Information you will need for your application

To apply for your Tier 4 student visa, you'll need to provide the following pieces of information.

Your Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) number is your unique reference number which you will need to include in your visa application. Your CAS will be emailed to you and is not required in paper copy. The CAS email will include:

  • your personal details
  • your qualifications
  • details of your course
  • our address
  • our sponsor licence number: NB0C74WCX

To get your CAS email you must have:

  • passed all your exams and sent us copies of your qualifications or transcripts
  • accepted an unconditional offer for a course at Cardiff University
  • paid your deposit (if applicable)
  • checked that all the information on your CAS email is correct.

Before you are sent your CAS, we will email you and ask you to check that all the details on your CAS are correct on the Online Applicant Service. Make sure the following are correct:

  • your personal details – for example, that your name is exactly as it appears on your passport
  • all your qualifications
  • details of the course that you are coming to study at Cardiff University
  • course duration
  • any tuition fee payment that you have made to the University is recorded.

Your CAS email must not be more than six months old when you apply for your student visa. If you use it after this date, your application will be refused.

If you haven't received your CAS

You will not be emailed your CAS until you have checked your CAS online. Take time to check your CAS carefully and make the corrections on the Online Applicant Service (SIMS online).

It takes time to change your CAS after it has been issued, and your visa application could be delayed or even rejected if your CAS is wrong.

If you require any changes, or have any questions at this stage, please contact the CAS team via email at

This must be completed online.

Application process for North Korean students

North Korean students cannot complete an application online, and would need to complete the following:

  • Application form VAF9 – PBA Migrant
  • PBS Appendix 8 (General) Student

To read the guidance notes and download these application forms, please visit the GOV.UK website.

For your Tier 4 student visa application you will need to submit your original transcripts, exam certificates and references showing that you have satisfied the entry requirements for your course at Cardiff University.

You must submit original qualification with your visa applications. Scanned copies, faxes or emails are not acceptable. These certificates, transcripts and references will be listed in the CAS email.

If any of the documents (for example, references, qualifications, transcripts and bank statements) you are submitting are not in English, then you must also include a fully certified translation by a professional translator..

You need to show that you have a certain amount of money to cover your tuition fees and living costs in order to get a Tier 4 student visa.

If you are coming to Cardiff for a postgraduate research or a taught postgraduate course in certain science, engineering or technology subjects in the areas listed by the Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS), you will need an ATAS certificate.

The ATAS certificate is issued by the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office and gives you security clearance to study certain subject areas, where the knowledge gained may have application in the development of weapons of mass destruction.

If your course requires an ATAS clearance certificate, it will be stated in your offer email and your CAS email from us. Check the Foreign and Commonwealth Office website for a list of courses, which are identified as ATAS applicable.

If you need an ATAS certificate, you must have your ATAS clearance certificate before you apply for your Tier 4 student visa. It can take two months to get this, so you must apply early.

Important changes to UK Immigration Rules

ATAS clearance

The Home Office guidance has been updated with effect from the 6 July 2018 to reflect recent changes to the Immigration Rules. From this date there will be a requirement for those studying courses with a relevant JACS code to obtain Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) clearance regardless of the length of course. Previously this applied only to courses of longer than 6 months. The ATAS certificate is issued by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), and gives you security clearance to study certain subject areas.

This means that Tier 4 (General) applicants applying from 6 July 2018 will need to obtain this clearance prior to making the Tier 4 application (either as entry clearance or leave to remain).

ATAS clearance will also now be required for those coming to the UK under the short-term student route in order to study relevant courses for up to six months. This will affect those on relevant courses who come to the UK using this route to undertake a course, research or research tuition, an elective, a viva, a re-sit exam, a re-take module or part of a course under the distance-learning provision.

If your course leads to a qualification at Master's or Doctorate level, or a postgraduate qualification abroad, please contact us if you are not sure whether you need an Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) clearance certificate for the course. In most cases this information will be in your offer letter but if in doubt please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Residents from some countries are required to obtain a certificate confirming they are free from infectious TB before applying for a visa. For more information see our vaccinations and health checks page.

You will need to send your passport with your student visa application. Please check that it is valid on the date you intend to travel to the UK.

You'll need two passport-sized colour photographs, not more than one month old. The photos you provide with the application must be in a specific format.

If they aren't, your visa application will be rejected by the immigration officials and you will need to submit a second visa application.

The visa application fee is £348. It is non-refundable, and must normally be paid online at the time you submit your application in the currency of the country where you are applying.

Information on Short-Term Study Visas (STSV).

As part of your visa application, you will need to visit the British Embassy or visa application centre to have your fingerprints and photograph taken.

The immigration health surcharge is a financial contribution to the UK's National Health Service (NHS). Find out more about this on our medical insurance page.

Visa processing times

It can take up to two months to get your visa. The time it takes will depend on the visa application centre you apply to and the amount of information and documents you need to obtain to submit with your visa application.