Immigration and VISA procedures
This section contains all the information you will need regarding VISA application the points based sysatem.
1. Points Based System (PBS) Tier 4 (General) Student Visa
The Points Based System (PBS) reflects the UK Home Office immigration rules and includes the concept of Sponsorship, in which education providers must be licensed by the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI). Queen’s University is a Tier 4 Sponsor and has a UKVI Sponsor Licence. Under PBS students who wish to enter the UK apply under Tier 4 (General) Student Visa.
When you apply for a Tier 4 visa you must include a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) number. The University will assign your CAS number through the UK Visas and Immigration system. In advance of issuing your CAS, the Admissions and Access Service will send you a form for you to provide details of any previous study in the UK, including copies of previous visa stamps. This form must be returned before a CAS can be issued.
The CAS number will be included in a letter called a ‘CAS statement’ which will be sent to you by the Admissions and Access Service. This will have important information that you need for your visa application.
Important note: A CAS statement (including a CAS number) will only be sent to those applicants who have firmly accepted an unconditional offer of a place. It is important therefore that you inform the Admissions and Access Service as soon as possible whether you wish to accept or decline your offer. Please see the following link for details of the procedure for issuing your CAS.
Check your CAS statement carefully when you receive it. If you notice any errors with any element of your CAS statement, please inform the Admissions and Access Service as soon as possible. This includes errors with course start and end dates, course titles and level of the course.
Find more information on Visas and the Points Based System on the International Student Support Office website.
Information on the PBS is also available at UK Visas and Immigration website.
The immigration rules are subject to change and it is your responsibility to check the UK Visas and Immigration website.
If you are a non-EU/EEA/Swiss national, the University is required to check your immigration documents to ensure that you have correct immigration permission to study at Queen's before you can enrol. All non-EU/EEA/Swiss students must present their passport and visa or other immigration permission to the International Student Support Office, who will take a photocopy and check your right to study. This process is normally carried out during International Welcome and Orientation.
2. Extension of Leave – Students who are currently studying at Queen’s
If you are currently studying as a student at Queen’s and need to extend your visa you should contact the International Student Support team at email@example.com who will advise on the procedures and the appropriate forms to complete.
3. Extension of Leave – Students who are currently studying elsewhere in the UK
If you are studying at another educational institution in the UK and you want to extend your visa to study at Queen’s University, you will need a CAS. A CAS statement will be sent to those applicants who have firmly accepted an unconditional offer of a place.
4. Extension of Leave – Migrants already in the UK who wish to study at Queen’s
Depending on the type of visa you currently have, it might be possible for you to study without switching (changing) to a student visa. If you are not sure about your visa and whether you can study please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
5. Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS)
The Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) applies to all non-EU/EEA nationals undertaking an Enhanced Undergraduate degree (MEng or MSci) in Materials Science, Materials Technology, Chemical, Process and Energy Engineering, Aerospace Engineering, Mechanical Engineering or Physics. For students covered by the scheme, an ATAS clearance certificate will be required before application for a visa or entry clearance can be made i.e. it will be a mandatory part of the immigration process.
This is a requirement for most immigration categories, even those who do not require a Tier 4 visa, but who may have been granted another form of time-limited leave to remain eg. as a dependant, family member, or refugee. The only exception is for applicants holding Indefinite Leave to Enter/Remain or other form of unlimited leave.
In order to be issued with a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS), all applicants who are required to obtain ATAS clearance must provide evidence to the Admissions and Access Service that they have already submitted an application for ATAS clearance. This should be in the form of a screenshot from your application record on the ATAS online application system.
An ATAS clearance certificate is valid for 6 months from the date of issue by the Foreign & Commonwealth Office. You can apply for an ATAS certificate up to 6 months in advance of the beginning of your programme. For example, if your programme begins on 13 September 2017, you may apply for your ATAS clearance certificate after 13 March 2017.
If you require ATAS clearance, you should apply in good time, and provide a screenshot from the ATAS online application system to Admissions at the earliest opportunity. Please do not wait until your offer becomes unconditional, as this will delay the issue of your CAS.
If you require an ATAS clearance certificate, an attachment will be provided by the Admissions and Access Servcice. This will include confirmation of your personal and programme details, the JACS code for your area of study (used by the immigration authorities to determine if ATAS clearance is needed or not) and a list of the modules you will be studying. It is important that you retain this attachment as it is required when you are completing your application for ATAS clearance and also later when applying for a visa/entry clearance. The University reference number which you will be asked for is your application number provided in the offer letter and on the attachment.
Full details about the scheme, including the ATAS application, can be found at http://www.fco.gov.uk/atas.