CAS number frequently asked questions
This page contains answers to frequently asked questions about the process of arranging a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) number.
How the University will arrange your CAS number
- What is a CAS number?
CAS stands for Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies. UK immigration rules require the University to sponsor your application for a student visa (this is not the same as financial sponsorship). A CAS number confirms that we have made you an Unconditional offer of a place to study with us, and that you have accepted this.
- Why do I need a CAS number?
You will need a CAS number to apply for a visa to allow you to study in the UK.
- How do I get a CAS number?
The University will apply to the UK government's UK Visas & Immigration (UKVI) for your CAS number, confirming that we have made you an Unconditional offer of a study place, and that you have accepted this. UKVI will then issue a CAS number for you. They will send this to the University, and we will tell you what this is.
- I have previously studied in the UK on a student visa. Will I be eligible for a CAS number for a second student visa?
Yes, providing you meet the UKVI's requirements relating to "academic progression" and time limits:
- For applicants to all courses: The qualification you have applied to study should normally be at a higher level than any qualification you have previously studied on a UK student visa. For example, if you have previously studied a Bachelors degree in the UK, the next qualification you study here should be at Masters level or higher. In some circumstances it is possible to study at the same academic level as a previous course. We will let you know whether this is possible after you submit your degree course application.
- For applicants to undergraduate courses only: By the end of the course you have applied to study, you must not have spent more than five years studying Bachelors and Masters qualifications on a UK student visa (six years if the new course lasts four years).
- When will the University arrange my CAS number?
The process of arranging your CAS number will begin when you have activated your CAS Application via the Pre-Registration system. The CAS Application task will appear 1) when it is less than four months before your course starts, 2) when you have accepted an Unconditional offer of a study place at the University and 3) (for postgraduate taught applicants only) when you have paid any fee deposit we have requested.
- How do I access the Pre-Registration system?
We will send an email giving you access to the Pre-Registration system to the email address you used in your application to study at the University.
- When will you send the email giving me access to the Pre-Registration system?
We will email you 1) when it is less than four months before the start of your course, and 2) when you have accepted an Unconditional offer of a study place at the University.
- Where will you send the email giving me access to the Pre-Registration system?
We will send it to the email address you provided when you applied to study at the University. Please make sure that the email address you used in your application is still valid, and that your account is set to trust emails from @sheffield.ac.uk and @shef.ac.uk addresses.
- My email address has changed. What should I do?
If the email address you used in your application is no longer valid, please let us know your new address by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include in your email your name, your applicant number, and the title of the course you have applied to study.
- What happens if my contact email address is my agent’s and not my personal email address?
If your email address is your agent's, then they will receive the email giving you access to the Pre-Registration system. They will need either to complete the Pre-Registration tasks themselves if they can, or to contact you.
- I have deleted the email giving me access to the Pre-Registration system. What should I do?
Please email email@example.com with your name, your applicant number, and the title of the course you have applied to study, and we will resend the email.
- Do I have to pay a fee deposit before the University applies for my CAS number?
If you have applied for a taught postgraduate course and we have asked you to pay a fee deposit, we will only be able to apply for your CAS number when you have paid your fee deposit, or provided evidence that you are exempt.
- My course requires ATAS clearance. Will you apply for my CAS number before I have received this?
Yes. However, please note that you will need to have received ATAS clearance before you apply for your visa. You can find more information about this on our ATAS webpage.
- I have already accepted an Unconditional offer for a course starting in September, but you have not yet emailed me about applying for my CAS number. Why?
We will only arrange your CAS number when it is less than four months before your degree course starts.
- Can I apply for a Student visa with my offer letter?
No, you can only apply for your Student visa with the CAS number arranged by the University.
- Can I apply to UKVI directly for my CAS number?
No. Only government-approved education providers can apply for CAS numbers, on behalf of applicants who have applied to study with them. The University of Sheffield is an approved education provider.
