GCU is required to have a Tier 4 licence to sponsor students to come to the UK on Tier 4 visas. We have many obligations and duties as a Tier 4 Sponsor, and you as our student also have certain responsibilities.
Visa - Apply for your Tier 4 visa from OUTSIDE the UK (Entry Clearance)
If you are applying for your Tier 4 from your home country, please read our Guide to Visa application outside the UK. Remember to email Visa Immigration Support and Advice (VISA) Team if you require any assistance with your application. Visa@GCU.ac.uk or GCU London: visa@GCULondon.ac.uk
Applying for your Tier 4 visa from INSIDE the UK (Leave to Remain)
All applications for Tier 4 and Tier 4 dependants are now submitted online, using the UKVI online application form. The fee is £475 (and £475 for each dependant application). For applications made in person (e.g. at a Premium Services Centre) the total fee is the standard fee plus £610 per person (this includes the £100 appointment booking fee, which may be retained should you fail to attend your appointment without good reason).
You can only extend your existing visa or switch to this visa if you are already in the UK. In order to apply for a new Tier 4 visa in the UK your new course of studies must start no more than 28 days after the end of your current leave. If the gap between the end of your current leave and the start of your new course (as stated on your CAS) is longer than 28 days then you must leave the UK and apply from your home country.
If you are applying from inside the UK, it is mandatory to apply through VISA, We will advise you on your documents, check your form, and send your application for you. Our leaflet provides general information on the service and contact details Visa Immigration Support and Advice
Our handy guide to Tier 4 online applications will provide support on how to fill out each section of the online form. Please stop when instructed to do so in the guide as your CAS details are provided once the VISA Advisor has checked your answers and all supporting documents are ready to submit.
You will receive your Biometric Enrolment Letter from the VISA advisor at your submission appointment after your online application process is completed. You have 15 working days to enrol your fingerprints and photographs at the Post Office and we highly recommend you do so as quickly as possible.
You may need to pay a healthcare surcharge (called the ‘Immigration Health Surcharge’) as part of your immigration application.
This amount is a single payment and applicants will be charged the annual amount for each year of the maximum period of leave which could be granted under the immigration rules. If the period of leave includes part of a year that is more than 6 months, the full annual amount is payable i.e. £150 for students and dependants per year. If this period of leave includes part of a year that is 6 months or less, the amount payable for that part of a year is half the specified amount, i.e. £75 for students and dependants.
Note that the Order refers to length of leave, not length of course, so the additional periods at the start and end of a course are taken into account when calculating the immigration health charge.
You will be required to make the payment during the VISA appointment during your submission of your application.
Any Tier 4 visa refusal with a CAS from GCU is counted against the University's sponsor licence. To this end, VISA provides all current and prospective students at GCU with up-to-date and accurate visa advice, and is the only department at GCU that can offer this.
If you are applying from your home country, please ensure that you read our guide on applying for your visa from overseas, and please email us: visa@GCU.ac.uk or advice@GCU London.ac.uk if you have any questions about your form or documents.
If you are applying from inside the UK, it is mandatory to apply through VISA We will advise you on your documents, check your form, and send your application for you.
It is extremely important that you attend all of your classes/lectures/tutorials/lab sessions and other timetabled parts of your programme. If you cannot attend due to illness or personal reasons, then you must inform your School immediately, advising on when you expect to return. You may be asked to produce medical certificates to explain any absence from class, so it is essential that you are registered with a GP (doctor).
One of GCU's duties as a sponsor is to notify the UKVI if your attendance becomes below acceptable University levels without explanation which will lead to your visa being curtailed (shortened) and you will have to leave the UK. If your illness will lead to you missing a larger part of your programme, your School may ask you to take some time out from your studies to recover and return at a later date. Please contact visa@GCU.ac.uk or advice@GCULondon.ac.uk for further advice on what you would need to do in this situation.
If you need to leave the UK for any reason (academic/personal) during your studies, then you must get this authorised by your School to request 'Permission to Leave'. Absence during term-time will only be authorised for a very short time, and in special situations. If agreed, then you must abide by whatever arrangement is made, and not return any later than the date agreed. Again, contact VISA for further advice on this. You will be required to provide flight evidence and entry stamp to the VISA team.
Further information on how to protect your student status can be found in our leaflet Protecting Your Student Visa If you leave the UK our leaflet Leaving and Re-entering the UK gives advice and useful tips.
Remember to keep us up to date with any changes in your personal circumstances. If your contact details (email address, postal address, phone number) change, please update these at the Registry at the Campus Life Desk, Level 1 George Moore Building. GCU London students can update these at the Student Desk.
If your postal address in the UK changes while you have a visa application in progress, please speak to VISA for advice on notifying the Home Office. Important visa information will be sent to you via University email account, so please ensure that you check your university email every day.
Tier 4 students are entitled to work part-time in the UK during their studies. Your visa/BRP/conditions letter will clearly state the working hours permitted. It is the responsibility of you and your employer to ensure that you do not exceed these hours. If you do, you can both face serious penalties.
If you stop studying before completing your course you will no longer be entitled to work and will be in breach of your conditions of leave if found working.
See a VISA Advisor for more information on working during your studies. You can find information on this and other ways how to protect your student visa status in our leaflet Protecting your student visa status