London Film Academy

Student Visa

Any international student planning to study full-time in the UK for more than six months will need to apply for a Student visa i.e., BA (Hons) Filmmaking, MA Filmmaking, MA Screenwriting or the Filmmaking Diploma courses.

For further information on Student visas visit the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) website. This information on this page is correct at the time of publication however it is the student’s responsibility to ensure that they have checked the current guidance.

Student visa application guidance:

We understand that this can be a stressful and challenging process, however, whilst LFA can direct You to the relevant UKVI guidance on applying for a Student visa, we cannot provide individual advice on completing visa applications. You are required to refer to UKVI guidance for up-to-date information on what needs to be included in your application and it is your responsibility to complete the application correctly and supply all the required documentation.

For formal advice and support during the visa application process and after enrolment contact:

UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) Student Advice Line on +44 (0)20 7788 9214 which is open at the following times: Monday to Friday (except for public holidays): 1.00pm to 4.00pm (UK time).

 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Who is my Licensed Immigration Sponsor?

All applicants under the Student visa category need a sponsor - your sponsor will be the London Film Academy (LFA). LFA is on the 'Register of Sponsors Licensed under the Points Based System' and we have Student Sponsor - Track Record rating.

What is a Confirmation of Acceptance of Studies (CAS) and how do I get this?

A Certificate of Acceptance of Studies (CAS) will allow you to apply for Your Student visa. A CAS is the electronic reference number that is created when LFA applies directly to the Home Office to be your sponsor following all the visa requirements being met. See “How to apply for a CAS” for more information on this process.

How to apply for a Confirmation of Acceptance of Studies (CAS)

To apply for a CAS from LFA, the process is as follows:

1. Apply on-line on LFA website for the relevant course:

2. Complete the application process and accept an offer of a place on your chosen course at LFA, including payment of your course fee deposit and the CAS admin fee.

3. Contact the LFA Admissions Team by email - admissions@londonfilmacademy.com - and let them know that you require a Student visa. You will then be sent an email with a list of documents required for the issuing of the Confirmation of Acceptance of Studies (CAS).

Example of documents you will need to supply to obtain a CAS from LFA (please send documents in one email with all attachments requested):

  • A copy of your passport clearly showing the information page with your photo and passport number 
  • A scanned copy of your IELTS Academic with scanned copies of relevant previous qualifications such as High School Certificate OR Undergraduate Degree. Please note you may need to evidence the original documents for enrolment.
  • Proof that you have sufficient funds to pay any outstanding course fees as stated on the CAS, plus a specified amount for each month of the course (up to a maximum of 9 months) e.g., bank statements, educational loan, scholarship award (e.g., Chevening Scholarship) or an official letter from your bank. The bank statement(s) or evidence you use to show funds have been held for 28 days must be from the 31-days before you submit your application. The 28 days is calculated by counting back from the date of the closing balance on the most recent financial evidence. The letter from your bank, if required, should be written by an official (e.g., Manager, Clerk), stating that it is your account, also signed and dated on the bank’s headed paper. If a parent/guardian is your financial sponsor, then the letter needs to verify your parent as the account holder.
  • If a parent/guardian is your financial sponsor, we will also need a scanned copy of your birth certificate or legal documentation to prove your relationship to them. 
  • If a parent/guardian is your financial sponsor, we also require a written consent (signed and dated) for your application from them, around the length of a paragraph, stating that they are willing to financially sponsor your course fees and living costs during your course. This consent must be dated in the 31-day period before you submit your application.
  • The results of a Tuberculosis test, from an approved clinic, confirming that you are clear of tuberculosis (TB) if required – see UKVI list of countries where a TB test is required, please note this list is updated regularly.
  • Payment of the CAS admin fee.
  • Please provide all documents in English (documents must be officially translated, stamped and dated).

Once submitted, the documents will be checked by the LFA Admissions Team, who will let you know at the earliest convenience if these meet UKVI requirements. Please note, if you have not completed any of the steps listed above you will not be issued with a CAS.

LFA typically allocates your CAS number within 5 working days of receiving all the completed paperwork, and occasionally sooner if the course start date is imminent. You must contact us as soon as possible if you spot any mistakes on the CAS. Your CAS reference number will be sent to you by email.

How do I apply for a Student visa?

Once you have received your CAS from LFA, please complete a Student visa application on the UKVI website which currently also requires EU, EEA, or Swiss nationals to undertake an ID check via an app whereas all other students must attend an in-person interview in your country of residence. Please note It is essential that you complete all the required fields in the visa application form.

