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
Student visas are usually issued under the Tier 4 visa system. There are two main requirements for students wishing to enter the UK to study at a UK university. These relate to funding and your Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies.
You will find full information and policy guidance on the Tier 4 visa application process - including eligibility, how to apply, application fees and timescales - on this page of the UK Visas & Immigration website.
- 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.
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.