Students due to study more than one course at the University
- I will be studying on more than one course at the University. Will I need a CAS number for each course?
If you are going to study more than one course (for example an English language pre-sessional course followed by an academic degree course), you will normally need a separate CAS number for each course. In some circumstances, however, we may be able to arrange a Combined CAS number for you covering both courses.
- What is a Combined CAS number?
A Combined CAS number is a CAS number covering study on more than one course at the same institution. With a Combined CAS number you can apply for one visa that will allow you to remain in the UK for the duration of both courses.
- Who is eligible for a Combined CAS number?
We may be able to arrange a Combined CAS number if:
- You are due to study on the 4-week pre-sessional course at our ELTC before starting a postgraduate degree course or a Study Abroad exchange programme at the University of Sheffield
- You have met the English language requirement for your degree course/exchange programme
- You have met the academic conditions for your degree course/exchange programme
- The start date of your degree course/exchange programme is less than one month after the end date of your ELTC course
If you do not meet these criteria then we will arrange a separate CAS number for each course that you are due to study.
Unfortunately, we are not able to arrange Combined CAS numbers for applicants to undergraduate degree courses.
- How do I get a Combined CAS number?
Your Acceptance Form for the pre-sessional course at the ELTC will ask whether you wish to have a Combined CAS number, and you must answer this question Yes or No. If you answer Yes then the ELTC will assess whether you are eligible for a Combined CAS number and email you to let you know.
- Do I have to have a Combined CAS number if I am eligible for one?
No. Unless you tell us that you want a Combined CAS number, we will arrange a separate CAS number for each course.
Confirming your CAS Application Information
- What do I need to do when the University is applying for my CAS number?
When the CAS Application task appears in your Pre-Registration menu, you should open this and follow the on-screen instructions to activate your CAS Application. Activating your CAS Application will take you to the information about you that we will send to UKVI when we apply for your CAS number (your "CAS Application Information"). You will need to check that this information is all present and correct, as it appears on your passport and in the supporting documents you will use when you apply for your visa. If any information is missing or incorrect, you will need to enter the correct information. You will be required to upload a scan of your passport photo page, and we may also ask you to upload a scan of the documents confirming the qualifications on which our offer of a place to you is based.
- Why do I need to confirm my CAS Application Information?
Like many countries, the UK operates a strict immigration policy. If the information we submit to UKVI is not the same as that on your passport and other documents, your application for a visa to study here will be refused.
- What information do you need to confirm?
Your CAS Application Information will be available in the CAS Application task within the Pre-Registration system. The information is a summary of your personal information, your course details and your qualifications – information that you will use when applying for your visa. If as part of your course you will be studying at a partner institution in the UK or overseas, or undertaking a work placement, we will also ask you to confirm this information.
- How do I confirm my CAS Application Information?
You can check and confirm your information by following the on-screen instructions in the CAS Application task. If any of the information is missing or incorrect, you will be able to enter the correct information.
- Is there a deadline for confirming my CAS Application Information?
We advise you to confirm your CAS information at least three weeks before the start date of your course. We will only arrange a CAS number for you after this if you are using a priority visa application service, or will be applying for your visa from within the UK.
- What do I do if any of my CAS Application Information is missing or incorrect?
In the CAS Application task you will be able to add or amend any information which is currently missing or incorrect.
- What will happen if my CAS Application Information is incomplete or different to my passport and the supporting documents I use when I apply for my visa?
Your visa application will be refused. It is essential that all the relevant information must be present and the same as on your passport and supporting documents. This is why it is important that you check your CAS Application Information very carefully.
- I have two first names, but these appear as a "First/Given name" and a "Middle name" in the CAS Application task. What should I do?
Your names appear in the CAS Application task as you entered them in your application for a study place. It is possible to include multiple words in the name fields within the CAS Application task, and if you wish you can amend the arrangement of your names when you confirm your CAS Application Information. However, it will not make a difference to your visa application whether you include two names in the "First/Given name" field, or one in "First/Given name" and one in "Middle name".
