Visa Advice for International Students
At GCU London we work hard to support all of our students, but we understand that international students may sometimes need additional support. As such we have two full time staff members who can provide you with assistance in making your visa application and answering any immigration related questions that you may have. We encourage our students to approach us for support and guidance.
We offer one-to-one, dedicated visa application appointments to current students and GCU London offer holders, and if you have any questions please feel free to contact us at email@example.com.
Below you can find a step by step guide to applying for a UK visa from your home country. Procedures and forms are different for applications made inside the UK. For more details about this please contact us or visit the UK Border Agency’s website.
UK visas: from application to visa
You can find a very useful application guide on UKCISA’s (UK Council for International Student Affairs) website. UKCISA helps international students by providing advice and information, and lobbying the UK government. They run a telephone advice line that is generally open Monday – Friday, 1pm – 4pm.
1. Receive your unconditional offer
Once you have completed our application form, or applied through UKPASS (see How to Apply for more details), and submitted your supporting documents, you will be in a position to receive an offer from our Admissions Office in Glasgow. If you receive an offer it will either be ‘conditional’ or ‘unconditional’. An unconditional offer is what you need in order to receive your Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) letter for your visa application.
If you receive a conditional offer you will be told what ‘conditions’ you must meet in order to receive an unconditional offer. Perhaps you are awaiting your undergraduate degree results, or you may need to take an English test. If you are unable to book an English in time to join the course (IELTS or TOEFL etc.) please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange for GCU London’s internal test.
Once you have sent the Admissions Office evidence that you can meet the conditions of your offer they will be able to issue you with your unconditional offer.
2. Find out if you need a UK visa.
You can do this by using the UK Border Agency’s online checking tool. If you don’t need one, go to point 4 below.
3. Check the procedures in your country
UK Visa application procedures can differ from country to country, so it is important that you check how long your application will take, and whether you will need to apply online etc. You can find more details on the UK Border Agency’s website.
4. Pay your fees
You can pay your fees in a variety of ways. Please Note: Payment by bank transfer can take up to 2 weeks to be processed. Your record will not be updated until your payment has been received and cleared. You can find out more by visiting GCU’s website.
If you require a student visa you must pay a £3,500 deposit in order to receive your Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) Number. Only students who require a visa will receive a CAS number.
5. Receive your CAS (Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies) Number
Your CAS Number is essential for your visa application. It is an electronic document created by the University to demonstrate that you have been accepted on a course of study in the UK. UK Universities have to hold a ‘Sponsor Licence’ in order to create this electronic document – GCU London is included on Glasgow Caledonian University’s Highly Trusted Sponsor Licence. You can find the Register of Tier 4 Sponsors on the UK Border Agency’s website.
You will receive your CAS Number in the form of a summary letter. This letter is for your reference only as the UK Border Agency has access to your online CAS Record created by your University, and they simply need the CAS Number to locate your record. This system means that there is no need for the CAS Letter to be signed or stamped. You should not send your CAS Letter with your application, instead you can write your CAS Number on the application form where requested.
6. Prepare your finances and make your application
In order to apply you will need to complete both form VAF 9 and Appendix 8. You will also need any documents listed on your CAS Letter, and all documents must be originals. All documents that are not in English must be translated by an official translator, and the original translation must be submitted in addition to the original document. For full details read the UK Border Agency’s website.
One of the requirements for your visa application is to keep enough money in your bank account to cover the costs of studying in the UK. As GCU London is based in central London you must show the higher level of funds (£1,000 per month). You will have to show £9,000 to cover your living costs in addition to any unpaid tuition fees for a minimum of 28 days. For full details please read the UK Border Agency’s Tier 4 visa application guide.
7. If your visa is refused
If you use a Glasgow Caledonian University CAS and your visa application is refused, you must let us know so that we can give you further advice on what to do.
- Visa refusal outside of the UK
If your visa is refused outside of the UK, you will be sent a standard notification that your application has been refused. The notification will detail why the visa officer has not granted your visa. It will also detail if and how you can submit an administrative review - a process by which the original application can be reconsidered.
For information and advice on what to do if your visa is refused, please send an email, briefly summarising the details of the application you made and attaching a scan of the refusal notice to the email email@example.com.
- Visa refusal from within UK
If your visa has been refused from an application made in the UK, you will be sent a decision letter with your application. You should carefully read the notice of decision because it will explain why your visa has been refused and whether you have the right of appeal.
There is a deadline for appeal and it is important that you seek advice immediately you know that you have been refused.
Please contact the International Student Support Service and book an appointment with an adviser. You should ensure that you see an adviser as soon as you possibly can after a refusal - we will prioritise refusal cases and make sure that you are able to get advice quickly.
- Continued enrolment and refusals
Immigration Rules require that the University only enrols and continues to enrol students who have valid permission (a visa) to be in the UK.
If your visa has been refused, your continued enrolment will be affected.
As in the case of all visa refusals, it is essential you seek advice. You can notify us of a refusal by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
An adviser will contact you and arrange an appointment for you to discuss the refusal and plan your next steps.
8. Protecting your student visa status
The International Student Support Service has prepared guidance to ensure that students are aware of their obligations as a student – this includes essential information on attending your classes, working during your studies and ensuring the University has up-to-date contact details for you.
Please read - ISSS Student Visa Booklet
It is your responsibility as a student at GCU to read and adhere to this advice. This will ensure you meet the conditions of your valid visa status to study and continue studying at GCU.