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Tier 4 - Points Based Immigration


On 31st March 2009 the UK Border Agency (UKBA) launched the new points-based immigration route for students called Tier 4. This means that there are new rules and new procedures for students seeking initial entry clearance to the UK.


Any student from outside of the European Economic Area (EEA) who has applied for a course of study at Edinburgh Napier University or a NON EEA student currently studying at Edinburgh Napier University will be subject to Tier 4 regulations.


Please see the links below which give information on Tier 4 requirements.

•  Edinburgh Napier Sponsor Licence
•  What is Tier4?
•  Monitoring and Reporting

You can consult the latest Tier 4 policy guidance at UK Border Agency for more information on Tier 4.



Edinburgh Napier Sponsor Licence

Edinburgh Napier University currently holds a Tier 4 Highly Trusted Sponsor (HTS) Licence issued by the UKBA. The licence is valid for 12 months from September 2010.


Our Tier 4 licence number is unique to the University and appears on the visa of any student we sponsor indicating our sponsorship responsibility for the individual.


HTS is the highest level of sponsorship licence available for educational institutions and indicates that the UK Border Agency consider the processes and procedures we currently have in place to support Tier 4 points based immigration are robust.
However we do need to maintain and continue to improve our procedures if we wish to retain the Highly Trusted Status.

What is Tier 4?

Tier 4 is the points based immigration route for non-EEA students, which was introduced at the end of March 2009. The final phase of Tier 4 was introduced in February 2010, although further changes will come into force during 2011/12 following a review of Tier 4 in January 2011.


All successful applications for student visa renewal made on or after March 2009 are also subject to Tier 4 conditions.
Current Tier 4 policy guidance ​is available from the UK Border agency.

Points required for entry clearance/visa renewal under Tier 4


In order to apply for a Tier 4 visa a student must have a total of 40 points. The 40 points are made up of:

• A CAS* number issued by Edinburgh Napier University - 30 points




• Evidence of appropriate maintenance - 10 points


What is a CAS*?

A CAS is a unique identifier number which is issued to the university by UKBA's electronic sponsor management system. This number confirms that UKBA has given the university permission to 'sponsor' the Tier 4 student. If a student applies for a Tier 4 visa using an Edinburgh Napier University CAS, the Tier 4 visa will only be valid for study at Edinburgh Napier University. If a student decides to switch institution the visa would no longer be valid and the student  would be required to apply for a new VISA.


How does a student get a CAS?

A CAS will be issued by  Admissions Services  to all relevant new non-EEA applicants holding unconditional offers from Edinburgh Napier University. The CAS number is issued to the student once they have paid a £3000 deposit and provided Admissions with all relevant details / documents e.g. passport number, evidence of highest qualification.


The CAS number will remain valid for a maximum of 6 months, and a visa application cannot be made more than 3 months before the start of the course.


Continuing students CAS

A CAS number will be issued by Admissions Services. When applying for a visa extension UKBA require confirmation that the student has/ is making satisfactory academic progress. It is the student's responsibility to obtain this confirmation from the School Office.


It is important that students make every effort to pass each stage of their studies, and progress well. If they need a visa extension because they have spent longer than usual finishing their studies this will be expensive for the student and the UKBA will require an explanation as to why they were unable to complete their studies during the expected enrolment period.


The international student advisors in Student & Academic Services are available to assist students with visa extension applications.


Monitoring and Reporting

Under the new immigration rules all licensed immigration sponsors are required by law to keep the following information on students in possession of a Tier 4 visa:

•  Register with the University at the designated time.
    • If the student fails to register with the University during the normal registration period, as stated on the Certificate of  

      Acceptance, we are obliged to report this to the UK immigration authorities - UKBA.
    • The University must do this within 10 working days of the latest date for matriculation
•  Up to date contact information for all students studying at the University 
    • This is the student's responsibility under the terms of their visa
•  Contact history for all students studying at the University
•  A copy of the passport, including the visa page and the biometric card (if applicable) for all students studying at the

    • This is captured at matriculation and a scanned copy of the passport and visa attached to the student's record in

•  Monitor attendance of all Tier 4 students studying at the University 
    • This is being managed by faculties.

•  Monitor progress of all Tier 4 student's
•  Schools must advise Admissions Services if they authorise a student to defer the start date of their studies.
•  Schools must advise the Student Administration Team if a student wishes to transfer studies to another university or, if

   they have started their studies, must formally withdraw the student and complete the appropriate Withdrawal Form.
•  Schools must advise the Student Administration team is a student shortens the duration of their studies.
•  Schools must provide student with written permission to go home to write-up their dissertation or thesis.
•  Following Programme Boards a check must be made to ensure all Tier 4 students have a status which requires


Further information


For further information and advice about Tier 4 please contact Moira Munro, Points Based Immigration Manager, Ext 2374 or email m.munro2@napier.ac.uk