Visas & Immigration

Find out more about the information and support we offer for those investigating immigration and welfare issues.

Get more information about how the University of Bolton can assist you with immigration and welfare matters.

Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS)

Once you have accepted an unconditional offer for your programme of study, you will be able to receive your CAS to apply for your Student visa. The earliest we will be able to issue you with your CAS is six months before the start date of your course.

 If you’re undertaking a one-year taught master's degree, you are required to pay a deposit before you can receive your CAS. Full details and instructions on how to pay will be included in your offer letter. Please note that deposit payments must have been received in the University’ bank account as cleared funds by the published deadline, before a CAS can be issued.

 Once your CAS has been created, you'll be sent an email asking you to check your draft CAS and confirm that your details are correct. Once you have confirmed these details we will process your CAS and email it to you as soon as it’s ready.

Applying for your visa

If you plan to study in the UK for more than six months, you need a Student visa before travelling. You can apply for a visa from your home country up to six months before the start date of your course.

You can find out where and how to apply for your visa on the Student Route visa page on the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) website. You will also find useful advice and guidance on the UKCISA website. Applications for a Student visa from outside of the UK cost £363.

 Please note that it can take several weeks for your visa to be processed. You can visit the UKVI Visa Application Centre website for information on waiting times and processes specific to your country.

 You need to ensure you have all your supporting documents ready before completing the online application and booking your appointment. You must take your original documents to your appointment at the Visa Application Centre where they will be scanned and returned to you. 

 You may be able to use the UKVI immigration ID check app on a smart phone to complete the identify verification stage of your application.


 You can apply to bring a dependant to the UK if you are:

  • Studying a postgraduate course of more than 9 months at a higher education provider with a track record of compliance;
  • a Government sponsored student on a full-time course of 6 months or longer

If you meet these requirements your dependants can apply at the same time as you. If your family member is currently living in the UK with a different type of visa e.g. Student/Tier 4, Skilled Worker/Tier 2 they may be able to switch into the dependant route from inside the UK. Please check the UKVI website for information on bringing depends to the UK.

Your dependant(s) will be granted a visa for the same duration as you and they will be granted permission to work unless you are studying a course that is below degree level.

We strongly advise that you research suitable available accommodation near to the University before you apply. the Student’s Union can provide advice on finding private accommodation.

Immigration Health Surcharge

If you are applying to stay in the UK for more than six months, you will need to pay an additional fee to entitle you to free hospital treatment under the National Health Service (NHS). This is known as the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS).

 You will need to pay £470 for each year of leave you apply for, which you can pay as a part of your Student route application. Any dependants applying with you will need to pay the same amount. More information on the IHS is available on the GOV.UK website.

 If you will be studying on a short course of up to six months, you must take out insurance to cover your medical expenses because you will not be eligible for free NHS medical treatment.

 Tuberculosis screening requirements

Students applying to enter the UK for more than six months from the countries listed in Appendix T of the UKVI Immigration Rules policy must show a valid medical certificate issued by an approved medical practitioner, confirming that they have undergone screening for active pulmonary tuberculosis. See the UKVI website for the list of approved clinics in each country.

Biometric Residence Permit (BRP)

If you are successful in your application for a visa to enter the UK for more than six months, you will receive a BRP upon arrival in the UK.

You will be issued with a vignette in your passport which is valid for 90 days from the date you indicate as your intended travel date in your visa application. The vignette is proof of your permission to enter the UK and will allow you to travel to the UK.

You will then collect the BRP on arrival into the country, which is proof of your right to study in the UK. Full details can be found on the GOV.UK website.

Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS)

 The ATAS is a certificate issued by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO). It gives you security clearance to study certain sensitive subject areas in the UK.

 If you are intending to study a subject that has been flagged under ATAS, you’ll be required to obtain a clearance certificate before you can study in the UK. Information on how and when to apply for your ATAS certificate can be found on the GOV.UK website.

Credibility interviews

 The Home Office uses credibility interviews as part of the Student visa application process. Some students may be interviewed when submitting their application.

We strongly advise that you prepare for these interviews in advance so that you are confident answering questions about your plans to study in the UK. To assist you, we have prepared some examples of the type of questions you may be asked during the interview:

  • Why do you want to study in the UK?
  • What are the benefits of studying in the UK compared to your home country?
  • Why did you choose to study at the University of Bolton?
  • What course are you studying and how long is it?
  • How are you funding your studies?
  • Where do you intend to live while you are in the UK?
  • Do you intend to work in the UK during your studies?

Your responses during the interview will be considered along with the supporting documents you submitted with your visa application, which will determine if you will be granted a visa.

Graduate Route visa

The Graduate Route visa is available to international students who have successfully completed an undergraduate degree, Masters degree, Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE), PhD or other doctoral qualification.

You will need to have completed your course and apply during your current period of Tier 4 or Student Route visa, which should be the same course for which your CAS was assigned.

