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UK Border Agency launch final phase of Tier 4 replacing Visa Letters with CAS | Immigration Matters

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The UK Border Agency has today implemented the final phase of the points-based system’s student tier rendering paper based visa letters ‘obsolete’.

The implementation across the worldwide network of British Embassies has resulted in two major changes for Tier 4 sponsors.

Visa letters have become obsolete

From today, all potential Tier 4 students applying to us from inside or outside the UK must use a confirmation of acceptance for studies (CAS) in their application. All applications that do not contain a CAS will be automatically refused.

Sponsors must now provide all potential students with a CAS reference number and sponsor licence number (SLN). You will also need to give them all the information they will need when making their application. This information is sometimes called a ‘CAS statement’; it is up to sponsors to decide its format and how to send it to their potential students. A ‘CAS statement’ may contain:

  • student name;
  • student date of birth;
  • course title;
  • course start and end date;
  • details of any financial sponsorship/deposits taken;
  • documents that should be included as part of an application to prove qualifications;
  • CAS number; and
  • ATAS certificate (if appropriate).

This additional information will assist our caseworkers and entry clearance officers when making decisions on migrant applications under Tier 4.

If a prospective student has a visa letter issued before 22 February 2010, they can no longer use it to apply for a Tier 4 student visa. Previously issued visa letters not yet submitted must replaced with a CAS.

For out-of-country students, the date of application is the date when the application fee is paid – so a prospective student must be in possession of a CAS if they are paying their application fee today or later.

Mandatory reporting on students who have been assigned a CAS

Sponsors now must report via the sponsorship management system (SMS) on students who have used a CAS in an application to us. For further guidance, please see Sponsor duties – Tier 4 page.

Before sponsoring educational providers can issue CASs to migrants, they must have performed the transition exercise on the SMS. You can find full details on the Transition exercise page.

Today has also seen enhancements to the Tier 4 SMS:

  • Users can now create a new CAS from the details of a previous CAS created in a batch.
  • The main site study address will be mandatory for the assignment of a CAS.

All changes and updates to the SMS will be reflected in the SMS user guides and policy guidance, which are available on the UK Border website.

You can find information about the SMS, and the updated SMS user guides, in the SMS guidance section.

Revised Tier 4 migrant application forms are also available on the website for applications made from today.

See also:

What students should do when their college Tier 4 Licence is suspended

Foreign student working hours to be cut under new rules announced today

If you need any immigration advice or help with Studying in the UK, Settlement, Citizenship, Sponsorship, extending Work Permits, Visa or an appeal against a refusal please email: or visit

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14 Responses to “UK Border Agency launch final phase of Tier 4 replacing Visa Letters with CAS”
Read them below or add one

  1. Thanks for the comment
    See also: Tier 1 Post Study Work Visa to be abolished
    With just two weeks left to take part in the Student Immigration System public consultation, which will help shape the future of international student visa rules in the UK, higher education providers are lobbying the government to drop plans to end the popular Tier 1 post study work visa.
    You can respond online to the consultation at: which will take around 30 minutes to read and complete.

  2. Students should be encouraged to work also as it will add an extra point in experience.The rumours to avoid it will really embarass the students.

  3. Hello. i have sent a lot of email to ukba given email for the approval letter of changing college but still i am not getting any responce.can you tll me what should i do now.Should i send request by post or fax .If it is , so can you give me thier postal or fax number pls.

  4. […] UK Border Agency launch final phase of Tier 4 replacing Visa Letters with CAS […]

  5. Liaquat Ali Qureshii says :

    Dear sir, I am glad to say that your immigratopm matter is highly informative for all the readers nationally and internationally.Particularly the changes in UKBA laws repidly play an important role to be conveyed through your service, which is appreciated and keep it up. Thanks. regards.

  6. […] UK Border Agency launch final phase of Tier 4 replacing Visa Letters with CAS […]

  7. with regards to bogus students, most of these are real and far skilled nurses who wants to enter UK fast because there is not much opportunity for a working visa. come to think of it that these nurses are future assets of UK. entering UK with tier 4 visa and later on applying tier 1 is legal. these skilled nurses are also sacrificing years to gain a working visa. consider also these students as a good source of skilled nurses that you can use in your country.

  8. […] UK Border Agency launch final phase of Tier 4 replacing Visa Letters with CAS […]

  9. Hi Charles,

    I have finished NVQ2 in Health and Social care, certificate will be issued within 1 week. I would like to know the requirements for renewing my student visa which will expire on Sept 2010. Btw, Im company sponsored student. My NVQ training is company sponsored.

    Thanks and Good bless!


  10. […] UK Border Agency launch final phase of Tier 4 replacing Visa Letters with CAS […]

  11. […] UK Border Agency launch final phase of Tier 4 replacing Visa Letters with CAS […]

  12. hi,i dnt know whom to ask my concerned.. but i would like to share it.. maybe, someone who could answer it, pls…? this is about majestic college, how soon is the school to release CAS? and my friend wanted to enroll, are they accepting enrollee right now? and also, why applicants gt affected receiving their results to embassy? any problem with the institution? or still fixing license? pls let us know. thank you and Gobless

  13. Bellafe m Flores says :

    hi,i enrolled in majestic college and im waiting the result of my visa,it is true that majestic has been tempporarily close?so it takes month before ill get my visa

  14. […] UK Border Agency launch final phase of Tier 4 replacing Visa … […]

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