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International students

Immigration and visas

The International Student Support Office can provide you with advice on any immigration and visa matters you may need help with. Their website has more detailed information on applying for your Student visa.

Most non-UK students coming to study in the UK will need a Student visa, including EEA/EU/Swiss students. International Student Support’s specialist immigration advisers provide advice and support for all Student visa applications starting with detailed information on our Student visa webpage and live webinars throughout the summer.

In order to apply for a Student visa you will need a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) number. This will be issued to you once you hold an unconditional place at the University which has been firmly accepted (including payment of a deposit if required). The University cannot issue a CAS more than 6 months before the start date of your programme and CAS issuing will usually begin approximately 5 months before your start date. You do not need to contact us to start the process, it will begin automatically. Our CAS issuing timeframes will be updated regularly here.

The CAS number is individual to you and you will need this to apply for your Student visa. Each CAS issued is linked to the University/Institution which issued it, so you can only use a CAS to get a visa for that university (if you change your mind and wish to go to another university, you will need to get a CAS and visa for that institution). If you require a Student visa to study in the UK, you will only be able to register at the University of Exeter using a visa which has been issued on the basis of a University of Exeter CAS.

If your programme of study requires you to have ATAS Clearance we will not be able to begin the CAS issuing process until your ATAS certificate is received. If you require ATAS clearance you will be notified in your offer letter.

You must not apply for a Student visa or book a visa appointment without receiving your CAS statement. The University cannot guarantee you will receive this in time for any appointments booked before your CAS is issued.

New Students: When you have met all the conditions of your offer and accepted your place at the University (including paying your deposit, if required), the CAS Team will send you a CAS Contract and Data Check email containing a link to a form that you will need to complete and return. This will happen automatically, so you do not need to contact the CAS team to request this.

Continuing Students: If you need to extend your visa during your studies, International Student Support are responsible for your new CAS and can also assist you with your visa application. Please contact to request a new CAS.

You will be required to complete and fully answer all the questions in the CAS Data Check and sign up to our terms and conditions. Please ensure that you check the information carefully and add any necessary amendments– any mistakes could lead to delays or your visa being refused.

Once you have provided us with the correct information and documents and we are satisfied that you meet the Home Office and University of Exeter entry requirements, we will issue you with a CAS statement, which will include your CAS number, via your contact email address. You do not need to submit the CAS statement with your visa application, but you will need to include the CAS number.

If we do not think that you will be able to make a successful visa application, or do not meet the University of Exeter requirements or if you have previously been refused a visa, it is within our rights to NOT issue you with a CAS.

Once you have firmly accepted your unconditional offer and paid your deposit (if required), the CAS process will begin automatically. Issuing times will vary depending on the time of year and there can be delays in the peak summer period. We publish and regularly update our CAS issuing timeframes here.

We will update your CAS to include any payments that you make for tuition fees or accommodation after the CAS has been issued. However, this can take up to 5 working days, so we cannot guarantee that your CAS will be updated in time for your visa appointment if you make a payment within 5 days of the appointment date. It is important that you bear this in mind when making payments for accommodation or tuition.

Some students will be eligible for a combined CAS which will allow them to apply for a visa to cover both the INTO Pre-sessional English course and their degree programme. You can only be eligible for a combined CAS if you:

  • Meet the academic conditions of your degree programme
  • Pay your tuition fee deposit (if applicable)
  • Have received your ATAS certificate (if applicable)
  • Have paid your INTO pre-sessional fees (both tuition and accommodation)
  • Provide an acceptable English language test demonstrating a minimum of 5.5 IELTS equivalent in all four subskills

You do not need to contact the CAS team to request a combined CAS. You will automatically be assessed for eligibility by the INTO team and all eligible students will be contacted by the CAS team directly.

We will assess your application to ensure that it meets the Home Office’s rules on academic progression. We will contact you if we need more information about your reasons for choosing the programme that you are applying to. The requirement to demonstrate academic progression means that the University will not normally be able to offer anyone who requires a Student visa a place on a programme which is at a lower level than a programme previously studied in the UK. If you have failed to complete the course that you most recently studied in the UK, you will not be able to extend your Student visa in the UK and will be required to return to your home country to apply for your visa.

The Home Office limits the time that students are permitted to spend studying in the UK on a Student (or former Tier 4) visa.

There are no time limits on study at postgraduate level. In general, students are limited to a maximum of 5 years 11 months in the UK at Bachelor’s degree level.

Your visa will be issued as either a 90 day entry visa in your passport with a Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) card (which you will collect on arrival in the UK) or as an electronic visa called an eVisa.

  • BRP card: Many students will currently receive a BRP card. We strongly recommend that you request that this be sent directly to the University. To do this you will need to input the ACL code listed in our BRP Collection information into your visa application form when you apply for your visa.
  • eVisa: If your visa is issued as an eVisa, you will not receive a separate entry visa in your passport. Your full visa will be a digital record connected to your passport which will allow you to travel. You will be able to share your visa with the University by generating a ‘share code’. More information is available on our eVisa page.

Contact the CAS team


Contact the International Student Support Office