King’s College London Tier 4 Visa
King’s College London Tier 4 Visa
Applying Outside the UK
This guide is for students who are applying for a Tier 4 student visa to come and study in the UK. If you already hold a Tier 4 visa and are extending this within the UK, please refer to our visa extension pages.
As part of the process you will be asked to your nearest application support centre to give your biometrics (fingerprints and iris scan). While you are there you may also have a short “credibility interview”. This will be conducted over Skype and you will be asked some short questions about why you have chosen to study your course and study in the UK. This does not usually last for more than 10 minutes.
ATAS stands for Academic Technology Approval Scheme and is required for certain science and technology courses at Masters level and above. Your CAS will say if you need ATAS. You will need to apply online, and you will need two referees from your home country. You must obtain ATAS before you apply for your visa. It can take several weeks for ATAS to be issued so make sure you apply in plenty of time.
You may find our ATAS Advice Guide useful.
You can bring your family (spouse, civil partner, unmarried partner or children) as your Tier 4 dependants if you are:
- On a course of at least 6 months and financially sponsored by your government, or
- On a course at Masters level or above lasting for at least one year.
Dependants can apply at the same time as you or can apply to join you later. They will also need to show they meet the strict financial requirements.
You can find more infromation about bringing your dependents to the UK on our dependent webpage.
You should ensure you read all the guidance carefully so that you don’t make a mistake with your visa application. If you enclose all the correct documents you shouldn’t face any problems. However, if you do face difficulties or if your visa is refused you should contact a Student Advisor.
Please note: this webpage does not cover how to extend your Tier 4 visa, please refer to our guidance on Tier 4 Extensions if you plan to apply from within the UK and are eligible to do so.
Tier 4 Responsibilities
King’s College London hold a Tier 4 licence issued by UKVI that allows us to bring overseas students into the UK to study with us. For us to maintain and keep our licence we have to make sure that we meet the UKVI’s rules and regulations surrounding Tier 4.
When a student is issued with a Tier 4 visa they also have to make sure they meet the rules and requirements related to their visa to enable them to maintain their visa and remain in the UK.
Below is a list of the responsibilities and conditions that need to be met by both King’s College and students. For more information or for any queries please contact visa compliance at – firstname.lastname@example.org
You are required to provide King’s with the following documents:
- Your immigration documents
- ATAS certificate (if required)
- Documents used to obtain your offer – certificates etc.
If any of you documents change over the course of your studies you are required to provide King’s with up to date copies.
You must keep your contact details up to date with both King’s College and UKVI.
Change of personal details
You should inform the university and the UKVI of any of changes to your personal details that may affect your visa status. These include changes to your name, nationality, gender etc.
Significant change in circumstances
King’s is required to report any significant changes in your studies to UKVI. If any of the following are applicable to you during your studies you must let King’s know straight away:
- Change in programme at King’s
- Change in study location
- The length of programme becomes shorter
- You will complete a work placement
For further information about change of circumstances please see our guidance. Change of Circumstances
Withdrawals and interruptions
If you withdraw or interrupt King’s will be required to report this to UKVI and withdraw sponsorship of you. UKVI will then curtail (shorten) their visa.
You will be expected to leave the UK following any withdrawals or interruptions.
For more information about withdrawals and changes please see our guidance.
Change of immigration status
If you change your immigration status to another category you should inform King’s straight away. We are required to report this to UKVI.
Some students are required to register with the police as a condition of their visa. For more information about this please see our web pages.
The regulations surrounding what work you can do on a Tier 4 visa are very strict, and the penalties for breaching these rules, even accidentally, are severe. You can find guidance on working on your Tier 4 visa on our Working in the UK page. If you are unsure of how many hours you can do, or what type of work you can do, contact an International Adviser before starting work.
Short-term Study Visa
Students coming to the UK for courses lasting less than six months without any placement or work requirements will usually need to obtain a Short-term Student visa (previously known as “Student Visitor visa”). If you have come to the UK as a Short-term Student, you are only able to study on a course which lasts for 6 months or less, and you will not be able to extend this visa in the UK.
You may enter the UK as a Short-term Student if you are coming for any of these reasons:
- to attend the King’s College London Summer School
- for one semester as a Study Abroad student (please read our additional guidance)
- to take resit exams or undertake a short resit period and do not wish to apply for a Tier 4 visa (NB: you will not be able to then extend this visa in the UK)
- to study a distance-learning course which involves coming to the UK for short period of study, perhaps once or twice a year. In this instance, you may enter the UK each time as a Short-term Student. Your Short-term Student letter from King’s should detail each instance of your study at King’s throughout the course, and you should carry this letter with you each time you enter the UK
- to undertake research as part of a PhD which you are studying abroad, and this period of research at King’s will last for less than 6 months
You will need to request a visa support letter using non-standard letter request under Regsitry Services Enquiry Form.
The process for coming to the UK as a Short-term Student is different depending on whether you are a visa national or non-visa national. Please refer to Appendix 2 of the UKVI’s Immigration Rules for Visitors – if your country of nationality is not listed in Appendix 2, then you are a non-visa national.
If you are a visa national, you will need to apply for the visa before you can ftravel into the UK following details on Home Office official website. If you are a non-visa national, you do not have to apply for this visa prior to travelling to the UK, but you will be required to show all of your supporting documents (including the visa support letter issued by the university) on arrival into the UK. At that point the immigration officer will stamp your passport, this stamp is considered to be your visa and should state something like “short term study”.
NB: If you are studying a science-based subject at Masters or PhD level (even if you are only coming to King’s for a short period e.g. to undertake some research as part of your course), you may need to obtain an ATAS certificate . You will need to obtain this before you travel/apply for your visa.