If you want to take an undergraduate or postgraduate degree and do not live in the European Economic Area or Switzerland then you will need a Tier 4 visa. See the UK government's visa website to check your visa options.
The following is a general introduction and should be used as a starting point to reading official UK government guidelines. Students from some countries may be subject to different criteria. You can click here to see if your country has a differentiation agreement, or here to see if your country is exempt from English language requirements for visa purposes. Please note that you may still be asked to provide evidence of your English language ability as part of the academic conditions of entry.
Leeds College of Music staff are unable to provide immigration advice.
Students who require a Tier 4 visa to study at Leeds College of Music will need to apply from outside the UK. This applies to all applicants regardless of where you are currently studying (i.e. inside or outside the UK). For example an applicant who has been studying in the UK at undergraduate level will need to return home to apply for a new Tier 4 Visa to come back to study at postgraduate level. Please refer to the information on the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) website at:
Please apply to Leeds College of Music, audition and secure an unconditional offer before you apply to UK Visas and Immigration for your visa.
Your visa may be affected by any UK qualifications you have previously taken, especially if you want to study at a lower level than before. If you have studied in the UK before, please read the UK government's guidelines for applying to a new course.
The Tier 4 visa you are granted will be valid for study at Leeds College of Music only.
Please review the checklist below. When you have applied for your visa, you will hear the result from your local visa centre after a few weeks. You can check current visa processing times here.
1. VISA POINTS: CAS
Tier 4 visas are decided on points - you need 40 points to get a visa. 30 points come from ‘CAS’ and 10 points come from your financial situation (below). CAS stands for ‘Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies’ and when applying for a visa your CAS information proves that you are sponsored by a Tier 4 sponsor (Leeds College of Music).
To score 30 points for CAS, please check the following:
Have you passed a Secure English Language Test (SELT)?
Please be careful in selecting the correct English test. The accepted English tests for visa purposes are now IELTS for UKVI (Academic) and Trinity College London Integrated Skills in English (Trinity ISE). The government may update SELT policies at any time, so please check their official guidelines before taking your test.
Secure English Language Tests can only be taken at approved centres. Click here to see where your nearest approved test centre is.
You should note that the Trinity ISE can only be taken in the UK. You should also note that IELTS for UKVI is not available at all IELTS test centres: you should locate your nearest centre as soon as possible so that you have time to make arrangements to travel to take the test if necessary.
The required level is IELTS 6.0 overall with a minimum score of 5.5 in each part of the test. Passing Trinity ISE II or III is equivalent to this.
If taking Trinity ISE, please note that you need to take both modules (Reading & Writing and Speaking & Listening) in one sitting.
Upon passing the required test you will receive a SELT Unique Reference Number, which will be needed at all stages of your visa application.
Have you paid half of your first year’s tuition fees?
If you are made an unconditional offer by Leeds College of Music, please then pay 50% of your first year’s tuition fees.
Have you received a CAS statement?
After we receive your payment we will send you a CAS statement to use to fill out your visa application. Importantly, your CAS statement includes your CAS number and Leeds College of Music’s Tier 4 sponsor licence number.
2. VISA POINTS: YOUR MONEY
You need to score 10 points for your financial situation. This is because UK Visas and Immigration need to know that you can support yourself in the UK. Please check the following:
Do you meet the financial requirements?
You need to hold a required amount of money for study and living costs. UK Visas and Immigration decide this amount. Before you can make your visa application, they will check that you have held the required amount in your bank account for the whole period. Please make sure:
• You have the required amount for 28 days
• For those 28 days, your account balance doesn’t go below the required amount
Do you have the right financial documents for UK Visas and Immigration?
As well as needing to hold the amount required for long enough, you also need documents to prove this. Please check the official tier 4 policy guidance for a list of accepted documents (pages 27-34).
Do you know when and where to apply?
Although you can fill out a visa form on your computer, to complete the application you must take your documents and evidence to a visa application centre in your country. To find a centre, please use this visa centre search tool. For degrees at Leeds College of Music you can apply starting from mid-June.
Are all your documents ready?
Please make sure you are thoroughly aware of all the documents the visa centre will need to see from you.
Are you ready for an interview?
You might have a simple interview at the visa centre. Many applicants experience this, and it is not a problem. You might be asked questions about the course you will study, your reasons for studying in the UK, or why you chose Leeds College of Music. Don’t worry – just answer truthfully.
Do you know where to collect your Biometric Residence Permit (BRP)?
Initially, you will be granted 30 days stay in the UK. Within 10 days of the day you tell UK Visas and Immigration you will arrive in the UK, you must collect your Biometric Residence Permit – Your BRP is effectively your visa. Click here for further details. Your decision letter from the UKVI will tell you which Post Office to collect your BRP from. The UKVI choose a Post Office which is near to where you will be studying and living.
Immigration Health Charge
To move to the UK, please be aware that students on Tier 4 visas will need to pay £150 per year in order to be covered by the National Health Service. For more details please click here.