the opportunity to demonstrate that your intentions to enrol as a student at SAS are genuine and that your English language ability is at the level specified on your CAS.

Confirmation of Acceptance of studies (CAS)

In order to make a visa application, students will need to be sponsored by the University of London (which has Student Visa sponsor status) and issued with a Confirmation of Acceptance of Studies (CAS). CASs are issued by the School’s Admissions Office.

To get a CAS you must have received and formally accepted an unconditional offer. A visa administration charge (£25) will be applied as part of the CAS issuing process. 

Do not begin a visa application until you have received your CAS sponsorship number from the School. You can apply for permission to stay(inside the UK) up to thee months before your course start date aor leave to enter (outside of the UK) up to six months before your course start date. 

Having a valid CAS does not guarantee that your application will be successful. You must meet all of the requirements of the category and any other requirements of the Immigration Rules.

Maintenance (or Funds) - please read carefully!

Maintenance or funds is the cumulative sum you need to show you have available to cover your first year’s tuition fees and living expenses for the first year of your studies (9 months), without being employed in the UK, as part of your Student visa application. The School will tell UKVI how much you have paid towards your tuition fee and you will need to show evidence that you have sufficient funds to cover the rest of the tuition fees for the year and living expenses for the duration of your course. Please consult the Student guidance on Financial Requirements for the latest details about this requirement.

Normally you will need to have the money in your own bank account. The specified amounts of funds need to have been held in a bank account (not in trust, stocks or bonds) for at least 28 days before the date of the visa application.

The UKVI estimates that currently, students studying and living in London need a minimum of £ 1,334 per month to cover living expenses.

You have to prove you have held £12,006 for maintenance [= 9 months at £1,334 per month] + balance of your first year’s tuition fees, in an eligible account. The maintenance balance cannot go below minimum required during the 28 day period and funds should not be moved until your visa application has been decided on.

For example: Your tuition fee is £16,000. You have paid £1,000 towards your tuition fees, which leaves a balance of £15,000. Your maintenance will be (first year only)

Tuition fee:                            £15,000 +

Living Cost:                            £12,006

Maintenance                     =   £27,006 (or equivalent in foreign currency)                     

If the money is in your parent’s account, you will need to provide documents to prove your relationship to your parent and evidence of their permission to use it towards your studies. Usually you provide your birth certificate (original and official translation if not in English) and a signed letter from your parents.

Use Oanda Currency Converter to check the equivalence of your funds in British Pounds 

Although not part of your maintenance, as part of the application you will be required to pay for the Immigration Health Surcharge. This, as well as the visa application fee an associated expenses cannot come from your maintenance funds, but need to be paid separately.

What will appear on my CAS?

our CAS, in addition to your course and personal details, will state the matriculation documents on the basis of which we have offered you a place on the course and our assessment of your English Language abilities (usually but not always an IELTS test).

  • Matriculation documents

You may need original documentation with your visa application to prove you can matriculate onto your study programme. We will use the documents you provided with your application (for example, Bachelor degree final transcript.) with English translation if your document is not in English.

  • English Language

The School only accepts UKVI-approved Secure English Language Tests (SELTs) – IELTS and Trinity College London.

IELTS/IELTS for UKVI tests can be taken around the world, but Trinity College London tests can only be taken inside the UK. A list of approved test centres can be found on the Home Office website: Approved Secure English Language Tests and Test Centres.

  • International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Academic Version, 7.0 overall, with no less than 6.0 in any component. The test result are valid for two years from the date of issue-

The School is required to comply with the UKVI Students Visa (formerly Tier 4 Visa) English requirements, which can be found in the Student Visa (formerly Tier 4) Guidance section of the UKVI website. Your test score results recorded on your CAS.

The UKVI may accept lower scores in some tests for the purposes of obtaining a visa, however please note that the School requires applicants to meet its minimum requirements as outlined above.

The School reserves the right to require, from any applicant, additional evidence of language competence such as a piece of written work and/or an interview. Please note that samples of written work and/or interviews cannot be used in place of an English test to meet the entry requirements.

