Visa applications and Language Requirements
Students who are citizens of a country in the European Economic Area and Switzerland can study in the UK without any restrictions. Citizens of other countries must obtain a visa before coming to the UK to study.
There are two different types of visas for students:
- Students who wish to enrol on a short course (of up to six months) can apply for a Student Visa
- Students who wish to enrol on a long course must apply for a visa under Tier 4 (General) of the points-based system.
Visas under the Tier 4 points-based system: Those students applying under the Tier 4 visa system require 40 points which are made up of 30 points for a confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) which LBC will provide (see below) and 10 points for showing that the student has the required funds to support him/herself during his/her Studies in the UK. For more information about the funds required see: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/540421/T4_Migrant_Guidance_July_2016.pdf
Students will also need to prove that they have a certain knowledge of the English Language when applying (see below).
Students from some countries will need proof of a (tuberculosis) TB test to enter the UK.
CAS – Confirmation of Acceptance: Leo Baeck College is a Tier 4 Sponsor which means it has a licence to sponsor students under the Tier 4 system. Students who have been offered an unconditional place on an LBC course can, on that basis, apply for a student visa. The College will provide them with a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) for this purpose. The Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) is an electronic document which contains a unique reference number which must be used when applying for a Tier 4 visa. A CAS number is valid for a period of six months see
Prospective students need to understand that if they have been given a CAS number and enter the UK but do not enrol on a course, their name will be passed on to the Home Office. Equally, the College will issue CAS numbers only to those students it feels confident are bone fide, ie those who can and intend to study at Leo Baeck College.
Timing of the application for a visa and arrival in the UK: Students are advised to apply for the visa no more than three months before the date on which the course starts. It is however advisable to start collecting all the evidence needed to be sent with the visa application in advance.
Students should also note that once the visa is issued it will give them entrance clearance into the UK for 30 days only. Furthermore, once students are in the UK they only have 10 days in which to collect their Biometric Residence Permit.
Helpful hints about the visa application process
Visa applications from outside the UK are normally completed online. Students will be asked to pay a fee for the application. Once the application is made, it is advisable that students book an appointment at a Visa Application Centre in their country. See this website for a list of centres https://www.gov.uk/find-a-visa-application-centre.
When going for the appointment at the Visa Application Centre, students must remember to take with them their printed application form and the supporting documents. At the Centre, students’ finger prints and a photograph (biometrics) will be taken. It is also possible that students may be interviewed by immigration staff in the UK by video link. The interview is in English. The officers will want to establish that the student is a genuine student and that their English is at the right level. Questions will probably focus on the reasons for choosing to study in the UK, on why LBC has been specifically chosen, and on what the contents of the programme are. The questions however could cover additional subjects such as the student’s immigration history, finances etc. These interviews are recorded.
Most students will also be asked to pay an immigration health surcharge as part of the application process.
We strongly recommend that students visit the The UK Home Office website https://www.gov.uk/tier-4-general-visa/apply
to clarify the correct procedures for visa applications. Also read https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/540421/T4_Migrant_Guidance_July_2016.pdf
Another good source for information is the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) website. http://www.ukcisa.org.uk/Information–Advice/Visas-and-Immigration/Student-immigration-the-basics
English requirements for students applying for a visa
Students coming from abroad who are applying for a Tier 4 (General) visa have to satisfy the Home Office that they are competent to study in English. In order for the College to issue a CAS number students can fulfil this condition in one of the following ways:
- They are a national of an English speaking country. (The list can be found on the Home Office website)
- They have previously completed an academic qualification, at least equivalent to a UK Bachelors degree which was taught in a majority English speaking country.
- They have passed an English language test proving that they are at Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CERF) level B2 if they are enrolling in an award at National Qualifications Framework (NQF) level 6 or above. Areas tested include each of the four components of language learning (reading, writing, speaking and listening).
A list of English Language Tests that have been deemed as meeting Home Office requirements can be found on their site at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-on-applying-for-uk-visa-approved-english-language-tests
The LBC entry requirement in English for students whose mother tongue is not English is IELTS (International English Language Testing System) level 6 for all degrees except for the MA in Jewish Educational Leadership, the Postgraduate Diploma in Hebrew and Jewish Studies and the MA in Applied Rabbinic Theology, all of which require level 6.5.