Last updated: 6 September 2023
This policy defines how international student admissions will be handled to ensure compliance with UK Home Office immigration rules. This includes instances where students will require Student route visa support, and the checks that are in place to ensure eligibility before CAS issuance.
1.1 The University of Gloucestershire (UoG) can only accept students who have, or are able to obtain, valid permission to study in the UK. There are various types of leave which permit study, the main category of student leave being Student route. The University is licensed to provide Student route sponsorship for students studying on-site on UoG programmes.
1.2 Eligible students requiring Student route visa sponsorship will be issued with a CAS number when they are made an unconditional offer and after all necessary CAS documentation checks have been satisfied. The CAS will be issued to the student no longer than 6 months before the start of the course, and cannot be used as part of a visa application until 6 months before the course start date, as per Home Office guidance.
1.3 Eligible continuing students requiring a visa extension should complete a CAS Request form and submit this to the International Student Services Team. In all cases, the student must attend a visa extension workshop and have their application checked for validity prior to the CAS being issued.
1.4 Students who intend to enrol under another visa category will need to provide evidence that they hold a visa which permits study at the admissions stage. This must then be verified in person at enrolment.
1.5 Students who have evidenced that they have leave under another visa category will not be subject to the various checks listed in this policy.
|Student submits an application and supporting documents
|Application record created
If Student route visa support is needed, the student is contacted to provide additional information and documentation required to determine Student route visa eligibility. Some initial checks are of eligibility are conducted at this stage. If Short-Term-Student visa support is needed, the student is contacted to provide additional information and documentation required to determine eligibility for an STS visa support letter.
Secondary checks made by
International Student Services Team
|English language certification verified online where possible. All English language documentation must be in accord with the University’s English Language Policy for International Student Admission
|Application referred to Admissions tutor as necessary. Some courses require interview or submission of portfolio
|Admissions Tutor (in Faculty)
|Conditional offer issued, or application rejected
|Student satisfies conditions of academic offer
|Unconditional offer issued
Conditions of enrolment are published online via the Applicant Portal
|Student pays a £5500 deposit for a CAS
|Full Student route/STS support eligibility checked and CAS/STS letter issued if successful
|International Student Services Team
3.1 Students requiring a Student route visa can only be admitted onto courses which satisfy the following criteria:
• The course level must be at NQF 3/CEFR B2 or above
• The course must be full-time if at RQF6 or below
• The course must lead to an approved qualification as detailed in the Student Route Sponsor Guidance Document 2
• The course can be a short-term Study Abroad programme in the UK as part of the student’s qualification at an overseas university, as
long as the qualification is confirmed as being at the same level as a UK degree by UK NARIC
• The course cannot be studied via distance learning (except in the case of postgraduate research students)
• With the exception of work placements and field trips, all study must take place on a UoG campus.
• Any work placement must not exceed 50% of the course unless there is a statutory requirement requiring it to be higher than 50%
3.2 Student route visa sponsorship will only be given to students admitted onto UoG validated programmes and taught on a UoG site.
4.1 Copies of the following documents are required prior to an unconditional offer being issued for Student route students:
• Academic Qualifications
• English language Qualifications
• Personal statement demonstrating intent to study
• Passport (personal details page and any stamps)
• All previous student visas & visas under Tier 4/Student route and student rules prior to 31 March 2009 (if applicable)
• Details of courses previously studied in the UK (if applicable)
• If the student is under 18, parental consent will be required.
• A copy of the students ATAS certificate (if required)
• Any other documents which the University deems pertinent to the student’s application
4.2 Student route visa sponsorship will only be given to students who have satisfied UoG Admissions entry criteria. Students must be able to show final, conferred results and must have a copy of the official final certificate or transcript when applying for Student route. Provisional results will not be accepted, per UK Home Office immigration rules. At the University’s discretion, a portfolio of work, previous work experience, references and interviews may be used to assess academic capability on the course. All admission documentation, including academic certificates, transcripts and English language qualifications must be provided for verification during enrolment. Failure to supply this documentation within a reasonable timeframe, or any indication of fraud, may result in withdrawal from the course.
