UKCISA (UK Council for International Student Affairs) is an excellent source of information. You can also call them on +44 (0)20 7788 9214 with any queries you might have.

The main Academy contact for advice about your immigration status is the Admissions Manager, Edward Kemp-Luck (admissions@ram.ac.uk), in the Registry Department. There is no fee for advice.

Do not seek guidance from unauthorised sources. Please direct your enquiries to the Academy Admissions Team or UKCISA, and also consult the UK Government website.

Below are some frequently asked questions, which should give you the information you need.

EU/EEA/Swiss students starting university in 2020 or earlier do not require a visa, but should apply for Settled Status by 30 June 2021. Eligible EU students will continue to pay the same fees as home students, and will be eligible for student finance for the duration of their course.

If their course begins after 31 December 2020, EU/EEA/Swiss students will need a Student Visa and will no longer be eligible for the home student fee rate or UK student finance. No visa is required if the student has Settled or Pre-Settled status.

For more information about fees, see our fees, scholarships and bursaries page.

Yes. Contact admissions@ram.ac.uk after you have submitted your Academy application to UCAS Conservatoires, quoting your Personal ID Number. We regret that we are not able to support visa applications for travel to New York or our Australia and East Asia audition centres.

You will normally need a Student Visa if you are not a UK citizen and your course begins after 31 December 2020. Find out more here.

You should apply online on the government website after you have your CAS number from the Academy. See 'How do I request a CAS Sponsorship number' below on this page.

You will also be required to go to a Visa application centre, where your photograph and fingerprints (biometric data) will be taken.

Visas are administered by UKVI, a division of the government’s Home Office department. Before making an application, please ensure you have read UKVI guidance.

The earliest you can apply is three months before the start of your study programme if you are applying within the UK, or six months before the start of your study programme if you are applying outside the UK.

You will firstly need your CAS sponsorship number from the Academy. See 'How do I request a CAS Sponsorship number' below on this page.

Do not apply too early. If you apply too early, your CAS number will be invalid and your visa application will be rejected. You would then have to make a new application and pay the visa fee again.

If you are applying for a Student Visa outside the UK you will need to make your application from the country in which you normally live.

In 2021, it costs £348 to apply for a Student Visa outside the UK, or £475 to extend or switch to a Student Visa inside the UK.

Yes, the Immigration Health Surcharge must be paid as part of your Student Visa application. This is currently £470 per year, based on the length of the visa.

You apply to the Admissions team for your CAS number. The earliest you can apply is three months before the start of your study programme if you are applying within the UK, or six months before the start of your study programme if you are applying outside the UK.

You can make your online CAS Request in the Acceptd portal. Please do not do this until your offer is Unconditional (GU in UCAS) and you have the necessary financial documents (see 'What proof of finances do I need' below on this page, and the 'Financial Evidence' guide.

The link to the Acceptd portal is available in the 'How to Request a CAS Number' guide, below on this page.

Select Program Group "Visas and Immigration" then select Program "Academy CAS Number Request". Please read the on-screen guidance, this explains that you will need to upload copies of your financial documents, the ID page from your current passport and (if you have one) your current or most recent UK Visa.
If everything is OK we will request a CAS Number from UKVI and will email you your CAS statement. This contains the CAS Number which you will need to put in the visa application, and the Academy's Sponsor Licence number.

Guide: How to request a CAS Number on Acceptd

Guide: Financial Evidence

You will need to prove that you are able to pay for your course fees and living costs without being employed in the UK or claiming social benefit money from the UK government.

Normally, you will need to have the money in your own bank account. The account can be in your own country; it does not have to be in the UK or in GBP.

If the money is in the account of your parent(s) or legal guardian(s), you will need to prove that you are related to them, and that they have given permission for you to use this money. Usually you provide your birth certificate and a signed letter from your parent.

Currently, you have to show you have £12,006 for maintenance (nine months at £1,334 per month) PLUS any remaining course fees in an eligible account for a consecutive 28-day period. Read the requirements in full on the government website.

You must submit your online visa application before the bank statements expire, which is 31 days from the date they were issued by the bank.

If you are in a ‘Low Risk’ category specified in the UK Government visa guidance (also see the UKCISA website under ‘Information and Advice’: 'Visas and Immigration'), you may not need to include documents proving Financial Evidence and Academic Requirements when you make your visa application. However, the UK Entry Clearance Office which processes your application may still ask you to provide the documents so the Academy asks to see these before issuing the CAS number.
This category is also referred to as 'differentiation arrangements' and the eligible countries are listed in Appendix H of the Immigration Rules.

