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Frequently asked questions about visa applications


  1. How much money do I need for my living costs?

    As a student in the UK, you must show that you have enough money to cover your living costs for nine months (or the length of your course, if this is less than nine months). The amount of money you need per month depends on your location. De Montfort University (DMU) is located outside inner London, therefore to study at DMU a student must show £1,015 per month.
  2. I am a sponsored student, do I still have to show I have enough money?

    The UKVI will class you as 'sponsored' If you are sponsored by your home government, the British Council or any international organisation or international company. If you receive full sponsorship for tuition fees and living costs, you need to submit satisfactory evidence of this to meet the maintenance requirements.

    If you only receive sponsorship for part of the costs, such as tuition fees and not living costs, or only part of your tuition fees, you must show evidence that you have the rest of the amount required not covered by sponsorship.

  3. What is satisfactory evidence of sponsorship?

    You will need an official letter on paper or stationery of the organisation sponsoring you, showing the official stamp of that organisation. This letter should contain details about you (name, date of birth), details about your sponsor, including contact details, and details about the sponsorship (the length of sponsorship and the amount that is to be sponsored/confirmation that all fees and living costs are covered by the sponsorship.
  4. What evidence do I need to show that I am related to my parent(s) or legal guardian and that I have their permission to use their money as proof of my maintenance?

    You will need to provide:

    Evidence of your relationship must be one of the following: your birth certificate showing the names of your parent(s), your certificate of adoption showing names of both parent(s) or legal guardian, or a court document naming your legal guardian.

    Evidence of their permission to access their funds should be a letter from your parent(s) or legal guardian confirming: your relationship with your parent(s) or legal guardian and their permission for you to use their funds to study in the UK.

Your visa application

  1. Who is my Tier 4 sponsor?

    If you are applying to join De Montfort University, and we have issued the CAS you intend to use in your visa application, your Tier 4 sponsor is:

    De Montfort University
    The Gateway
    United Kingdom
    LE1 9BH

    Sponsor License Number: 65WAU7E24

  2. Do I need to submit a visa letter or an original CAS document?

    No, you do not need to submit the original CAS document with your visa application, you only need to provide the UKVI with the CAS number that we have issued for you. This will allow them to view the information we have recorded, confirming we have accepted you onto your course. We will provide you with the details of what is on your CAS statement so that you know which documents you need to provide with your visa application, but this is only for your reference.

    You do not need a visa letter, the CAS number system has replaced the old visa letters.

  3. What are the start and end dates of my programme?

    These should be stated on your CAS. If you have any queries about your course dates, please contact us.
  4. What is an ATAS clearance certificate and do I need it?

    An ATAS clearance certificate is necessary for International students looking to undertake a postgraduate masters or research course in some engineering, science, or technology subjects. ATAS is not required for undergraduate students.

    You will notice your course has a JACS code, stated on your offer letter – if your JACS code begins with any of the following two characters, you will need to apply for ATAS clearance before you apply for your visa:

    • F2 – Materials Science
    • F3 – Physics (including Nuclear Physics)
    • H3 – Mechanical Engineering
    • H4 – Aerospace Engineering
    • H8 – Chemical, Process and Energy Engineering
    • J5 – Materials Technology not otherwise specified

    More details on ATAS, including how to apply, can be found on the FCO website

Visa Refusal

  1. Why could my visa application be refused?

    Prior to refusing your visa application, the UKVI will have assessed all the information you have provided with your visa application and any information they have regarding your immigration history, and decided that you did not meet the requirements of having a valid CAS, sufficient maintenance or for other reasons such as your immigration history. You will be issued with a notice of refusal of entry clearance which will state the full reason your visa application was unsuccessful.
  2. Can I appeal against the refusal?

    If you are outside the UK:

    You will not have right to appeal, however, the process of administrative review may be available to you If you feel a mistake has been made by the UKVI in assessing your visa application. This will involve the reassessment of your visa application by a different UKVI official. Before commencing with an administrative review, it is extremely important you consider that:

    • The review process can take quite a long time, and may prevent you from being able to submit a fresh visa application in time to join the course if the administrative review is not in your favour
    • No new evidence can be submitted with an administrative review – therefore, if the decision to reject your visa is based on the evidence you provided with your initial application, the review may not result in a different decision

    More information on the process can be found on the UKVI website.