You must also have received notification that you have been awarded your degree/PGCE to meet the 'successful completion' criteria. If you are a PhD student, you should submit your final corrected thesis before submitting your graduate route application.

Useful links

UK Council for Student Affairs (UKCISA)


UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI)

British Council

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a CAS?

Your details will be uploaded to the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) database and you will receive a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) which includes a reference number. You will need this number to apply for your visa.

 The CAS will be sent to you after you have fulfilled the conditions of your offer and paid the required deposit towards your tuition fees. Your visa will be linked to the institution that issued your CAS.

What are the timescales involved in applying for a visa?

You can apply for a visa a maximum of six months before the start of your course, once you have your CAS from us. We strongly recommend you apply for your visa as soon as you can as it can take between a few weeks to a few months to get your visa application processed, depending on where you are applying from. You can check processing times at your Visa Application Centre

How long will my Student visa be valid for?

Your visa should be issued for the duration of your course plus some additional time at the end of your course. This varies depending on the course level and duration.

I am a national of a country in the European Economic Area (EEA) – do I need a visa to study in the UK?

From 1 January 2021 EEA and EU nationals will be required to apply for a visa to study in the UK if the course is more than 6 months long. There are certain exemptions in place depending on your circumstances and where you live. You can check if you will need a visa here.

 If your course is less than 6 months you can apply for a standard Visitor visa which will allow you to study for a short period of time. 

Can I extend my Tier 4/Student visa?

You can find more information on extending your Tier 4/Student visa here.

My visa expires before graduation, can I extend It?

You cannot extend your Tier 4/Student visa in order to attend graduation. The rules only allow the university to sponsor students up to the expected end date of their course. If your course is for 12 months or longer you should be issued with a visa for the duration of your course plus an additional amount of time of four months.

 If your course is for less than 12 months your visa will be issued for the duration of your course plus an additional amount of time of two months. If your graduation ceremony falls outside of this time you will be required to return home and apply for a visitor visa in order to return to the UK and attend your graduation. Further information about applying for a visitor visa is available at GOV.UK.

I applied to another university and have a Student visa to study there. Can I come to the University of Bolton instead?

We cannot enrol you at the University of Bolton if your visa is attached to a different university. You will need to make a fresh Student visa application in your home country with a CAS from the University of Bolton before you travel here. We therefore recommend you contact us first to discuss your options.

Do I need an ATAS certificate?

If you are applying for a postgraduate or research course you may need to obtain an Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) certificate before applying for UK entry clearance. If you do need this, it will be stated at the end of your offer letter. To check if you need one and to apply, please visit the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) website.

How do I access healthcare in the UK?

If you have a Tier 4/Student visa, which has been issued for six months or longer you will have paid the Immigration Health Surcharge when you applied for your visa. This means you to access healthcare through the National Health Service (NHS) whilst you are studying in the UK. You will need to register with a Doctor/GP in the UK. You can find health services close to you here.

What funds to I need to have when applying for my visa?

You will need to show you have enough money to support yourself - unless you’ve been in the UK with a valid visa for at least 12 months on the date of your application. You will need £1,023 per month, for up to 9 months (for courses outside London).

You must also prove you have extra money for each family member you bring with you.

How do I open a bank account in the UK?

If the course you are enrolling on is for a period of one academic year or longer you should be able to open a bank account in the UK. There are a number of high street banks in the UK which offer current accounts to international students. Once you have chosen a bank you will need a letter of introduction which can be issued by the Student Advisors. You can request this in the Student Centre or by email.

If you are studying in the UK with a Visitor visa that is valid for up to six months you will not be able to access healthcare through the NHS and must ensure you have appropriate medical insurance.

Do I need to register with the Police?

Your visa will tell you whether you need to register with the Police. If you are required to register you must contact the International Visitors Registration Office (IVRO) within seven days of arrival in the UK to make an appointment. For more information about Police Registration please see here.

Can I work in the UK on a Student visa?

If you are studying at degree level or above you can work 20 hours per week during term time and during vacations.

If you are studying below degree level you can work 10 hours per week during term time and during vacations. You can view more information on working during and after your studies here

Can I bring my dependants?

Your dependants can apply for immigration permission to join or remain with you only if: 

  • You are a government–sponsored student and your course is more than six months long, OR
  • You are doing a postgraduate level course of 9 months or more at a Higher Education Institution 

I have lost my passport and visa, what do I need to do?

You will need to report your passport and/or visa as lost or stolen to the Police immediately. You will be given a reference number which you should make a note of keep in a safe place.

 You also need to report it to your country’s Embassy or High Commission. You can find a directory of Embassy and High Commission’s within the UK here.

You will then need to apply for a replacement passport. The process of replacing your passport will vary depending on your country so you will need to check with your country's Embassy or High Commission on this.

If you lose your BRP you will need to report this to UKVI and apply for a replacement BRP.

What should I do if I need to travel for an emergency?

