Your Guide to Applying for a Tier 4 Visa Online

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Outlined below is the guide to making an online application for a Tier 4 (General) Student Visa via the Visa4UK website. Please bear in mind to answer all the questions carefully and as accurately as possible according to your own particulars and where appropriate. The instructions in this guide are for the student; should you be bringing any dependents to the UK, please speak to your advisor regarding their visa application(s).


For any questions or concerns about the form, please refer to the Visa Guidelines pack supplied by your advisor and the UK government website. Additionally, you may contact your advisor for further concerns.


You must not submit your visa application any earlier than 90 days before your programme start date. Should you do so, your application will automatically be rejected and you will have to resubmit and pay the fees again.


Let's begin!


  1. Go to www.visa4uk.fco.gov.uk/home/welcome

    Click 'Register an Account'.

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2. The next screen asks you to enter your personal details. Ensure your name is exactly as it appears on your passport, including your middle name if you have one. 

Your password must contain an upper-case character, a lower-case character, a number and be a minimum of 8 characters. Once you've checked all details are accurate and have created your password, click 'Register'. 

You should see the following page. 

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3. Check your email for instructions to unlock and access your new account. 

Click on the link in the email, and proceed to log in with your email address and password.

4. Upon login, you will be directed to the 'My applications' screen. Here, click 'Apply for Myself'.  

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You will see one more confirmation screen. It will contain instructions and links for your reference, after which you may begin your application by clicking 'Continue'.


5. On the next screen, enter your Passport Number and Date of Intended Travel. Ensure you arrive in time for Orientation Week or any other UK travelling you plan to do before your course start date.
Note: Date of Intended Travel should be no earlier than 30 days before the start date of your course. 

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* Your visa will be valid either 7 days before your listed date or 30 days before your course start date, whichever is later. If you are unsure, it is better to choose an earlier date for flexibility.

Below, you will be asked to enter your visa type. Check that it matches the screenshot below: 

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After checking the details provided are correct, click 'Create Application'. This will create your application and bring you back to the 'My applications' screen.


6. Click on 'Go To Application' to proceed. 

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7. This is your visa application. 

You may leave the page at any time by clicking 'Save & Exit'; this allows you to log back in later and continue your application. Save your work often by clicking the 'Save' button, as you will be logged out automatically after several minutes of inactivity. Please ensure all of the information supplied is accurate and does not conflict with your passport details.     
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For 'Issuing Authority', you may enter the abbreviated form of the authority, as there usually isn't enough space provided. If this is not your first passport, you will need to list your previous passport number(s).

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Under Travel Information, fill out the questionaire as is fitting:

a.    Are you travelling with anyone?

Yes: If you are bringing dependednts with you

No: If you are travelling alone or with a friend/parent who is travelling with you to drop you off or accompany you, but will not stay throughout your studies.

b.    How long do you intend to stay in the UK?

This is usually the duration of your programme, in addition to a one-month cushion before and after your study programme. In the example below, the student is on a 12-month Master programme, 14 months is therefore an appropriate length.

c.    What is the main address…?

You may enter the exact address of your UK accomodation if you have it already. If not, enter the address and contact of your university. If you are still hesistant, please contact your advisor for help.

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Click 'Next Section' to move on to the next component. 


8. The next screen involves the confirmation of your address as well as other questionaires. If your mailing address is different from your home address, you may also list it. 

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Scroll down to answer questions about your travel history and criminal record. You must answer honestly, accurately, and thoroughly – past history and records will not necessarily prevent your entry, but lying about it will.

If applicable, fill in any details of travel in the last 10 years. Especially if any visa was issued, be sure to include the dates and purpose of travel. Have these details onhand for easy reference. You may also select a prefered language to be interviewed in.

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9. The next screen asks for your marital status, as well as your family information. This may be your spouse/partner, children, and/or parent(s). Ensure the details entered match their passport and/or their other official identification documents.  


10. The next screen is a questionaire about your medical history in the UK, if any. Answer as it is relevant to you. 


11. To complete the 'Sponsor' and 'Studies' section, refer to your Confirmation of Acceptance (CAS) document, which you should have received from your university. Please only fill in this portion once you have your CAS document. Contact your advisor if you are hesitant.

'Sponsor': Your university
'License number': This is listed on your CAS document.
'Full address': Enter the university's postcode and click 'Find Address'. This will autofill the appropriate spaces.
'Assessed by other means': This is usually 'No' unless your CAS specifically lists other means of assessment i.e. a portfolio, film reel, audition, etc.
'Minimum English language requirement': This is your IELTS or equivalent document. Check with your advisor if you are uncertain which answer applies to you.

