Combined CAS vs single CAS
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 a 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.
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 any outstanding tuition fees for the pre-sessional course plus £2046 (to cover the living expenses) 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 language 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 these options.
If you are eligible for a combined CAS but wish to opt out it, please email email@example.com and indicate that you would like to receive a single CAS just for the pre-sessional course.
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 for academic reasons however.
Possible issues with 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. This is considerably higher than financial requirements for the visa that covers the pre-sessional course only.
- If you are sponsored, the sponsor would need to issue a letter saying they will sponsor both programmes.
- 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.
- You will also need a Tuberculosis test result if you are from a country where TB testing is required - please see this government webpage. This is not required 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