Visas for Pre-sessional Students
10-week Pre-sessional Course
The 10-week Pre-sessional will only be taking place online in the summer 2021 and the expectation is that you undertake this course from your home country. There will therefore be no Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) issued to apply for a visa for this programme. You will be issued a CAS for the main programme once you have satisfied all the conditions of your offer. Please visit the Student visa webpages to learn what you will need to prepare for the visa application for your main programme of study.
6-week Pre-sessional Course
Students taking the 6-week Pre-sessional course will have a choice between taking it in person and online. Please visit the CALD webpages for further information about that.
If you decide to take the course in person, you will need to apply for a Student visa before coming to the UK. If you are already in the UK, please contact Student Visa Advisers for guidance on your specific situation. You would be issued a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) that would allow you to apply for a Student visa. Please read about the requirements of a Student visa here. Those students who have met all the academic conditions of their offer for the main course of study by the point in time when CAS is issued will receive a combined CAS. This will allow them to apply for visa that would cover both the Pre-sessional course and the main course of study.
While combined CAS is the most convenient option for many students, there are some additional considerations associated with it listed in the dropdowns below – please read them before making a decision. You would need to meet the financial requirements for all of your studies when you apply for the visa: all outstanding course fees for both programmes + £9207 for living expenses held for 28 days. If you are sponsored, the sponsor would need to issue a letter saying they will sponsor both programmes. This is considerably higher than financial requirements for the visa that covers the Pre-sessional course only. If you do not want a combined CAS, you will need to opt out of it by notifying email@example.com. Students who want a CAS for the 6 week Pre-sessional only must also have an accepted Secure English Language Test (SELT).
Those students who have not met the academic conditions of their offer by the point a CAS is issued and who have an accepted SELT, will receive a single CAS to cover just the Pre-sessional course in the first instance. You would need to meet the financial requirements for the Pre-sessional course only when you apply using a single CAS; these would be outstanding tuition fees for the Pre-sessional course + £2046 held for 28 days. You would then need to apply for a visa to cover the rest of your studies once you have passed the Pre-sessional course and have met all the conditions of your offer.
A combined CAS has its advantages and disadvantages. You can read about them below. Only you can decide if a Combined CAS is right for your situation. Please consider your options carefully before applying for a Student visa. You are welcome to contact Student Visa Services for further advice on the above issues. If you have a choice and wish to opt out of receiving a combined CAS, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and indicate that you would like to receive a single CAS.
Benefits of a Combined CAS
- You make only one visa application and secure a visa for the entire duration of your studies. There is no need to extend your visa when you complete the Pre-sessional course in September
- You pay only one visa application fee
- As you do not need to go through the visa application process in the autumn, you are free to travel outside the UK during that time if your academic schedule permits
- If you have dependants and your main course of study makes you eligible to bring them to the UK, they can join you in the UK straight away instead of needing to wait until you have a CAS/visa for your main course of study
- If you are currently studying a degree-level course in the UK, you may be able to apply for the Bristol visa from the UK instead of having to return to your home country to apply for the visa that only covers the Pre-sessional course. This is because of the academic progression requirements
- You can have access to the National Health Service in the UK as soon as you arrive as you will have paid the Immigration Health Surcharge fee as part of your application.
- You are allowed to work up to 20 hours a week instead of 10 hours a week while you are on the Pre-sessional course. We would not recommend this from the academic point of view however as the Pre-sessional course is very intensive and requires significant time commitment
Considerations and Possible Complications of a Combined CAS
- You will need to meet the visa requirements for the entire duration of your stay in the UK when you apply for the combined visa. This involves holding the amount necessary to cover the tuition fees for both courses (unless paid upfront), as well as £9207 for living expenses in a bank account for 28 days before you apply for the visa
- Although you only pay one visa application fee, you will be required to pay an Immigration Health Surcharge fee at the time of your application. You are not required to pay this fee for shorter visas that are under 6 months in duration
- If you leave your studies early or decide not to proceed with the main course of study, your visa will be cancelled. The Immigration Health Surcharge fee and the visa application fee will not be refunded
- If you do not pass the Pre-sessional course and are unable to progress to your expected main course of study, you visa will be cancelled. The Immigration Health Surcharge fee and the visa application fee will not be refunded
- If you no longer wish to do the Pre-sessional course after you arrive because you have an unconditional offer for the main course of study, you will still be required to attend the Pre-sessional course and all exams as this is a condition of your visa