International College
Student pathways to The University of Sheffield

Applying for a visa

In order to study in the UK at the University of Sheffield International College, you may need a Tier 4 (General) student visa. You can check if you need a visa here.

Will I be eligible for a student visa?

Your student visa application will work via a points-based system; if you score 40 points you will be granted a visa. In order to apply for your visa, you must:

  • Apply for your chosen course at the University of Sheffield International College.
  • Receive an offer of a place on the course.
  • Send documents to be checked by the International Study College. You will be asked for IELTS scores, financial statements, tuberculosis certificate and exam results if you have them.
  • Pay a CAS payment and deposit to the International Study College.
  • Receive a Certificate of Acceptance for Studies (CAS). This is worth 30 points. 
  • Apply for your visa. Provide financial statements which prove that you have the funds to cover the course and your living costs. This will get you a further 10 points.
  • You may also be required to attend a credibility interview.
  • You will be contacted to tell you whether or not your visa application has been successful.

When should I apply for a visa?

You can apply for a visa from three months before the start date of your course at the International Study College. Apply early to make sure there is enough time for your application to be processed.

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

If you have a Tier 4 (General) student visa, you can arrive in the UK up to one month before your course starts. You are allowed to stay in the UK for an extra four months after your course end date. 

Visa credibility interviews

You may be invited for an interview as an additional tool to help UKVI assess your genuine intentions to study. The interview is carried out by an Entry Clearance Officer (ECO). They will want to see that you have done your research and are coming to the UK for the right reasons. If they believe you may be planning to use a student visa for holiday or work, they will refuse your visa application.

Where will my credibility interview take place?

You will normally be interviewed at your nearest 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 the International College and our chosen course. Avoid yes and no answers, and try and go into more detail. The Entry Clearance Officer may be suspicious if they think you are repeating rehearsed answers. 

What questions will I be asked in a credibility interview?

Below are examples of common questions you may be asked in a credibility interview:
Tell the interviewer about the research you have done into different universities, and why you think Sheffield suits your requirements.
Tell the interviewer what interests you about your course, and how it fits in with your career aspirations.
You need to show that you are aware of the costs associated with living and studying abroad, and that you have made financial plans. 

What if my student visa is refused?

If you do not meet the criteria set out in UKVI’s immigration rules, your application will be refused. If you receive a visa refusal, you have 28 days to submit an Administrative Review to the UKVI and challenge the decision made by the ECO. You will need to respond in writing to each of the points raised in the refusal.