- There is some information missing in the Qualifications Section of my CAS Application Information. Why is this?
There can be information missing in the Qualifications Section because of the different application methods that we have at the University for different levels of study. You should enter this when you confirm your CAS Application Information via the CAS Application task.
- I don’t yet have all the material I need to confirm my CAS Application Information. What should I do?
You can access and amend your CAS Application Information as many times as you want before confirming your information. However, we will not be able to apply to the Home Office for your CAS number until you have confirmed that all your information is present and correct.
- What happens if I don't confirm my CAS Application Information?
It is very important that your information is all present and correct. Therefore we will not apply for your CAS number until you have confirmed it. Without a CAS number, you will not be able to apply for the student visa you need to study in the UK.
- Why is my nationality shown by country name and not as the standard nationality name?
Your nationality is written as a country name because this is how we record this information at the University of Sheffield. UKVI accept a nationality as a country name, so this will not affect your CAS application.
- I have been awarded a scholarship. Will this appear in my CAS Application Information?
For certain University of Sheffield scholarships, if you have already been awarded one of these we will inform UKVI of this and the information will appear in your CAS Application Information. If you are awarded a University of Sheffield scholarship in the future, we will inform UKVI and add the information to your CAS Application Information.
If you are awarded a scholarship by your department or faculty, this may not automatically appear in your CAS Application Information. You will need to email a scanned copy of the letter confirming your scholarship to firstname.lastname@example.org. We will then inform UKVI and add the information to your CAS Application Information.
If you are awarded a scholarship from any source other than the University of Sheffield, this will not appear in your CAS Application Information. You will need to include the scholarship documentation when you submit your visa application.
We automatically inform all applicants if they are eligible for any scholarships after they have been made an offer of a study place.
- I have paid a deposit on tuition/accommodation fees. Will this appear in my CAS Application Information?
If your CAS number covers only one course at the University, your deposit payment will appear in your CAS Application Information within 48 hours of the payment being processed by the University. If you have a Combined CAS number, your deposit payment will not appear in your CAS Application Information, and you should include receipts in your visa application.
- I have been awarded a tuition fee discount for paying my tuition fees in full. Will this appear in my CAS Application Information?
If you receive a tuition fee discount before your CAS is issued this will appear in your CAS Application Information within two working days of the payment being received by the University.
If you receive a tuition fee discount after your CAS number has been sent to you it will appear on your online CAS Statement within two working days of the payment being received by the University.
- Why is the course start date in my CAS Application Information different to the start date in my offer letter?
The start date in your CAS Application Information has changed from the date in the offer letter to include the University’s Orientation Week and Intro Week. You should use the start date in your CAS Application Information for your visa application.
Intro Week is a programme of welcome events for new students the week before teaching begins. It is also when you will be expected to register at the University. We strongly recommend that you arrive for the start of Intro Week.
Orientation Week happens the week before Intro Week and includes events and activities to adjust to life in the UK. You will also be able to carry out certain immigration tasks during this week, including collection of your Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) from the University if you have selected this on your visa application.
- How can I arrange to collect my Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) from the University?
On your visa application you can choose to collect your Biometric Residence Permit BRP at the University instead of a local Post Office, and this will be much easier for you. To do this, you need to include the code "2HE237" in the Biometric Residence Permit Collection screen in your visa application form.
- What happens if I have a problem completing the CAS Application task?
If you have a problem completing the CAS Application task, please let us know by emailing email@example.com with 1) "Problem with CAS Application", 2) your name and 3) your applicant number as the subject. This email address should only be used to inform us of a problem, not to confirm your CAS Application Information.
- What happens if I have a problem using the Pre-Registration system?
If you have a problem using the Pre-Registration, please let us know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org with 1) "Problem with Pre-Registration system", 2) your name and 3) your applicant number as the subject.
