International Students - Visa and Immigration Information

Derby College is recognised as a Tier 4 Sponsor. Our status means that we can sponsor international students interested in courses at Level 3 and above.

In the majority of cases, international students from outside the EU need a visa to study in the UK.

Visas are issued by the UK Visa’s and Immigration (UKVI) . You need to apply to the UKVI for the most relevant student visa before travelling to the UK.

Our International Team can offer advice and guidance on the visa application process.

Visa application forms and fully detailed information on applying for student visas is available from the UKVI website.

International student interested in further education courses at Derby College are usually eligible for one of the two following visas.

Student Visitor Visa

Student Visitor visas are for students wishing to combine a visit to the UK lasting less than six months with a short course of study.

Any course at any level can be studied on this visa. Students wishing to study English in particular can apply through this visa to study for 11 months.

Student Visitors are not allowed to work part time at all.

Tier 4 (General) Visa

Tier 4 (General) is the visa category for students over 16 who want to complete a Further Education level course in the UK.

To qualify for a Tier 4 (General) visa you must study a course at Level 3 or above. International students can complete two years of FE-level study on a Tier 4 (General) visa, before being required to progress to Higher Education.

Under the conditions of this visa, international students are not allowed to work at all.

To apply for a Tier 4 (General) visa you will need to provide an English language certificate (eg IELTS) to the UKVI.

Applying for a Visa

The application procedure varies depending on which type of visa you apply for.

In all cases, as soon as you have successfully been issued with your visa you should contact your International Account Manager at Derby College and provide details of the visa.

The UKVI offers guidance on applying for a student visa from outside the UK.

Tier 4 (General)

Once you have met any conditions of your offer to study at Derby College and paid your tuition fees, we will issue a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) number.

Your unique CAS number – and all the relevant information – will be sent electronically to the UKVI and emailed directly to you.

You will need to include the CAS number on your visa application form before submitting this to the UKVI

The CAS number has replaced the traditional 'visa letter'. You do not need a paper visa letter to apply for a Tier 4 visa; the CAS number itself is all that is required.

Student Visitor Visa

Once you have met the conditions of our offer to you and your fees have been received in full, we will issue you with a visa letter including the course details.

This letter should be sent to the UKVI with relevant visa application form and documents.

Visa refusals and tuition fees

Derby College will only refund your course fees in the event of a visa refusal and only upon receiving the official UKVI refusal letter. An admin fee of £500 will be kept by the College in the event of a refund. Full details are available from the International Student Refund Policy (pdf)


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