Visas and immigration

Postgraduate finance

Immigration control

Who is subject to immigration control?

If your nationality is not UK or Irish, then you are subject to immigration control. Being subject to immigration control means that you will need a visa or have immigration permission that permits study in the UK.  

If your status is British overseas territories citizen, British overseas citizen, British national (overseas) or British protected person, you are still subject to immigration control and do not have the automatic right to study and work in the UK. 

If you are a British subject you will usually be subject to immigration control. This means that if you are studying a course that is longer than six months in duration you will need to apply for a Student visa. 

What visa do I need? 

If you are planning to study in the United Kingdom longer than six months, you will need a Student visa. A student visa allows you to live and study in the UK for the duration of your course. Before you apply for a Student visa you will need a CAS number, unless you apply for a suitable alternative immigration type that permits study.  

What happens if I already have a visa?

If you already have a valid visa or immigration permission for the UK which permits study at any institution at any level, you may not need to apply for a Student visa. However, if you have valid Student visa from another institution you will not be permitted by the UKVI to study with us. 

You will be required to obtain a Student visa sponsored by the Ravensbourne University London. 

Further guidance can be found on the UK Government website.

CAS (Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies)

What is CAS? 

CAS stands for Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies. 

The CAS number is a unique alphanumeric code that links to a virtual document on the UK Visa & Immigration (UKVI) online Sponsorship Management System. You need a CAS number to apply for a Student visa.  

The CAS statement is information about you and your intended programme of study contained in the virtual document shared with UKVI. 

Each CAS is institution and programme specific. That means that a CAS issued by Ravensbourne University London can only be used in a Student visa application for study at Ravensbourne University London on the programme of study for which the CAS was issued. 

How do I obtain a CAS?

The admissions team is responsible for assessing the fee status and identifying applicants' residency permissions. Only applicants requiring a visa to study in the UK will go through the CAS process. 

Applicants needing a visa will receive an invitation to CAS Shield a minimum of six months prior to the start of the semester, provided they have accepted their offer. 

CAS Shield guides applicants through the necessary documentation and questions. Once all steps on CAS Shield are completed and the deposit is received, the admissions team will request the CAS from the UKVI. 

Eligibility and applying for a Student visa

Who can apply for a Student visa?

To apply for a Student visa and study in the UK you must meet the following requirements:

  • You are 16 or over and you have been offered a place on a course by a licensed student sponsor (Ravensbourne University London)
  • Financial requirements
  • Language requirements
    For more details on our English language requirements, please visit our English language requirements webpage. 

Please note: If you are 16 or 17 years old, you must have consent from your parents, supported by evidence when you apply, proof of parental or legal guardian consent along with their relationship to you, and ensure suitable care arrangements are in place for you in the UK.  

Can I get support with my application?

We offer Student visa application support to current and prospective students at Ravensbourne University London. We have a dedicated team that provides a step-by-step guide to applying for a Student visa, and offer support webinars at certain times of year. Please email [email protected]. 

Fees and deadlines 

Applications from outside the UK can be made up to six months before the start date of your programme of study in the UK. 

You should allow plenty of time for your visa application to be processed. You can find information about visa processing times on the UKVI website. 

You may be able to pay for a faster decision on your Student visa application when you select your biometric appointment on the website of your local Visa Application Centre, if these services are available in that location.  

Application fees: 

  • £490 for those applying from overseas 
  • £490 for applications made in the UK (standard submission method) 

Working after your studies

You can work full-time until your visa expires if you meet all of the the following criteria:

  • Your visa was for a full-time programme of study 
  • Your visa type permitted work during term-time
  • You have successfully completed your course.

You cannot work full-time until after the end date of your programme as stated on your CAS or if you have any outstanding study activities e.g. a referral or repeat. You can find more information about the term dates and vacation dates for your programme. 
You can find the end date of your programme of study on the Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) which you were issued with to apply for your current Student visa. 

After you have successfully completed your programme of study, the same restrictions on the type of work that is permitted still applies.  

Types of work that are not permitted include: 

  • Self-employment/business activity
  • Work as a professional sportsperson including as a sports coach
  • Work as an entertainer
  • Work as a doctor or dentist in training. 

Please note: If we remove sponsorship on your visa because you have withdrawn or been suspended from your course or because you have exited with a lower award then you are not permitted to undertake any work after the date that we remove sponsorship of your visa. 

The Graduate Route visa (Post study work)

The Graduate Route provides an opportunity for students who have Student visa and have been awarded their degree to stay in the UK and work, or look for work, at any skill level for a period following their studies. 

Further information for students looking to apply to the Graduate Route, including eligibility, how to apply, accessing your immigration status (eVisa) and conditions of the route can be found in the Home Office guidance: The Graduate route: information for international students 

There is also the UKVI webpage Graduate visa 

Please note the following main points you should be aware of: 

  • Students who have successfully completed their current course and been awarded (received their final result) are eligible to apply 
  • Students must apply before their current Tier 4 or Student visa expires. If you are awarded this before your current Tier 4 or Student visa expires, you may not be eligible to apply for the Graduate Route - please contact us to seek further advice about this 
  • The Graduate Route will be a new visa application and students will have to pay the visa application fee and the full Immigration Health Surcharge for the whole period (for each year of the visa) 
  • The Graduate Route visa is not a route to settlement though those who meet eligibility requirements may be able to apply to remain in the UK on other work routes 
  • Subject to Police Registration (if applicable) 
  • No access to public funds