Documents you will need to support your visa application

You will need to have proof of all the following information when you make your application for your Students Visa (formerly Tier 4 Visa) :

  1. You have been issued with a CAS Number (confirmation of acceptance for study) by the School.
  2. You have enough funds to pay for your studies plus living costs for the first year of study after the visa application, unless exempt (see ST.12.1 and ST.12.2).
  3. You have gained the right matriculation qualification (for example, an upper-second class honours degree from the United Kingdom or an international qualification of an equivalent standard if you are joining a taught programme, or a master’s degree if you are joining a research programme).
  4. Evidence of English Language Proficiency. The qualification or test result must have been awarded no more than two years prior to the proposed date of enrolment.

Requesting a CAS Number

If you already hold an unconditional offer you can request a CAS after the 1st of March by completing the online CAS Request Form. Please note that all the supporting documents should be returned to the Admissions office via email to If you have a conditional offer, you must first meet the condition of your offer and be issued an unconditional offer. 

Student Visa applications can be submitted no more than 6 month before the course start date, if you are applying from outside the UK.

 Applicants who apply from inside the UK can apply up to 3 months before the course start date.  

The Admissions team will allocate you a CAS Number, normally from April or June onwards, after receiving your completed and signed CAS Request form, a clear scanned copy of your passport and CAS Fee Payment. We will need to see evidence that you meet all aspects of the Students Visa (formerly Tier 4 Visa) eligibility, including the financial requirements, unless exempt.

You will need to send us copies of the financial documents for verification, even if you are not required to provide it with your initial application under the 'differential evidence requirement for a Student' (see ST.22.1 of Appendix Student for more information). US Nationals using US Federal Loans to cover all of their tuition fees and living expenses will not need to provide this evidence to us.

We will email your CAS Number and our Sponsor Licence Number which you will need to put in the visa application. You do not need to provide a hard copy of your CAS as this is provided electronically to UKVI (UK Visas and Immigration).

CAS fees can be paid online by credit/debit card via the University of London ‘Epay’) link:

Payment instructions:




Low Risk applications

If you qualify for differential evidence requirement as specified here (under ST.22.1), you may not need to include financial documents  when you make your visa application,but you can still be asked to provide it at a later date, while your application is being processed. 


Extending your Students Visa

If you are currently studying an MPhil/PhD course at SAS and are making the required progression for writing up, you can apply to extend your Student Visa.

Student who have commenced their studies on or after October 2020 or have already had their writing up year included in their course length.

Registry will seek confirmation from your Institute before issuing a CAS. SAS simply confirms your progress to UKVI and you do not need your matriculation documents. (for example, your writing up year), please see our entry requirements. You can request a CAS by downloading and completing our CAS Request Form and pay a visa administration charge (£21).


Students Visa Part-time

The Home Office has introduced a Student Part-time visa route which means that some students studying for postgraduate courses that are part-time may be able to apply for a new type of Student visas to study for these courses in the UK. 

Please be advised that the School of Advanced Study, University of London is not currently able to sponsor Student Part-Time students and will not be in a position to do so for the foreseeable future. 

Making your Visa Application

Full guidelines on how to apply, guidance notes and application forms can be found on the Government Website: Student Visa (formerly Tier 4) Migrant Guidance.

To apply in your home country for a new visa or to extend an existing student visa, visit the UK Government Website. The application fee is given in your local currency on  

EEA Nationals

Applicants with Pre-Settled or Settled Status

EEA Nationals with Pre-Settled or Settled Status are required to provide a share-code as part of the application. The school must undertake a right to study check on all applicants.

From January 2021, EEA nationals who don’t qualify for the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) are subject to immigration rules.

The Student route, which falls under the UK's new points-based immigration system, opened to international and EEA students on 5 October 2020.

EEA students ineligible for Pre-Settled or Settled Status

Applicants ineligible for EUSS need to apply through the Student Route(Opens in new window), ahead of arriving in the UK. 

All students applying through the new Student Route(Opens in new window) will need to demonstrate they meet the required 70 points to be awarded a visa. They will achieve the required points if they can demonstrate that they have an offer from an approved educational institution, speak English and are able to support themselves during their studies in the UK.

We advise you to read out International Students guidance for details on the process of obtaining visa sponsorship from the University. 

During your studies

Coming soon...