Visas and Immigration - The Courtauld Institute of Art

Visas and Immigration

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Visas and Immigration


International students

Visas and Immigration

Visas and Immigration

Please be aware that UKVI visa policy is subject to change, and changes often. You should also check the UK Government’s Visas and Immigration page for the most up-to-date information.

Generally speaking, if you are normally resident outside of the UK/EU, and you do not hold UK/EU citizenship you will require a Tier 4 Student visa in order to enter the UK as a student. You will need to have made an application for a visa and be granted entry clearance as a student before travelling to the UK.

Entry clearance to the UK as a student is granted via the Points Based system. Points are awarded for having been provided with a Confirmation of Acceptance of Studies (CAS) by the institution you intend to study at once you hold an unconditional offer, with further points awarded for meeting maintenance requirements.

Further to this:

  • You must hold an Unconditional Offer to study a Full-Time course
  • You must be able to demonstrate your ability to follow the course (via your academic record and command of the English language)
  • You must be able to demonstrate that you have enough money to meet the total costs of your study.


If you believe this may apply to you and hold an offer to study here at The Courtauld, you will need to undertake take the following steps in order to apply for visa outside of the UK, though further, detailed information will be provided upon receipt of your CAS:

Read through up-to-date guidance on the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) website

The UKCISA website is an invaluable resource for up-to-date guidance on visa and immigration related matters. We advise reading through their guidance thoroughly before deciding to travel to the UK to study as an international student.

Conduct a self-assessment to see what (if any) visa you require

A self-assessment can be undertaken via the UK Government’s Visas and Immigration website.

If your course is six months or fewer in duration (eg. if you are studying abroad for one term or will be an occasional student), you will not always require a Tier 4 visa.

Confirmation of Acceptance of Studies (CAS) and Tier 4 visa application

Once you hold an unconditional offer, and no more than 3 months prior to the start of the programme, we will issue your CAS. Once you receive your CAS, you should apply using the UK Government’s Visas and Immigration website under the Points Based System Form as a Tier 4 General Student.

You will be required to go to a specified centre and provide bio-metric details – as such it is advised to make arrangements to apply for the visa and comply with any requirements well in advance. You will typically be required to send your application to your nearest British Embassy or Consulate – as processing times can vary greatly, do ensure you allow for enough time.

You cannot apply for a visa more than 3 months prior to the start of the programme – doing so will result in your visa being automatically refused.

Biometric Residence Permit (BRP)

Should your visa application be successful, you will be issued a temporary entry vignette in your passport valid for 30 days only from the date you intend to enter the UK.  Upon entering the UK you will be required to collect your BRP within 10 days of arrival. The BRP functions as your visa document representing your right to be in the UK.

As students cannot enrol without their BRP, it is essential that you plan to arrive in the UK in advance of your enrolment in order to allow enough time to collect your BRP.

Study Abroad / Programmes lasting 6 months or less

Study Abroad students studying in the UK for 6 months or less will not be issued a CAS in support of a Tier 4 visa – you will instead need to independently apply for a short-term study visa.


If your programme lasts 12 months or longer, you may be eligible to bring dependants with you. The UKCISA guidance on dependants clarifies what a dependant is, your eligibility and how to apply to bring dependants with you.

The above represents only an outline of the process. Full guidance on the visa process can be found on the UKCISA website. Details on how a visa application differs when applying within the UK for Leave to Remain – which can only be undertaken under certain circumstances – can also be found on the UKCISA website.

The Courtauld Institute of Art reserves the right to refuse to sponsor your study and issue you a CAS.

If you have any questions about your visa status, please do contact us at or as appropriate.

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