International Students

Alpha Meridian College is a private independent educational institution and was founded in 1994. The college is proud to have hundreds of international students join us each year from all over the world to pursue their academic objectives and career opportunities.  We also welcome applications from home students from the UK and students from other EU countries and from outside the European Union.

The majority of our international students require a visa to study with us in the UK.  Almost all international students come to study with us as a Tier 4 (General) student visa holder.  Alpha Meridian College is a Tier 4 licensed sponsor and we are listed on the UK Border Agency (UKBA) register of sponsors as a Highly Trusted.

Alpha Meridian College welcomes applications from international students.  If you would like to obtain more information or discuss our admissions process, including if your qualifications and our entry requirements, please contact a member of our Admissions Team on +44 (0)20 8853 5697. Email:  You may also write to us.

Alpha Meridian College, Admissions Team, Meridian House, Greenwich High Road, London SE10 8TL.


We have provided below Questions and Answers that may be of assistance.


Will I need a student visa to come to the UK to study?

If you are a citizen of the European Union (or Iceland, Norway, Switzerland or Liechtenstein) you will not need a student visa to come to the UK to study.   If you are a national of any other country, you will have to apply for a student entry clearance visa under the tier 4 points based system.  A student visa cannot be obtained on arrival in the UK. You need to be aware of the immigration rules and procedures.  You may wish to come to the UK on a short course of study as a special student visitor under the Student Visitor Visa route.  *See below.


What is the point based system?

You must pass a points-based assessment and score 40 points before you come to the UK if you are planning to apply under the tier 4 General (Student) route.  You score: 30 points for a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies from a licensed sponsor; and 10 points if you can show you have enough finances to cover your course fees and monthly living expenses for up to 9 months (known as maintenance).


Is Alpha Meridian College recognized by the UK Border Agency under the tier 4 points based system?

Yes, Alpha Meridian College is a Tier 4 (General Student) licensed sponsor listed on the register of sponsors and holds Highly Trusted Status.


What is a licensed sponsor?

You must study with a licensed sponsor who is the education provider on the UK Border Agency tier 4 register of sponsors.  Your sponsor is responsible for your student status while you are in the United Kingdom.


How can I apply for a tier 4 student visa from outside the UK

Depending on the country where you live, to be able to travel to the United Kingdom as a general student you may need to make your application online or/and using application form VAF9 in your country.  The date of your application must be no more than 6 months after the date when your Tier 4 sponsor assigned your confirmation of acceptance for studies to you.


What do I need in order to apply for a Tier 4 Student Visa?

  • You will need to fill in the relevant application form and pay your fee
  • provide a current passport or travel document
  • a student visa letter (CAS) from a licensed sponsor
  • documents to show you have the right finances (maintenance) available
  • the documents used by your sponsor when they accepted you on to the course (eg. academic qualifications, references, work experience related to your course, etc).
  • your biometric ID card if you are applying from inside the United Kingdom


What are the requirements for obtaining a Tier 4 Student Visa?

The requirements for obtaining a Tier 4 Student Visa are:

  • You must obtain a document called a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) from the institution where you intend to study.
  • The institution must be recognised (i.e. have a sponsor’s licence) by the UK Border Agency.
  • If you are over 18 and you want to study an academic course, the courses must be at NQF Level 3 or above (e.g. at A Level or University Foundation).
  • You must prove you have the funds to pay for your studies.



The finances you need to have under the points-based assessment in order to study at Alpha Meridian College (outer London) are:

Length of course Maintenance (funds) needed
12 months or less Any course fees outstanding + £800 for each month
More than 12 months First year of fees + £7,200 to cover the first year in the   United Kingdom


As a minimum, you will need sufficient funds to pay your first year tuition fees in full, plus at least £7,200 (£9,000 in London) for accommodation and living expenses.

Usually, you will be asked to produce bank statements showing the funds have been in your account (or your parents’ / legal guardian’s account) for 28 days before you apply for your visa. Documentary evidence of a bank loan or sponsorship from a Government body is also acceptable. Visa applications are automatically rejected if you cannot prove you have these funds, or if they have not been in your account for 28 days before you apply for your visa.

  • You will need to pass an approved English language test before you apply for your visa.  English tests are mandatory if you are studying below degree level and may also be required for degree level or above.
  • You may be required by the entry clearance officer in your country to attend an interview (credibility test) and can be refused entry clearance if you fail to attend the interview without providing a reasonable explanation.
  • When assessing your visa application, the British Embassy or High Commission will also take into consideration other factors, in particular whether you have been refused a visa or refused entry in the past.


