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When to apply for a visa

RCM violinist performing at the Royal Academy of Arts
In order to apply for a Tier 4 (General) Student Visa you will require a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) number. If you have met all the conditions of your offer we recommend requesting a CAS number and applying for your visa in mid-June. It is a good idea to start preparing for your application earlier than this.

Obtaining a visa can be a lengthy process. You must allow enough time to apply for your visa so you can start your course on time. Leaving it until the last minute may delay or even prevent you taking up your place at the RCM.


Please note you should not plan to travel overseas while your visa application is processed.

In early June we write to all students starting new courses inviting them to apply for a CAS once they have an unconditional offer. Unconditional offers are only made when applicants have submitted to the RCM all the required academic and English language qualifications and their offer status has been changed to GU (guaranteed unconditional).

Most students will have unconditional offers by June and should request a CAS straight away. We will not normally issue a CAS to new students after 31 August.

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The earliest you can apply for a Tier 4 visa is three months before the start of your course, which normally means mid-June. If you apply sooner than this your visa application will automatically be rejected by UKVI.

If you are not sure whether your offer is unconditional yet, or you need to send in proof of your qualifications, please contact our Admissions team.


Admissions and general audition enquiries

Students already studying at a university who receive their results in early July

Students already studying at a UK university, and universities in a few other countries, will normally expect to receive their degree results and transcripts in early July. Students in this position should send their qualifications and submit their CAS request form as soon as possible after receiving their results.

Students awaiting A Level results

A Level results will be published on 15 August 2019, which is relatively late to apply for a visa. However, the RCM is used to supporting students this situation. We recommend preparing all your supporting documents and financial evidence in advance so you are ready to apply for your CAS and visa as soon as possible after you receive your results.

Visa processing times

UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) aims to process applications to the following service standards:

Applications made outside the UK

Within 15 working days. In some countries a three to five day priority service may be available.

Applications made inside the UK

Within eight weeks. Standard service, faster priority services are available.

More detailed information about visa processing times and the various services available is available on our How to Apply for a Tier 4 Visa page.