International Visas

Applying for your visa

In order for you to study at the University of Lincoln, you may need to obtain a Tier 4 (general) student visa before entering into the UK. For your visa application to be successful it needs to be officially sponsored by the University of Lincoln. Official sponsorship is represented by a Confirmation of Acceptance of Study document (CAS).

The information below has been designed to help you understand the visa process and what action you will need to take.

Requesting a Confirmation of Acceptance of Study (CAS)

What is a CAS?

The CAS is an electronic document that will contain personal and course specific details. This document will be emailed to you within 3-5 working days after you have successfully requested a CAS. This document does not need to be submitted when you apply for your visa, you just need to copy the “CAS Number” into your visa application form.
You must read through the CAS and make sure it is correct. If any of the information is incorrect you must contact the University immediately. If you do not, the University will not be held responsible for any subsequent problems with your visa application.

How and when to Request a CAS

New Students

New students can request a CAS up to 4 months before the start of the course. Your CAS will not be sent to you until 3 months before the start of the course.

To request a CAS from the University you will need to:

  • Hold an unconditional offer from the University
  • Have at least paid your tuition fee deposit (your offer letter will inform you what deposit is required). If you are studying one of our pre-sessional courses (PEASS) you do not need to pay a deposit.
  • Complete the CAS request form for new students.

CAS Request Deadlines

  • If your course starts on 8th January 2018 and you are applying for your visa from outside of the UK the deadline is 1st December 2017
  • If your course starts on 8th January 2018 and you are applying for your visa from inside of the UK the deadline is 21st December 2017
  • If your course starts on 20th February 2018 and you are applying for your visa from outside of the UK the deadline is 22nd January 2018
  • If your course starts on 20th February 2018 and you are applying for your visa from inside of the UK the deadline is 12th February 2018

Continuing Students

Existing students can request a CAS up to 6 months before their current visa expires.

To request a CAS from the University you will need to:

  • Be currently enrolled on a full time programme
  • To currently hold a valid student visa
  • Have paid all outstanding fees from previous academic years
  • Have paid all outstanding fees for the current academic year or have a payment plan in place
  • Have been given an extension on your last hand in date which falls after your current visa expires
  • Complete the CAS request form for continuing students.

Making your Visa application

The Immigration rules are frequently amended and you need to ensure that you meet the requirements of the Immigration Rules which are in force on the date that you submit your application.
Before making a visa application, you will need to do the following:

  • Make sure you read and understand the GOV.UK's Tier 4 Policy Guidance. You can find GOV.UK's Tier 4 Policy Guidance Document here, along with links to the relevant application forms and guidance notes.
  • Make sure you meet all the requirements before you apply
  • Make sure you provide all the required evidence in the exact format required by GOV.UK, this is explained in the policy guidance and the application form
  • Make sure you complete all the sections in the form accurately
  • Make sure your application does not come under the general grounds for refusal.

You can find further information and guidance to help you by visiting the UKCISA website.

Credibility Interviews

As part of your visa application, you may be asked to attend a Credibility Interview. This is simply to ensure that students who come to the UK for their studies are here for genuine reasons.

If you are called for an interview, you may be asked questions on the following areas:

  • Your ability to speak English (even if you have met the IELTS score for your course).
  • Your knowledge of the course you are going to study:
    • Details about your course e.g. the modules you will be studying
    • Details about the qualification which your course leads to
    • Details about how you found the course/university you have applied for.
  • Your academic history:
    • Details of your previous study
    • Details of any study gaps you may have
    • Details about why you are returning to education now.
  • Your plans to return home after studies:
    • Details about what you are planning to do after you have completed your studies.
  • Your personal details:
    • Details about your family at home or in the UK
    • Details about who is supporting your studies
    • Details about what you plan to do with the qualification after the course.
  • Your finances. The Interviewing Officer may ask questions about your financial background. They may question where money has come from based on current wages, family background etc.

The interviews may take place face-to-face or by telephone or via a video link.

If you are asked to attend an interview, you must do so. If you do not attend without providing a reasonable explanation this will result in your visa application being rejected.

After you've received your visa

Once you have gained your student visa, you will need to arrive in Lincoln by the start date shown in your CAS. You must enrol as soon as possible after you arrive at the University.
In order to enrol, you will need to bring the following with you:

  • Your passport
  • Biometric ID card if you have one
  • The original documents listed in the ‘evidence’ section of your CAS
  • If you were not given a UK entry stamp in your passport on arrival at the airport - we will need to see a copy of your boarding pass or flight tickets
  • If you are a new student, arriving from outside of the UK, you will need to collect your biometric residence permit from the Post Office before being able to enrol.

You will not be able to enrol without the above documents

If you currently hold a visa with a different sponsor and are transferring to the University of Lincoln, you must make a new visa application before you can enrol. We will require proof that you have posted the application, although you can enrol before the application is processed.

Further information on arriving and enrolling at the University of Lincoln can be found on the international welcome week pages.

Help and Advice

If you would like any advice from the University of Lincoln’s Visa Advice Team, please email:

For current University of Lincoln students who require advice please visit the International Advice Service website.