Visa information

Applying for a visa

You will need a Tier 4 (General) student visa to study at Lancaster University International Study Centre.

How do I get a student visa?

Visa applications in the UK are awarded via a points system. If you earn enough points, you will be granted a visa. The process is as follows:

  • First, you must apply for the programme of your choice at the International Study Centre.
  • Receive an offer letter.
  • Send your paperwork to the International Study Centre. Requested documents include IELTS scores, financial statements, tuberculosis certificate, and academic grades if you have them.
  • Pay a deposit and CAS payment to the International Study Centre.
  • Receive your CAS (Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies).
  • Complete a visa application online. Attach financial statements which prove that you have the funds to cover the programme and your living costs.
  • You will be contacted to let you know the outcome of your application.

When should I apply for a visa?

You can apply for a visa up to three months before your course start date. Apply early to make sure there is enough time for your application to be processed. Check average visa processing times for your country here.

How long can I stay in the UK on a student visa?

If you have a Tier 4 (General) student visa, and your course is between six and 12 months long, you may arrive in the UK up to one month before it starts. You can stay in the UK for an extra 4 months after the end date of your programme.

Visa credibility interviews

What is a credibility interview?

Credibility interviews, also known as visa interviews, are designed to ensure that you comply with the UK’s immigration rules. In the interview, an Entry Clearance Officer (ECO) will try to establish that you are a genuine student, and not planning to use a student visa for holiday or work. The purpose of the interview is to show that you are serious, and that you have researched your chosen course and university.

Will I have a credibility interview?

Whether or not you are invited to a credibility interview depends on which country you are applying from. Check if you may need to have one here.

Where will I have my credibility interview?

You will normally be interviewed at the visa application centre when you submit your visa application documents. This interview is via a secure video system and you will be interviewed by a UKVI member of staff who is in the UK.

How should I prepare for a credibility interview?

Make sure you have researched Lancaster University International Study Centre, its local area, and the content of your chosen course. Think about your reasons for wanting to study there.

What questions will I be asked in a credibility interview?

Below are some common examples of credibility interview questions:

Tell the interviewer your reasons for wanting to study at Lancaster.

You should be able to explain why you have decided you would prefer to study in the UK, and not in your home country or somewhere else abroad.

Show the interviewer that you have done your research into the best course for you.

The interview will expect you to demonstrate that you can afford to live and study in the UK.

You need to show that you are planning for the future, and that you are serious about getting a degree from a UK university.

What if my student visa is refused?

If you receive a visa refusal, you have 28 days to submit an Administrative Review to the UKVI and contest the decision made by the ECO. You will need to respond in writing to each of the points raised in the refusal.