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circumflex

UK Tier 4 visa: tight window to get approved

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I am American but I am completing a bachelor's degree in Germany. I need a CAS to get my unconditional offer from the university and apply for my visa. My course begins 14 September.

The thing is that my last exams are at the end of July and I will receive my grades sometime in August. I can only submit my bachelor thesis proposal once those final grades are in, and from there I officially have six weeks to submit my thesis.

The good news is that I've already coordinated my thesis topic with a professor and can start working on it quite early. I also expect that the instructors for the two courses I need this summer will be able grade my work fairly quick. So in the best case scenario, I can have my degree in mid-August assuming everything runs smoothly and I am able to get my grades in and my thesis approved in record time. That leaves me with just about one month to submit my degree certificate to my uni, get a CAS, then submit my visa application.

Has anyone been in a similar situation where the CAS/visa/moving process was extremely tight? Is this normal?

Edited by circumflex

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This is not normal for international students and you need to contact the Immigration team at your prospective university for their advice. It's recommended for UKVI that you submit your visa application as early as possible, which is 3 months before the start date. One month is not going to be long enough to get your CAS, get a confirmed offer, submit your visa application, attend a biometric appointment, and wait for the outcome of the visa assessment. There may be a week or more between each step. And even if you pay a lot of money for priority visa service, you should expect it to take 3 months. UKVI is notorious for being slow and making mistakes. 

It's likely you'll need some kind of special consideration by the university to get your CAS information before your final grades and thesis are done, otherwise you'll have to start later. 

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Thanks! I will speak with my current university's examination office and see if I can get some sort of certificate saying I've fulfilled the requirements ASAP.

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Update for anyone in a similar situation:

My prospective university in the UK said there is no way around this other than getting a final transcript ASAP (in lieu of the final degree certificate). Next week I will speak to the three professors (thesis advisor and two course instructors) about having everything graded and finalized literally immediately after exams. If that works out, my current uni's examination office said they can issue a final transcript on the spot.

I'm not sure how long it will take for the unconditional offer to be sent once I upload the transcript, but apparently many people are in a similar situation around this time, so the actual CAS itself may take "up to 10 working days to process" after the unconditional offer is generated lmaoo

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