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Visa information

Applying for a visa

You may need a visa to complete a university preparation programme in the UK. Check if you need a visa. To study in the UK at Coventry University London International Study Centre, you will need a Tier 4 (General) student visa.

Will I be granted a student visa?

To be eligible for a visa, your application must be approved at every stage. The steps are as follows:

  • First, you must apply for a programme at the International Study Centre.
  • Receive an offer of a place.
  • Meet all the conditions of your offer and send your paperwork to the Admissions team or your Student Enrolment Adviser to be checked.
  • You must receive a CAS from a licensed education provider in the UK.
  • You must also provide financial statements which prove that you have the funds to cover the course and your living costs.
  • If your documents are approved by the UKVI, you may also be required to attend a credibility interview.
  • Once all your documents have been approved and you pass your credibility interview you will be issued with a student visa.

When should I apply for a visa?

You can apply for a visa up to three months before your course start date. 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?

In addition to the period of leave given to you to carry out your course of study, leave to remain will also be granted depending on your length of course. See section 5.66 in Tier 4 Sponsor Guidance document to find out more.

Can I get a job while I study my pathway programme?

If you are a Tier 4 student, you are entitled to work during your pathway programme at the International Study Centre providing that your visa is granted on or after 1 August 2019.

The main purpose of the Tier 4 visa route is for students to come to the UK to study. Where a student is permitted to work, the intention is that this should be an opportunity to gain work experience in their field of study. In most cases we expect this to be taking a part-time role for an established business/organisation (for example, a customer service role at a retailer) or as part of a work placement provided it is an integral and assessed part of your course.

A Tier 4 visa allows you to work for a maximum of 10 hours per week during term-time for an undergraduate level study or 20 hours per week during term-time for a postgraduate level study. This is the maximum hours in any one week, including paid or unpaid work and for one or more organisation. This cannot be averaged over a longer period. A 'week' is defined by the Home Office as a period of 7 days beginning with a Monday.

If allowed to work, students cannot:

  • be employed as a doctor in training (except on a recognised foundation programme)
  • be employed as a professional sportsperson (including a sports coach)
  • be employed as an entertainer
  • be self-employed (except where the student is awaiting a decision on an application they have made for leave to remain as a Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur
  • engage in business activity
  • fill a full-time, permanent vacancy (except on a recognised foundation programme or as a Student Union Sabbatical Officer).

If you stop studying before completing your course, you will no longer be entitled to work and will be in breach of your conditions of leave if found working.

Visa credibility interviews

Will I have a credibility interview?

Applicants from certain countries may be required to attend a credibility interview. You can check if you may be invited to an interview here

What is a credibility interview?

A credibility interview - also known as a visa interview - is designed to ensure that you comply with the UK’s immigration rules. In the interview, an Entry Clearance Officer (ECO) will try to establish that you are a genuine student, and not planning to use a student visa for holiday or work. The interview is nothing to worry about; you just need to show that you are serious, and that you have researched your chosen course and university.

Where will I have my credibility interview?

You will be interviewed at the 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 know about Coventry University London and are able to explain why you chose it. The interviewer will want to see that you have a genuine personal interest in studying here, and that you chose it yourself. They will also want you to demonstrate that you are a willing and able communicator. 

What questions will I be asked in a credibility interview?

Below are some examples of questions you may be asked. Think carefully before answering, because your answers may raise concern with interviewers, if they think you are not taking it seriously.

Be honest, and avoid yes and no answers as much as possible. Try to speak naturally.

  • Why did you choose to study at Coventry University London International Study Centre?
  • Why do you want to study in the UK?
  • Did you consider any other courses?
  • What was the last course you studied, and what have you been doing since completing it?
  • Do you have any future career plans?
  • How will you fund your studies?

Is there anything I shouldn’t say?

The Immigration Officer might ask if you intend to work while in the UK. You can tell them yes if you do, but be clear that if you do work it won’t be your main focus. It should be in a job that allows you to gain work experience in the chosen field of study, and you need to assure them that you would not work beyond your working right hours.

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.

Find out more about starting your studies or check the latest COVID-19 information.