Applying via the UK Immigration: ID Check app:

If you are an EU, EEA, or Swiss national and you have a valid passport with a biometric chip, you can use the free UK Immigration: ID Check app to confirm your identity and upload your documents as part of your application.

When you start your visa application, you will be asked some questions to confirm that you can use the 'UK Immigration: ID Check' app. If you can, you will be asked to download the app and upload documents: You will then complete the rest of your application on the UKVI website. You do not use the app to complete your application.

If you cannot apply using the 'UK Immigration: ID Check' app then you will need to attend a visa application centre as part of the application process. This is because you will need to have your passport scanned and your identity confirmed in person. Please note that visa application centres are not available in all countries.

You will be contacted to let you know whether your visa application has been successful. Please note that although much of the application process for an e-visa is done online, you must wait for your visa to be granted before travelling to the UK.

Applying via an In-person visa appointment to verify ID and intention to study:

If you are not a national of a country in the European Union (EU), European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland, and you are coming to the UK to study for more than 6 months, you will need to attend an in-person visa appointment at a visa application centre, in addition to completing the visa application online.

At the end of the online Student Visa application form you'll be required to organise your visa appointment and submission of documents. At your appointment, your fingerprints and photograph will be taken, and you will normally need to submit your documents, translations, and passport. You may also be required to take a credibility interview.

You'll also be asked where you would like to collect your Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) Card when you arrive in the UK. Your BRP card confirms your identity, your visa permission, your visa conditions and rights to work and study. You will need to arrange for your BRP card to be delivered to a local UK Post Office for collection, the closest post office to LFA will be detailed in your CAS email from LFA.

You will be contacted by the UK Home Office to let you know whether your visa application has been successful. Please note that you must wait for your visa to be granted before travelling to the UK.

Whilst LFA can direct you to the relevant UKVI guidance on applying for a Student visa it is your responsibility to complete the application correctly and supply all the required documentation. For more information about visa refusal see our LFA Procedure 2.4 - Tuition Fee Refund and Compensation procedure.

When should I apply for a Student Visa?

Apply as soon as possible after accepting your offer to a course at LFA to make sure there is enough time for your application to be processed.

  • When applying for a visa from outside the UK, the earliest you can apply for a visa is 6 months before you start your course.
  • When applying for a visa from inside the UK, the earliest you can apply is 3 months before you start your course.
Visa credibility interviews

You may be required to attend a credibility interview conducted by the UK Home Office to establish whether you are a genuine student. In the interview, an Entry Clearance Officer (ECO) will try to establish that you are serious about studying, and that you have good knowledge of English, your chosen place of study and course. Prior to your interview, do some detailed research; make sure you know about LFA and are able to explain why you chose it. What appeals to you about the local area, the course offered and the teaching style? The visa application decision will not be made at the interview.

Below are some examples of questions you may be asked:

  • What was the last course you studied, and what have you been doing since completing it?
  • Do you have any future career plans?
  • How will you fund your studies?
  • Did you consider any other courses?
  • Why did you choose to study at LFA?
  • Why do you want to study in the UK?

You will be contacted by the UK Home Office to let you know whether your visa application has been successful. Please note that you must wait for your visa to be granted before travelling to the UK.

How long will it take to get my Student visa?

Once you’ve submitted your application online, the waiting time starts when you either:

  • attend your appointment and provide your fingerprints and a photograph (biometric information) at a visa application centre
  • verify your identity using the UK Immigration: ID Check app - this will depend on the visa you apply for, and you’ll be advised if you can use this

The waiting time will end when you get an email containing the decision on your application. This will explain what you need to do next.

For more up to date information on waiting times visit the UKVI website.

What to do once your Student visa has been approved

You can arrive before your course starts. This can be either:

  • up to 1 week before, if your course lasts 6 months or less
  • up to 1 month before, if your course lasts more than 6 months

You must not travel to the UK before the start date given on your visa, no matter when your course starts.

Your visa will detail an expiry date and that is the date when you are required to leave the UK by without ‘overstaying’. If you break the conditions of your visa, you may not be able to come to the UK again.

