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Applying Outside of the UK

If you are applying from outside the UK for a Tier 4 student visa, you will be applying for an Entry Clearance visa. Please note this information is only to be used as a guide. Read the Home Office Tier 4 Policy Guidance or the full requirements.

Tier 4 Entry Clearance Visa

Entry Clearance exampleThis page has general information regarding applying from outside of the UK for a Tier 4 Student Visa. 

When you apply in your home country to get a Tier 4 visa, the visa you will get is called an ‘Entry Clearance’ visa. It will be written on the top of your visa and looks like this example. 

For more information visit the GOV.UK Tier 4 webpage. 

For information on the Tier 4 requirements visit our Tier 4 Visa Requirements webpage.

On this page
How to Apply
Entry Clearance Start Date
After You Receive Your Visa
Visa Refusals
More Resources 

How to Apply

Applying for an Entry Clearance visa from outside the UK:.

1.  Prepare to meet all the requirements and to get all the required documents ready to apply.  Preparing your finances is the main requirement that you need to do in advance.  If you are using a bank account, you need to show the total funds required for 28 days.  Other financial documents may also take time to prepare, so start early.  Also prepare how and when you are going to apply.  It is also essential that you know the requirements and rules.

2.  Get a CAS Statement from UEA.  If you are required to have an ATAS Certificate, you must apply for this before you able to get your CAS.

3.  Complete the application form online.  Apply online on the GOV.UK website

4.  Submit your application and supporting documents.  Follow the instructions when you apply.  You will either have to post your documents, including your passport to the UK Consulate or Visa Application Centre, or you will need to take your documents with you to your interview appointment.  You must submit the all original documents and photocopies.  Your originals will be returned to you.

5.  Attend an interview appointment - All students applying for a Tier 4 visa will be required to attend an interview appointment, where you will also give your biometrics (a photograph and your fingerprints).

6.  Your visa will be in your passport.  Most students will get their visa and passport sent to them in the post, however depending on the process you may get it at the same time as your appointment.

Entry Clearance Start Date

If you apply as a Tier 4 (General) Student and the course is 6 months or more or is a pre-sessional course less than 6 months, your entry clearance visa will start 1 month before the course.

  • If your course is less than 6 months and is not a pre-sessional course, then it will start 7 days before the course.
  • A pre-sessional course is described as a course that prepares you for your main course of study in the UK.

After you receive your visa

Check your Entry Clearance visa carefully, make sure:
  • your name and date of birth are correct,
  • it is a student Tier 4 visa to study at UEA, 
  • It has UEA's Sponsor Licence Number (XNU1YRCC2),
  • the start date is on or before you plan on travelling,
  • the expiry date is correct,
  • if you are required to register with the police after you arrive in the UK

If anything is wrong or incorrect on your visa:

  • Try to get it corrected immediately before you travel to the UK 
  • It can be difficult to get your visa corrected after you are in the UK 
  • If you do notice anything is wrong including your expiry date after you arrive in the UK, you should make an appointment with one of the International Student Advisors in the Dean of Students' Office.  We will try to get your visa corrected, but the process can take a long time and cannot be guaranteed, so it is best to do it before you leave. 

Entry Clearance Refusals 

If your visa application is refused and you feel it was wrongly rejected, then you will need to email us at with a scanned copy of the rejection letter from the Entry Clearance Officer.  We will do our best to help and advise you accordingly.  There is no full right of appeal, but you can ask for an Administrative Review of the decision.  You must make your request within 28 days for the date you receive the refusal notice.  The process is explained in the Policy Guidance.  It is advised that you seek legal advice at this point.

Administrative Reviews do not usually result in a change in decision, because in most cases you cannot submit new or different documents.  That is why it is very important to submit all the correct documents at the time of your application.

Warning: Do not allow an agent or other representative to send off your application unless you have checked through the completed forms and all the documents that are enclosed with it. Errors made by an agent or representative, or attempts to deceive can result in you being banned from entering the UK for up to 10 years.

More Resources

GOV.UK Tier 4 website

UKCISA - Applying for a Tier 4 (General) Visa 

Dean of Students' Office Tier 4 Requirements webpage

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