Visa information for Applicants

Sponsor Licence Number: 0BT931EY6

This is Brunel's Sponsor License Number (it begins with a zero). Your Tier 4 visa must have been issued for Brunel (and for the course for which you obtained an offer with us) to be able to register. If you are applying for a Pathways course with our partners LIBT, Brunel will also act as the sponsor for your visa.

Do I need a visa to study at Brunel?

If you are an international student then you will probably need a visa to study at Brunel University. If you are not sure then you can use the 'Do I need a visa?' service on the UKVI website (external site) for more help. You should make sure that you apply for a visa that covers the full length of your course. If you need more help the Immigration Officer (Amissions) at Brunel International can provide basic advice via email, but we are not able to offer appointments or in-depth advice to applicants.

If you do need a visa you must have this before you can register for your course when you arrive at Brunel - Read more about what visa documents you will need to provide.

What type of visa do I need?

For all Undergraduate, Postgraduate and most English Language and Foundation courses at Brunel you should apply for a Tier 4 Student (General) Visa which covers the whole duration of your course. The Points Based System was introduced by the government several years ago and it is often subject to change. You should make sure to consult the most up to date advice listed on the UKVI Website (external site).

Immigration queries

If you have any further questions we are happy to answer by email. Please contact us at
For information on our services for current students, please see our Services for Current Students web pages. 

Making a Visa Application

Applying inside the UK

If you are applying from within the UK and currently have any one of these visas, then you can apply for your visa online using the UKVI website (external site). Please see our guide on renewing your student visa for help with completing the form and how to make your application.

Although you will submit your application online, you will need to post your documents to the UKVI (we always recommend using Recorded Delivery or Special Delivery at the Post Office). Alternatively, you may prefer to make an in-person (called a Premium Appointment) at a UKVI Public Enquiry Office. This is the fastest way to apply but is a lot more expensive. Please be aware that during the busiest months of August and September, it may be very difficult to book a Premium Appointment. It is very important that you allow enough time to apply for your visa to enable you to register for your course in time.

If your visa expires more than 1 calendar month before the start date of any new course, you must return to your home country and apply from there.

Applying outside the UK 

If you are applying from outside the UK, the UKVI website has a list of where and how to apply, and the cost of application. When you apply you should also be sure to take the relevant documentation. If you need help with your visa application, British Council offices and the British High Commission can provide assistance. You cannot apply for your visa more than 3 months before the start of your course.

A useful video that gives an overview of the visa application process can be found at the website

Credibility Interviews

You may be selected to attend an interview as part of your visa application. The interview is designed to ensure that you are a genuine student and that your English Language ability is suitable for you to study in the UK. It is likely that you will be interviewed using a video-link to a UKBA officer based in the UK. Alternatively, you may be interviewed using a telephone.

Do not be alarmed if you are selected for an interview. This is part of the standard visa application process. You must ensure that you attend the interview as it is compulsory unless you have a valid reason why you cannot attend. Your visa application will automatically be refused if you do not attend without good cause.

If you are asked to attend an interview, make sure that you answer the questions clearly and honestly. The questions will cover the following areas:

1. Your ability to speak English: You must be able to communicate in basic English, regardless of any qualifications you may already hold in English. You will not be allowed to use an interpreter.

2. Your intentions to study: You must be able to talk about the course you wish to study in the UK and explain how and why you made the decision to study this course at Brunel University.

3. Your education history: You may be asked about what you have studied in the past. If there have been any gaps between your periods of study, you will need to explain these.

4. Your plans for after you have finished studying: You need to think about what you intend to do after you have finished your course and whether or not you intend to return to your home country as you may be asked about this.

5. Your financial information: Your financial details may be discussed at the interview to check that you have access to enough money to support you while you study.

Your CAS

As part of the Points Based System, you will need to achieve 40 points to receive a TIER 4 visa. 30 Points are awarded for having a valid Confirmation of Acceptance of Studies (CAS) number. The remaining 10 points are awarded for Maintenance.

Brunel can only send you a CAS number once your offer has been made unconditional. If you have a conditional offer you will need to fulfill all your conditions as soon as possible to ensure you have enough time to apply for your visa.

