a stamped passport

Visa Information

Your CAS, Visa and BRP

Your CAS explained and what happens once your visa has been granted.

CAS & amendments or additional payments

After you have met all of RGU’s Admissions and Immigration requirements, the Immigration Team will apply to the UKVI for your CAS. This is a unique 14 digit reference number.

RGU will issue your CAS up to 5 months before the start date of your course.

Once we have your CAS number, we will send you an email with your CAS information. This contains details of what we have used to assess your application.  The evidence we have used to assess your English language ability is always listed. The other details will differ in almost every case. This depends on you the individual applicant, where you are coming from, which course you are studying and how much money you have paid towards your course.

It is vitally important that the details of the CAS letter are checked thoroughly and any errors or amendments required are notified to the University as soon as possible. Even if the CAS letter is correct, any subsequent changes, such as a change of passport, any additional fees paid towards accommodation or tuition must be notified to the University as soon as possible. This is so we can update the UKVI and make sure they have the most up to date information when you apply for your visa. After you have used the CAS for the visa application, the CAS can no longer be amended, meaning any significant changes may require a new CAS.

The CAS may also show how much you have paid towards RGU accommodation. The UKVI rule is this can only be shown if the money has been paid directly to the University, for RGU-owned accommodation. A maximum of £1,334 can be shown, even if you have paid more. 

If you can show that you have already paid all or some of your accommodation fees to RGU before making your Visa application, this amount, up to a maximum of £1,334, will also be taken away from the total amount of money you will need to show to the UKVI for your visa application.

We cannot include payments made to third-party accommodation providers as the UKVI do not allow this. Examples of third-party accommodation providers include Unite and U-Student.

Once we have issued your CAS, we will also send out your full Unconditional Offer.

You can then apply for your Student visa.

The University take no part in the visa application process after this and cannot answer questions about the individual application.  You should direct any questions that you might have to UKVI directly.

Applying for your Student Visa

We recommend that you apply for your visa as soon as possible after receiving your CAS.

The reason for this is that the sooner you submit your application, the quicker you will be able to get your visa.  There are a number of benefits to this.

Please remember that your financial evidence must be no more than 31 days old on the date that you make your Student Visa application.

Where this is still in date, for your visa application, you should use the same financial evidence you submitted for your CAS.  This is because we believe it meets UKVI requirements.  If you submit evidence we have not seen, we cannot be sure that evidence will be suitable and that increases the risk of a visa refusal.    

You should aim to apply for your Student Visa no later than two weeks after you have been sent your CAS Number (unless we have specifically advised that you should make your application sooner).

Do not delay applying for your Student Visa. In our experience, late arrivals to our courses are often caused by late visa applications and UKVI delays in processing. You can avoid this by submitting your application promptly after receiving your CAS.  

By delaying submitting your Student Visa application, your application is more likely to be processed during a peak period for the UKVI.  In these peak periods, your application will take longer to be processed, beyond advertised timescales in most cases, even when you have applied using Priority or Super Priority services.

Waiting for a decision on your Student Visa application can be stressful, particularly if your course start date is approaching. You can minimise this stress by making your application as soon as possible. Receiving your visa earlier will give you more time to plan your travel to Aberdeen and arrange accommodation.  Having the visa early, will give you more options for accommodation in the city and also better options to organise things like schooling or child care, if you are bringing children with you.  All of these things can take a considerable time to organise in the UK and being able to organise this earlier will alleviate your stress. You will also find that your international flights are cheaper when booked well in advance and availability of these diminishes significantly where the time you have left to be here reduces.  You will have the best student and academic experience and chances of a successful course if you are enrolled and ready to attend classes when your course starts, rather than having materials to catch up on.

Please be aware that if your Student Visa is not granted in time for you to enrol at RGU (enrolment periods are advertised online, and are also stated in your CAS Statement), you will be unable to join your course.  Even if your Student Visa is then granted after the course start date, extensions to the enrolment period are not possible.  Every intake there are students who delay applying for their visa and do not get this in time to enrol.  These students have their visas withdrawn and can lose a lot of money in the process, something the university cannot be held responsible for.    

Visa application costs

Student visa application fee

The UKVI publishes student visa application fees. This information is updated when there are any changes to fees. If you have Dependants who are making application(s) alongside you, remember you’ll need to pay the application fee for each person.

Additional student visa application services

You may wish, or be required to, make your Student visa application using additional services such as Priority or Super Priority processing. Some Visa Application Centres will also offer other services such as application checking or assisted scanning. These costs are paid in addition to the Student visa application fee. The services provided by each Visa Application Centre do vary; please check full details of the services available at your chosen Visa Application Centre individually.

Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS)

A surcharge is paid as part of the Visa application and allows you to access to the National Health Service, which provides general healthcare in the United Kingdom.

The cost for students is reviewed on an ongoing basis. The UKVI website publishes the current fees.

Find out how much you should have to pay:

You can start using the National Health Service (NHS) when:

  • you’ve paid the healthcare surcharge, and
  • your visa or immigration application is granted
  • The IHS payment covers all healthcare costs under the NHS once you’re in the UK.

Credibility interview

As part of your Student Visa application, the UK Visa and Immigration (UKVI) service may carry out a short interview with you. If you are selected for this, the UKVI will tell you when the interview will take place. 

This is called a Credibility Interview.  It is designed by the UKVI to confirm that students entering the UK are genuine and help to prevent visa abuse. There is no set time limit for the interview, but it usually lasts 10 - 30 minutes. The interview is carried out in English, which gives the UKVI another opportunity to ensure that your English language ability meets the standard for a visa.

You have already told the University why you want to come to the UK to study and why you have chosen the course. The UKVI will ask you for further detail about this.  More information:

Visa/biometric residence permit (BRP)

Once your Visa has been granted, there are two different ways that you may receive this.

The first is the UKVI placing an entry in your passport, known as a Vignette, which authorises entry clearance to the UK. Your vignette will show a start date and an expiry date. You can only enter the UK between these dates. The vignette grants you initial entry to the UK only, it does not allow you to remain here after the period specified on the vignette.   

In order to remain here after the period of your vignette, you must collect your Biometric Residence Permit. This is a card, similar in size to a credit card, which contains your personal and biometric information. You should collect it within 10 days of arrival in the UK, at the Post Office which you identified for collection in your visa application. 

The second is where nationals of some countries (usually EU countries) are not issued with a vignette or BRP, and instead, are given electronic immigration status. You’ll be able to prove your immigration status by using the UKVI’s online service:

Visa refusals

Unfortunately, not all applications are successful. If your visa application is refused, you will be issued with a Visa Refusal Notice by the UKVI. The document will explain the reason or reasons for refusal. You must send a copy this to us as soon as you receive it.

It may be appropriate for you to apply for Administrative Review. This is a UKVI review of the circumstances, to ensure the decision is appropriate based on the process carried out. The review is carried out by a completely separate department from that which issued the initial refusal. The result, which should be issued within 28 days, is either that the decision is upheld (the refusal remains) or it is overturned, at which time a Visa can be issued.

Further Information

UK Visas and Immigration have a useful Visa Fees Tool which you can use to check how much your Student Visa application will cost.

If you have any questions about your application please email admissions@rgu.ac.uk and we will be happy to help.

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