Applying for your CAS

The first step towards getting your visa to study in the UK.

A Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) is a unique number which confirms that you have been accepted on to a course in the UK and is issued to you by your university. You will need a CAS to submit your Student visa application. On this page we will explain how you can apply for your CAS with the University of Suffolk. 

The CAS application begins after you have accepted an unconditional offer to study with us. If you hold a conditional offer, you will not be invited to begin your CAS application until you have met your offer conditions. 

It is only possible to submit a Student visa application up to six months before your course start date. If you have accepted an unconditional offer to study with us and your course start date is more than six months away, you may not hear from us right away about your CAS application.

When you have accepted an unconditional offer to study with us, you will be invited to pay your CAS deposit. A CAS deposit confirms your commitment to study with us and allows us to begin the process of issuing your CAS. 

If you hold a conditional offer, you will not be invited to pay your CAS deposit until you have met your offer conditions.

We use Flywire for CAS deposit payments, which allows you to securely pay and track your payment online with ease. If Flywire is not available in your region, an alternative payment method can be offered. 

CAS Deposit Top Tip #1: Do not delay paying your CAS deposit once we have requested it 

CAS Deposit Top Tip #2: You can pay up to your full first year’s tuition fee as your CAS deposit. Any fees paid to the university as a CAS deposit will be shown on your CAS letter as tuition fees that you’ve already paid. 

Once you have accepted an unconditional offer to study with us and your course start date is approximately six months away, you will receive an invitation to start a CAS application within CAS Shield – our self-service online portal.  

CAS Shield allows you to track and complete all the steps required to receive a CAS. CAS Shield also allows you to communicate directly with the Admissions team who are assessing your CAS application. 

In CAS Shield, you will initially be invited to create a password for your account and to confirm some information via a checklist including; your name and date of birth, the course you will be studying, your passport details and your contact information. You will also be asked about your previous immigration history and how you will be funding your UK studies. 

Once you have completed the checklist, you will be able to continue with your CAS application by completing the following stages: 

General documents

Here you will provide copies of any documents to support your CAS application including your passport, certificates, transcripts and tuberculosis (TB) test results (if applicable). The exact documents that you will be required to provide will be confirmed in your CAS Shield account once activated. 

You may be asked to provide copies of documents for your CAS application that you have already provided during your course application. 

You may need a TB test to enter the UK. Visit the government’s website to confirm whether you will need a TB test for your application and where to obtain a valid TB test from. We cannot accept TB test certificates from clinics that do not appear on the UKVI website. Please ensure you upload your TB test certificate to CAS Shield as soon as you have obtained it. 

If you require an Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) certificate to study, you will need to obtain this before applying for your Student visa. Visit the government’s website for further information on ATAS requirements. A copy of your ATAS certificate should be uploaded to CAS Shield as soon as you have obtained it. 

General Documents Top Tip: Do not upload any password protected files to CAS Shield as we will not be able to see them, and this may delay the progress of your application.

Financial documents

Here you will upload your financial documents such as bank statements, CAS deposit payment confirmation, parental consent to use funds or loan letters. Please see the financial evidence section below for detailed guidance. 

Pre-CAS Questionnaire

The questionnaire asks you to confirm details about your study plans including why you have chosen to study in the UK and at University of Suffolk, why you have chosen your course, where you intend to live while studying and what your post-study plans are. You must answer all questions honestly and in as much detail as possible. 

Pre-CAS Interview

You will be invited to attend a Pre-CAS interview. The pre-CAS interview is our way of ensuring that we are confident to sponsor your Student visa application. Your interview can be booked through the CAS Shield platform, where you will be given a choice of available dates and times. 

You will only have one opportunity to pass the interview, so it is essential that you prepare before attending your interview. Refer to the ‘What is a Pre-CAS Interview’ section below to learn more about this important step. 

If you fail to satisfactorily complete any of these required steps, it will prevent us from issuing your CAS. 