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Scroll down to fill in details regarding your funding source for both your course and maintenance fees. 'Maintenance' refers to all living expenses outside of your tuition fees. This covers accomodation, food, supplies, etc. The Home Office has a minimum requirement of 9 months worth of maintenance funds:

a.    Within Central London: £1,265/month (£11,385 – 9 months)

b.    Outside Central London/anywhere else in UK: £1,015/month (£9,135 – 9 months)

Note: Universities within Central London include all HEIs in the City of London, Greater London (excluding the Inner Temple and the Middle Temple), the county of Essex, Hertfordshire, and Surrey.

If you have paid a deposit or a portion of your tuition or accomodation fees to your university, you may select 'Yes – Paid to UK Education Provider' and enter the amount. For 'evidence of payment', select 'Shown in the CAS' as it should be stated. If you have paid a deposit but it is not stated in your CAS, please contact your advisor.

If you have not, select 'No'. It will not in any way affect your application except for the level of maintenance funds you need show in your bank account.

Note: The maximum accomodation deposit claimable is £1,265 so it is advisable not to pay in more than that before submitting your visa application, as any higher amount will require documentation.

If you are receiving support from a financial sponsor, check 'Yes', and check with your advisor on how to enter the details. If you are self-funded, check 'No'. 

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This next portion is to be answered based on your previous responses – check 'Yes' if you have remaining fees outstanding. Our sample applicant is studying outside Central London and has paid £2,000 tuition deposit and £1,265 accomodation deposit. The outstanding amount (£40,000 tuition fees, £7,870 maintenance) should be entered in the boxes as shown below. The sum is the level of maintenance funds you will need to show as available in your bank account. 

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Next, provide details of your access to these maintenance funds. If you are using your own savings, a loan, or scholarship, or the bank account is in your name (either fully or partially), select 'Yes'. If your parents are fully funding your studies, select 'No'. List the type of document(s) you will be supplying as evidence. Check the Visa Guidance pack on the appropriate document applicable to you.

Next, fill out the Points Claimed exactly as below:

-       CAS 30 points

-       Maintenance 10 points

-       Total 40 points

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12. This page asks if there is any additional information you wish to be considered along with your application. If this is not applicable to you, you should leave this blank. To complete your application, click 'Confirm Application'.

Then you will be directed to a summary of the information you’ve supplied thus far. Make sure everything is accurate and complete before clicking 'Submit'. If you are still hesitant about the details provided, click 'Return to Application' to make changes. 

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13. Once you click 'Submit', you will be directed to the 'My applications' page. 

The next step is to electronically sign a declaration to confirm that everything you've entered is correct. By clicking on 'Sign Declaration', a pop-up screen with the declaration will appear.

Enter your name and click 'Sign Declaration'. 

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14. To book your BRP collection, click on 'BRP Collection Location'.

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This will usually be your university Student Services office or a post office near it. Click 'Confirm' and then 'Save and Close' to return to the 'My applications' screen. 

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15. The next step is to book an appointment at a local visa center to provide your fingerprints, photos, and original documents for review. Click on 'Book Appointment'.

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First, select your location – this is usually preselected since there is usually only one visa center in the region. There are three types of visa appointment: Standard, Premium Lounge, and Primetime. Premium and Primetime incur extra charges due to priority service.

Pick a date and time you are certainly able to meet the appointment, because rescheduling can be complicated. 

Lastly, you will see a confirmation screen. Click 'Next' to complete. Then, there will be an option to continue with paying IHS charges now by clicking 'Continue', or later by clicking 'Cancel'.

From the 'My Applications' screen, you may view, update, cancel, or print your appointment details.

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16. The next steps are to pay IHS charges and fees for submitting your application. To pay IHS charges, click on 'Pay for IHS' and you will be directed to the IHS government page. 

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Follow the instructions onscreen and have your course details onhand. 

Upon completing some course details, you will be directed to a payment summary page where you make payment by clicking 'Pay now' and following the onscreen instructions.


17. After completing IHS charges, you will need to pay for submitting the application. Click 'Pay for Application' and follow the payment instructions onscreen.


18. The 'Register at Commercial Partner' is an optional component depending on which country you are applying from. Check with your advisor if you are hesitant about this segment.

19. Lastly, click 'Print Application'. You will need a printout of your application for mailing purposes, your biometrics, as well as for your own records.


And you're done! Less than 20 steps! Update your advisor once you've completed your application. If you have any further questions on applying for your Tier 4 Visa, or you need any more help with applying, contact Team AppUK on info@applicationuk.com.


ApplicationUK's easy-to-use online application portal provides a simple solution to postgraduate application stress. With its smart digital self-assessment tool, personalised application plan, and application tracking system, you can be rest assured that your application will go through smoothly. Our experienced counsellors are also here to provide expert advice, reassurance, and continuous support.

 

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Cover photo credit: https://www.royalholloway.ac.uk/international/support/studentsupportservices/immigration-and-visas/applyingoutsideuk.aspx