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
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
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
- has not been withdrawn or cancelled by the College (Tier 4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).
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
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
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 5- Youth mobility and temporary
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
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.
This is the branch of the Home Office which deals with immigration,
asylum and nationality issues in the UK and abroad.
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
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.