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Frequently asked questions

Am I eligible for a Tier 4 General Student visa to study at Sheffield Hallam?

In order to be eligible for a Tier 4 General Student visa, you will need to have

  • Enough money (10 points)
    • You must show the balance of your one year's tuition fees plus £9,135 for living expenses in Sheffield.
    • If your course is less than nine months, you need to show the balance of your tuition fees plus £1,015 per month for your living costs.
    • If you are self-funding you will need to prove you held this amount in your bank account every day for 28 days prior to making your visa application.
    • If you are officially sponsored for all your costs, you will only require an original sponsor letter instead of bank statements. An official financial sponsor includes Her Majesty's Government, the student's home government, the British Council or any international organisation, international company, university or UK independent school.
    • It is possible to show your parents' bank statements instead of your own to meet the funding requirements. However you will also need to show your original birth certificate and a letter of consent from your parents. Please see UKCISA for further information.
  • A Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) (30 points)
  • Original supporting documents (e.g. degree certificate) as listed on your CAS
  • Evidence of your English language ability
    • Check your CAS – if it lists either your IELTS certificate or SELT (Secure English Language Test) result then provide the original certificate. There are some exemptions to the need to show your English language ability, so if your CAS does not list your English qualification then you may not need to submit it.
  • A valid passport
  • Some courses require an ATAS certificate – please see below
  • Other documents (e.g. photos, payment) as specified by your Embassy or Visa Application Centre

How do I apply for a Tier 4 General Student visa?

For information on how to apply, please visit the UK Government Tier 4 (General) visa website.

Can I bring my dependants?

Your dependants can apply for immigration permission to join or remain with you only if:

  1. You are a government–sponsored student and your course is more than six months long, OR
  2. You are doing a postgraduate level course of 12 months or more at a Higher Education Institution

What is a CAS?

Your details will be uploaded to the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) database and you will receive a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) which includes a reference number. You will need this number to apply for your visa.

The CAS will be sent to you after you have fulfilled the conditions of your offer and paid the required deposit towards your tuition fees. Your visa will be tied to the institution that issued you the CAS.

What is the Sponsor Licence Number?

The sponsor licence number is a reference which indicates which University you are coming to study at.

The sponsor licence number for Sheffield Hallam University is G5N8YGW40.

I applied to another university and have a Tier 4 student visa to study there. Can I come to Sheffield Hallam University instead?

You may experience problems at immigration control when you try to gain entry to the UK if the sponsor licence number or CAS number on your Tier 4 student visa does not match the university you wish to study at.

We cannot enrol you at Sheffield Hallam University if your visa is attached to a different university. Therefore we recommend you make a fresh Tier 4 student visa application in your home country with your CAS from Sheffield Hallam University before you travel here.

I am already in the UK on a Tier 4 visa for a different university. Can I study at Sheffield Hallam University?

Yes, in most cases, but you will need to apply for a new visa before we can enrol you onto your course. Your visa must have the Sheffield Hallam University Sponsor Licence Number on it. We will help you apply for a visa before enrolment, or advise on the action you need to take.

If your current visa ends before your course at Sheffield Hallam starts, there can only be a maximum gap of 28 days between your visa end date and course start date.

Also you must have successfully completed the course for which your previous visa was granted. If not you must apply for your visa application from your home country.

If you are not sure whether your visa is valid for Sheffield Hallam University, please email: internationalexperience@shu.ac.uk for more advice. If you know you will need to change your visa, call our reception on 0114 225 3813 to book an appointment as soon as possible.

Do I need an ATAS certificate?

If you are applying for a postgraduate or research course you may need to obtain an Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) certificate before applying for UK entry clearance. If you do need this, it will be stated at the end of your offer letter.

To check if you need one and to apply, please visit the Foreign and Commonwealth Office website.

What are the timescales involved in applying for a visa?

You can apply for a visa a maximum of three months before the start of your course. Remember that if you are self–funding you will need evidence that you have sufficient funds to cover living expenses and tuition fees for 28 days prior to application.

We strongly recommend you apply for your visa as soon as you can. This is because it will give you plenty of time to solve any problems you may have during the application process. It can take between a few weeks to a few months to get your visa application processed, depending on where you are applying and how busy your visa application centre is. You will need to check the timescales with your visa application centre before you apply.

