Apply for your visa

UK Visas & Immigration is the part of the UK Government that manages the visa process. You can apply for your student visa once you have an unconditional offer and a CAS Statement issued by the University of Liverpool.

About the visa process

From 5 October 2020, the Student route under the UK’s new points based system will replace the Tier 4 visa system. All students applying through the new Student route will need to demonstrate they meet the required 70 points. They will achieve the required points if they can demonstrate that they have an offer from an approved educational institution, speak English and are able to support themselves during their studies in the UK.  More details are available from the Government website.

From January 2021, European Economic Area (EEA) students will need to apply through the Student route, ahead of arriving in the UK. This includes those who begin their course in autumn 2020 but are beginning study online, outside the UK. EEA students resident in the UK on or before 31 December 2020 should not apply through this route. They, and their family, are eligible to apply for the EU Settlement Scheme and have until 30 June 2021 to do so. View further guidance for EEA students.


  • You must provide proof of having enough funds to cover course fees for the first year of study


  • You must have a specific amount of money to prove to UK Visas & Immigration that you can afford living expenses, for the first year of your studies, this is also also known as 'maintenance' (please see below for specific amounts of maintenance/funds required).

For UK courses in all areas of the UK outside of London, in addition to proving you have funds to cover your full course fees for the first year of your studies, UK Visas & Immigration also require you to prove that you have an additional £9,135 to cover your living costs for a period of nine months.

The University of Liverpool is not involved in this part of your visa application and you should direct any queries about funds to UK Visas & Immigration directly.

Tier 4 Visa Pilot Scheme

The University of Liverpool is pleased to have been selected by the Home Office  to take part in an extension to a pilot scheme which provides one-year master's students with the opportunity to benefit from a streamlined visa application process, and six months extra time on their visa to look for work. This pilot scheme will apply to visa applications for entry 2020/21. and is an attractive offer for eligible international applicants.

One of the key features of the scheme means that eligible international master's students will be granted six months leave after your course end date which will be helpful if you would like to stay on in the UK to look for work.

Another benefit of the pilot scheme is that you are not required to submit financial or academic qualification documentation with your visa application.

Although under the pilot scheme students do not have to submit financial and academic documentation to UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI), you are still required to meet the Tier 4 requirements and Immigration Rules, including the requirement to maintain funds for 28 days when you submit your online application.

Documentation may be required for a spot-check. If you are asked for your documents and you cannot provide them your application will be refused. You can find further information in Annex 6 of the Tier 4 policy guidance on the Government website

Students are eligible for the pilot scheme if you are applying for a Tier 4 visa to start a one-year taught master's degree at the University of Liverpool (only programmes of 13 months or less excluding pre-sessional courses), and you apply for entry clearance from overseas, or from within the UK following successful completion of an undergraduate or previous postgraduate degree.

Students on the pilot scheme will also still need to submit an Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) certificate (if required) and a Tuberculosis (TB) screening certificate if the course you are applying for or the country you live in requires these additional clearances.

Further information and FAQs on the Tier 4 visa pilot scheme can be found in our applying section.

Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS)

To apply for your visa, you must first have a Confirmation of Acceptance Study (CAS). This CAS can only be issued by a Tier 4 sponsor, usually an educational institution with a Tier 4 license, such as the University of Liverpool.

Your CAS is a unique reference number which links you to the University. It confirms that we have accepted you on to a relevant course and includes all the details that UK Visas & Immigration has asked universities to provide (including a unique ID number).

For undergraduate students, we will send you your CAS statement when:

  • you have firmly accepted our offer of a place; AND
  • you have met any academic and non-academic conditions of the offer (which means your UCAS status is Unconditional Firm at Liverpool and we have received evidence of your qualifications). 

For postgraduate students, we will send you your CAS statement when:

  • you have firmly accepted an unconditional offer of a place; AND
  • you have met any academic and non-academic conditions of the offer and we have received evidence of your qualifications; AND
  • you have paid a tuition fee deposit of £1000.

Please note, we will accept copies of academic documents during the application process as evidence of your qualifications. However, the orignal documents must be presented when you register at the university in September. We are directed by UK Visas & Immigration to request this evidence; you will not be able to complete the registration process until you have presented your original academic documents.

The earliest a CAS statement can be issued is three months prior to the start date of your programme of study which means we will only send CAS statements out from June 2020 onwards, even if you firmly accept your unconditional offer earlier. If you are applying for a place as a postgraduate research student and your programme starts before September, we will issue you a CAS statement as soon as you have accepted an unconditional offer and we have all the evidence of your qualifications.

We will contact you by email if we need to discuss anything with you. Please make sure that you have provided your current email address and that you check it regularly. Please also ensure that you send us proof of your qualifications as soon as you have them, so there is no delay in the production of your CAS statement.

Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS)

The Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) is a UK Government verification process for international students. ATAS is compulsory for ALL international (non-EU) offer holders who are applying for a programme that requires ATAS clearance. 

View more information on ATAS.

Further advice and information

Staff in International Advice and Guidance (IAG) at the University are qualified to provide information and advice about immigration and visa procedures and you may find it useful to look at the IAG webpages for contact details and further information about applying for your visa.