Students Staff

Credibility interviews

When you make a Tier 4 (General) application you may be required to attend a credibility interview with the Home Office. This helps the caseworker decide if you're a genuine and credible student.

Applying for your Tier 4 visa from outside the UK

You can expect to receive a short credibility interview after you have submitted your Tier 4 application.

Applying for your Tier 4 visa from within the UK

You might have to attend an interview. You're more likely to be invited for an interview if there are discrepancies between the supporting documents you have provided and the information included in your visa application form, or if the caseworker considering your application requests an interview in order to get more information before they can make a decision on your application.

If you have previously studied a course which is at the same level as the new course you want to study and you received an academic progression justification statement alongside your CAS, you are also more likely to be invited to an interview. This is because the caseworker is required to assess whether the academic progression requirement is met.

When making this assessment, the caseworker will consider:

  • the level of the courses
  • the subject matter of the new and previous courses
  • your education history
  • the credibility of your reasons for wishing to study the new course
  • whether the justification statement sufficiently explains why you are applying to study a course at the same level

If you're invited to an interview, prepare to talk about reasons why you want to pursue the new course sufficiently.

Preparing for your interview

You may have seen one of our representavtives in your home country or found out about studying in the UK through an agent, UCAS or the British Council. Your department should provide you with more detailed information about your course. We have lots of resources available to you:

If you're invited to attend a credibility interview, you will be asked a number of questions, so make sure you read about the sorts of questions (.pdf) you may be asked beforehand.

Attending your interview

Please be aware that failure to attend an interview when invited may result in your visa application being refused. You are entitled to request a copy of your interview transcript and we highly recommend that you do this.

Interview overseas

The interview will take place at a (VAC) Visa Application centre as stated on the Home Office’s (UKVI) covering letter you have received. The interview will be conducted in English and therefore your ability to communicate in English will be tested.

The interview will last around 30 minutes and will be via video link with a Home Office member of staff in the UK. The report of the interview will be typed up as it takes place and will be sent to the Entry Clearance Officer (ECO) to consider as part of your application. If the ECO isn’t satisfied with the report they may ask you to attend a face to face interview.

Interview in the UK

You will need to make arrangements to go to a Home Office location. The closest to Essex is Croydon but you may have to travel further. You can expect to be interviewed for around 30 - 60 minutes and this will usually be conducted by Skype with a Home Office member of staff based in their offices in Sheffield in the UK.

Your English language ability

The interviewer will be checking your ability to converse well in English so make sure you speak clearly. The interviewer will be happy to repeat or clarify a question if necessary. If there is any technical issue that means you cannot hear clearly you should make sure that you raise this.

After your interview

Failure to satisfy the Home Office that you are a genuine student would lead to your application being refused and you are unlikely to be able to commence your studies as planned.

Let us know if you receive a refusal to your application, whatever the grounds, so that we can advise you further.