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Applicants who require a UK Student Visa - Presenting Original Documentation at Enrolment

1. Context

As a UKVI Student Sponsor Licence holder, we have record keeping duties which are defined in the Student Sponsor Guidance – Document 2: Sponsorship Duties (page 8 version 12/2020 ) as follows:

2.4 Sponsors must keep all of the documents listed in Appendix D: keeping documents guidance for sponsors (which is separate to this guidance) in accordance with Appendix D, storing them as paper copies or electronically. Sponsors are not required to keep original passports; these should be returned to the student once the necessary pages have been copied. It is illegal for passports to be retained for any purpose.

2.5 You must provide UKVI with any document listed at Appendix D, or any document relevant to the running of your organisation, if UKVI ask to see it at any time. Documents requested by UKVI which are not in English or Welsh must be accompanied by a certified translation. The translator’s credentials should be given, along with their official declaration that the translation is accurate.

Appendix D - Part 5: for each migrant enrolled under the Student route or Child Student route (including migrants previously enrolled on Tier 4):

h. Copies or originals where possible of any evidence assessed by you as part of the process of making an offer to the migrant; this could be copies of references, or examination certificates. Higher Education Providers with a track record of compliance must keep records of the documents used to obtain the offer for their students at degree level or above but these documents do not need to be submitted with the Student’s visa application.

The University must therefore store and retain a copy for audit purposes all documents used for the purpose of admission to the University for students entering on the basis of a UK student visa, for which we are the sponsoring institution. Currently distance-learning applicants/students and those who do not require a visa to study are out of scope of this policy.

2. Policy

Where appropriate the University will use electronic copies of admissions documents and certificates, using verification services where possible to meet the record keeping duties outlined.

2.1. Applicants/new students

To ensure our UKVI Student Sponsor Licence the University retains the right to ask new students enrolling at Cardiff University to present original documentation, including certified translation where required*, to Admissions on arrival at the University by a stated deadline, where the following applies:

  • Final/complete documentation has not been provided, or the quality is not sufficient to meet record keeping requirements.
  • Where the University has been unable to verify a qualification by alternative means, such as through an Awarding Bodies verification process.
  • Where the University has been notified of a potential issue such as documentation fraud or doctored results.
  • Where UCAS, UKVI, or the Home Office have alerted the University to potential risk in relation to documentation or qualifications.

* Documents requested by the University which are not in English or Welsh must be accompanied by a certified translation. The translator’s credentials should be given, along with their official declaration that the translation is accurate.

Applicants who are required to present original documentation on arrival will be contacted as part of the pre-arrivals process to inform them of this requirement, this will normally be via email.

Completion of the enrolment process, including collection of an I.D. card, will be held until original documents, and certified translation where required, have been presented and verified. If the required documents are not presented by the stated deadline, the University will consider an applicant as no longer able to undertake the programme of study and this will result in the withdrawal of a place to study along with appropriate reporting to the UKVI.

The University will not expect applicants to mail original documents in advance of arrival. If an applicant chooses to do so it will be at their own risk. The University cannot guarantee arrival or return of the documentation sent by mail, courier, or postal services.

2.2 Current students

As part of the University’s audit process the University retains the right to ask a current student to present documentation previously used for admissions purposes, where required documentation is missing or is not of sufficient quality to meet record keeping requirements, or where a subsequent query or notification of potential documentation fraud have been raised with the University.

Current students who are required to present original documentation will be contacted by the Admissions Team or the Student Visa Compliance Team, via their Cardiff University email address, to alert them to the requirement, documentation required and a timeframe for presenting (this will normally be within 28 days). Failure to provide documentation as required may result in disciplinary procedures or withdrawal/exclusion.

3. Contact details

For further information about this policy please contact the Admissions Support Team:


Phone: +44 (0)29 20879999

Post: Admissions Support Team
Cardiff University
McKenzie House
30-36 Newport Road
CF24 0DE