Visas & Coming to the UK

Students who are not Swiss Nationals or are from countries outside the EU and EEA will need to apply for a student visa.

(If you are from the EU, EEA, or a Swiss National you can come to the UK without a visa. You will need to show a valid passport or national identity card at the airport.)

Getting a visa can take up to six months. Before applying you’ll need to have passed an English language exam.

What Else Do I Need?

You’ll need your Confirmation of Acceptance of Studies (CAS), which we send once your application has been approved and you’ve paid the deposit for your course.

As well as your CAS, you’ll need to prove that you have enough money to live on in your first year. We advise a minimum of £800 per month to cover the cost of your accommodation, travel, and other general expenses.

This plus any remaining tuition fees need to be held in your personal bank account for at least 28 consecutive days. Parents’ accounts may be acceptable for 16 or 17 year old applicants.

You should also have a valid passport and two recent passport-sized photographs.

Student Visitor Visa

You will need to reassure the Entry Clearance Officer that your application is genuine, that you have sufficient finances and that you have reason to return to your country after your course has finished. 

Tier 4 Visas

When making your visa application, you must pick the right form depending on your route (Child or General). Incomplete and incorrectly filled forms will result in a rejection so please ask us if you are uncertain about anything.

In your visa application you will need to include your passport, academic results (originals unless specified), financial documents and any other supporting evidence. These will be checked for authenticity. Please allow sufficient time to make your application as these can take up to one month to process during busy periods.

Students from some countries are required to attend an interview as part of the visa process. This is to check that they know about the College, their study programme and their plans. Please ask us for some sample questions if this applies to you.

Fund Checks

For a Tier 4 student visa you will need to email us copies of the documents you will use to show proof of funding. This is the most common reason for visa rejections, so for your own reassurance as well as ours we need to check that these meet the requirements.

You will need to show that you have an authentic bank account with enough funding for the remaining tuition fees for the first year of your course (minus any deposit already paid), plus living costs at £800 GBP per month, rounded up to the next month, for a maximum of nine months.

For example, if your course is nine months and two weeks, you have paid a £2000 deposit already, and your fees are £6000, then you need to show further funding for £11200 (£7200+£6000-£2000) (or local currency equivalent).

This must be cleared in your account for 28 days before making your visa application. The money can be held in any currency; please check the exchange rate used for visa purposes

Please provide some extra to allow for currency fluctuations.

For 16 and 17-year-olds applying through the Tier 4 Child route, the money can also be held in a parent’s account (not siblings, uncles or other relatives). You must supply evidence that the person is your parent and that you have permission from them to use that money for your overseas study.

When You Receive Your Visa

You must tell us when you have received your visa (or otherwise), and let us know of your travel arrangements. We can help with your airport transfers if you would like us to.

Finding More Information

Most international students requiring a visa need to apply under Tier 4 of the Points Based System (PBS). Please see www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk for more information. You can also ask your local representative of Gloucestershire College or your local branch of the British Council.

What Happens if You Don't Get Your Visa?

In the event that you fail to receive your visa and show us proof of this, the deposit is refundable minus £200.

We will retain £1000 of the deposit if you fail to receive your visa due to submitting fraudulent documents or unsuitable financial statements, including those which show insufficient funding.

At the Airport

EU and EEA students will need their passport or identity card ready for checking at immigration control.

Non EA/EEA students should have their passport, visa, letter of acceptance or CAS letter from GC, proof of financial support and accommodation details ready to be checked at immigration control.

After passing through immigration control you will be able to collect your luggage from the baggage collection area.

You may need to declare that you are bringing certain items into the country when passing through customs. Please download the international guide for further information.