Students must meet the full requirements of the Immigration Rules and have 40 points in total as shown in the table below:


Points required: 40
Having a valid Confirmation of Acceptance   for Studies from a Tier 4 sponsor 30points
Having enough money to cover course fees   and monthly living costs (also known as maintenance or funds) 10points



How long can I apply to stay for?

If you are studying below degree level you will normally be allowed to stay up to three years and if you are studying at degree level or above, you can stay for the full duration of your course or up to five years.


What is a CAS?

A Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) is an electronically produced document with a unique number which can only be generated by the UKBA Sponsor Management System when your sponsor college enters the required student information.  A CAS expires six months after it is issued.


Do I need a CAS?

International students requiring to obtain an entry clearance visa to the United Kingdom under tier 4 of the Points Based System and students that need apply for a student visa extension must have a CAS to do this.  A CAS statement containing a unique number and is sent to the student, normally by email.


Why is a CAS important?

You will not be able to apply to study in the UK as a Tier 4 (General Student) unless you have obtained a CAS.  Once you have obtained a CAS it is your responsibility to check your CAS statement to ensure all the information provided about yourself and your studies is accurate and correct, otherwise you may be refused a student visa.


What Information doe the CAS contain?

The CAS contains personal information such as, your full name, birth date, address, information about your academic background, course fees, maintenance, etc.


When is a CAS valid?

A valid Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies is one that:

  • has the same details on it as in the student’s passport; and
  • was assigned no more than six months before the date of application; and
  • has not been withdrawn or cancelled by the Tier 4 sponsor or UK Border Agency.


How can I extend my stay as a general student in the UK?

If you want to extend your stay as a tier 4 (general) student in the UK you must complete a Tier 4 (g) application form and provide all the necessary evidence.  You may apply up to three months before your current student visa expires.  Under the points-based assessment you need to score 40 points, as above.  You score: 30 points for a valid confirmation of acceptance from a licensed sponsor and 10 points if you can show you have enough finances to cover your course fees and monthly living expenses (known as maintenance).  A Tier 4 (General) student with an established presence studying in the UK must show they have money for their living costs for each month of the course up to a maximum of 2 months (2x£800=£1600).


How much will it cost?

The student visa application fee at the time of publication is £394.  Please check this before you apply.  For more information go to


Can I work in the UK while I am studying?

If you are applying for a Tier 4 student visa you will not normally be allowed to work even with if the private college has Highly Trusted Status.  However, if the private college is a recognised body, then you would normally be allowed to work.  Please check the vignette/endorsement in your passport or your Biometric Residents Permit.


What happens if I do not enrol by the latest start date?

The CAS shows the latest date by when you must formally enrol for your course. If you do not show by the latest date the UKBA is notified.  We may have to refuse your enrolment.


It is very important that you inform the Admissions Team before the latest start date, if you are no longer able to attend the course.  It is sometimes possible to defer a CAS, provided we receive sufficient advance notice.  This can only happen as a result of a ‘significant change in circumstances.


What is the Student Visitor Route?

If you need a visa to study in the UK for a short period, there are a couple of other options available to you.  Depending on your nationality, you may or may not have to apply for ‘entry clearance’ before coming to the UK.

1. The Student Visitor Visa (Age 18+) Maximum stay 6 months

  • The Student Visitor Visa route is suitable for applicants aged 18 or over.
  • The visa allows you to study any of the courses offered by Alpha Meridian      College for up to 6 months.
  • The maximum stay in the UK is a maximum of 6 months and this cannot be extended.
  • There are no work rights

2. The Extended Student Visitor Visa (Age 18+) Maximum stay 11 months

  • The Extended Student Visitor Visa route is suitable for applicants aged 18 or over.
  • Applicants must be studying an English language course.
  • The length of the English language course must be between 6 and 11 months.
  • The maximum stay is 11 months and this cannot be extended in the UK.
  • There are no work rights


I need further information what should I do?

If you have any questions not answered here please refer to our website, or, contact us by email:, by fax: +44 (0)20 8858 5553, by post: Alpha Meridian College Meridian House Greenwich High Road Greenwich London SE10 8TL England or by telephone: +44 (0)208 8853 4111.


Can I contact you by Skype?

We are happy to engage in a telephone or Skype conference with prospective students.  Please send us an email with your Skype contact details and will arrange to contact you.




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