5.1 Students must demonstrate that their English language ability is sufficient to successfully complete the intended course of study. Student route applicants must be at CEFR B2 or above (unless studying a pre-sessional English course or a foundation level programme, where the requirement is CEFR B1). A list of acceptable English language qualifications and the level that must be obtained is published on the University’s Visa’s and Immigration webpage.
6.1 In all cases, students must pay international fees, except where there is documented proof that they are entitled to pay the home fee rate. Student route students will be expected to pay a £5500 deposit prior to CAS issuance. 50% of the remaining fee (what is left after the CAS deposit payment) will be due at enrolment. The second half of the fee must be paid when due part way through the academic year. The University does not generally allow payment plans. It is expected that Student route students will be using the finances evidenced for their CAS to pay for their tuition and maintenance in the UK. Failure to pay tuition fees when due may result in being blocked from enrolment and/or withdrawal from the course.
6.2 Students must clear all debts to the university before any new of further visa sponsorship is given.
7.1 Students who have already studied in the UK can only be admitted onto a new course when academic progression (as defined by the UK Home Office Student Route sponsor guidance) can be demonstrated. Academic progression is normally shown where the new course is at a higher NQF Level than the previous course e.g. Bachelors degree (NQF 6) to Masters degree (NQF 7). Study at the same level may in some instances be allowed, but only at the discretion of the International Student Services Manager.
7.2 Students who have failed to complete the previous course for which they were granted Student route leave are required to return home and apply to the University of Gloucestershire International Student Services Team for a CAS. The International Student Services Team will then make a credibility assessment of the student’s application to ensure the student would not be refused on credibility grounds. To satisfy the credibility assessment, the student should adhere to the previously mentioned academic progression rules.
7.3 A CAS will not be issued when:
• A student has failed, withdrawn or otherwise not completed a course under the Student route sponsorship of another HEI and has not yet left the UK and provided evidence of doing so.
• A student has previously studied (not necessarily completed) a course under Student route in the UK and now wishes to study at the same level another on another course in an unrelated discipline.
• A student has previously studied (not necessarily completed) a course under Student route in the UK and now wishes to study another course at the same level and the University cannot confirm the new and previous course combined support the students genuine career aspirations.
• A student has applied for a course at a lower level than previously studied under Student route.
7.4 Ultimately it is the Home Office’s decision as to whether the progression justification given on a CAS statement is sufficient for the approval of a Student route student visa. The University of Gloucestershire does not have control over these decisions. This means that any application where the course is at the same level of study poses a risk of visa refusal which would be detrimental to the student, as well as a risk to the University’s status as a registered Student route sponsor.
8.1 The amount of time that Student route students can spend studying in the UK is limited. Admission cannot be offered to any student who would exceed this limit by the end of the normal duration of the course. Students are required to provide evidence of all previous study in the UK in order for the permitted duration of study to be assessed.
9.1 Students must demonstrate that they have a genuine intent to study. This is normally assessed via the personal statement contained within the application form. Students should detail their interest in the course and why they wish to study in the UK. Generic statements will not be accepted. This assessment will be ongoing throughout the students Student route sponsorship. If the University have reason to believe that a student does not have a genuine intent to study, then Student route visa sponsorship may be withdrawn.
10.1 Any students who require ATAS will be identified by Admissions during their initial application. Any students who need to extend their visa to study in the UK will be identified as requiring ATAS when CAS/Immigration checks are being conducted. The University will not issue a CAS to any student who requires ATAS and is unable to provide a valid clearance certificate. ATAS for non-Student route students are also being monitored and kept on file. More information on ATAS can be found here.
11.1 Students will be issued with a CAS Statement up to 6 months prior to, and no later than 3 weeks before the start date of their course.
11.2 Visa sponsorship will be given as follows:
• Undergraduate – Until the last day of semester 2 in the year of graduation
• Postgraduate taught – For the duration of the programme, which may vary based on the course structure.