    If you are in the UK:

    If you applied for your visa before your leave to remain in the UK expired, you will have right to appeal. Your timescale in which to appeal may be quite short, as your leave to remain may be ending soon on the visa you currently hold. You should seek immigration advice as soon as possible should you intend to appeal. Further information on appeal can be found on the UKVI website.

  3. I have made a mistake in my visa application so I do not want to appeal. Can I reapply?

    You may apply again if your application has been unsuccessful. You will need to be issued with a new CAS number. Should you request a new CAS number from us, we will need to receive a copy of your refusal of entry clearance before we can consider re-issuing a CAS – you can email a scanned copy to

    We will look to issue a CAS wherever possible, providing we are satisfied that the reasons for the visa refusal have been addressed and the timescale for your new visa application is realistic.

English language

  1. Can I get a Tier 4 visa for my English language course?

    If you have an English language test score that is equivalent to level B1 on the Common European Framework for Languages (CEFR), you may be offered a course with English language tuition directly before your academic course. This is known as a pre-sessional course. Where appropriate, the university will issue you with a CAS that will allow you to apply for a visa to cover both the pre-sessional English course and your academic course.

    If your English language level is below B1, or you wish to study an English language course that is longer than 3 months, you will not be able to apply for a Tier 4 visa – you should apply to study the course as a student visitor. If you wanted to study an academic course after this, you would need to make a new Tier 4 application.

  2. Will I need a Secure English Language Test (SELT) such as IELTS, TOEFL or Pearson?

    This will depend on the qualifications you hold and the course you wish to study. You will normally need to have an English language score equivalent to at CEFR B2 in all four components - speaking, listening, reading and writing.

    Where you are applying for a course at degree level or above, as a Tier 4 Sponsor, DMU has the option to make an assessment of your English language ability in all four components without you taking a SELT. If you have any queries about this, please contact Applicants from Nigeria holding a WAEC score of six or better may be considered without providing a SELT score, when applying for a course at degree level or higher.

Duration of stay in the UK

  1. How long will I be allowed to stay in the UK and after my course has finished?

    How long you are permitted to stay before and after your course, depends on the length of course you are studying and the type of visa you have. For Tier 4:

    For main course of study (including sabbaticals) and pre-sessional courses:

    • If the length of your course is 12 months or more, you are allowed to stay the full length of the course, plus four months after the end of the course.
    • If the length of your course is six months or more, but less than 12 months, you are allowed to stay the full length of the course, plus two months after the end of the course.
    • If the length of your course is less than six months, you are allowed to stay the full length of the course, plus seven days after the end of the course.

    For postgraduate doctors and dentists on a recognised foundation programme:

    • You are allowed to stay the full length of the course (up to a maximum of three years) plus one month after the end of the course.
  2. I want to study a work placement as part of my course – will this be included in the length of the stay I am given in my visa?

    When you apply, If you are eligible and if the course you are applying for includes a work placement opportunity, you will be invited to submit further information relating to why you wish to undertake a work placement.

    If your request to include a work placement in your course is approved, the CAS you will be issued will include a period in which you can undertake a work placement – this gives you the opportunity to secure a placement as part of your course.

    The university cannot guarantee specific placement roles; you will still need to apply for and secure a position in a university-approved role once you are enrolled on your course.

    Any students that subsequently cannot secure a university-approved role for their placement will revert to a study-only version of the course, and their visa would be shortened accordingly by UKVI to reflect the earlier end date.

  3. Can I extend my visa once I am in the UK?

    If must have entered the UK with a valid student visa to study in the UK, you can apply to extend your visa subject to complying with the immigration rules. You can receive on-campus support from The DSU Welfare and Education Centre, who can assist you in applying for changes to your visa during your stay.

    A student visitor visa cannot be extended. A new application for a visitor visa must be made from your home country as you cannot apply from inside the UK.

  4. Can I work in the UK upon completion of my course?

    International students in the UK have the opportunity to work in the UK once after graduating from their course – you would need to do so by switching into the Tier 2 (General) visa category as a skilled worker. In order to apply for a visa under Tier 2, you will need to find an employer who will sponsor you to work in the UK, more information on Tier 2 can be found on the UKVI website.