Immigration and Visa Advice

Studying abroad is a big step for many students, but everyone within our community is committed to making you feel part of our family from day one.

If you’re offered a place to study with us, there’s lots of things to consider before you arrive in Manchester. To help things run as smoothly as possible, we’ll be in touch throughout the year with all the information you need to successfully start your studies.

In the meantime, the tabs below outline important details regarding visa applications, but if there’s anything you’re unsure of, please email for help and advice. You’re also welcome to join our Student Recruitment Team via Zoom on at 2pm on Thursday 13 May when they’ll be going through how to request your CAS and start your visa application. There’s no need to book in advance, simply click here to join on the day.

Advice for Returning RNCM Students

As an international student, it’s important that you have the correct documentation that allows you to study in the UK for the duration of your course.

An appropriate visa or immigration status, such as a Student Visa, is normally in place for the start of your studies, but due to remote learning, many of you haven’t yet needed this.

If you’re making plans to travel over the coming months to recommence in-person activity in Manchester for the 2021/22 academic year, you’ll most likely need to apply for a Student Visa.

Please read our advice and follow the steps outlined below to obtain a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS), enabling you to start your visa application.

Important: the RNCM will only be able to issue a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) to returning students who have been academically engaged during their remote learning and have paid the previous year tuition fees in full. A 25% fee deposit is not needed for CAS Requests.

If there’s anything you’re unsure of, please email for help and advice.

Advice for EU/EEA and Swiss Nationals

EU, EEA, or Swiss students who intend to study in the UK after 31 December 2020 will need ‘Immigration Permission’. Those who enter the UK before 31 December 2020 will be able to apply for the EU Settlement Scheme but must do so before the 30 June 2021. You may receive either Pre-settled or Settled status and, in either of these scenarios, there will be no restrictions on what or where you choose to study in the UK.

Students who will arrive in the UK after 31 December 2020 and intend to study for more than six months will need to apply for a Student Visa. You’ll need to follow the steps outlined below to obtain a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS), enabling you to start your visa application.

You may find it useful to review the information and advice from UKVI contained in their Introduction for EU Students and in their overview of Applying To Study in the UK from 1 January 2021.

Do I Need a Visa to Study in the UK?

As an international student, you’ll need to check whether you need a Student Visa to study in the UK. You can do this by visiting

If you need a visa, you’ll must follow the steps outlined below to obtain a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) and apply for your visa.

Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS)

What is a CAS?

The CAS is a unique reference number which confirms that the College has agreed to be your sponsor and provides information about you and your study to UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) as part of your visa application.

When Should I Request My CAS Letter?

The RNCM will only be able to issue a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) to students with a Guaranteed Unconditional (GU) Offer. You’ll also be required to pay at least a 25% deposit of your tuition fees for your first year of study. So, before you request a CAS, please make sure:

  • You have met all offer conditions and have obtained a GU offer.

You can see the status of your offer on UCAS Conservatoire Track, alongside as any outstanding conditions.

  • You have paid a tuition fee deposit.

You must pay the RNCM 25% of your tuition fees for your first year of study. If you have been awarded an RNCM scholarship or bursary, please deduct these from the total fees and pay 25% of the remaining figure as your deposit. This deposit will be recorded on the CAS.

How Do I Pay My 25% Deposit?

You can pay your deposit by bank transfer or by debit/credit card using the details below:

Bank Transfer

Transfer Reference: Ensure that your FULL name is included in the transfer reference field. This must be AS IT APPEARS ON YOUR PASSPORT.

Bank: Royal Bank of Scotland
Address: 38 Mosley Street, Manchester, M2 3AZ
Sort Code: 16-25-14
Account Number: 13365425
IBAN Number: GB 53 RBOS 16251413365425
Account Name: RNCM Business Account

Please email when you have made the transfer, remembering to include YOUR FULL NAME, DATE OF TRANSFER and TRANSFER AMOUNT.

Debit/Credit Card

To pay by debit or credit card, please call Daniel Bennett on 00 44 161 907 5314 or Maggie Wieczorek on 00 44 161 907 5313 between 9.30 am and 4 pm (UK time) Monday to Friday. Please make sure that you know the amount that you need to pay and have your debit/credit card details to hand.

How Do I Request My CAS Letter?

Once you have a Guaranteed Unconditional (GU) Offer and have submitted a 25% tuition fee deposit, you can submit a CAS Request Form.