• Research degrees – For 4 years and 2 months. This is to cover your viva plus any corrections you may have.
• Advanced entry Masters courses – until the dissertation submission date (20 weeks)
11.3 This length of leave assumes the student will be starting at the beginning of the course. Applications starting part-way through the course
will be given leave in line with their expected course completion date.
12.1 The University must ensure that CAS are only issued to students who are reasonably able to submit a Student route application in time for the student to arrive before the latest permitted enrolment date for the course. To ensure this, the University must consider CAS request processing times (up to five working days), visa application submission, appointment booking (when applicable), document submission, visa application processing times, time for documentation and entry clearance vignette to be received and travel. Considering these areas, the University must receive notification that a CAS is being requested for an overseas visa application generally five weeks prior to the latest acceptance date. View the list of latest dates for receipt of a CAS request.
12.2 The student must submit a CAS Request Form (via the CAS Shield system), as well as ALL necessary supporting documentation and have an unconditional offer which is firmly accepted, before the latest date of CAS request receipt. If any necessary documentation is not submitted at this time, then a CAS request may not be issued.
12.3 Students who are willing to submit a priority Student route visa application (where possible) will be permitted to submit all of the above up to four weeks prior to the course start date. A priority visa application is expected to have a decision within 10 days. Students who are willing to submit a super-priority may be permitted further time to submit the above at the discretion of the International Student Services Manager.
12.4 Students submitting visa applications from within the UK must do so via an appointment with the University’s Visa Advice Service. To ensure availability before the latest course start date, this appointment (and CAS request submission) should be made at least two weeks before the latest enrolment date for the course.
12.5 In cases where a chargeback of any payments is initiated after a CAS has been issued, the University will immediately withdraw the CAS and its visa sponsorship. This behaviour is considered to be deceptive, and seriously undermines student credibility.
13.1 Before assigning and issuing a CAS, the University must be satisfied that:
a) the course the applicant intends to study complies with Student route requirements as detailed in the UK immigration rules and guidance; and
b) the applicants visa application is likely to be successful (while the university makes this assessment for CAS issuance purposes, there is
no guarantee that your visa application will be successful. Only the UK Home Office can make this decision); and
c) the applicant will comply with the conditions of their Student route leave (e.g. in relation to any work restriction); and
d) the supporting documents submitted with the course application and CAS request are genuine; and
e) where clearance under the Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) is required, the applicant possess such clearance; and
f) the applicant has not exceeded, or will not exceed by the end of your course, the maximum amount of time permitted for study under
UK Home Office immigration rules and (where relevant) permitted by the University’s academic regulations; and
g) the course the applicant has applied for represents academic progression from the last course studied on a Student route visa; and
h) the applicant has sufficient time to submit a Student route application, travel to the UK, and complete enrolment before the enrolment formalities (including payment of requisite fees) prior to the enrolment deadline.
14.1 All international students will be blocked from completing enrolment until their passport and visa has been checked by a member of the International Student Services Team. New students holding a visa valid to study at the university will be permitted to enrol after their documents have been checked and copied. The enrolment block will only be removed once the legal right to study in the UK can be established.
14.2 The following visa categories are valid for full-time study at UoG:
• Tier 4 (General)/Student Route [under University of Gloucestershire sponsorship, SLN: 8DHV1QR87]
• Short-Term Student visa
• Innovator Visa (for part-time courses)
• Investor Visa
• Dependant (any category)
• Discretionary Leave to Remain
• Family Member of an EEA National
• Family Reunion
• Indefinite Leave to Enter or Remain
• Right of Permanent Residence
• Other (at the discretion at the International Student Services Manager)
14.3 Students who have submitted a Student route visa extension application under University of Gloucestershire sponsorship, or an application under another category valid for study, prior to the start of the course will be permitted to enrol providing they show copies of their passport and previous visa and the original letter from the Home Office confirming receipt of the application. The student must show the original visa to the International Student Services Team within 10 days of it being issued.
