The UK Border Agency (UKBA) has updated the immigration rules and regulations for Tier 4 students coming to the UK to study or to extend their visa. You will still need to pass a points-based assessment before you are given permission to enter or remain in the UK. Under Tier 4 (General student), 40 points will be required. 30 points will be awarded for having a CAS (Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies) from an approved education provider and 10 points will be awarded if you can show that you have enough money to cover your course fees and living costs for up to 9 months of study.

The CAS (Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies) has replaced the Visa letter, which is no longer valid. The CAS contains details of the course of study for which it has been issued, personal details and passport information and has a unique reference number which you must write on your visa application form.

The UKBA have raised the minimum level of English Language course that Tier 4 (General) students can study, to level B2 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). Before you can apply to study an English Language course in the UK, you will need to show that your English language skills are at CEFR level B1 or higher.  Students shall also consult our English Language Policy.

If you are applying for entry clearance from outside of the UK, you must refer to the UK Visas website for all up to date information on these changes and how to apply for your visa:

You must read:

  • Visa application guidance click Points Based System Tier 4 General Student (INF 29)
  • Photograph guidance for applicants
  • Visa application centres overseas
  • Apply online (check to see if your home country will allow you to)


  1. Form VAF9 – PBS Migrant and
  2. PBS Appendix 8: Tier 4 General Student Self Assessment Form

Read PBS Migrant Guidance Notes when completing these forms


In particular please be aware of the following when completing your visa application forms:

Type of visa

In order to study at MIHE you must apply as a General (Adult) Student under the Tier 4 route. The minimum age of entry is 18 years.

Approved education provider

You will be required to obtain a CAS (Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies) from an approved education provider. You must complete, sign and return the application form.

MIHE is an approved education provider and is listed in the ‘Tier 4 Register of Sponsors’ and holds 'Highly Trusted Sponsor' status.

Biometric identity card

All students applying for an extension of stay, or entry clearance to the UK under Tier 4 will now be issued with a Biometric Identity Card. This will replace the visa sticker that was previously placed in the passport. It is important to read the information on ‘photographic guidance’ mentioned above otherwise your application may be refused if you do not comply with the rules.

Money (or maintenance) requirements

You must prove that you have enough money to cover your full course fees for the first year and living expenses of £800 per month for every month of the course.

If you are extending your current permission to stay and have just completed a course that was more than 6 months long you may need a lower amount of money in your bank account - course fees for the year plus living expenses of £1600. Please confirm that you qualify for this lower financial requirement.

Whether you are applying from within the UK or not, the required maintenance amount must be in your bank for at least 28 days before you apply for your visa. This evidence (i.e. bank statements) must be dated no more than one month before the date of your visa application. If you are being sponsored by your home government, your must:

1) Provide written consent to confirm that they agree for you to study in the UK and,

2) Must also provide a Financial Sponsorship Certificate to confirm that they will cover the full amount required for your course fees and living costs for the whole year.

If you are applying for leave to remain inside the UK, you must refer to the UKBA’s website for all up to date information on these changes and how to apply for your visa:

You must read:

  • Guidance for Tier 4 applicants
  • Help text for the Tier 4 (General) application form
  • Photo Guidance
  • Application form if you are applying in the UK: Tier 4 (General)


Disclaimer: Whilst we try to ensure the accuracy of the information and advice given, the requirements relating to visas are complex and change frequently. You should therefore check the requirements which apply to you on the UKBA website MIHE cannot therefore accept any responsibility for any inaccuracy or error in its information or advice