Immigration & Visas

You can check if you need a Tier 4 visa on the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) website. If you need a visa before you start your studies with us, please read the following information carefully. If there is anything you don’t understand please contact the Admissions team at [email protected].

The information provided below is given in good faith and has been carefully checked. However, Trinity Laban accepts no legal responsibility for its accuracy. UK Visas and Immigration regulations are revised regularly and you must refer to the latest Tier 4 Policy Guidance available on the UKVI website. 

Read more:

Can Trinity Laban sponsor me for a visa?

Yes. Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance is licensed to sponsor students for Tier 4 student visas.

What sort of visa do I need?

If you are not a European Economic Area (EEA) or Swiss citizen, you may need a visa to study in the UK. The type of visa you need to apply for will depend on the length of the course you are intending to study. In most cases, you will need a Tier 4 (General) Student Visa (Points Based System). You can check if you need a visa.

The Home Office's UK Visas and Immigration Department (UKVI) regularly makes changes to its immigration guidance and you are advised to check the latest advice on gov.uk before submitting any application.

How do I get my Tier 4 (General) Student Visa?

You can find details of the application process on UKCISA website. Please note that Trinity Laban is unable to send your application to the Home Office on your behalf.

1. Apply for your CAS number

If you have been offered a conditional or unconditional guaranteed place, the Admissions Team will contact you at the end of May to initiate the application process. You need to have an unconditional offer before we can progress with your application. Please note that you can only apply for your visa three months before the start of your programme.

You will be requested to complete a questionnaire with the information needed to raise your CAS (Confirmation of Acceptance of Studies).

You will also be required to provide additional documentation and information, including the following:

  • A copy of your passport details page
  • A copy of your Academic Qualifications
  • A copy of your English Language Qualifications (if required)

A certified translation if the original documents are not in English. 

Please note: We cannot issue you with a CAS number until you have met all of the entry requirements for your programme and your offer is unconditional. We may request additional documentation to ensure that you will meet the UKVI requirements. 

2. Apply for your visa 

Once you have your CAS number you will be able to apply for your visa.  Please note that it may take up to 15 days to issue your CAS, once we have all the documentation we require.

To begin your application you should visit the UKVI website, which will take you through the process. 

3. Supporting Documentation

The UKVI will ask for certain original documents to support your application. You will need to provide the following in order to make a successful application:

  • Evidence of Money (2017-18 Entry) 

You must prove that you are able to pay for your studies and your living costs without being employed in the UK. You will need to show that you have enough money to cover the course fees and living costs. The amount required for maintenance is £1,265 for each month of your course, up to a maximum of 9 months. 

You must show evidence that:

  • you have paid all or part of your course fees and up to £1,265 towards accommodation fees to Trinity Laban; and/or
  • you have enough money to cover your remaining course fees and living costs, if any; and/or
  • you are receiving official financial sponsorship

The maximum amount to be deducted on your CAS for accommodation is £1,265; even if you have paid more than that amount in advance for accommodation.

Important: In most cases where students have their visa application refused, it is because there was a problem with their proof of finances. It is really important that you understand all the rules regarding maintenance funds. Your bank statements, if required as part of your application, need to show that the money has been in your account for at least 28 days prior to your application. Your account balance cannot drop below this amount for even one day!

The UKVI has strict rules about what types of documents are acceptable as proof of money and from which institutions. You must always check your documents against the latest version of the Home Office Tier 4 Policy Guidance.

  • English Language Qualifications

You may need to provide proof of your English language ability (if it is not your first language).

If you are studying at degree level or above (e.g. BACD, BMus, you will need to attain a minimum level of IELTS 5.5 in all four areas of testing (reading, writing, speaking and listening) in order to meet the basic requirements for a Tier 4 (General) Student Visa. A minimum of IELTS 4.0 is required if you are studying below degree level (e.g. ISP Foundation) However, your programme of study at Trinity Laban may require higher results. Please note that, if you require an English test, the UKVI will only accept IELTS results taken at an approved centre.

  • Academic Qualifications

You will need to provide the original academic qualifications (transcripts, degree certificates) that were used to gain your unconditional place at Trinity Laban. Please note that photocopies are not acceptable. If your documents are not in English, you will need to have them translated and certified by an official.

  • Credibility Interviews

Depending on the country you are applying from, you may be required to attend an interview to verify certain parts of your application. These interviews are usually quite short and you will often be required to provide original copies of your supporting documentation and your passport.

How long will it take to get my visa?

The length of time for a visa  application varies from country to country. You can find out more information about this on gov.uk.

We advise that you begin the process of application as soon as you are able but please note that a CAS can only be issued six months before the start of a programme and you can only apply for a visa three months before the programme starts.

What will my visa look like?

You will receive a letter from the UKVI and a sticker or vignette in your passport, which is valid for 30 days, to travel to the UK. Once you’ve arrived you will need to collect your Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) at the Post Office indicated in your letter within 10 days of your arrival. We can help you with this upon arrival if you have any concerns.

Your Tier 4 visa will cover the full length of your programme plus an additional period after the end date:

  • if your course is more than 6 months, but less than 12 months - two months after the end of the course
  • if your course is 12 months or more - four months after the end of the course 

If you decide to extend your studies, you can apply for a visa extension. If, for any reason, you have to interrupt your studies, you will normally need to leave the UK and apply for a new visa when you are ready to resume your programme.

If you’ve applied for a Short-Term Study visa you will receive a sticker or vignette in your passport. This will usually be valid for a period of up to six months and cannot be extended. Non-visa nationals can apply when entering the UK and should request a stamp as a short-term student (not a visitor visa). There is no charge for this application and they will only be required to show the relevant documentation.

Applying for a visa from inside the UK

If you want to extend your programme or study for a new course in the UK you can apply for an extension of your visa

Once UKVI has received your visa application, you will be invited to attend an appointment to give your biometric details before your visa can be approved and issued. There is also a healthcare surcharge to be paid on application.

UKVI aims to process all visa applications submitted in the UK within eight weeks. You should not make plans to travel overseas during this time.

What if my application for a visa is unsuccessful?

If you are refused a visa, you should contact [email protected] immediately, with full details of the reasons for refusal and a copy of the letter from the Entry Clearance Officer.

In most cases (unless UKVI has made a mistake) you will need to make another application (and pay the fee and healthcare surcharge again) and make certain that you have addressed the problems which led to your first application being refused. Trinity Laban reserves the right to not issue a further CAS number unless we are satisfied that the problem has been addressed and that a subsequent application is likely to be successful.

You can find more information in the UKVI’s policy guidance for Tier 4 applications on the UKVI website. As the policy guidance can be complicated to understand, you may find the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) website a helpful source of information.

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