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A guide to the Points-Based System

This page will provide you with information about the Points-Based System (PBS) and how it will affct your visa application.

What do you need to know about PBS for a visa application?

PBS allocates points for certain things and you need to have sufficient points to be granted a visa. You need 40 points to meet the criteria for a Tier 4 (General) Student visa:

  • 30 points for a valid Certificate of Acceptance for Studies (CAS)
  • 10 points for evidence of your finances (maintenance).

You will need to provide certain documentation to the UK’s immigration authorities.

You will find a full list of the documentation required on the the Visas and Immigration section of the Gov.uk website. This is updated regularly, so make sure you check that the requirements carefully before submitting your application.

Is Bournemouth University a registered sponsor?

To enter the UK on a Tier 4 visa, you must have a place with a university that is a registered sponsor with UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI).

Bournemouth University is a registered Tier 4 sponsor. You will find our Sponsor Licence number on your CAS statement when we send this to you.

How and when can you apply for a visa?

To apply for your Tier 4 (General) Student visa you need a CAS number from BU. We will send this to you three months before your course starts, when you have met all the offer conditions and confirmed your place. 

If you are outside the UK, you need to apply for Entry Clearance through a visa application centre. If you are already in the UK on a Tier 4 (General) Student visa linked to another institution, you need to apply for your BU Tier 4 (General) Student visa before the start of your course. We can help you with your application.

What do you need to do if you think you're arriving late?

If you are going to arrive after the official start date of your course, you need to contact us as soon as possible.

We have to report any students who have not arrived within ten days of registration to the UKVI. If you try to enter the UK after we have reported you as non-registered, you will not be allowed to enter the country and will have to return home.

If you have a genuine reason for being late, we can approve your late arrival and inform the UKVI to ensure you are still able to enter the UK and begin your studies.

What to do once you arrive

There are several things you need to do once you arrive in the UK. These are:

  • Present your visa or ID card and passport to the university
    We will take copies of these at enrolment and keep them for our records. You will not be able to enrol on your course if you do not provide us with these documents.
  • Provide us with up-to-date contact details
    We are required to keep up-to-date contact details (address and phone number) for all of our international students. If you move or change your phone number, you need to let us know. You can update your details using myBU or by contacting askBU.
  • Attend all of your lectures and seminars
    We have to monitor the engagement of all of our international students as part of our PBS responsibilities and are required to report non-attendance to the UKVI. This means you need to attend all of your mandatory lectures and seminars. If you have a good reason for missing lectures, contact your Programme Support Officer to explain why. ​If you miss too many lectures you will receive a warning and will need to meet with university staff. This will always be the first step before we move on to the reporting stage with the UKVI.