Immigration Glossary

Immigration rules and regulations often use names and abbreviations or acronyms, which can seem confusing.

Our list below should help you understand the most frequently used terminology:

This will be the University of Wolverhampton. As your ‘Student Route Sponsor’ we are offering you a place on one of our courses. You will need to provide our Sponsor Licence Number when you apply for your visa as proof that you intend to study with us.

This number will be on your Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) statement, issued by the Admissions Unit.

This is the type of visa you will be applying for. The Visas & Immigration webpages have further details about the types of visas available and who they are suitable for.

The Student Route Visa is part of the UK visas and immigration’s points based system for students who wish to study in the UK. To make a successful application you must meet the full requirements of the immigration rules and achieve 70 points

To apply for a student visa you must be able to claim 70 points. The points are divided as follows:. 

  • Students will obtain 50 points for the Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) sent to you by the University


  • Students will obtain 10 points for the financial requirements which will show that you have sufficient money to cover your course fees and living expenses.


  • Students will obtain 10 points for your English language qualifications. If we have used a local equivalent qualification to assess your English ability in all four components, you will be required to undertake a short interview with the University

Your CAS Number is a unique string of numbers and letters which you will be issued once you have firmly accepted an unconditional offer from a UK University. 

This is the final confirmation of your firm acceptance of your unconditional offer onto the course of study, issued by the Admissions Unit. It will include

  • your personal details
  • your CAS number
  • details of the course you intend to study
  • details of the qualifications you have used to apply for the course
  • confirmation of the tuition fees and how much you have already paid.
  • the University of Wolverhampton Sponsor Licence Number and address

Your CAS statement will be made available to you through e:Vision.

This is the amount of money you need to have maintained in your bank account for 28 days before you can apply for the visa. You will need to show you have enough money to pay

  • the outstanding balance of your tuition fees (for the first year of the course if you are studying an undergraduate or research course lasting longer than one academic year)
  • accommodation fees (if you are planning to live in university accommodation)
  • and cover the cost of living

Your CAS statement will confirm any deposits or payments you have already paid, so the amount of money you need to show in your financial evidence depends on how much you pay before the CAS statement is issued. You must provide financial evidence to claim the points for maintenance.

You must provide a bank statement that covers 28 days. The money must be in your bank account or your parents' personal account, it cannot be in any other relative or friend’s account (unless they meet the UKVI definition of an official financial sponsor). If you are using your parents' bank account it must be their personal account. It cannot be the account of a business owned by them. You will also be required to submit extra supporting documents with your application, such as your birth certificate and a letter from your parents confirming their relationship to you and that they give you their consent to use their account for funding your studies and living costs.

  • The money must be in the account at the time you apply for the visa and must have been constantly in the account for a minimum of 28 days before the date of your visa application. The final closing balance cannot be more than 31 days before the date of your visa application.

Official Financial Sponsorship

If you will receive official financial sponsorship while you are studying in the UK you must provide a letter from the official financial sponsor that confirms what their payments will cover for you. If the financial sponsorship only covers your tuition fees you will be expected to show bank statements to cover the amount for living costs.

  • Please note, official financial sponsorship is defined by the Home Office as being financial sponsorship by Her Majesty’s government, your home government, the British council or any international organisation, international company, university or Independent school. It is unlikely your parents or other family members would meet these requirements even if they operate their own company.

The amount of money needed to cover living costs is £1,023 per month (this is in line with the Home Office).

  • If your course lasts for more than 9 months you need a fixed amount of £9,207
  • If your course lasts for less than 9 months you will need £1,023 per month of the course in one lump sum (e.g. for 6 months you need £6,138).
    Remember: this is in addition to the outstanding balance of your tuition fees
  • If you will be bringing dependants with you to the UK they will also need to meet a financial requirement as part of their visa application. Dependants are required to have £680 per month in a lump sum (so £6120 if they are joining you on a course of more than 9 months or £4080 if your course duration is 6 months).

The Immigration Health Surcharge is paid by people applying to work, study or join family in the UK for a time-limited period of more than six months. It also applies to those who seek to extend their stay. Individuals who pay the charge may access the comprehensive range of NHS services in broadly the same manner as a permanent UK resident. This means they generally only pay charges that a UK resident would also pay, such as prescription charges in England.

You may need to pay the 'Immigration Healthcare Surcharge' (IHS) as part of your visa application. This payment will mean that you have access to the National Health Service (NHS) while you are in the UK. If you have dependants they will also usually have to pay the surcharge as part of their visa application, and they will usually pay the same amount as you.

The surcharge is currently £470 per 12 months of leave granted. This means the exact amount to be paid depends on the total length of your visa, which will be longer than the total length of your course. More information about how to calculate the amount you will have to pay is available on the Home Office website.


If you are coming to the UK to study a course longer than 6 months you may need to be tested for tuberculosis (TB) before you can apply for your visa, depending on your nationality. You will need to provide a copy of your TB test certificate to the University to confirm you have done this before we can issue your CAS number. You will also need to submit the test certificate with the visa application. More information and a list of the nationalities that are required to be tested are on the Home Office website.

The Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) was introduced in November 2007 and is part of the UK's commitment to anti-terrorism. The scheme may affect you if you are coming to the UK to study a postgraduate research programme or certain taught postgraduate courses. If you need an ATAS certificate to study your course at the University of Wolverhampton you will be advised of the requirement when you receive your offer letter. More information is available on the Foreign and Commonwealth Office website. It is free to apply and the application is done online. If you need an ATAS certificate to study your course you must submit the ATAS certificate to the Admissions Unit before we can issue your CAS number and you will need to submit the ATAS certificate with your visa application.

Part of the Student Route visa application process, students may be asked to attend an 'interview'. It is a short interview that aims to test that you are a genuine student.  You will be expected to have:

  • a good understanding of the course you are planning to study including why you chose this course/subject area, what modules you are likely to study and your planned career path following the course.  


  • researched the university that you are going to study at including the reasons you chose the UK, whether you know of anyone else studying there and whether you considered any other universities.