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WHY DO YOU NEED A VISA?

Countries have Visa restrictions in order to check and control the flow of visitors in and out of the country and to prevent illegal immigration and other criminal activities. Forcing travellers to apply for a Visa allows the authorities to vet potential visitors. For example, individuals may attempt to travel to a country with better economic opportunities in order to work illegally there.

A student Visa is a type of non-immigrant Visa that allows the bearer to enrol at a post-secondary educational institution in the host country.

WHAT IS THE RIGHT VISA FOR ME?

If you will be in the UK for 6 months or less, you’ll probably need a standard visitor Visa. If you’re coming for longer than 6 months, you’ll need a student Visa.

FAQ's

WHAT DOCUMENTS ARE REQUIRED WHEN APPLYING?
FOR YOUR CONFIRMATION OF ACCEPTANCE FOR STUDIES (CAS) OR STANDARD VISITOR VISA

Once you have decided which programme of study and which start dates are best for you, then we will need the following information:

  • Confirmation of which programme and start date you would like to attend.
  • A copy of your passport, showing your photograph and details
    • C i). Payment of the appropriate course fees will be required before an acceptance letter for Short-term Study Visa application or CAS for Tier 4 (General) visa is issued.
    • C ii)For courses exceeding six months duration, we will need evidence that you have enough money to support yourself whilst studying in the UK. The amount depends on the length of your course and to obtain a visa to study with us, you must be able to show that you have £1015 per month for living costs for the majority of your study (up to a maximum of 9 months) and that you have held those funds for a minimum of 28 days prior to applying for your visa. We require sight of the evidence to ensure you meet the requirement for a successful visa application.
  • For courses exceeding six months’ duration, we will need a copy of your IELTS for UKVI Test Report Form, showing an overall level of 5.0, with not more than one grade below 4.5 for HNC/D programmes; an overall level of 6.0 for the FD and Degree programmes with no grades lower than 5.5 or 5.5 PLUS a minimum one year study programme in the UK. Trinity ISE I and ISE II certificates for tests taken inside the UK are also accepted. Other English language qualification evidence may be used if you are applying for a Short-Term Study Visa. Please contact the college for further advice.
  • A copy of your most recent education certificate showing that you have met the entry requirements of the course.
  • For applicable countries a copy of your TB certificate See the tuberculosis screening programmes information.
FOR YOUR STUDENT VISA

To apply for your Student visa you must provide:

  • A current passport or other valid travel documentation.
  • A Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) from your course provider.

You may also need to provide:

  • Proof you have enough money to support yourself and pay for your course – this will vary depending on your circumstances.
  • A valid ATAS certificate if your course and nationality require it.
  • Proof of parental or other legal guardian consent if you’re under 18.
  • Proof of your relationship to your parent or guardian if you’re under 18.
  • Your tuberculosis test results.
  • Written consent for your application from your financial sponsor if you’ve received sponsorship for your course fees and living costs in the last 12 months.

You may need to provide additional documents depending on your circumstances. Read the guidance for the full list of documents you’ll need to provide.

HOW DO I APPLY?
FOR YOUR CONFIRMATION OF ACCEPTANCE FOR STUDIES (CAS) OR SHORT TERM STUDY VISA

Get in touch with South Shields Marine School to submit your application.

South Shields Marine School will assess your application and contact you if further information is required. On receipt of the full tuition fees the College will issue the appropriate visa to you.

Should you decide to withdraw then the College will pay you the full tuition fees back to your bank, minus an administrative fee of £50. No refunds are given once a visa is issued.

Once they’ve offered you a place on the course, your education provider will send you a reference number called a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies.

FOR YOUR STUDENT VISA

You must apply for your visa within 6 months of receiving your CAS. You are advised to make your visa application as soon as you receive your offer from South Shields Marine School, remembering to factor in the time it will take to provide biometric data (photographs and fingerprints).

Submit your application at the nearest British Embassy, High Commission, or VFS-UK which issues visas or entry clearance. Complete a VAF9 application form plus Points Based System Appendix 8 if you are applying for the student visa from outside the UK

Forms are available to download from the UKVI website.

Applications for dependants/family members applying either alongside the main applicant or separately should also use the online version.

WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?
INTERVIEW

You may be contacted to undertake a Credibility Interview. At this interview the Visa Clearance Officer will ask you a number of questions to ensure that you are a credible student.

There are two types of credibility interviews. The first type will take place at the same time as your biometrics are taken at the Embassy or designated agency. This initial interview should only take five minutes and will be via video link with the Home Office in the UK. The focus of this interview will be your reasons for choosing the UK, South Shields Marine School and your particular programme of study.

You may also be asked questions on the content of your course and how it fits into your career aspirations. The Home Office will record the interview and send a summary to the Entry Clearance Officer who will decide if a second, more detailed, interview is needed.

The Home Office expects most applicants to be able to prove they are genuine at the first stage and that this will in fact speed up the decision process because fewer documentation checks will be required.
We’ve created a guide to some of the questions you may be asked and possible answers.

Read the guide.

CHECKING YOUR VISA

When you get your visa, it is essential that you check it carefully to ensure that:

  • Your name and date of birth are correct
  • It says you are a Tier 4 student
  • It starts on or before the date you want to travel to the UK
  • It does not end sooner than you expect

If any of these details are incorrect, please ask to have your visa amended before you travel as it is very difficult to make changes afterwards and may affect your right to remain in the UK.

Make your travel and accommodation arrangements. If you are delayed in attending your course for the course start date then you must inform South Shields Marine School. If you are unable to attend before the final acceptance date, then again contact South Shields Marine School who will give you your future options.

GOING TO THE UK
BEFORE YOU LEAVE

When you can travel to the UK

You can arrive before your course starts. This can be either:

  • Up to 1 week before, if your course lasts 6 months or less
  • Up to 1 month before, if your course lasts more than 6 months

You must not travel to the UK before the start date given on your visa, no matter when your course starts.

Healthcare surcharge

You’ll also have to pay the healthcare surcharge as part of your application.
How much you pay depends on how long your visa lasts. Check how much you’ll have to pay before you apply.

ONCE YOU’RE HERE

How long you can stay depends on the length of your course and what study you’ve already completed in the UK.

If you’re 18 or over and your course is at degree level, you can usually stay in the UK for up to 5 years. If it’s below degree level, you can usually stay in the UK for up to 2 years.

Read the guidance to find out exactly how long you can stay.

Staying longer in the UK?

You may be able to:

  • Extend your visa if you’re eligible, for example to continue your studies in the UK.
  • Switch to a Student visa from another visa if you’re already in the UK.
  • Switch to a Graduate visa to stay in the UK for at least 2 years after successfully completing your course.
WHAT CAN I DO IN THE UK?
YOU CAN:
  • Study.
  • Work as a student union sabbatical officer.

You may be able to work – how much depends on what you’re studying and whether you’re working in or out of term-time.

Note: If your application is successful, you’ll be told what you can and cannot do on a Student visa.

YOU CANNOT:
  • Claim benefits and pensions.
  • Work in certain jobs, for example as a professional sportsperson or sports coach.
  • Be self-employed.
  • Study at an academy or a local authority-funded school (also known as a maintained school).

HELPFUL CONTACTS/LINKS

Learn more about the UK Government’s student visa information

Get in touch

For any visa enquiries or support, please email natalie.todd@tynecoast.ac.uk or call marine reception on +44 191 427 3639.