Please fill out all sections of the form carefully as information provided will be included in your CAS. You will need to submit a copy of your passport photo page and any previous UK visas.

Once we have received the form and conducted our initial checks, we’ll be in touch to let you know if we need any further information.

Please note that you must meet all of the RNCM and UKVI conditions to obtain a CAS and, in some instances, the RNCM may request further information or wish to see the evidence that you will submit, inclusive of financial evidence (e.g. bank statements).

Making a Student Visa application

Eligibility and Requirements

We recommend that you review UKVI’s information about the Student Visa and that you use the resources available via UKCISA to ensure that you understand the requirements and the evidence that you will need to submit with your application.

If you have any questions about the requirements or evidence needed, please contact us

Differentiation Agreement

The Differentiation Agreement (or Low Risk Nationals) refers to students who don’t need to provide evidence of their qualifications or finances when applying for a Student Visa.

To see if your nationality is ‘exempt’ please refer to the UKVI’s list of nationals subject to differential evidence. If your country appears on the list and you’re applying for your visa in the country of your nationality, you won’t need to submit educational and financial documentation.

You must, however, sign a declaration within the application to state that this evidence is available should UKVI need to request it as part of their decision process. Please make sure that you still obtain all necessary documents as failure to produce these within a specified timeframe may result in your application being refused.

Your Application

Please visit the UKVI’s website for an overview of the Student Visa route and for details of how to apply for, extend or switch to, a Student Visa.

You can visit A Visa Application Centre (VAC) to find a list of the closest available Visa Application Centre (VAC) You will also be able to find information about the services available at each VAC; appointments and current visa processing times.

Ensure that you have all your evidence ready before you submit your final application and book an appointment.

You may need to have your fingerprints and photograph (known as ‘biometric information’) taken at a VAC as part of your application, and then submit your supporting documents either in-person (when you have your biometric appointment) or by post.

You can find out how long it will take for your application to be processed via the UKVI website.

Creditability Interviews

You may be invited by UKVI to attend a short ‘Credibility Interview’. These are usually carried out at the Visa Application Centre (VAC) when you attend to submit your biometric details. A UKVI will ask you some questions which may include:

  • Why have you chosen to study in the UK?
  • Why have you chosen to study at RNCM?
  • Did you consider any alternative universities/conservatoire
  • What made you choose your course of study?
  • What do you intend to do after your course?
  • How are you paying for your tuition and maintenance?
  • Where will you live while you are in the UK?
  • How did you choose your accommodation?

Please answer these questions as fully as you’re able, as an overview of the interview will be included in the case file to be reviewed with your Student Visa Application.

Immigration Health Surcharge

If you apply for a Student Visa which will last for more than six months, you will need to pay towards the Immigration Health Surcharge. This covers the cost of health care, available via the National Health Service, while you are in the UK. You will pay for the Immigration Health Surcharge when you submit the application.

Getting a Decision

When you receive your visa decision letter, please inform  so that we can update our records. Please make sure that you retain a copy of the email or letter from UKVI. You’ll need this to collect your Biometric Residence Permit when you arrive in the UK.

If you receive a visa refusal, please email for advice as soon as possible and attach a copy of the visa refusal notice.


The RNCM provides information in good faith, based on details that you give to us about you and your current situation. We endeavour to ensure that the information is accurate, but since both your situation and the legislation relating to immigration status can change at short notice, we cannot accept any responsibility for any errors, omissions or other consequences arising, nor for decisions made by the Home Office or other agencies regarding immigration applications.

Police Registration

International students of certain nationalities are required to register with the Police. You’ll be informed in the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) visa decision letter or on the Student Visa vignette if you need to register.

You must register with the Police within seven days of your arrival in the UK. However, due to the limited availability for appointments, the Police might not be able to offer you an appointment during this period. If you’re unable to obtain an appointment slot, please keep checking for additional appointment availability and book an appointment as soon as you are able.

Students at the RNCM need to register with Greater Manchester Police by visiting the International Visitor Registration Office (IVRO). Please visit their website for further details, including the link to the appointment booking portal.

You need to bring a number of documents to your appointment, including a Studentship Letter from the RNCM. You can request this letter from the Academic Service at


COVID-19 Update: Our venues have reopened to the public and we’re looking forward to welcoming you back this Autumn. Before attending an event at the RNCM, please read our Audience Protocol…