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​Visa Application Process

Tier 4 visa admissions requirements



The University has its own requirements for English. The level of English required for entry onto one of our programmes is typically higher than UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) minimum requirements and the University also has its own requirements about when a qualification must have been awarded.

The UKVI requirements for degree level study are that students must meet at least B2 level on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) scale in reading, writing, listening and speaking. This can be demonstrated by a Secure English Language Test (SELT) such as an IELTS. Nationals of or graduates from certain countries (including the UK) are exempt from this requirement.

As an HEI, the University is entitled to make its own assessment of an applicant’s level of English. Further information about this can be obtained from Admissions. 


Students on certain degree programmes require a type of security clearance known as the Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) before they can apply for a Tier 4 visa.  There are slight differences in the process for undergraduates and postgraduates.  Further information about this can be obtained from Admissions.

Applying for a Tier 4 visa

Before students can apply, they need a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) which is a reference number assigned to the student following submission of a set of information by the University to UKVI.

Once an applicant’s offer becomes unconditional firm, an applicant would be expected to pay a deposit of their tuition fees. Once the applicant has provided all the deposit and any documents needed to the Admissions Team, they will be issued with a CAS number, providing they meet our CAS issuing policy.

If they have ever previously studied in the UK we must justify on their CAS how they are making academic progression from their previous studies. It will also be checked that they will not exceed the time limit that applies to their visas.

Once their CAS has been issued and they have all the necessary documents, they can apply for a visa.

If their visa application is refused, they will be referred to the Visa and International Support Team.

The Immigration Health Surcharge

Students applying for a visa to study here for more than 6 months will be required to pay £150 per year for the entirety of their visa.

This will be paid in one instalment at the point of visa application. For example, students on undergraduate courses of 4 years will be expected to pay £600 when they make their initial visa application.

The surcharge will also apply to student dependants.

The next steps

On arrival at Edinburgh Napier University students will need to attend an immigration and finance check session to have their original passport, visa and qualification documents verified before they can register in full. Students not holding a valid visa to study at Edinburgh Napier are not allowed to register.

The CAS will state that students can arrive up to four weeks after the course start date. In exceptional circumstances if the student wishes to register after this date the Director of School Support Service must give permission along with the agreement of the Programme Leader.  The Head of Visa and International Support must be informed so that UKVI can be notified, otherwise the student may have problems on arrival in the UK.

Students with other types of visas

Some applicants classified as overseas do not require a Tier 4 visa as they may already hold a different type of visa (e.g. a dependent visa) on which they are permitted to study in the UK. You can contact the Visa and International Support Team for more information.

Visas for visiting students or scholars

Visiting students and scholars coming to Edinburgh Napier for periods of less than six months can apply for a Short-term study visa. Depending on their nationality, they will either have to apply for their visa before travelling or on arrival in the UK. If they are completing a placement whilst here, or are coming here for six months or longer, they need a Tier 4 student visa.

Part-time and distance learning students

Students registered to learn on a part-time or distance learning basis cannot study on a Tier 4 visa and need to obtain a Short-term study visa for the periods when they need to be in Edinburgh.​