If you have applied for a Tier 4 (General) student visa and you have not received a decision after six weeks, please email internationalexperience@shu.ac.uk for assistance. You will need to provide your full name, date of birth, the application submission date and the application reference number.

I am a national of a country in the European Economic Area (EEA) – do I need a visa to study in the UK?

If you are a national of the EEA you do not need a visa to study in the UK. A list of EEA countries is available on the UK Visas and Immigration website. Further advice for EEA nationals can be found on the UKCISA website.

I am coming to study a pre–sessional English language course, followed by a longer course – which visa should I apply for?

If you have an unconditional offer for a pre–sessional course and a conditional offer for a subsequent course you will need to apply for a Tier 4 general student visa. The University can offer you a joint CAS which means that your visa will cover the length of your pre–sessional course and also your main course, providing you pass the pre–sessional course successfully, and the duration of the pre-sessional course is no more than 12 weeks.

If you obtain a Short-term study visa you will not be able to switch to a Tier 4 student visa while you are in the UK. You will have to return home and apply for a Tier 4 general student visa from your home country. Usually the gap between the end of the pre–sessional course and the longer course is quite short, there is not much time to return home and apply for a visa, so it is much better to apply for a Tier 4 General student visa from the start.

Can I study part-time?

As of 11 January 2018 students can study part-time courses leading to a qualification at postgraduate level. However if you enter the UK with this visa you will not be permitted to work (this also means courses that include a work placement); you cannot bring dependants; you cannot extend the visa; you must pay the full immigration health surcharge for the duration of the visa and you must show the full maintenance requirements as relevant to the Tier 4 General student rules. You will also be subject to monitoring, reporting and other Tier 4 sponsor duties. The study limit will also apply.

How long will my Tier 4 general student visa be?

Your visa should be issued for the duration of your course plus some additional time at the end of your course. This varies depending on the course level and duration.

Can I work in the UK on a Tier 4 general student visa?

Yes – if you are studying at Sheffield Hallam at degree level or above (including Sheffield Hallam foundation degrees) you can work 20 hours per week during term time and full–time during vacations.

If you are studying below degree level you can work 10 hours per week during term time and full–time during vacations.

Always check what the visa in your passport says as this will confirm what hours you are eligible to work.

Can I get a work visa after I finish my studies?

After you graduate, you may be able to stay on in the UK to find work. In order to do so you will need a specific type of work visa. Sheffield Hallam University international experience advisers offer workshops to give you further information about the types of visas available.

You can read more about these visas on the UKVI website and on the UKCISA website.

What will UK Border Control be like at the airport?

As a student looking forward to beginning your studies in the UK you will now start preparing for your journey. As part of your preparation we want to make sure you have everything you need to get through the UK border as securely and quickly as possible. The following advice explains some of things you can do to help with this.

  1. Make a note of a suitable UK contact including full name, address and a phone number which will be required when you complete your landing card.
  2. Ensure you complete your landing card before you meet the Border Force officer in the UK.
  3. If you carry your passport in a protective wallet, please take it out before you present it to a Border Force officer.
  4. Never give false or misleading information (including forged or counterfeit documents) to a Border Force officer.
  5. Have your Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) letter and medical card (if you have one) in your hand luggage that you carry with you on to the aircraft. If you don't have a CAS letter, please bring thorough details of your course of study.
  6. There are restrictions on food products that you can bring to the UK from outside the European Union, even for personal use. Restrictions apply to products made from meat, dairy, fish, eggs and honey, as well as some fruit, vegetables and plants (e.g. bulbs, seeds, cut flowers and tree bark).
  7. There are also restrictions on the amount of goods such as tobacco, alcohol and gifts you can bring into the UK. If you exceed your allowances all of your goods can be taken away from you.
  8. Never bring in counterfeit goods, illegal drugs, firearms (including realistic imitations), offensive weapons (including knives) or indecent or obscene material.
  9. You must declare any sums of cash of –10,000GBP or more (or the equivalent in another currency) if you are travelling from a country outside the European Union.
  10. Make sure you are familiar with the conditions of your visa including the number of hours you are allowed to work.

If you would like further information on any of the above please check the UK Visas and Immigration website for more information.

If you have any pre–arrival questions you can email us at internationalexperience@shu.ac.uk and an adviser will respond to you.

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