Students who need a visa

This page is for 2020 entry students who will need a visa to study at Cambridge. It is part of the offer-holders section

In the Old Library

Do I need a visa? 

If you're an international student, the first step is to use this tool to find out whether you will need a visa to study in the UK. 


31 January questions

If you will need a visa, please email by 31 January in the year you are due to start at Christ's to confirm this.

Don't forget to start your email with the details we need (name, offer holder for X, UCAS number). 

Please attach to your email: 

  • a copy of the passport which will be used to enter the UK (if you have not already sent it)
  • copies of all current and previous UK visas you have held

Please answer the following questions in your email: 

  • have you previously studied in the UK or not (yes or no)? 
  • if yes, please confirm the name of the course and level (for example, Chemistry A level etc).

Tier 4 guidance from Cambridge

The University of Cambridge has an International Students website which gives a great deal of support to students coming to study from outside the UK. In particular, you will find clear instructions regarding the process of applying for a Tier 4 visa.

After you have emailed us by 31 January, we will send any further information from the International Student Office to you by email as soon as it becomes available. In particular, you will be sent some further Tier 4 guidance notes in April/May.

Coronavirus visa updates

2 July - Don't forget to sign up for one of the visa webinars available 7 - 24 July. See the guidance document send by email on 1 July for details of how to join.

2 July - Good news - After the delay due to current circumstances, guidance about applying for a Tier 4 visa was sent out by email on 1 July to those who need a visa for 2020 entry. If you have any questions about the visa application process that are not answered in the guidance, you can contact the International Student Office directly by emailing

23 June - The International Student Office has let us know that they will will start issuing CAS documents from July. You cannot apply for a visa earlier than July, 3 months prior to the start of your course.

Please note that Colleges do not provide any advice on Tier 4 Visa applications and all enquiries will be referred to the International Student Office. We advise that you contact the International Student Office ( directly for questions relating to visas. They also provide a very useful Visa Advice Service offering free, confidential advice on a range of student-related immigration matters. They also normally organise a 'visa webinar' for offer holders in the summer to ensure that your questions are answered, and we will be in touch to advertise this nearer the time once we have details. 

This year's webinar Various dates available 7-24 July.
See the guidance document sent on 1 July
for details of how to join.
For Christ's College offer holders who need a visa, 2020 entry.
Information about this will be sent to relevant students by email.

Undergraduates applying for studying for an integrated Masters which requires ATAS clearance (Chemical Engineering) will receive instructions directly from the International Student Office by email. These emails are normally sent in May (roughly - we cannot confirm a precise date). Information about ATAS is available, but don't worry - the email you receive will tell you everything you need to know.

When you have met all the conditions of your offer 

When you have met all the conditions of your offer (for example academic grades, English Language if required, satisfactory financial guarantee and evidence documents), the International Student Office will send you by email your Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS). You must enter the CAS reference number in the relevant section of the Tier 4 visa application. You cannot apply for your visa without your CAS, and we cannot issue the CAS before all your conditions have been met.

The CAS confirms the University is sponsoring you under Tier 4. You should ensure that you understand your responsibilities whilst holding a Tier 4 visa.

  • You should CHECK the details in your CAS carefully. If you find any errors you must let the International Students Office who sent you your CAS know immediately. They will issue a corrected CAS before you make your visa application. Further detail.
  • A CAS can only be used for one visa application. If your visa application is refused, you must request a new CAS. This will only be issued upon receipt of your full refusal notice and if the University is satisfied you will be able to meet the requirements for a new visa application.
  • The International Student Office begin to issue the CAS statements from July this year. Please bear in mind that it will take the International Student Office time to produce the CAS for each student who needs one - this will not be immediate. Please be patient, they WILL get your CAS to you by email as quickly as possible. Any updates will be on their Twitter Feed. Please do not email to ask when you will receive your CAS. 
  • A level / STEP results day: From 13 August 2020 the International Student Office prepares the CAS for those who have met academic conditions based on A level / STEP and other results published at this time. Please note that we cannot tell you exactly when you will receive your CAS email (these are not processed by Christ's College). 12 August update: The International Students Teams say that they expect to process and send most CAS documents between Friday 14 August and Fri 21 August. Please be patient as the documents take time to process - do not contact them about when you will receive your document as this will slow them down.


Offer holders who are under 18

If you are under 18, the International Student Office will provide some additional guidance and instructions on applying for your visa, in relation to parental consent and Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) collection.

Summary table 

To sum up what you need to do if you require a visa to study in Cambridge

Confirm that you will need a visa to study in the UK.

Check if you need a visa and see UK immigration info

Email the Christ's Admissions Office to confirm that you will need a visa (see Cambridge International Student Office's visa advice), send documents and answer the required questions (see above). 

by 31 January in the year you are due to start at Christ's. 

Meet all the conditions of your offer

Offer holders who will need a visa

All offer holders have financial conditions and must send Christ's the required documents. If your offer has academic conditions we wait for exam results. A CAS cannot be issued until you have met all offer conditions.

as soon as possible

Apply for ATAS clearance if relevant and send a copy of the certificate to Christ's.

Offer holders for Chemical Engineering.

You will receive an email from the International Student Office in May which you need to act on.

as soon as possible after you receive the email.

Apply for Tier 4 visa (see website)

Offer holders who have met all the conditions of their offer and received a CAS from Cambridge.

The International Student Office begin to issue the CAS from June. Please be patient, they WILL get your CAS to you by email as quickly as possible.

When you can apply depends on where you are living currently.

Check your CAS document and prepare for arrival.  Offer holders who need a visa Read the prior to and on arrival information When you received your CAS.

Once you are in Cambridge: Collect your visa (BRP)

Offer holders who need a visa

Read the information about where to collect your visa (Biometric Residence Permit).

As soon as possible once you have arrived in Cambridge, UK.

Register with the police

Offer holders who need a visa and are from specific countries.

Read the information and book an appointment with Cambridge Police Station in advance of your arrival.

As soon as you know your date of arrival in the UK. Appointment time must be after collecting your BRP.



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