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Immigration and Entry Clearance

University of Chester Sponsorship Licence Number: DVYR99RA7

Students who are resident in a country belonging to the European Union will not normally need a visa. For those outside the EU, the process of applying for a visa often takes some time, and usually involves an interview with an Immigration Officer. You must allow several months from the time you apply, before your course is due to start.

Tier 4 - Students

From the end of March 2009 potential students applying for a visa to enter the UK will be assessed under the new Points Based System, and must apply for a 'General Student' visa under the Tier 4 category. When applying for a visa you must show that:

  •  You have evidence of sufficient funds to pass a *maintenance test
  •  You have education documents (original certificates and transcripts) which have been used in order to obtain an offer from your chosen education establishment
  •  You have been accepted onto either one of the following:
  1. A full-time UK Degree level course or above in a publicly funded Higher Education Institution (HEI)
  2. A course of study involving a minimum of 15 hours per week organised daytime study
  3. A course of study that involves a work-placement element which is no more than 50% of the full course length and is at a minimum of level 3 on the National Qualifications Framework (NQF) or its equivalent (or at the equivalent of a UK degree level or above if you have an overseas qualification)

*Maintenance Test

  •  Students on courses shorter than 12 months' duration will be expected to show that they hold sufficient funds to cover the full cost of all course fees plus £600 per month for each month of the course, up to a maximum of 12 months.
  •  Students on courses longer than 12 months, will be expected to show that they have sufficient funds to pay the first year of fees only, plus approximately £7,200 for London and £5,400 for outside London, to cover the first year in the UK.

It is not possible for non-EU nationals to apply for a visa to study on part-time courses.

More information about the visa application process and the Points Based System can be found at

ATAS Certificate

If you are a non-EU/EEA (including Switzerland) national and are planning to take postgraduate study in the UK in certain, Technology, Engineering or Science subjects then you will now need to obtain an ATAS (Academic Technology Approval Scheme) certificate before applying for the visa, entry clearance or extension of stay as a student. Further details on the ATAS application procedure can be found at the following link: ATAS certificate

Extending your Leave to Remain

If you are a student who has permission to study in the UK, you may apply to extend your stay in the UK under certain categories. More information can be found on the UK Border Agency website:

To apply for an extension of stay in the UK to study you will need to apply using the TIER4(G) application form which is located on the UK Border Agency website. You can download the form and the guidance by clicking on the relevant link shown below. You must read the guidance notes carefully before completing the application form. You can also click on the link below to read the photo guidance which gives details of photographs that the UK Border Agency will accept.

  • Application form for an extension of visa
  • Guidance notes for extension of visa application form
  • UKBA Photograph Guidance for immigration applications made in the UK

The International Office will be happy to help you with your student visa extension application form during your studies at Chester.

Identity cards for foreign nationals

From 25 November 2008 the UK Border Agency has changed the way it issues permission to stay in the UK. The Identity card for foreign nationals is proof of a holder's right to stay, work or study in the UK and can also be used for identification purposes,ie, opening bank accounts etc. You are advised to carry your ID card with you at all times. Any student applying for an extension of stay as a student after 25 November 2008 will be required to apply for an identity card for foreign nationals. This will involve giving your biometric data (fingerprints and a digital photograph).

For up-to-date information on which immigration categories are issued with cards please see the UK Border Agency website at:

Change of address

If your circumstances or address have changed please report to UKBA a change of your circumstances.

Police Registration

If you are required to register with the Police upon arrival, the ISWO will arrange a suitable time and date for you to  register your details. This will usually take place during the induction week.

During the induction/enrolment you will be requested to show your passport/Visa/ID card to the International Office. This will enable you to enroll and register your modules. You will receive details about this in your pre-arrival information.