Receiving your Student visa and what to do next

If your application has been successful, your passport will be returned to you and you’ll be given either:

  • A vignette sticker (entry stamp) that goes in your passport (if you gave your biometric information at a visa application centre). This stamp is valid for up to 90 days. If your visa has been issued for more than 6 months, you will be issued with a Biometric Residence Permit (BRP), which you’ll collect once you are in the UK. Your BRP card must be collected from a designated post office, either before your visa stamp expires or within 10 days of arriving in the UK, whichever date is the earliest. The communication you received from the UKVI will tell you where your BRP needs to be collected from. If you do not collect this within the required timescale you may be fined by the UKVI.
  • A digital status which allows you to view your immigration status information online – if you used the smartphone app to prove your identity. You will then be able to travel to the UK on your e-visa. You will not get a vignette or a BRP. You will also need to keep evidence of your date of travel as you will need to prove the date of your arrival. Please ensure that you log into your digital record to make sure all your details, including your name and date of birth, are correct, and that your visa covers the full duration of your studies in your CAS, plus an additional wrap-up period of 4 months (if your programme is 12 months or more). If any of your personal details are incorrect, you can update them on the UKVI website.
Arriving at a UK airport

When you arrive at a UK airport, you may see the ePassport gates, if you are in receipt of: 

  • A vignette sticker: Please do not use the e-gates as your visa will need to be stamped by a UK Border Officer. The stamp activates your visa. If you are travelling to the UK via the Republic of Ireland, you may find there is no UK Border Force Officer to check and stamp your visa. In these circumstances you must keep evidence of your date of travel (for example your boarding card) as you will later need to prove the date of your arrival. 
  • A digital status: You will be able to use the e-gates.
When can I arrive in the UK and how long can I stay in the UK?

Students on a Student visa may be allowed to work part-time, how much depends on what course you’re studying and whether you’re working in or out of term-time. However, there are UKVI restrictions on what you can do; for instance, you:

  • cannot be employed as a professional sportsperson (including a sports coach)
  • cannot be employed as an entertainer
  • cannot be self-employed
  • can work full-time only after you have submitted all elements for your degree course (post degree course until end of your visa).

If your application is successful, you’ll be told what you can and cannot do workwise on your Student visa.

As LFA courses are intensive and may require attendance during evenings or weekends, you should also be aware that any part-time work which you commit to should not interfere with attending classes or monitoring, and that this should only be supplementary to your studies.

Proving your right to study to LFA

At enrolment at LFA you will be asked to prove your right to study at LFA and will be required to bring your passport and either your BRP card with you or provide your sharecode to us for our records. LFA, as visa sponsors, are required to monitor the expiry of both your passport and visa throughout your time with us, so please ensure that you show these documents when requested. Please note that as a student of LFA your attendance will also be monitored to ensure that as a sponsored student you remain compliant with the UKVI regulations.

What if my Student visa is refused?

If you receive a visa refusal, please contact the LFA Admissions Team immediately. We will advise you, based on the reasons in your refusal letter. In the case of situations when an administrative review is appropriate, you have 28 days to submit to the UKVI and contest the decision made. The LFA Admissions Team can help you with this process. You will need to respond in writing to each of the points raised in the refusal letter.

For more information about visa refusal see our LFA Procedure 2.4 - Tuition Fee Refund and Compensation procedure.

Can I work part-time whilst studying at LFA?

Students on a Student visa may be allowed to work part-time, how much depends on what course you’re studying and whether you’re working in or out of term-time. However, there are UKVI restrictions on what you can do; for instance, you:

  • cannot be employed as a professional sportsperson (including a sports coach)
  • cannot be employed as an entertainer
  • cannot be self-employed
  • can work full-time only after you have submitted all elements for your degree course (post degree course until end of your visa).

If your application is successful, you’ll be told what you can and cannot do workwise on your Student visa.

As LFA courses are intensive and may require attendance during evenings or weekends, you should also be aware that any part-time work which you commit to should not interfere with attending classes or monitoring, and that this should only be supplementary to your studies.

Student visa application guidance

We understand that this can be a stressful and challenging process, however, whilst LFA can direct You to the relevant UKVI guidance on applying for a Student visa, we cannot provide individual advice on completing visa applications. You are required to refer to UKVI guidance for up-to-date information on what needs to be included in your application and it is your responsibility to complete the application correctly and supply all the required documentation.

For formal advice and support during the visa application process and after enrolment contact: UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) Student Advice Line on +44 (0)20 7788 9214 which is open at the following times: Monday to Friday (except for public holidays): 1.00pm to 4.00pm (UK time).

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