Visas & Immigration

If you want to take an undergraduate or postgraduate degree and do not live in the European Economic Area or Switzerland then you will need a Tier 4 visa.

See the UK government's visa website to check your visa options.

Below is a general introduction you can use as a starting point to reading official UK government guidelines. Students from some countries may be subject to different criteria - for example alternative English proficiency rules, or agreements allowing simpler documentary requirements.  Please note that you may still be asked for evidence of your English language ability as part of the academic conditions of entry.

Leeds Conservatoire staff are unable to provide immigration advice. 

Important Considerations 

Firstly, please use the information in the UKCISA website to check the countries/locations from which you will be able to make your Tier 4 visa application.

Please apply to Leeds Conservatoire, audition and secure an unconditional offer before you apply to UK Visas and Immigration for your visa.

Your visa may be affected by any UK qualifications you have previously taken, especially if you want to study at a lower level than before - more information can be found on the UK government's visa website.

The Tier 4 visa you are granted will be valid for study at Leeds Conservatoire only.

Please review the checklist below. When you have applied for your visa, you will hear the result from your local visa centre after a few weeks.  You can check current visa processing times on the UK government's visa website.

Visa Checklist

1. CAS

Tier 4 visas are decided on points - to get a visa, you need 30 points from your ‘CAS’ status and 10 points via your financial situation (below). CAS stands for ‘Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies’ - your CAS information proves that you are sponsored by a Tier 4 sponsor.

To score 30 points for CAS, please check the following:

Have you passed English language requirements?
To qualify for a Tier 4 visa, you will need to demonstrate that your English language skills are equivalent to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages Level B2.

The above level is most commonly referenced as IELTS level 6.0 overall, with 5.5. minimum in in each part of the test. However, we can accept a range of different English language qualifications, which you can find in a table on our entry requirements page.

For more details, please see the UKVI website

Have you provided us with the information we need to give you an unconditional offer?
In addition to any English language qualifications, we typically need to see academic qualifications, which you can scan to us. References, personal statements or additions to your audition portfolio may also be requested.

Have you paid half of your first year’s tuition fees?
Once you have an unconditional offer by Leeds Conservatoire, please then pay 50% of your first year’s tuition fees. 

Have you received a CAS statement?
After we receive your payment we will send you a CAS statement to use to fill out your visa application. Importantly, your CAS statement includes your CAS number and Leeds Conservatoire’s Tier 4 sponsor licence number.

2. Financial Requirements

You need to score 10 points for your financial situation, as UK Visas and Immigration need to know that you can support yourself while living in the UK. Please check the following: 

Do you meet the financial requirements?
You need to hold a required amount of money for study and living costs. Before you can obtain a visa, UK Visas and Immigration will check that you have held the required amount in your bank account for the whole period. Please make sure:

  • You have the required amount for 28 days
  • For those 28 days, your account balance doesn’t go below the required amount

Do you have the right financial documents for UK Visas and Immigration?
As well as needing to hold the amount required for long enough, you also need documents to prove this. 

Two good resources for checking the resources are UKCISA and the full Tier 4 visa guidance notes.

3. Applying

Do you know when and where to apply?
Although you can fill out a visa application online, to complete the application you must take your documents and evidence to a visa application centre in your country. To find a centre, please use this visa centre search tool.  

Are all your documents ready?
Please make sure you are thoroughly aware of all the documents the visa centre will need to see from you. For applicants from some countries this may include a Tuberculosis Certificate.

Are you ready for an interview?
You might have an interview at the visa centre. Many applicants experience this, and it is not a problem. You might be asked questions about the course you will study, your reasons for studying in the UK, or why you chose Leeds Conservatoire. Don’t worry – just answer truthfully.

Do you know where to collect your Biometric Residence Permit (BRP)?
Initially, you will be granted 30 days stay in the UK. Within 10 days of the day you tell UK Visas and Immigration you will arrive in the UK, you must collect your Biometric Residence Permit – Your BRP is effectively your visa.

See the UK government website for further details. Your decision letter from the UKVI will tell you which Post Office to collect your BRP from.  The UKVI choose a Post Office which is near to where you will be studying and living. 

Immigration Health Charge
To move to the UK, please be aware that some students on Tier 4 visas will need to pay a health surcharge in order to be covered by the National Health Service.  For more details please see the UK Immigration Services website.

Please note you will also need to register with the police when you arrive.

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