Draft CAS Letter

Once you have completed all the above steps in CAS Shield, we will send you a draft version of your CAS to approve before we issue your CAS. It is very important that you check this document carefully for any errors. 

CAS Issued

Once you have approved your draft CAS letter, your CAS will be issued to you by email. You will then be able to begin your online visa application. Visit our Visas and Immigration page for more information about the visa application process. 


You will be invited to attend a Pre-Arrival webinar with our International Advice team in the weeks leading up to induction and enrolment. To learn more about arrivals or to get in touch with our International Advice team, visit our Getting Ready for Suffolk webpages. 

For a guided tutorial on using CAS Shield, please click here

All applicants will be invited to a Pre-CAS Interview as part of their CAS application. We use this interview to assess your credibility to study in the UK and this will determine whether we are able to issue your CAS. 

This is your opportunity to show that you have thoroughly researched the University of Suffolk, your course and have thought about how studying at the University of Suffolk will help meet your career goals. It is important to provide detailed answers wherever possible. Some of the questions will be designed to check your English language proficiency. 

You can book a pre-CAS interview via your CAS Shield account, which will take place at a time and date of your choice with a member of our Admissions team. We expect you to have already researched your university options before applying to us. However, when preparing for your interview you may wish to consider the following topics: 

  • Why you have chosen to study in the UK  

  • Why you have chosen to study your course 

  • How this course relates to your previous studies or employment 

  • Why you have chosen to study at University of Suffolk  

  • Where you will live during your studies (accommodation) 

  • Where the university is located 

  • What are you looking forward to about your course/studying here 

  • How your chosen subject will support your overall career plans 

  • How you intend to pay for your studies 

  • The university's facilities and student support services

We understand that not everyone enjoys the interview experience. Therefore, we encourage you to prepare for your interview by reflecting on the questions above and doing further research if you feel there are any topics that you would not feel confident answering during an interview. Please ensure you have familiarised yourself with the course information on our website as well as the facilities available on campus. We will expect you to be able to give several reasons/examples in your answers. 

If there is anything you would like to know about the university before you attend your interview that you cannot find on our website, please feel free to ask us. However, please be aware that we cannot share with you the exact questions that you will be asked at interview. 

You are required to bring your passport to your Pre-CAS interview. An identification check will be completed at the beginning of your interview where you will be asked to present the photo page of your passport to the camera. 

If your Pre-CAS Interview is successful, you will be notified via CAS Shield. 

If your Pre-CAS interview is unsuccessful, we will notify you accordingly and your application will be withdrawn.

Pre-CAS Interview Top Tip #1: Complete your Pre-CAS Questionnaire first. Although most of the stages in CAS Shield can be completed in any order, we urge you to complete your Pre-CAS Questionnaire before attending your Pre-CAS Interview. The Questionnaire will help you prepare for your interview.  

Other interview tips:  

  • Don't memorise answers or read from notes  

  • Try to relax and enjoy the experience – we want to hear why you are excited to study with us! 

  • Please ensure that you are in a private space for your interview, where you will not be distracted by your environment or other people 

  • Where possible, try to access a strong and stable internet connection to ensure the interview is not affected by connection issues 


The UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) require you to have sufficient funds to pay for the first year of your course and your living costs. 

The UKVI requires students studying outside of London to have £1,023 per month (for up to nine months) to cover their living expenses. Your financial evidence will need to show you have your remaining tuition fees for the academic year, minus your CAS deposit, in addition to £9,207 for your living expenses. 

You must have this money in your account for at least 28 consecutive days. The end date of the 28-day period must be within 31 days of the date you apply for your visa, unless you are applying with a Student loan. 

Please read the UKVI’s guidance for more information about the money you need and how to prove it. 

As part of your CAS application, we will ask you to submit your financial evidence to us so we can check that it meets the UKVI’s requirements for the Student visa.  

If your evidence does not meet the UKVI’s requirements, we will not be able to issue your CAS. 

