UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) have made it a requirement for sponsors to include a statement on a student's CAS confirming that the course of study for which the CAS has been assigned represents academic progression for any study previously undertaken in the UK on a student visa. This is a requirement whether you are applying for your visa from inside or outside the UK.
The International Admissions team will usually become aware of your previous UK based study when they read your application form and supporting documents. Further evidence and supporting statements may be requested from you to help assess whether the course you want to study represents academic progression.
If your previous study is at a lower level and you have successfully completed and passed that qualification, academic progression is justified automatically as you are progressing from a lower RQF level.
It is possible to study a course at the same RQF level. If your previous study is at the same RQF level, for example wanting to study a second Master's level qualification academic progression needs to be assessed. A justification statement will be required to prove the following:
- The two courses are either (connected, part of the same subject group or the new course involves a deeper specialisation) or,
- Both courses combined support your genuine career aspirations.
Progression statements are not always accepted, so take time to work on a good statement that meets the above criteria when you are asked to provide one.
If you are wanting to apply for your student visa from inside the UK as well as the above, you will need to have also successfully completed your previous course, unless you are exempt from academic progression.
You are exempt if either of the below applies:
- You are extending your student visa to repeat modules
- Completing a PhD,
- Adding a work placement or study abroad year to your course; or,
- To take a Student Union Sabbatical post