Guide: Financial Evidence

If a document required to support your visa application is not in English or Welsh, you must also provide a fully certified translation from a professional translator or translation company that can be independently verified by the Home Office. The translation must include all of the following information:

• confirmation that it is an accurate translation of the document

• the date of translation

• the full name and signature of the translator or an official from the translation company

• the translator or translation company’s contact details

We recommend that you make and keep copies of all documents and forms that you have translated into English.

Before your office becomes Unconditional so we can sponsor your visa, the Academy will need to see copies of your qualifications to show you meet all the academic requirements for your course. Do not send originals – you will need these for your visa application.

For example, if you are joining a Master’s programme, we would need to see a copy of your Bachelor’s degree certificate. For an exchange or study abroad placement we need a transcript from your current course, or confirmation from your home institution that you have a Master's place if your placement is in the first year of the Master's course.

If you are in a ‘Low Risk’ category specified in the UK Government visa guidance (also see the UKCISA website under ‘Information and Advice’: 'Visas and Immigration'), you may not need to include documents proving Financial Evidence and Academic Requirements when you make your visa application. However, the UK Entry Clearance Office which processes your application may still ask you to provide the documents so the Academy asks to see these before issuing the CAS number.
This category is also referred to as 'differentiation arrangements' and the eligible countries are listed in Appendix H of the Immigration Rules.

If a document required to support your visa application is not in English or Welsh, you must also provide a fully certified translation from a professional translator or translation company that can be independently verified by the Home Office. The translation must include all of the following information:

• confirmation that it is an accurate translation of the document

• the date of translation

• the full name and signature of the translator or an official from the translation company

• the translator or translation company’s contact details

We recommend that you make and keep copies of all documents and forms that you have translated into English.

Your confirmation of acceptance message tells you if the Admissions Board requires a language test from you before you can join the Academy, or if you need to take a test to meet government requirements.

You may be asked to attend a credibility interview at your local visa application centre. It usually takes around five to ten minutes and is through a video link. The purpose is to check your credibility as a genuine student.

Biometric data (fingerprints and photo) will also be taken.

You will need a tuberculosis test to enter the UK if you come from any of the countries listed here. The test must be done at an approved clinic.

Details of processing times can be checked online.

Please contact the Admissions team at the Academy as soon as possible, with full details of the reasons for refusal. You will probably need to make another application, but if you are certain it was an administrative error, you may be able to apply for an Administrative Review.

You must not travel to the UK without the correct visa. You will not be able to receive tuition at the Academy without the correct visa.

Your passport should normally be valid for the duration of your study programme in the United Kingdom.

You will be given a short visa, known as a vignette, in your passport. This will allow you to enter the UK for up to 90 days.

If your vignette expires before you are able to travel, you can request a replacement with an online form accessed from this UK Government Guidance page, in the section "If your 30 day or 90 day visa vignette to work, study or join family has expired". You need to select 'Transfer your visa to a new passport online', that will give you the option to replace an expired vignette and it costs £154.

When you arrive in the UK, you must collect your Biometrics Residence Permit (BRP) – a card that contains your full visa, biometric data and personal details – before your vignette expires. Check that all the information is correct when you collect it.

You will need the following:

  • A valid passport
  • Your vignette (visa sticker in your passport)
  • A printout of the Academy’s confirmation of acceptance
  • Invoice for tuition and proof of payment, such as a printed confirmation from your bank or your CAS statement
  • Proof of finances (including any scholarship or other financial support)
  • Your boarding pass

You should also keep any letter that confirms you were granted a student visa.

Student visa or Tier 4 visa holders must keep their boarding pass for enrolment at the Academy, as we need to record your date of entry to the UK.

It’s a good idea to make photocopies of important letters, your passport and visa, and store them separately from the originals.

You must collect your Biometrics Residence Permit (BRP) within 10 days of arriving in the UK or before your vignette expires. It’s important to collect it in time as you can be fined otherwise.

Also you must register with the police if your travel vignette or visa says ‘police registration’ or ‘register with police in seven days of entry’. [See 'Do I have to register with the police' below.]

Make sure the information on your BRP is correct, and tell UKVI and the Academy if there is a mistake. Here is the website for reporting a BRP error to UKVI: https://www.gov.uk/biometric-r...

However, if your BRP card expires on 31 December 2024, but your visa should be longer, this is not an error. Currently, BRP cards cannot be issued beyond that date. UK Visas & Immigration will update their information on how to update your BRP in early 2024. You do not need to do anything and your immigration status will not be affected.