Please ensure that your bank statements and other financial evidence are current when you submit them to us. When preparing your financial evidence, please use the OANDA currency converter to determine the GBP (£) value of your funds if they are held in another currency. OANDA is the only currency converter that the UKVI will use when assessing your funds and will only use the conversion rate stated on the date of your visa application when reviewing your financial evidence. 

Only ever submit financial evidence to us that you intend to submit with your Student visa application. 

Financial Evidence Top Tip #1: Prepare your funds early. Remember that your funds must be held in an account for the full 28 days before it meets the UKVI’s requirements. 

Financial Evidence Top Tip #2: Once your full funds are in your evidence account – leave them there for 28 days! If your funds fall below the required amount (your course fee + maintenance) at any time during the 28 days - even if you top your funds up again in the same day - the timer resets and you must wait another 28 days for your funds to mature. 


Brian - Student

My experience using CAS Shield

I am an international student currently studying MSc International Business and Management at the University of Suffolk. I used CAS Shield as part of my CAS application which allowed me to book a Pre-CAS interview and share required supporting documentation with the Admission team. I would like to share my experience of the process with you.

Egbunine Onyebuchi Brian -
Current student

CAS Shield was great because it allowed me to communicate with the admissions team throughout the CAS application via its easy-to-use chat feature. I often sent questions when I needed clarification about a document or detail I was filling in. I was able to track my CAS issuing progress, as it always showed me the status in percentage. The fact that it automatically saves the filled-in details is great because it saved me time as I would log out and just come back and continue from where I had previously stopped.


When I was granted access to CAS Shield, the first thing I was prompted to do was to create a CAS Shield account unique to me using a link I had received in my email. Upon creating the account, I filled in my personal details such as name, nationality and date of birth.

I had to upload supporting documents, such as; my passport, TB test certificate, proof of deposit payment, bank statements, degree transcripts and certificate. I did this periodically as at the beginning I did not have all the required documents, but it is important to upload the documents as soon as you receive them. 

I was also able to book my Pre-CAS interview through CAS Shield as well, choosing a time and date that worked for me. 

My Pre-CAS interview was with a member of the Admission team. I prepared for this by reading the information provided on the University's website, it has information on the course you are applying for, student visa, accommodation and life in Ipswich.

I also attended three webinars hosted by the members of the International and Admissions team and they shared tips on what to expect during the interviews. I also watched videos on platforms such as YouTube from students who have studied in the UK before.

During the Pre-CAS Interview, the Admissions team asked me questions about my course of choice, which is MSc International Business Management, how it aligns with my academic and professional background and my plans after graduation. I was also asked about other UK and non-UK universities that I had considered and why I had chosen to study at the University of Suffolk.

I was asked about the accommodation options and the plans I had made in terms of booking accommodation, on campus or off in private halls. I was required to share information relating to finances, how I would pay for my tuition fees, how much I was planning to spend on my monthly cost of living and whether I had adequate finances available.

My one piece of advice for someone who has an upcoming Pre-CAS Interview is - "The future belongs to those who prepare for it today." — Malcolm X - do a lot of preparation, reading and research beforehand to avoid feeling pressured on the day of your interview. This will also boost your confidence. I read a lot of information on the university and the UKVI websites respectively on student visa applications. I also asked the university representative questions when I was unsure. In one of the webinars I attended, there was a current student who shared information about life in Ipswich, I found this useful as I had never been to Ipswich let alone the UK. All modules for my course were listed on the website, so I familiarised myself beforehand and knew what I was expecting to be taught and to gain but most importantly I was well prepared for course-related questions.

One thing I wish I knew about the Pre-CAS Interview process is that you don't have to wait to book your interview. I assumed I could only book my interview once I had completed filling in my details on CAS Shield. This was a wrong assumption, so the one thing I wish I knew has to be you can do a lot of what is expected of you simultaneously. Do not hold back thinking you can't book your interview - do it as soon as there are available interview slots.

My experience of using CAS Shield was amazing. It is a user-friendly platform and straightforward to use. It was not complicated at all and it's a one-stop platform for all your Pre-CAS and visa-related processes.