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Student Route visa

On this page you will find out how we can help you apply for/extend your Student Route visa (SR) and what you will need to do to be able to use our services. The information we have here is specific to studying at BU and is based on the UK Immigration Rules and published guidance as well as BU’s own policies and procedures. All information is correct at the time of publication.

If you are not able/do not wish to use our services, you can find the full set of rules and further guidance on the UK government website. For more student friendly and concise information, visit the UK Council for Student Affairs (UKCISA) website.

For help and guidance with your SR visa application, please use our online resources or contact AskBU for further information and advice from BU. We strongly advise you to take advantage of our services before you submit your visa application. Our advice is free and not prejudiced.

​Student Route visa 2020

On 5 October 2020, the UK Government introduced the Student Route visa which replaced the Tier 4 route for new student visa applications for non-EU/EEA nationals. If you currently have a Tier 4 visa, this will remain valid until the visa expiry date. If you need to apply to extend your visa to complete your studies or study another course, you will apply for a Student Route visa. The UKVI has published the Student Route guidance

If you are an EU/EEA/Swiss national and are already in the UK, or intending to study at BU this academic year, we would strongly advise that you apply for settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme in order to be eligible you need to be resident in the UK before 31 December 2020. If you are only intending to come to the UK after 1 January 2021 and you are going to be studying a course of at least 6 months duration then you will need to apply for this Student Route visa.

There are some differences between Tier 4 and the Student Route visa:


If you, your dependent partner, or dependent child have been living in the UK for 12 months or more at the time of your application in the UK, you will not need to submit any financial evidence with your application and automatically meet the financial requirements.

Students applying under the Student Route from either inside or outside the UK as Student Union Sabbatical Officers will also be exempt from meeting the financial requirements.

If you are a ‘low risk’ national and have been living in the UK for less than 12 months, you are not required to submit evidence to show that you meet the financial requirements or provide your academic qualifications used to obtain an offer of study. The Home Office however retain the right to request sight of these documents. Nationals from the EU, EEA and Switzerland have been added to the list of ‘low risk’ nationals.

Time limits on studying in the UK

Time limits for studying at postgraduate level have been removed. 

Definition of a partner

The definition of a ‘partner’ has been expanded for those permitted to bring dependent partners to the UK. A ‘partner’ now includes a fiancé, or proposed civil partner.


Nationals from Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea and the USA, join nationals from the UK, EU, EEA and Switzerland who are exempt from obtaining ATAS clearance for postgraduate study in relevant subjects.

Application window

Students applying under the new Student Route from outside the UK, can now apply up to 6 months before the start of their course.

Visa application via AskBU step-by-step

What do I need to do first, if I need BU to give me a new CAS and/or check my T4G student visa application and documents?

Contact AskBU and attend a T4G visa presentation. Attending the presentation is compulsory for all current students to be able to request a new CAS for a new visa application. New BU applicants who already have their CAS and who wish to have a personal appointment to have their visa application and supporting documents checked also need to attend this presentation first.

You should attend the presentation at least 4 months before your current visa expires (or as soon as you learn that you will not complete your course as it was originally planned). During the presentation we will tell you about all the requirements of the T4G visa, explain what supporting documents you will need to prepare and how you can submit your application.

What happens after I have attended a visa presentation?

You will be given a CAS request form that you will need to complete and return to the Immigration Compliance and Advice Team at AskBU. You will also need to email us good quality, clear and legible electronic copies i.e. scans or digital photos of all your visa supporting documents. These will later need to be uploaded to the UK Visas and Citizenship Application Service (UKVCAS) during your online visa application.

The BU Immigration Compliance Manager will assess, if you are eligible for a new CAS for a T4G visa application. If you are, we will create one for you and email it to you (without its number) normally within 10 working days. If you are not (or immediately) eligible for a new CAS, one of our experienced Student Immigration Advisors will advise you further.

When you have received your CAS and we have assessed your supporting documents and we have confirmed that everything should be in order for an application, contact AskBU again to book and attend a personal appointment when we have availability and when it suits you as well.

Please note that even if you are outside the UK or need to apply for your visa outside the UK and you cannot attend a presentation or an appointment in the UK, you will still need to show (email) your visa supporting documents to us to get your CAS number.

Things to do and know before your appointment with AskBU:

You will need to bring the originals of your supporting documents (the ones that you have already taken scans/photos of) to the appointment and also start filling in (but not yet submit) your visa application online.

If you do not have all the scans/photos ready for your appointment, the UKVCAS will be able to scan these for you for a fee during your visa appointment at your chosen UKVCAS centre. If you apply overseas, all your documents should be scanned for you at your local Visa Application Centre (VAC) during your visa appointment there.

You should not travel or book any travel in to and/or out of the UK until you have received your visa. The Home Office aims to make a decision on standard T4G visa applications submitted in the UK within 8 weeks after your biometric details have been enrolled. If the application is made outside the UK, it is 15 working days. Please note that BU cannot speed up the application process for you at all. If you must travel within these times, you should consider opting for a priority or super priority service to be able to get your visa quicker. You can find out about the current visa processing times overseas; you will also find the current fees for all visa services on this website.

Update all your contact details we hold for you, especially your personal email address and personal telephone number. We will only communicate with you about your visa via your BU student email address, your registered personal email address and phone number.

If you are currently working in the UK during your studies, you will need to provide evidence of your visa application to your employer to be able to carry on working. You will be able to download this from the online application system after your visa application has been submitted.

What happens after you have submitted your T4G visa application?

Once you have submitted and paid for your visa application online, you have to book and attend an appointment at a UKVCAS (in the UK) or at a VAC (overseas). During this appointment your supporting documents will be checked and your biometric details will be registered and overseas you will have a short video interview.

Before the Home Office makes a decision on your visa application (in the UK or overseas), they could ask you to have a credibility interview (this will be a different interview from the one at the VAC).

Once you have successfully registered your biometrics, you do not usually need to do anything else, just wait for the Home Office's decision (see further above for processing times). If you do not hear from the Home Office by the end of the published processing times, please contact us. However, if this has not yet passed, we will not be able to chase the application for you either.

When your visa is granted?

If your visa application is successful, your new T4G visa is going to be issued in the form of a plastic card. This is called a Biometric Residence Permit (BRP). If you apply in the UK, this BRP will be returned to the ‘postal address’ you provide on your online application and we strongly recommend you use our address: BOURNEMOUTH UNIVERSITY, C/O THE CASHIER, CASHIERS OFFICE, FERN BARROW, POOLE, BH12 5BB.

If you applied overseas and used our ACL code from your CAS email, your BRP will be delivered to BU (this will also be the CASHIERS OFFICE); otherwise you will need to collect your BRP from the Post Office.

As we must keep a copy of your current T4G visa on your files, if you do not use our address, you will need to bring your BRP to AskBU when you have received it (therefore it is more convenient to just use our address as we take the copies when the BRP arrives and there is no need to bring it back to us).

If your visa is rejected as invalid or refused?

To keep this simple, if either of these happen to you, immediately contact the Immigration Compliance and Advice Team at AskBU. There are limited opportunities to address these issues and there are also very strict deadlines to meet. Plus, your studies could also be affected and you may not be allowed to enrol or stay on your course.

People working at a computer

Working during your studies

If you are an international student looking to work, you need to be aware of the immigration restrictions in place. Find out more.