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.
We may require you to attend an interview before we issue you with your CAS. If you are required to attend an interview, we will send you an email with details of the time and date and joining instructions. The meeting will take place via Microsoft Teams.
- 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 and you do not need to request a CAS.
- Students who have studied remotely during 2020/21 and have not yet travelled to the UK: Your CAS will likely have expired or will expire shortly. You can request a new CAS by contacting the CAS Team at email@example.com.
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 – any mistakes could lead to delays or your visa being refused.
- If you need an ATAS certificate, we will not be able to issue your CAS until we have a copy of your ATAS certificate.
- 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.
If you have firmly accepted your unconditional offer and paid your deposit (if required) by the beginning of June, you should expect to receive your CAS Contract and Data Check by the middle of June. If your offer is made unconditional after this date you should receive your CAS Contract and Data check within 5 working days of meeting the conditions listed above.
It normally takes 2-3 working days after we have received your returned CAS Contract and Data Check for your CAS to be issued.
At peak times the timeframe for issuing a CAS may increase to up to 5 working days. We would ask that if you have completed all of the above, that you do not contact the CAS Team until after the 5 working days as the volume of telephone calls received can impact on CAS issuing times.
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.
Any student who requires a Student visa to study in the UK is required to demonstrate academic progression from any course previously studied in the UK on a Tier 4 or Student visa. In order to demonstrate academic progression your new course must normally be above the level of the previous course for which you were given Tier 4 / Student immigration permission (e.g. undergraduate to Masters).
If you wish to study a new course at the same level as one which you have already completed under Tier 4 / Student, for example you wish to study a 2nd Masters degree, it may exceptionally be considered to represent academic progression if:
- the new course is related to the previous course for which you were given Tier 4 / Student permission (meaning that it is either connected to the previous course, part of the same subject group or involves deeper specialisation); or
- your previous and new course combined, support your career aspirations.
The University may contact you to request a statement from you in order to justify the academic progression requirement.
The requirement to demonstrate academic progression means that the University will not 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.
If you are coming to study for more than 6 months, you will be required to collect a Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) once you have arrived in the UK. A BRP is a card which acts as evidence of your entitlement to be in the UK. When you apply for your visa in your home country you will be given a visa in your passport which is valid for 90 days. This allows you to travel to and enter the UK, but you must then collect your BRP after you arrive. We strongly recommend that you request that your BRP is sent to the University for you to collect. To do this you need to use the following code in your application when prompted:
- If you will be studying at Streatham at St Luke's Campus: 2HE342
- If you will be studying at Penryn Campus: 2HE347
When the University receives your BRP we will contact you with instructions on how to collect it. If you do not use on of the codes given above your BRP will be delivered to a local Post Office.
Contact the CAS team
Contact the International Student Support Office