CAS is short for “Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies” and is an electronic document issued by United Kingdom (UK) universities to allow newly admitted students to apply for study visas.
For every student aspiring to pursue their academic goals abroad, the visa application process is the final stage and proof of a successful admission process.
The CAS is simply the intermediate between a successful university application process – admission offer and the visa application process for UK applicants. It signifies the completion of the former and the beginning of the latter.
The CAS document for visa application contains a unique 14 digit number known as a CAS number. This number is generated by the university and required by the United Kingdom visa and immigrant agency to ensure that only students who have accepted an admission offer are considered for study visas.
Though the CAS is a necessary document for study visa application, there is often little or no information on UK universities and visa application websites. This post aims to provide detailed answers to the myriad of questions usually associated with it. Also, to give every student who intends to study in the UK a better chance at successfully navigating the rest of this international education preparation process.
Frequently asked questions (FAQs) about CAS
Who needs CAS?
Everyone applying for a tier 4 study visa in the UK needs the CAS to complete the application process.
According to the UK visa portal, “every student applying for tier 4 general and child student visa must first present his CAS document. However, individuals applying for a short term study visa could proceed without the CAS”.
Hence, if the program you are applying for has a duration of more than six months, you need the CAS, but if it’s a short course of less than six months, the CAS won’t be necessary.
Is CAS and admission offer letter the same?
No. While the CAS further establishes a university’s interest to have a student, it’s only given to candidates who have unconditionally accepted their admission offer letter, deposited tuition fees, and applied for it.
How do I apply for CAS?
Remember, there is no CAS without an admission offer letter. Most schools send the admission offer letter together with a link to the CAS request form, while others direct students to the university tier 4 visa webpage to fill out the CAS form.
What documents do I need to fill out my CAS form?
Generally, the passport data page, copies of academic documents showing the highest level qualifications, and proof of English proficiency are the only documents needed for the CAS form. However, in some cases, especially for people who have applied previously, additional documents are requested.
How long for the CAS letter to be ready?
The CAS letter usually takes ten working days to be processed and sent to the applicant’s mail.
What is contained in a CAS letter?
Though the CAS number is the key interest of every applicant, the CAS letter equally contains other information such as
- The title of the applicant’s course
- The start and end day of the program
- Tuition fees for the program and the amount already paid, etc.
Does CAS guarantee visas?
The CAS, though a prerequisite for study visa application, does not guarantee visa approval. You must meet all other study visa criteria to be considered for a UK visa.
Do I need a different CAS if I apply to study more than one course?
The answer is yes. For students with two study course offers, for example, a pre-sessional and an academic degree course, different CAS numbers would be required for the various programs. However, this is no course for alarm as you could apply for the two simultaneously.
Does the CAS expire?
Yes, definitely. The student CAS number is valid for six months, and the other information on the letter is only relevant for a particular program and school. Hence every student is expected to apply for a visa within the first six months of having a CAS number. Also, if for any reason you need to defer your admission or apply for an entirely new one in the future, you will need a new CAS number and, of course, a request form.