International students - visa guidance

To study at Blackpool and The Fylde College, most international students require a study visa. There are two types of study visa:

  • Short-term study visa - if you are studying for six months or less
  • Tier 4 (General) student visas - if you are studying for more than six months

You can check if you need a visa on the GOV.UK website.

Short-term study visa

Short-term study visas are for courses that are up to six months long. Approximately three months before your course starts we will send you a letter to support your application for a short-term study visa, together with confirmation of your place and the relevant joining instructions.

You can enter the UK as a short-term student if:

  • you need to return to the College to re-take an exam and will leave the UK within six months
  • you are attending a short training course

If you enter the UK as a short-term student, you will not be able to:

  • work (paid or unpaid)
  • extend your visa in the UK for further study
  • apply for other visas from within the UK
  • bring dependents

You must leave the UK at the end of the course, or before your visa expires (whichever is the earliest date).

Tier 4 (General) student visa

Tier 4 (General) student visas are for courses lasting six months or longer.

When to apply

You should only apply for a visa once you have received your confirmation of acceptance for studies (CAS) from us. You’ll need to enter this on your visa application.

All tuition fees must be paid in full before your CAS is issued.

You must apply within six months of receiving your CAS but no more than three months before the course start date.


You’ll be charged a fee to apply for your visa and you’ll also have to pay the healthcare surcharge. Check the GOV.UK website for the latest fee information before you apply.

How to apply

You must apply online for a Tier 4 (General) student visa.

  • Knowledge of English - You will be required to take a secure English language test (SELT) to prove your knowledge of the English language when you apply.
  • Biometric Residence Permit - You will need to provide your fingerprints and a photo of your face (biometric information) as part of the visa application process. You usually do this when you attend an appointment at the British Embassy or Visa Application Centre (VAC). You will be given an appointment after you complete your online visa application. Check where your nearest Visa Application Centre is.
  • Credibility interviews - You may have to take a short interview to check your credibility as a genuine student. This is either done via a video link or in person when you attend your appointment to give your biometric information. The focus of this interview will be your reasons for choosing the UK, Blackpool and The Fylde College and your chosen course of study as well as questions on the content of your course and how this fits into your career aspirations. You will be required to answer the questions in English.
  • Tuberculosis testing - You will need to have a tuberculosis (TB) test if you are coming to the UK for more than 6 months from any of these listed countries.

Documents required

When you apply for the visa you must provide:

  • a current passport or other valid travel documentation
  • proof that you can support yourself and pay for your course - this will vary depending on your circumstances
  • your tuberculosis test results if you’re from a country where you have to take the test
  • a copy of your IELTS Test Report Form

You need a page in your passport that’s blank on both sides for your visa.

Having the right amount of money

You must show that you have enough money to cover your course fees and living costs. The money that you will need to support yourself will depend on the length of your course. Read the policy guidance on the GOV.UK website to find the total monthly amount required for living costs.

After payment of your tuition fees, your statements must show that the balance of money required to cover your living costs has been held consecutively in your account for the 28 day period prior to the date of your closing balance. These will be checked for you in advance of your visa application.

The student budget calculator by Which? can help you work out how to manage your money and build a budget for living and studying in the UK.

Tier 4 time limits on study

It is important to note that with a Tier 4 (General) student visa there is a two year time limit to study courses below degree-level.

Before we can issue you with a confirmation of acceptance for studies, we will need to check that your application will not take you over the maximum time allowed.

Students booking the Maritime HND Nautical Science (Chief Mate) course will be required to provide copies of previous visas if they studied for HNC Nautical Science (Officer of the Watch) in the UK.

Working in the UK during your studies

New Tier 4 (General) students will not be permitted to work whilst studying at Blackpool and The Fylde College and in the UK. More information about working in the UK can be found on the UKCISA website.

False representation

What is a false representation?

A false representation is when an applicant lies, makes a false statement or uses fraudulent or forged documents in an application.

What happens if a make a false representation?

Any applicants who make a false representation will have their application refused by UKVI and could:

  • be banned from entering the UK for 10 years
  • be removed from the UK
  • be charged with a crime, which could lead to a prison sentence or a fine
  • receive a permanent record of fraud on the UK Visas and Immigration database

Visas refused on grounds of false representation will result in applicants forfeiting their entire payment to the College and no further sponsorship will be provided for future courses.


The College does not contract overseas Agents.


Please note that acceptance onto a course and Tier 4 sponsorship by the College does not guarantee successful completion of the course, or entitlement to residency and employment in the UK following your graduation.

Further information

Information about applying for a visa can be complex and this page provides a general overview. Our team will provide you with full details and help to guide you through the visa application process.

You can also find lots of useful information about visas and immigration on the following websites:

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