Glossary of Immigration Terminology

Glossary of Immigration Terminology

Biometric Residence Permits
Previously known as Identity Cards for Foreign Nationals, Biometric Residence Permits will be rolled out so all new entrants and those extending their leave to remain in the UK will have a card within 3 years. The card will provide information that will help public agencies; employers and educational establishments more easily understand the migrant’s entitlements. To create the residence permit, the UKBA will collect fingerprints and a facial image, otherwise known as biometrics.

Confirmation of Acceptance for Study (CAS)
A CAS is not an actual certificate or paper document but it is a virtual document similar to a database record. Each CAS has a unique reference number and contains information about the course of study for which it was issued and the student’s personal details. The Royal Welsh College will provide new students with a CAS as soon as their application to study here has been successfully processed. Continuing students that need to extend their student visa will need to request a CAS from the Admissions Team.

You will be issued with a CAS statement which will hold some of the information that the College used when assigning your CAS for example course details, documents that the College (Tier 4 sponsor) has used to assess the student and fees due for the appropriate period of study. You will need this information to accurately complete your application form and to be sure of what supporting documents you will need to submit with your application.

A valid CAS is one that:

  • has the same details on it as in your passport; and
  • was assigned no more than 6 months before the date of application; and
  • has not been withdrawn or cancelled by the College (Tier 4 sponsor) or the UKBA.

A CAS cannot be used more than once. If your Tier 4 Student Visa application is refused, and you wish to make another application, you will need to get a new CAS from the College.

Having a valid CAS does not guarantee that your Tier 4 visa application will be successful. You must meet all the requirements of the Immigration Rules.

European Union (EU)
An amalgamation of a number of independent states based on the European Communities. Formerly known as European Community (EC) or European Economic Community (EEC), the EU was founded to enhance political, economic and social co-operation. Current Member States of the European Union are: Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Republic of Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Poland, The Netherlands, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and United Kingdom.

European Economic Area (EEA)
The EEA was Formed on 1 January 1994. Represents an amalgamation of the European Union and the European Free Trade Area (Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway).

Entry Clearance
This is a sticker placed in a passport by a British diplomatic post abroad (not in the UK). Next to the word 'type’, it tells you what it was issued for (what 'category’ the person falls into, for example, 'student’). It is valid if it has not expired, which means that the 'valid until’ date on it has not yet arrived.

Foreign national (overseas national)
Also known as overseas national, the term foreign national applies to non-UK passport holders

Identity Card for Foreign Nationals (ICFN)
See Biometric Residence Permits.

Indefinite Leave to Enter/ Remain (ILE/R)
This is otherwise known as permanent residence. Indefinite Leave to Enter means that this right to permanent residence was issued by an Immigration Officer at the port of entry (e.g. Heathrow) to the UK. Indefinite Leave to Remain means that this right to permanent residence was issued by the UK Border Agency within the UK rather than at the port of entry. People issued with ILE/R are not bound by any restrictions on the period for which they may remain in the UK.

Leave to Remain
Immigration permission extending someone’s stay in the UK

Points Based System (PBS)
The PBS has been implemented by the UK Border Agency (UKBA). It is the most radical reworking of the immigration system in a generation. It is based on the Australian model and involves the consolidation of 80+ existing routes in to a structured 5 tier system. Applicants now need to pass a points based assessment to enter or remain in the UK. It applies to everyone who needs immigration permission to come to the UK to work or study, and to all organisations that offer them employment and/or courses of study. The five tiers are:

  • Tier 1- Highly skilled individuals: Categories under this tier include: General (formally Highly Skilled Migrant Programme), Post Study Work Scheme (formally International Graduate Scheme), Investors and Entrepreneurs
  • Tier 2- Skilled workers with a job offer
  • Tier 3- Low skilled workers to fill specific temporary labour shortages (Currently no plans to introduce this tier)
  • Tier 4- Students
  • Tier 5- Youth mobility and temporary workers

Student Visitor Visa
A visa for courses which are 6 months or less and for which there will be no need of an extension of stay in the UK. It is prohibited to work on a Student Visitor visa.

Tier 4 Student Visa
This is the visa needed to study a course of more than six months or a pre-sessional course to prepare students for further study in the UK.
A step by step guide to applying for Entry Clearance under Tier 4 of the Points Based System and other useful immigration information can be found on the link above.

Tier 4 Sponsor Licence
All institutions now need a Tier 4 Sponsor Licence to provide visa support documentation to, and enrol, international students. Institutions must abide by the Tier 4 Sponsor Guidance in order to maintain the ability to accept international students.

Tier 4 Sponsor Licence Number
A Tier 4 Sponsor Licence Number is issued to each institution that has joined the UKBA’s sponsor register. The Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama's sponsor licence number is: 9XRKC90G5. This enables the College to sponsor students under Tier 4 of the PBS. By law, an institution cannot enrol a student who has a visa with a different licence number on it.

UK Border Agency
This is the branch of the Home Office which deals with immigration, asylum and nationality issues in the UK and abroad.

Visitor Visa
This is a visa which is issued to people coming to the UK for recreational purposes. It is prohibited to work or to study on a Visitor visa.

Disclaimer: The information provided on this page is given in good faith and has been carefully checked with The UK Council for International Student Affairs and the UK Border Agency. However please note that the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama accepts no legal responsibility for its accuracy. Immigration law is subject to change; please ensure that you have the most up to date information by checking the websites listed under the “Useful resources” subheading above.