“I have had a great time at Aberdeen Business School, I have made life-long friends, and am leaving university confident of my future success.”
Amrit Khera Management BA (Hons)
International Students coming study at Robert Gordon University, or any other UK education institution, may require a student visa. Here are some helpful pointers relating to the student visa process, however the most up to date information about student visa regulations is given by the UK Border Agency (UKBA) within the Home Office.
Most International Students are required to apply for a student visa under Tier 4 of the Points Based System.
- Student Visas Leaflet (pdf 242KB)
Tier 4 and the points-based system
Entrants to the UK from outside the European Union should apply as an adult student under Tier 4 (General) of the UK Border Agency points-based system of immigration.
Students applying for entry clearance will be required to score 40 points to be awarded a student visa. In order to be granted a visa or entry clearance you will need to:
- have sufficient funds to pay for one years tuition fees and living costs in the UK (10 points)
- hold an Unconditional Offer of a place on a course at an institution holding a sponsor licence (30 points)
- provide original and/or certified supporting documents, for example Degree or IELTS certificates.
- hold a valid passport
Full details of how to show that you have sufficient funds to pay your tuition fees and living costs can be found at the website of the United Kingdom Border Agency (UKBA).
Robert Gordon University holds a Highly Trusted Sponsor (HTS) Licence which allows us to receive students coming to study with us under current visa rules. Our Sponsor Licence Number is EFAA7R620.
Tier 4 Interviews
As part of your application for a Tier 4 student visa, UKBA may request an interview.
Will I need to attend an interview?
UKBA will not routinely interview students who are nationals of 'low risk' countries including Argentina, Australia, Botswana, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Croatia, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, Trinidad and Tobago, USA, British National (overseas), Hong Kong and Taiwan.
Tier 4 applicants from any other country should expect to be attend a short interview about your application and proposed study in the UK.
What happens at the interview?
Interviews will usually be held over video conference by a UK Visas and Immigration official, taking approximately 10 minutes. The answers you provide during the interview will form part of the evidence considered in making a decision on your visa application.
Will my English language skills be assessed?
The interview will be conducted in English and provide assurance that the English language requirements of the Tier 4 rules are met.
Will I need to attend a second interview?
A second interview may be required to provide further, more detailed information about your application.
Do I have to pay for the interview?
There is no charge for any part of the interview and the cost of the visa remains the same to the applicant.
What if the video conference equipment breaks down?
There will be staff on hand at the Visa Application Centre to help with this. If the equipment does not work on the day of your interview, UKBA will conduct the interview over telephone. Where this is not possible you may be re-called for interview.
Can I bring someone with me for the interview?
No, only the applicant can attend the interview. Reasonable adjustments will be made for disabled applicants to attend an interview.
How do I get my CAS number/Visa Letter?
At Robert Gordon University, we don't provide you with a separate ‘visa letter' but all the necessary information for your visa application is incorporated into your Unconditional Offer letter; therefore your Unconditional Offer letter is your visa letter.
The UKBA manages a Sponsor Management System for International Students coming to study in the UK. To apply for a student visa, students must have a "Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies", or "CAS".
Robert Gordon University will be required to issue a unique Confirmation of Acceptance of Studies reference number (CAS) to each student who has confirmed their acceptance of an unconditional offer. The CAS will replace the visa letter in the student visa application process.
It is no longer necessary for us to give you a hard copy of your offer letter for visa purposes, as we provide the UKBA with confirmation of your Unconditional Offer and payment of deposit and tuition fees directly to them through the Sponsors Management System. However, if you need a copy of your offer letters, you can still download these from your Apply Yourself record. We will also email you an extract from the CAS record we create for you with the UKBA so you can approve the details we have provided them with.
Where do I apply for my visa?
You obtain your visa from your nearest British diplomatic post, such as the British Embassy or High Commission.
To find out where your nearest diplomatic post is in your country, visit check with the British Foreign & Commonwealth Office.
In many countries, applications are posted to Visa Application Centres (VAC), private companies who will receive your documents and pass them to the Diplomatic Post for the decision to be made. Please follow the link below to find your nearest VAC.
When should I apply for my visa?
Due to recent changes by the UK Borders Agency both in the UK & overseas, please remember to allow sufficient time to apply for a student visa in order to ensure your application is successful.
As guideline, try to submit your visa applications a minimum of 8 weeks prior to the start date of your course to ensure any required medical checks, biometrics, and interviews can be completed.
What do I need to apply for my visa?
When you apply for your visa you will need the following:
- Visa application form - You can obtain an application form, and in some cases apply online through the UK Border Agency
- Your passport or travel document;
- Your biometric details
- A recent passport sized photograph
- All documents as specified in the Tier 4 Guidance as stated in the Immigration Rules. If you do not submit relevant documents, your application is likely to be refused.*
- Visa application fee. Details of the cost of applying can be found on the UK Border Agency website
*You should include originals of all documents specified. They must be on the official letter-headed paper or stationery of the organisation and have the official stamp of that organisation. You should also provide a copy of each document. Where a document is not in English, the original must be accompanied by a fully certified translation by a professional translator. This translation must include details of the translator's qualifications and confirmation from the translator that it is an accurate translation of the original document
Do I need a Tuberculosis (TB) test?
Visa applicants in some countries are required to take a TB (tuberculosis) test before applying for their UK visa. These regulations have changed recently in 2012, so please check with the UKBA website for the latest information.
The reason for this is that TB has been almost completely eradicated in the UK, however it is still common in some other countries. By asking people intending to come to the UK to be screened to see if they have the disease, it allows the UK government to monitor if people with this infection are coming into the country.
In May 2012, the UKBA announced that it would become compulsory for visa applicants from 67 countries to undertake a TB screening as part of their visa application to come to the UK for any period longer than 6 months.
India became the first new country for this screening to become compulsory from 1 November 2012. Please check the UKBA website for accurate information relating to TB screening and applying for a visa from your home country.
If it is not necessary for your visa, but you would still like to be screened for TB, this can be done for free through the National Health Service (NHS) once you arrive in the UK.
International Student Advice, Visa and Immigration Service
Once you become a student here at Robert Gordon University, we have a dedicated team of International Student Advisers who can help you whilst you are with us.
They can provide advice from matters such as how to open a bank account in the UK to how to apply for a visa extension. To get a letter for the bank, visit the Student Help Point.
The International Student Advisers will also arrange for your orientation at the University before the beginning of your course. It is essential that you attend an orientation presentation. Full details of when these will be running will be provided in your Pre-arrival Guide, which will be emailed to you 8-6 weeks prior to your course starting date.