If you are currently in the UK with immigration permission for a non-study related category, for example you may be a dependant on a spouse’s or parent’s Work Visa, you may not need a Student Visa to undertake a degree course. If in doubt, you should seek independent immigration advice for clarification.
If you are an EU/EEA or Swiss National and you entered the UK before 31st December 2020 you may be able to apply to stay in the UK under the EU Settlement Scheme, which if granted would allow you to study in the UK without needing a Student Visa. For further details, please see UK government information on the EU Settlement Scheme.
Visa Requirements - the Points Based System
You must be able to score 70 points as detailed below to be able to apply for a Student Visa:
- Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies requirement
- Course requirement
- Approved qualification requirement
- Level of Study requirement
- Place of Study requirement
Once you have received an unconditional offer, which is attained by applicants who meet our entry requirements, you will be required to pay 50% of your first year’s tuition fees. Once we have received your payment, the Admissions and Registration Team will ask you to complete a CAS request form.
A Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) is unique to each applicant and contains personal details and information related to their course of study. You will need the reference number from your CAS in order to apply for your visa. As part of our pre-CAS checks, we may ask for a range of further details, which are referred to in sections below.
We reserve the right to refuse to assign a CAS if we do not believe an applicant will meet the requirements of the Immigration Rules. We must only assign a CAS where we reasonably believe that the applicant is able to meet the requirements of the Student Route under which we assign the CAS to ensure that we are fully compliant with the UKVI immigration laws in our duty as a Sponsor.
To successfully qualify for a visa, UK Visas and Immigration need to know that you can support yourself while living in the UK. Further details can be found in the UK government's student visa information - money section.
Please note that where necessary Leeds Conservatoire may conduct checks regarding this requirement. For example, we may check that your personal bank statements have the required funds for 28 consecutive days prior to issuing your CAS.
Having the necessary standard of English is a key requirement for both qualifying for your course and obtaining a visa.
You will need to meet a particular level on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) scale in an English language test, as set by the UK Visa and Immigration (UKVI) department. For degree level study this is CEFR level B2 or above.
The English Language requirement for studying at Leeds Conservatoire is to score the equivalent of IELTS 6.0 with no sub-test/section lower than 5.5. While IELTS is commonly taken, if you have an alternative English Language qualification please contact the Admissions and Registration Team who will be able to confirm its equivalency, or if you don't yet meet requirements may sign-post you on what to take.
Please note that before applying for a visa you will need to obtain an unconditional offer from University Centre Leeds.
We will assess how you meet the course entry requirements and the English Language requirement as part of your application to study with us. Non-UK academic qualifications are assessed using guidance from UK NARIC. If your application to your course is successful, we will advise what documents you will need to provide in order to meet the course and English Language requirement for an unconditional offer.
Applying for your Student Visa
Once you have received your CAS from University Centre Leeds you will need to apply online for your Visa. You will also be required to make an appointment at a Visa Application Centre to provide your biometrics (fingerprints and facial photograph).
If you have a current immigration status in the UK, it may be possible for you to apply for your Student Visa within the UK. You should contact an independent immigration advisor for clarification of your circumstances.
You will need the following documents for your application:
- Current passport
- CAS issued by University Centre Leeds
- Any academic evidence stated on your CAS. You must take original documents to your appointment. If any of your documents are not in English you must also provide a fully certified translation by a professional translator.
- Any English Language evidence stated on your CAS.
- Proof that you have enough money to pay the remaining tuition fees for the first year of your course, as well as the appropriate amount of maintenance. This money must have been in your bank account for at least 28 consecutive days and within 31 days of the date you apply for your visa. There may be circumstances where you will not need to provide proof of enough money to support yourself – further details can be found in the UK government's student visa information - money section.
- In some circumstances, the UK Visas and Immigration department may invite you for a credibility interview before making the decision on your Student Visa application. These interviews will be conducted in English, meaning the interviewing officer will assess your English Language ability. They will also ask questions about your reasons for coming to the UK, and details about the course you are coming to study.
- Depending on which country you are based in, you may be required to present a Tuberculosis Certificate.
You can check the latest visa application fee here. Please note that depending on your country of origin you may have additional services such as priority processing time available at your nearest application centre for an additional cost.
If you are applying from within the UK you can check the latest fee here. Please be aware there is an additional charge for your biometrics.
You will also be required to pay an Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) as part of your visa application. This will give you access to the UK’s National Health Service (NHS). Check the government website for the most recent fee. This is paid when you apply for your visa and covers the duration of your total stay in the UK on a Student Visa.
Travelling to the UK
When your visa has been approved you will receive an entry stamp (vignette) in your passport that will be valid for one month and enables you to enter the UK. We would advise you not to confirm any travel arrangements until you have received the outcome of your Student Visa application.
Once you arrive in the UK you will be issued with your Biometric Residence Permit (BRP). Your decision letter will give you details about where you will need to go to collect this and what documents you need to take with you.