1. Visa letters obsolete
As of February 22nd, visa letters have become obsolete. This means all Tier 4 student visa applicants must provide a confirmation of acceptance for studies (CAS) in their application. All applications that do not contain a CAS will be automatically rejected.
Even if a student has a visa letter issued before 22nd February, they can no longer use it to apply for a Tier 4 student visa.
Sponsors will need to provide students with a CAS reference number, their sponsor licence number, plus all the other information they will need when making their application - this other information is sometimes called a 'CAS statement'.
A CAS statement may contain:
- the student's name;
- the student's date of birth;
- the title of the course the student is enrolled on;
- the course start and end dates;
- details of any financial sponsorship/deposits taken;
- documents that should be included as part of an application to prove qualifications;
- a CAS reference number; and
- an ATAS certificate (if appropriate).
2. Sponsorship management system
Note also that before a sponsor can issue a confirmation of acceptance of studies, they must perform a transition exercise on the sponsorship management system. If they have not yet done so, again they can find full details on the UK Border Agency website.
This week also sees two other changes to the Tier 4 sponsorship management system:
- Users can now create a new CAS from the details of a previous CAS created in a batch.
- A sponsor's main study site address will be mandatory for the assignment of a CAS.
3. New application forms
The UK Border Agency has also published revised guidance and application forms for Tier 4 student visa applicants. Visit the UK Border Agency website to take a look.
** UK immigration Laws - additional information & advice **
Learn more about UK immigration laws - including the points-based system, identity cards for foreign nationals, and UK student visa rules - on FindLaw. Alternatively, you may prefer to speak with an immigration law solicitor. You can find a solicitor in your area for free via solicitor matching services, which can also help you to understand the best course of action for your situation and whether you are ready to hire a solicitor.