Collection points will be specified on your decision letter. This will usually be the post office closest to the Academy, which is 111 Baker Street, London W1U 6SG. Take your passport and, if possible, your UKVI decision letter – it will help the post office staff to locate your BRP quickly.

The government lists countries for which registration is required.

If your travel vignette or visa says ‘police registration’ or ‘register with police in seven days of entry’, you need to register at the Overseas Visitors Records Office (OVRO) within seven days. The Academy cannot do this for you, but the OVRO website has helpful guidance about what you need to do.

You must register within seven days of arriving in the UK, or if you are required to collect a BRP after arriving in the UK, within seven days of collecting it. You can satisfy the 7 day legal requirement to register with the police by completing the online registration and booking an appointment within 7 days of arrival in the UK or within 7 days of a change in circumstance, even if the first available appointment offered is beyond the 7 days.

If you are required to self-isolate on arrival to the UK try and book your appointment online within 7 days of arrival but choose an appointment date which is after you have completed your period of self-isolation.

You can register with the police before or after collecting your BRP. If you register before collecting your BRP, you must take your Home Office letter, approving your visa application, which was issued to you abroad.

You must also register with the police within 7 days of receiving your new BRP if you are granted an extension or new immigration permission in the UK.

You should also tell your local Police Station (not the OVRO) within seven days if you change your UK address after registering.

  • You must report any of the following changes within 7 days of the change by accessing your OVRO online account and following the instructions.

    change of address
    change of college/university/course
    change of occupation
    change in marital status
    new landing conditions (re-entry visa)
    new visa details (leave to remain visa)
    new passport details

If you change your residential address you can report this to your local police station within 7 days of the change, or report it online.


Your legal obligations and responsibilities are summarised in our guidelines.

Important obligations include:

  • Informing us and the government if any of your contact details change
  • Registering with the police if your vignette or visa say that you must
  • Not staying beyond your visa expiry dates
  • Not breaking the rules of your visa

You must declare amounts of £10,000 or more (or the equivalent in other currencies) when entering the UK. This includes cash (notes and coins), travellers cheques and bank drafts. Please see the UK Government guidance about how to do this.

If you do not do declare your cash, or if you provide incorrect or incomplete information, you could face a penalty of up to £5,000.

There is additional advice and guidance available from UKCISA about this.

Changing course

If you need to extend your stay to join a new course without leaving the UK, for example when you complete BMus and join a Master's course, you must apply for a new visa before your ‘permission to remain’ expires. You should allow two months for this process. Find more information at gov.uk/student-visa/extend-your-visa. The earliest you can apply in the UK is three months before the start date of the new course.

If you finish one course at the Academy and progress to another, you will need to request a CAS Sponsorship Number from us (see ‘How do I request a CAS Sponsorship Number’ above), and you can ask the Admissions team can check the application for you before you submit it. Proof of finances may also be needed again. You must submit the application for your new Student Visa before you can enrol in September. Keep proof of your UKVI application (a screenshot of the Document Checklist from your online application showing the date submitted) in case there is a delay receiving your new visa.

If you are joining a new course at another education institution, you will need a CAS number from them.

Switching course

If you ask to change your course to one which finishes after the expiry date of your visa, for example if you are on a one-year Master's course and want to change to the two year option, you have to request a CAS Sponsorship Number, leave the UK, and get your new visa before you can switch to the new course.

You cannot make the visa application in the UK, and you are not permitted to join the new course until UKVI has granted you the extra time for your Student Visa. This change will unfortunately mean you become ineligible for the Graduate Route visa.

Staying after your course

If you wish to stay in the UK to work when you have finished your course at the Academy, there will be some time before your Tier 4 Visa or Student Visa expires. While the visa is valid, the 20-hour work restriction does not apply, but the other restrictions are still active - for example, you cannot be self-employed, and please be aware that you cannot be an 'entertainer' (that is, you cannot perform) because a performance cannot be counted as part of your Academy course after the Final Examination Board has decided your result.

The Academy has sponsored some graduating students for a Start-Up Visa, and there will be a new Graduate Route visa from 1 July 2021.

You can visit UKCISA for the latest information about UK visas that are available after you have completed your studies, and also this page of the UK Government website.

Ensure that the UKVI receives your documents in good time, and make sure that you take a copy of all your documents before sending them.

If you shorten your studies, for example by switching from a two-year postgraduate course to a one-year option, or if you withdraw or take time out from the Academy before finishing, the UKVI will shorten ('curtail') your visa. You will not be given a replacement visa showing the new expiry date, but the new date will be held in the UKVI database.

If you withdraw before finishing, you immediately lose any right to work in the UK even though your visa remains valid for a short period after the withdrawal date.