The earliest time you can make your Tier 4 visa application is three (3) months before the start date of your course as stated in your CAS. If you submit your visa application earlier than this time, it will be refused by the UK Home Office. If you leave your application too late, you could miss your start date. You should therefore prepare all the necessary documents so that you can make your visa application as soon as you are eligible.

As part of the Tier 4 visa application process you will be required to score 10 points for your maintenance (funds). You must be able to demonstrate that you have access to enough money to pay for your tuition fees for the first year of your studies plus an amount to cover your living costs. This is what is generally referred to as the ‘maintenance test’. The amount to cover your living costs is fixed by the UK Immigration Rules. The amount you will need to demonstrate show to pass the ‘maintenance test’ depends on the length of your programme.

Your CAS will state your tuition fees for the first year of your course. If your course is 12 months or less, your CAS will state the total tuition fees for the course.

You must show the UK Home Office that you have enough money to pay all the tuition fees as stated on your CAS letter plus your living costs, for a successful visa application.

If you have already paid a tuition fee deposit, the amount that you have paid will be stated on your CAS. You can deduct this from the total amount you need to show to pass the ‘maintenance test’. You will therefore need to show the UK Home Office that you have the balance of your tuition fees plus £9,135. You must ensure that your CAS shows any payments you have made to the University towards your fees or accommodation. Once you have made your visa application your CAS cannot be updated.

EXAMPLE: If your tuition fee stated on your CAS is £10,700 and you have already paid a tuition fee deposit of £3,000 to the University you must show that the remaining £7,700 for your tuition fees plus the required living costs of £9,135 is available to you.

£7,700 outstanding tuition fees + £9,135 living costs = £16,835.

Pre-payment of all tuition fees does not guarantee a successful visa application. It only reduces the amount you have to show to pass the ‘maintenance test’. Your visa application will be decided on all the evidence you provide.

  • Your visa: Check the visa requirements and allow yourself enough time to prepare your documents and submit your application in time for your course start date.
  • Money: Make sure you have access to enough funds to cover your tuition, accommodation fees and initial expenses.
  • Initial Expenses: How will you access your funds? Contact your home bank before travelling to ensure you will be able to access your account when you arrive here in the UK.
  • Tuition & Accommodation Fee payments: Make arrangements to ensure that you will be able to pay your Tuition Fees on time. Failure to make Tuition Fee payments may result in suspension of your studies and withdrawal of your visa.
  • Accommodation: Have you been accepted and paid your deposit stay in University Accommodation or will you be looking for Private Accommodation once you arrive? Whatever the case, be sure to check if you can collect your keys when you arrive or if you will need to book temporary accommodation for the first couple of nights.
  • Arrival Date: Not only do you want to arrive in time for the start of your course, but what about Induction Activities? Give yourself enough time to settle in before embarking on your studies.
  • Book your flights: Book your flights to the closest Airports to the University.
  • Airport Transfer: FSTCL offers a pickup service from any UK Airport for students only.
  • Insurance: Make arrangements to take out insurance for your personal belongings. This can be done on arrival, but you may want to take out travel insurance to cover journey and first few days in the UK.
  • Health Insurance: Check out if you will need to take out health insurance to cover the cost of any medical treatment you may need whilst you’re in the UK.
  • Your Official Documents: When coming into the UK there are a few documents you need to bring with you. The UK Border Force have provided the following guides to make your arrival as smooth as possible:

    Take photocopies of your important documents (passport, visa, CAS etc) in case you lose them in transit or whilst in the UK and keep these copies in a safe place.

  • Specific Support: Make sure you tell us if you require any specific support or arrangements because of a disability.
  • Clothing: Be sure to research the weather before you arrive. The UK weather can be very unpredictable.
FSTCL Provides and assist students in the following:
  • Accommodation
  • Airport Pickup
  • Health and Insurance
  • Induction
  • Useful Information
  • Adjusting to Culture Shock
  • Student Wellbeing
  • Study Skills
  • Enrolment
  • English Language Support
  • Registering with a UK Doctor
  • Assistance with Bank Account
  • Visa Regulations

Normally as a student you are allowed to work for 10 or 20 hours part-time per week during your full time course. (This is currently changed to the recent UKBA regulation in the UK, and only student coming to studying in the publicly funded colleges/universities can work). We can through assistance get you placed at paid jobs so that you can at least look after all your living expenses


Contact us at the FSTCL office nearest to you or submit an inquiry online.