The first CAS we issue you with is free. However if you need us to issue you with a different CAS (for example if you decide to change course after a CAS has been issued) then there will be an administration fee. This covers the cost charged to us by UKVI. A CAS number will expire if not used within 6 months, so we will not issue a CAS more than 6 months before the start of your course. A CAS can only be used in a visa application up to three months before the course start date.

Brunel will issue your CAS in the form of an email. This CAS statement will list all the qualifications we used as the basis of your offer for the course. You must include the originals of all the qualifications listed in the CAS statement when you apply for your visa. 

Your Maintenance Requirement

You need to achieve 40 points in the Points Based system to receive a TIER 4 visa. 10 points are awarded for Maintenance. The remaining 30 points are awarded for having a valid CAS number.

The maintenance requirement is evidence that you have enough money to cover your tuition fees, as well as an additional amount to cover your living costs. Brunel University is classed as being Outer London for visa purposes, so the level of funding you need to show is slightly lower than someone who is studying in Inner London. For courses that are less than 9 months long you must show that you have £800 per month for each month of your course. If your course includes part of a month, you must always include that month. For courses that are 9 months or over, you must show that you have £7,200. Please note that this is in addition to your tuition fees.

If you are bringing dependants (such as a husband, wife or child) you must show you have an additional £450 per month for each dependant.


UKVI intend to increase the Maintenance requirement for Tier 4 students and their dependants from 1st July 2014. This means that anyone applying for a Tier 4 visa, or as a dependant of a Tier 4 Migrant must show the new level of funds for the Maintenance requirement. This will be:

For courses that are less than 9 months long you must show that you have £820 per month for each month of your course. If your course includes part of a month, you must always include that month. For courses that are 9 months or over, you must show that you have £7,380. Please note that this is in addition to your tuition fees.

If you are bringing dependants (such as a husband, wife or child) you must show you have an additional £460 per month for each dependant.

For more information about the new Maintenance rules in place from 6th April 2012, please see the Home Office website (external link).

For more information about the Maintenance requirements, please read the Tier 4 Policy Guidance at the UKVI Website.

What is acceptable as proof of funds?

  • Cash funds in a bank in your name, or jointly in your name (this can include savings accounts). The money must have been in your account for at least 28 days, and the proof you show (bank statements etc) must be no more than 1 month old, (extra conditions apply in the case of joint accounts - please see the Tier 4 Policy Guidance for details).
  • A loan letter or other official document
  • Money held by your parents/legal guardians (extra conditions apply in this case - please see the Tier 4 Policy Guidance for details)
  • A letter from your Financial sponsor (see more information about what is classed as an Official Financial Sponsor)

To make sure your documents are accepted by UKVI, please check the format requirements in the Tier 4 Policy Guidance document on the UKVI website.

Remember that if your money is in another currency you must write the equivalent in UK £ Sterling on your application form. The UKVI uses (external site) to check current rates.

Existing Visa

If you have a visa which was issued prior to the introduction of the Points Based system, or a visa which is in a category outside the Points Based system (such as a spouse visa, diplomatic visa etc), you may not need a TIER 4 visa to study at Brunel.

If you wish to enrol on a non-TIER 4 visa, you should contact the Immigration Officer (Admissions) at Brunel International as soon as possible to confirm that your visa is suitable for enrolment at the University.

If you have a TIER 4 visa issued by another sponsor, or which does not cover the whole duration on your course at Brunel, you will need to apply for a new Brunel sponsored visa before you can enrol.

If you are in any doubt about the suitability of your visa, please contact the Immigration Officer (Admissions)  at Brunel International.

Student Visitor Visa

You should not apply for a Student Visitor Visa if you are coming to study at Brunel unless you only intend to study one of our English@Brunel programmes that are less than 24 weeks long and you are not planning to start another course of study with us as soon as the English@Brunel programme finishes. This is because you cannot 'switch' from a Student Visitor Visa to a Tier 4 visa from inside the UK - you must return and apply from your home country.

Page last updated: Friday 04 April 2014