14.4 Students who fail to produce their original passport and valid visa will not be permitted to enrol (except where these documents are with the Home Office as above). Such students will not be permitted to attend their course, and will be reported to the Home Office where appropriate.
14.5 Students holding a visa that is not valid for study at the university, or who do not have current leave to remain in the UK will not be permitted to enrol. The following visa categories are not valid for study at the University of Gloucestershire:
• Visitor (any category except Student Visitor, which may be allowed in very rare instances for very short programmes, at the discretion of the International Student Services Manager).
• Work permit
• “3C leave” i.e. those who have outstanding applications, under any category, with the Home Office – (exceptions may be granted on a
case by case basis at the discretion of the International Student Services Manager)
• Those with an outstanding FLR application (this must have a successful decision before enrolment or switching to Student route leave would be granted).
14.6 Where there is any doubt over the validity of a visa for study, this will be passed to the International Student Services Team for inspection. If necessary, the Home Office will be consulted. Where doubt remains, the student will not be allowed to enrol.
14.7 Students who have overstayed their visa will not be permitted to enrol.
15.1 All international students on a Student route student visa must arrive at the University of Gloucestershire and enrol onto their course by the published enrolment deadline. This is normally two weeks after the first day of the course. Any student who does not complete enrolment by the published deadline will not be permitted to start/resume their course.
• New students will have their offer to study withdrawn and a report will be made to the Home Office which will cancel the sponsorship of their Student route visa. A new offer to study will only be given where the student has not yet travelled to the UK or where there are serious and compelling circumstances for non-enrolment.
• Continuing students will be deferred and eventually withdrawn from their course. A report will be made to the UK Home Office which
will suspend the sponsorship of the Student route visa. Students will only be permitted to resume studies at an appropriate point and when they satisfy the conditions of enrolment.
16.1 Both new and continuing students must have their passport and visa checked by a member of the International Student Services Team before they are given access to online enrolment. This check is repeated annually. During the initial check, a copy of these documents will be taken and attached to the student’s record. All Student route student passport and visas are to be scanned and saved electronically onto the corresponding screens on the university’s Student Records database. Important information such as numbers and expiry dates are then manually entered for reporting and monitoring purposes.
17.1 After the document check is completed and enrolment block has been removed, the student is now able to enrol online. All students must provide address, contact number and email address information for both their home country and the UK. The student is made aware that they must keep this information updated throughout the year. Failure to keep this information up to date may result in the student not receiving important communications from the university.
18.1 Student route students must continue to make satisfactory academic progress on the course. This will be monitored via the University’s attendance and engagement monitoring process. The University reserves the right to withdraw and revoke visa support from students who do not make satisfactory progress, or who breach the University’s attendance and engagement policy.
19.1 All students are required to complete a CAS Request Form and disclaimer before they are given visa support. This must be verified by the Visa and Immigration Officer before a CAS is generated.
19.2 Students can choose whether to make their extension application through the standard process via the UoG Visa Advice Service, at a PEO, or in their home country. Students are not permitted to submit an application inside the UK without using the UoG Visa Advice Service.
19.3 All students are required to attend a visa extension workshop to have their application checked by the Visa and Immigration Officer before a CAS is requested. Visa support will not be given where the Visa and Immigration Officer believes the application is likely to be refused. In this case, advice will be given to improve the application. If necessary, the student should return home and request visa support once his/her application is in order.
19.4 Where a student attends a PEO, appointment booking details must be given on the CAS Request Form. Students are required to present their new visa to the International Student Services Team within 10 days of the appointment date.
19.5 New visas will be copied for the student’s file and data added to the student record system (SITS). All documents and correspondence relating to the visa application will be held in the student’s file.
20.1 Student route students must adhere to the rules of the university and the Student Charter. The university will revoke visa sponsorship from students who contravene these rules. Any misrepresentation to the university on the part of the student, including use of fraudulent documents, will render the student ineligible for visa sponsorship with immediate effect.