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Visa information for pre-sessional students


Please read the following information carefully. Remember that the process of extending your visa in the UK is different from applying for a visa (Entry Clearance) in your home country. The rules are extremely strict and your visa will be refused if you do not bring all the correct documents with you to the UK.

When I finish my pre-sessional course, how do I extend my visa in the UK?

You will probably come to the UK with a Tier 4 student visa for your pre-sessional course only. You will need to extend your visa in order to be able to continue to study at Cardiff University on your degree course.
You will already have a visa with Cardiff University named as your Tier 4 sponsor and, if you are staying with us for your degree, you will be able to submit your visa application and enrol on your new course without having to wait until you have received your new visa. This is important as the application process can take around 2 months.

Can I get help to extend my student visa?

Yes, you can submit your application through the University’s International Student Support service. We will help you prepare your application during your pre-sessional course and we submit it for you when ready. Our International Student Advisers will come to one of your pre-sessional classes to explain the process.

What documents do I need to bring with me from home?

You must bring your ORIGINAL degree certificate or your ORIGINAL transcript of results that you had to show to receive a conditional offer onto a degree course at Cardiff University.  This qualification will be listed on your CAS. If you have both a degree certificate and a graduation certificate then you only need the degree certificate. If these certificates are not in English, you MUST have them officially translated. This must be a fully certified translation by a professionally qualified translator or translation company and must include:

  • The full name of the translator
  • Details of the translator/translation company’s credentials
  • Confirmation that it is an accurate translation of the original document
  • The translator/translation company’s contact details
  • The date of the translation
  • The original signature of the translator or an authorised official of the translation company

You can have your documents translated to this standard in the UK. If your University or College has given you a copy of your degree in English, this must be on their official letter-headed paper. This is very important because if it only has the University stamp and no other identifying details of your University, it will not be accepted.

Remember; in order to get a visa for your degree course here at Cardiff you have to provide ORIGINAL certificates as proof of your previous qualifications to the Home Office, even though you may have already provided copies of them for Cardiff University.

How much money will I need to show?

You will need to show either that you have already paid the first year’s tuition fees for your degree course, or that you have this money available in a bank account.

If you have paid all or some of your tuition fees to the University, we will provide proof that we have received the money.

You will also have to show that you have 9 months’ maintenance (living costs) of £7,380.

How do I show that I have this money?

We recommend that you open a bank account in the UK as soon as possible after you arrive and arrange to transfer the funds you will need to show in support of your visa extension application straight away. 

Whether you use statements from your own bank account or your parents’ bank account you will have to provide a bank statement covering a 28 day period to prove this.

Money for your tuition fees and maintenance (living costs) must have been in the account for a minimum period of 28 days and during this time the balance must not have dropped below the minimum amount.  If it has dropped below the minimum amount even for just 1 day, you do not meet the financial requirements and your visa application will be refused.

The bank statement must not be more than 31 days old at the time you submit it with your application. It must show:

  • Your name, or your parents’/legal guardians’ name/s
  • The account number
  • The date of the statement
  • The financial institution’s name and logo
  • The amount of money available to cover your course fees and living costs.

If you are sponsored by an official sponsor e.g. your government or University, you will need to provide an original sponsor letter showing all the details of your sponsorship.

If I am using my parents’ account what else do I need?

We strongly recommend that you use a bank statement from your own UK bank account. However, if your parents are providing your tuition fees and living costs and have the money in their account, you must prove that they are your parents or legal guardians.

You do this by providing your original birth certificate, showing your name and the name of your parents. If you do not have an official birth certificate, we recommend that you transfer the money into an account in your own name because your visa will be refused without this evidence.  Remember the birth certificate will have to be officially translated into English if necessary.

Your parents will also have to provide a letter confirming their relationship to you and that they give their consent to you using their funds to study in the UK. We have prepared a template letter which your parents can use.

Nearer the time that you will be applying for your visa your parents will need to send you their original bank statements.  These must be translated into English and show that they have had the money for at least 28 days. Remember these statements cannot be more than 31 days old at the time you submit your application.

Overseas bank statements and Certificates of Deposit from China

We strongly advise NOT to use overseas bank statements or Certificates of Deposit from a Chinese bank as these have been refused by the Home Office in some cases.

What happens if I decide to study my degree somewhere else in the UK?

It is very important to realise that if you wish to study at another University after your pre-sessional course you will need to get a new visa to study at that University. You may be able to apply for a new visa and start your course before your application has been approved, but this will depend on the rating of your new University. If you are planning to study elsewhere in the UK then you should discuss this with an International Student Adviser when you arrive at Cardiff University.

Further information

More information about the Tier 4 student visa extension process can be found here.