Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies

To apply for a Tier 4 visa, you need a statement from us that outlines our Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS). Find out how you get a CAS and who to speak to if you have questions.

When you get your CAS

If you’re a new student, we send you your CAS number when you accept an unconditional offer from the University of Sussex.

If you are a self-funded international student starting a Masters course your CAS will only be issued after you have paid a tuition fee deposit – find out more.

If you’re a continuing or returning student, contact the relevant office below.

The statement we will send you will include:

  • your CAS number
  • the information we sent to UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI).

Check the information in your CAS statement is correct and contact the office that issued your CAS statement if anything is incorrect or your details have changed.

You must apply for your visa with a CAS from your chosen university.

The CAS number can only be used for one Tier 4 application and is valid for six months from the date of issue.

If you have questions

After your CAS is issued if you want to change your course you must contact the relevant Admissions office.

For CAS queries, contact one of the offices below:

If you already have a valid visa such as a dependant visa, spouse visa, or indefinite leave to remain and don’t need a CAS, let the relevant office know.

Our CAS responsibilities

Before we can issue you with a CAS, we have to meet certain UKVI guidelines.

Time limits on your studies

You can’t spend more than five years studying degree-level courses in the UK on a Tier 4 visa.

This includes previous degree-level courses, the time before and after your course as part of your visa, placements and any years you repeat.

This may affect you if you want to make changes to your studies (such as repeating a year or transferring to a different or longer course) or take a break from your studies.

Exceptions to the five-year time limit

You have a limit of:

  • five years and 11 months if you study a course at a higher education institution and the five-year cap stops you from doing a fifth academic year at degree level or above
  • six years and 11 months if you finish a UK degree (at least four years long) and you are applying for a Tier 4 visa to study a Masters at a UK university.

If you do a UK degree-level course and you then study a Graduate Diploma in Law/CPE, the five-year cap doesn’t apply.

There is no time limit while you’re studying a PhD. However, if you’re applying for further study on a Tier 4 visa once you have finished a PhD, there’s a total limit of eight years.

Previous visa refusals, immigration breaches and criminal convictions

If you have a history including a visa refusal or a breach to UKVI immigration conditions, we will need to discuss this with you before giving you a CAS.

In your visa application you need to declare any criminal convictions you received in any country and provide details. Some convictions can lead to a visa refusal. See more about criminal convictions you need to declare on the UKCISA website.

See our policy on declaring criminal convictions or email immigration@sussex.ac.uk if you have any questions.

Debt

If you are already studying at Sussex and owe us money for your tuition fees, we may not give you a CAS.

More information

We will also check things such as attendance and academic progress. See our CAS Issuing Policy [DOCX 46KB].

See more from Applying for a student visa