Student Visas and Immigration

Student Visas and Immigration

UK immigration policy changes regularly and while we'll try to keep this section of the website up-to-date, it is advisable that you also consult the UK Government website for the most recent information Student visa : Apply - GOV.UK (

If you're a national of a country outside the European Economic Area (EEA) it's likely you'll need a visa to study in the UK.

UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) is the division of the Home Office responsible for issuing student visas.

SERC can sponsor students under Student visa routes. SERC is a UKVI approved Higher Education Provider, thus have access to the full privileges of student visa status which also allows our international students to work part-time during their stay with us.

Which Visa should I apply for?
  • Student Visa
  • Short Term Study Visa (up to six months)
  • Short Term Study Visa (up to 11 months) - for study related to English language only.
Student Visa

This is a most popular category of student route. If you are aged 16 years and over looking to study any of our level 3 and above full-time courses, you will apply under this category.

Do I need an english qualification?

If you are a new student who has never studied in the UK before, you will need an official IELTS result showing a UKVI number from a test that has been taken at a Secure English Language Test (SELT) centre or any of the approved UKVI SELT test results equivalent to our IELTS admission requirements. However, if you have previously studied in the UK, you may be exempt from this requirement

What do I need to know about this route?

You can apply for a Student visa to study in he UK if you’re 16 or over and you:

  • have been offered a place on a course by a licensed student sponsor
  • have enough money to support yourself and pay for your course - the amount will vary depending on your circumstances
  • can speak, read, write and understand English
  • have consent from your parents if you’re 16 or 17 - you’ll need evidence of this when you apply
  • You can work part time during your studies.
  • You can work full time during vacations.
  • You may be permitted to extend your visa in the UK.
When to apply

When you can apply depends on whether you’re applying from inside or outside the UK.

Applying from outside the UK

The earliest you can apply for a visa is 6 months before you start your course.

You’ll usually get a decision on your visa within 3 weeks.

Applying from inside the UK

The earliest you can apply is 3 months before your course starts.

You must apply before your current visa expires. Your new course must begin within 28 days of your current visa expiring.

You’ll usually get a decision within 8 weeks.

How long you can stay

How long you can stay depends on the length of your course and what study you’ve already completed in the UK.

If you’re 18 or over and your course is at degree level, you can usually stay in the UK for up to 5 years. If it’s below degree level, you can usually stay in the UK for up to 2 years.

If you have any questions about the application process, please contact a member of our International Team at and we'll be more than happy to help.

What happens when I arrive?

On arrival at the UK Border control have your passport, CAS or short term study letter and your proof of funding ready in case the immigration officer asks to see these documents. On arrival at the college, come and register at the International Office at Lisburn Campus. Please bring your passport and the original qualifications you used for your student visa application.

We'll give you some essential information and direct you to the local Post Office to collect your biometric residence permit. After this you can enrol on your course.

Our International Office can also help you register with a doctor, join a gym and open a UK bank account.

College UKVI Licence’s Responsibilities:
  • The college will carefully monitor the attendance of all international students and report those with poor attendance to the UKVI.
  • The college is liable to report to the UKVI if you fail to enrol within specified period.
  • The college is committed to comply with UK immigration law.
Confirmation of Acceptances for Studies (CAS)

A CAS is a digital document assigned by the university to international students applying to student at CCCU via a student visa. The CAS is a 14-digit number generated by UKVI and assigned to a student for use in their visa application.

After you receive an unconditional offer to study with the university, the process to receive your CAS will begin. Receiving an unconditional offer will require you to meet all conditions stated on your decision letter, including paying your study deposit.

You cannot make a successful visa application without a CAS number assigned by your sponsor. If you submit your application without using your CAS number, it will be refused.