Preparations are underway by our future BISC Students as they begin to think ahead to September. With the BISC being located in England, many students are realizing that they will require a visa in order to study there.
This is one of your major hurdles as you prepare to head to the BISC and like most challenges, the BISC team is here to help you! This is a process that you will have to complete on your own, but we do have some helpful tips and information to help you along the way.
The first thing to consider is “Do I need a visa?” Depending on your country of citizenship, how long you will be studying, where you will be studying and a number of other things, this answer can change for many students. To get a definite answer, we recommend visiting the website for the UK Boarder Agency – http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/visas-immigration/do-you-need-a-visa/
Fill out the options that pertain to you and they will let you know if you require a visa and what type of visa you need to apply for.
*Please keep in mind that you will be studying for a period of 8 months. Even though you have a break in December, your two terms of study are consecutive and count toward your total study period (i.e. 8 months).
If you do not require a visa, double check once again. Ensure that you entered the right information. You want to ensure that you do not require one so you can study at the BISC in September. If you don’t need one, hurrah! Go get some ice cream and celebrate! Everyone else, we have some work to do before we can get our ice cream.
So now you know you need a visa, you may be wondering about what comes next. Well, the next step is to…wait. Please hang on to apply for your visa until the start of June. You are normally required to wait until 3 months prior to your period of study in order to apply for a study visa.
You will also need to wait because in order to apply for your study visa, you need a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) certificate. This is sent to you once you are confirmed as a student by our staff at the BISC. We are currently in the midst of confirming our students for next year and once everyone is confirmed, we will send out a CAS form for you to complete. Once you receive the form, please fill it out and return it to us as soon as possible. The sooner you send the form back to us, the sooner the staff at the BISC can assign you a CAS number and issue you a CAS certificate for your visa application.
Once you receive your CAS certificate, you can then apply online for your visa. Just follow this link:
You will be prompted during you online application to book an appointment at your nearest visa agency. Please ensure you print, complete and take all relevant documents they are requesting.
Along with your CAS certificate, you will receive additional documents from the BISC with useful information about our program. The BISC is considered by the UK Boarder Agency (UKBA) to be a Highly Trusted Sponsor when issuing Tier 4 visas (you can find the official list here). The BISC has also passed all relevant Quality Assurance Agency standards as requested by the UKBA.
Many students / parents have questioned why the UKBA requires students to have funds in their banking account sufficient to cover the cost of their tuition. The reason they require that information is to make sure that you will have the funds to cover your education abroad and that you are a legitimate student.
The Queen’s payment schedule for the BISC is split into two payments, but Queen’s has already transferred your fees in full, and thus we indicate to the UKBA that you have paid you fees in full. You will receive a letter which confirms that all fees for tuition, accommodation, and board have been paid to Queen’s, and this is also documented on your CAS Certificate. When filling out your visa application you can thus state that all fees are paid. The UKBA has told us that if all fees are paid, then there is no need for the backup funds in the bank account.
Here is a list of some of the documents that you may be required to submit -
- Original valid passport
- Recent passport sized photograph
- Letter of Admission to home university
- Your CAS certificate
- Original Bursary or Award Letters
- Originals of education diplomas (if available) and most recent high school transcript
This is not the full list of documents that you will be required to provide. For the full list please refer to the UKBA website: http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/visas-immigration/studying/adult-students/evidence/
You will receive forms and other communications from us regarding your visas within the coming weeks. Please continue to check your email and mail for more information from us. Applying for your visa can be a confusing process but our students get through it every year. Just do your research, prepare in advance, and you will be fine. Good luck!
Your helpful international guide,
“Students at The Mall in London”
Photo courtesy of Carly Goldberg