- UKVI charge a fee for issuing a CAS number. Will I have to pay this?
No. UKVI do charge a fee for issuing a CAS number, but the University of Sheffield will pay this.
What happens after you confirm your CAS Application Information
- What will happen after I have confirmed my CAS Application Information?
When you have confirmed your CAS Application Information, we will send this to UKVI, who will assign you a CAS number. UKVI will send the CAS number to the University, and we will tell you what this is.
- How will you tell me my CAS number?
When UKVI have assigned you a CAS number, we will email you to confirm this. You will then be able to view the CAS number, and the information we used in your application, by logging back in to your record in the Pre-Registration system.
- How long will applying for a CAS number take?
The University and UKVI process thousands of student cases each month, so it can be 10 working days between when you confirm your CAS Application Information and when we email you with your CAS number. If you have not received your CAS Statement within 20 working days, please let us know by emailing email@example.com.
- I won't meet the conditions of my offer until shortly before my course starts. Will there still be time to arrange my CAS number and visa?
Applicants often receive their results in late August and still manage to arrange their CAS number and visa in time to start their course in September. If you receive an Unconditional offer only a few weeks before your course is due to start, we should be able to arrange your CAS number within approximately a week. Visa offices are aware of the deadlines applicants are working to and try to accommodate this where possible.
- What should I do when I receive my CAS number?
After you have received your CAS number, you can find details of how to make your visa application on the Home Office website. Please note that you will only be able to apply for your visa a maximum of three months before the date your course is due to start.
- When can I use my CAS number to apply for a visa?
You can use your CAS number to apply for a visa up to six months before the date your course is due to start.
- Do I need a paper copy of my CAS Statement?
No. The CAS number links to an electronic record on the UKVI database, and so you will only need to enter the number on your visa application.
However, you may wish to print a copy of your CAS Statement for your own use as it will only be available online until 8 weeks after your start date.
- How long will my CAS number be valid for?
You CAS number will be valid for six months. This means that you should apply for your visa within six months of being issued with a CAS number.
- Can I use my CAS number to apply for a visa to study on another course or at another University?
No. CAS numbers are linked to the specific course you have applied for. This is why we only apply for a CAS number when you have accepted an Unconditional offer.
- Can my friend use my CAS number?
No. Your CAS number is unique to you.
- Does receiving my CAS number mean that I will definitely get a visa?
No. Applicants must meet all the other requirements of the UK's immigration rules. You can find more information about this on the UKVI website. ou will be able to apply for your visa a maximum of three months before the date your course is due to start if you are applying from inside the UK, six months if you are applying from outside the UK.
- If my visa application is unsuccessful, can I use the same CAS number to re-apply?
No. If your visa application is unsuccessful, you will need a new CAS number to re-apply. Before a new CAS number can be assigned, you will need to notify the University's International Student Support team by completing their Visa Refusals webform. An immigration adviser will then let you know whether a new CAS number can be assigned. If a new CAS number is assigned, you should use this new number when you re-apply for a visa.
- What are the legal implications of having a CAS number?
Once you have been allocated a CAS number, the University is required to report you to UKVI if you break the terms and conditions of your visa. This requirement applies to all universities, not just the University of Sheffield. You can ensure that you comply with the terms and conditions of your student visa by doing the following:
- Enrol for every year of your studies. If you are unable to enrol, you must inform the University so that we know where you are.
- Keep good attendance at all teaching sessions. If you are in the UK on a student visa you must study full time.
- Do not take a break from your studies unless this is absolutely necessary
- Do not work more hours than permitted. Your visa will tell you what hours you can work, if any.
The University will notify the Home Office if:
- You do not register
- You are absent, without authorisation, from teaching sessions
- You withdraw from your course
- You take an authorised leave of absence
- You change your course of study
- We know that you have broken the terms and conditions of your visa
- Where can I find information about other aspects of the visa application process?
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