Travel during term time is not normally approved unless there are exceptional reasons. You must seek advice from the International Student Journey Officer before leaving the UK during term-time. If you are required to travel during term-time you will need authorisation from your Programme Leader and you will be expected to provide evidence of why you need to travel.

Can I travel during vacation period?

During the university vacation period, you can travel within the UK or return to your home country. If you wish to visit any other country you will need to apply for immigration permission for that country before leaving the UK. The Schengen Visa Scheme allows students to travel to certain countries within the European Economic Area using just one visa.

Can I make changes to my studies?

If you are studying at the University of Bolton with a Tier 4/Student visa you will need to be aware that certain changes to your studies may impact on your visa. You can find out more information about changes to your studies and how they will impact your immigration status in the UK here. You must seek advice from the Immigration and Welfare Officer before you request any change to your student record.           

Student Route Visa Responsibilities

Attendance and engagement

As a student on a Student visa it is important that you adhere to the arrangements set out in the University’s Attendance and Engagement Policy. As a trusted sponsor, we are required by UK Visas and Immigration to check that you are regularly attending and engaging with your course.

Why is attendance important?

 If you are not fully engaged with your course of study, you may fall behind with your degree and you could also be breaking the terms of your Student visa.

If you have been absent or not engaging with your studies for a period of time or without permission, it could lead to formal action including the university withdrawing sponsorship of your visa.

Your responsibilities

 To ensure you get the best out of your studies and comply with the conditions of your Student visa, you must ensure that you: 

  • Punctually attend all in-person or online lectures, seminars and other study sessions
  • Check-in to scheduled sessions with your Module Tutor
  • Inform your Module Tutor in advance if you are unable to attend scheduled classes or sessions
  • Submit all coursework and attend all examinations and assessments on time
  • Regularly engage with your supervisor when working on projects or dissertations
  • Attend monthly supervision meetings with your Director of Studies (Postgraduate Research students)
  • Respond promptly to communications regarding your attendance or engagement 

Studying online

You may use online resources to support your studies, but your Student visa does not permit you to study remotely via online learning. You are required to attend all timetabled sessions in person.


If you are on a work placement, you must attend your placement in full and notify your employer if you will be absent for any reason. The University will contact your employer regularly to check your attendance.

Support and advice

 We want you to succeed and have the best experience when studying with us, so if you are struggling to engage with your studies, you must notify your Personal Academic Tutor who will be able to discuss any issues with you and provide appropriate support. You can also be signposted to other University support services such as Student Liaison Officers, Disability Service, Counselling Service and Financial Advisors.


Your Student visa allows limited working rights. It will be stated on your visa if you can work and the number of hours you are allowed to work per week (defined as a 7-day period starting on a Monday and ending on the following Sunday). This includes any paid work, unpaid work, voluntary work and internships.

If your course of study is at degree level or above you are allowed to work up to 20 hours per week during term time, and full-time during vacations. If your course of study is below degree level you will be able to work 10 hours per week during term time and full-time during holidays

You must not work beyond your allowed working hours or carry out any prohibited work. Breach of working rights can result in cancellation of your visa, fines and/or a ban on entry to the UK. You can find further information about permitted work for Student visa holders on the UKCISA website.

Changes in your circumstances

If you change your contact details at any time during your studies you are required to provide us with updated details through xxxxYou must also inform UKVI directly of any changes. If you change your personal details (such as your name), or receive a new passport, you must update us as well as UKVI. 

We are required to report any significant changes in your studies to UKVI, such as a change in programme, study location, addition of a work placement, or course duration. Changes to your course may affect your visa and could require you to leave the UK to apply for a new Student visa.

You must contact the ISST for advice before submitting a formal request for a change to your School, Department, or Faculty.

We are also required to report you to UKVI if you withdraw from, or interrupt your programme of studies for more than 60 days. In this case your student status will cease (including your right to work), your visa will be curtailed and you will be expected to leave the UK. 

Change of immigration status

If you change your immigration status by moving into another visa category you must contact us immediately and provide a copy of your new visa so we can update your records including your new visa expiry date.

 If you apply for a new visa or a new passport at any point during your studies, you must provide a copy of your passport and visa to ISST so that this can be updated on your student record.

Policy documents

Student Admissions Policy 2023-24

Terms and Conditions of Enrolment 2023-24

Student Attendance and Engagement Policy 2023-24

Tier 4/Student Route Attendance Census 2023-24

Get in touch

International Team

Tel: +44 (0)1204 903 110


Student Advisor Team

Tel: +44 (0)1204 903 733



Admissions Team

Tel: +44 (0)1204 903 394


Student Funding Team

Tel: +44 (0)1204 903 481



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Help Centre

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Help Centre

We have the answers to your questions, find all the advice and support in one place.

Part of the University of Bolton Group

Bolton college
Alliance learning
Anderton centre2
QQA Scheme Participant