Visa Requirements

If you are not a citizen of the European Union or the European Economic Area, you will need a Tier 4 (General) student visa to study any courses longer than 6 months in the UK.  For courses which are 6 months or less, a Short-term study visa will suffice.

After Being Accepted onto a Course at CFS

Once you have satisfied all conditions of your offer, or have received an unconditional offer, the school will need to supply you with a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) and must ensure you meet the minimum Tier 4 requirements. 

We will carefully check each document you supply to us against the Tier 4 requirements. We will confirm that you:

  • Meet the Tier 4 English Language Requirements 
  • Have the correct financial documentation
  • Have relevant experience and/or the correct academic transcripts 

When you have supplied us with all the correct documentation, we will send you a copy of your CAS via email. This email will include detailed information on what your next steps need to be and what we will expect from you.

Remember that you should keep in contact with the school at all times throughout the process and immediately let us know when you have received your visa. If you are refused by the UK visa and Immigration office you must notify us the same day and one of our admissions team will be able to advise what steps to take next.

Language Level Requirements

Tier 4 English Language requirements for Non EEA/EU students (students from outside the European Economic Area/United Kingdom and rest of European Union)

Because of the technical nature of some of the language used on our filmmaking and screenwriting courses, it is essential that you have a good command of the English language.

All students whose first language is not English must provide recent evidence that their English language ability is sufficient for the programmes for which they have applied. This must be evidenced in the form of a Secure English Language Test (SELT) such as IELTS Academic or PEARSON (Academic).

You will need to be level B2 for our undergraduate programmes with an overall score of 6.0 on the IELTS test and C1 for our postgraduate course with an overall score of 6.5. You can test your language skills or book a test by visiting Pearson, or the IELTS website.

Tier 4 (General) – UKVI English Language Requirements

The UK Visa and Immigration (UKVI) service require educational institutions to verify that applicants have a minimum level in English before we are permitted to issue the Confirmation of Acceptance For Studies(CAS). You need a test certificate in order to apply for your visa. See the official list of UKVI-approved English language tests.

The UKVI does not require SELTs from the following countries which they consider majority English speaking: 

  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Australia
  • Bahamas
  • Barbados
  • Belize
  • Canada
  • Dominica
  • Grenada
  • Guyana
  • Jamaica
  • New Zealand
  • St Kitts and Nevis
  • St Lucia
  • St Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • United States of America 

The UKVI will confirm your nationality using your passport.

Financial requirements for Non EEA/EU students

The current requirements of United Kingdom Visas and Immigration state that all students applying for a Tier 4 visa must be able to demonstrate that they have £1,015 per calendar month for living expenses for the first nine months of their course.

Since requirements are often very complex and sometimes subject to change, you are advised to consult the latest and most detailed Tier 4 guidance.

Before we issue your CAS, CFS needs to check all the documentation that you will later submit to UKVI with your visa application. This section outlines the CFS and UKVI financial requirements which must be satisfied before you can apply.

How much money do I need?
Both the school and the UK government have financial requirements. The school requires that the full first-year fee to be paid in advance before we issue a CAS to applicants who need a Tier 4 visa to study in the UK.

The UK Government specifies how much money applicants need to have at the time they apply for a Tier 4 visa. In May 2015, for example, you need to show that you have money for the following:

  • Maintenance of £1,265 a month for the first nine months of your course
  • The total money available must be £11,385 before you may apply for your visa

A maximum of £1,265 paid to your sponsor in advance for your accommodation can be deducted from the amount of maintenance you must show that you have, even if you have paid more than £1,265 in advance.

How do I show this money?
You need to be able to show that you have access to this money in one of the following ways:

  • Bank account
  • Official financial sponsorship
  • Certified academic loan

For all these three sources, if your account is not held in UK pounds (GBP), you should demonstrate to us that you have sufficient funds by making a currency conversion calculation of the funds that you hold into UK pounds, and then clearly displaying this sum on the proof of your finances. The UK Home Office (the government ministry which runs UKVI) uses the OANDA website to convert currencies into GBP. You should use this site for your calculation.

1.  Bank account

You may use either an account in your name or a joint account which you hold with other people or an account in your parents’ name.

The money in the account(s) must be ‘cash’ e.g. not shares, bonds, property or a fixed‐term deposit (a deposit which you are not allowed to withdraw whenever you want). You may use more than one account to show that you have the total money required. You should also check that your bank statement is issued by a financial institution accepted as valid by UKVI.

Your financial document will need to show the following:

  1. That the required money has been in your account at all times for a period of at least 28 days. During this 28-day period, your balance must not drop below the minimum of £9,180 for even one day, as this will result in the rejection of your application.
  2. The document should be dated no more than 1 month before you make your application (for example, if you apply on 1 July the document should be dated no older than 1 June)

Documents which you may use:
UKVI is very specific about the documents which it accepts as proof that you meet the financial requirements. The document must be either:

  • a bank statement


  • a bank letter

It must show the following information:

  • Your name or parents’ name
  • The account number
  • The date of the statement/letter
  • The bank’s name and logo
  • The minimum balance of money required

The document(s) which you provide must be original; copies are not accepted.

Note: If you have only internet bank statements, these must contain all of the details listed above and you must include a letter from your bank on headed paper confirming that the statements are authentic. Some banks will stamp and sign a printed internet bank statement, and you should check whether your bank offers this service. A statement of your finances (as detailed above) stamped and signed by your bank is acceptable.

Using your parents’ bank statements
If you are using a bank statement provided by your parents, you have to provide additional information.

  • Proof of your relationship to them
  • This can be one of the following documents:
    • Your birth certificate, showing name of the parent(s) whose bank statement you are using
    • Certificate of adoption showing your name and that of the parent(s) whose bank statement you are using
    • Court document stating the name of your legal guardian(s) whose bank statement you are using

You will need to submit an original signed and dated letter from the parent(s) or legal guardian when you submit your application form, confirming

  • the relationship between your parent(s)/legal guardian(s) and you
  • that they have given their permission for you to use the money in their account for your studies in the UK

2. Loans

If you are using a loan made to you as your financial evidence, you must provide a document confirming the loan.

The UKVI will accept only government-provided loans or approved educational loans as proof to support a Tier 4 visa application. You will need to provide a loan letter, which must be from a regulated financial institution and be dated no earlier than 6 months before the date of your application.

The letter must be the original (not a copy) and must clearly show:

  • Your name
  • The date of the letter
  • The financial institution’s name and logo
  • The money available as a loan
  • That the loan is provided by your national government, a component state or regional government, a government-sponsored student loan company or is part of an educational loans scheme

3. Financial Sponsorship

UKVI now defines an ‘official financial sponsor’ as:

  • The UK government 
  • The student’s home government
  • The British Council or any international organisation, company or university

The letter from your financial sponsor must be an original document, should be on the official headed paper of the organisation, have the official stamp of the organisation, and contain the following information:

  • Your name
  • The name and contact details of the official sponsor
  • The date of the letter
  • The length of sponsorship
  • The amount of money which the sponsor is giving to the student or a statement that the student’s official financial sponsor will cover all of his/her fees and living costs

If your official financial sponsor is providing all of the funds for your course fees and maintenance, you do not have to provide separate evidence of your savings.
If your sponsor pays only some of your costs, you will need a letter from the sponsor and proof that you have enough money of your own to meet the rest of the maintenance (living expenses) requirement - for example, your personal bank statements.