You may not only think that, but you’re probably wondering what’s going on in the UK at the moment as no doubt news stories will have filtered through about the government’s changes on visas.

Firstly, it’s really not that bad getting a visa.  I’m sure everyone has heard horror stories, but have you noticed how you only ever hear the bad, and not the good?   In most countries, there are more visas granted than there are that are rejected.

The UK Border Agency (UKBA) has made amendments to some of the restrictions on visas and I hope to be able to explain below some of the things that are going on.

Firstly however, how about some basics?  The UKBA have got a video that you can watch (in English or in Mandarin).

But I’ve put some information together for you below.  BUT, please visit the websites I’ll mention at the bottom of the blog (tomorrow) as things will change.  You need to keep up to date,  as do I, and these are the websites that I visit too.

What kind of visa will you need? If you are not an European Economic Area (EEA) or Swiss national, you will need to obtain a visa or “entry clearance”.

In 2009, the UK introduced a Points Based System for Tier 4 (General) Visa for Adult Students.  All of our programmes are one year or more, which means if you come and study with us you will need a Tier 4 Visa.  To qualify you need to get 40 points to get your visa.

You will be awarded 30 points for the CAS (Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies) issued by a licensed sponsor (that’s us) and 10 points for Maintenance (money to cover fees and living expenses).

The maintenance fees need to have been in your bank account for at least 28 days.  These will include your first year’s tuition fees and a minimum of £600 per month (minimum 9 months or £5400) to cover your living costs.

At Newman we issue your CAS once you have an unconditional offer letter and you’ve paid your deposit.

You can only apply within 3 months of the start date of your programme.  So if you’re coming to study in September, you won’t be ably to apply any sooner than June.  However, please apply as soon as you can because some countries or offices will be busier than others – so check out the different visa processing times.

Don’t forget that your biometric details will be included in your visa and must be submitted with your visa paperwork.

How much does it cost? The UKBA publish the costs here.

So, those are the basics.  Tomorrow I will tell you about the changes that the UKBA are bringing in and how it will affect you.  As usual you can comment on the post, drop me an e-mail (r.dobbs@newman.ac.uk) or contact me via Facebook (Rhian Dobbs Newman).