Immigration Glossary

The  Points Based System (PBS) of immigration affects all Non-EU students. Check our glossary if there are any words or phrases you don't understand.

Licensed Sponsor

This will be the University of Wolverhampton. As your ‘Tier 4 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.

Tier 4 (General)

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.


To apply for a student visa you must be able to claim 40 points. The points are divided as follows:

  • 30 points for having the CAS number and providing evidence of all the qualifications listed on your CAS record
  • 10 points for having financial evidence to show you meet the maintenance requirements

There may also be other requirements you need to meet, such as having a TB test certificate or ATAS certificate. These requirements may depend on your nationality or the course you intend to study.

Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) statements

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.

Financial evidence

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.

Living Costs

The amount of money needed to cover living costs has changed as of 12 November 2015. It is now calculated at £1035 per month, needed in a lump sum depending on the length of your course.

  • If your course lasts for more than 9 months you need a fixed amount of £9135
  • If your course lasts for less than 9 months you will need £1035 per month of the course in one lump sum (e.g. for 6 months you need £6210).
    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).

Immigration Healthcare Surcharge (IHS)

From 06 April 2015 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 £150 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.

TB Test Certificate

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.

ATAS certificate

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.