STUDENT VISA UK
The United Kingdom is a popular destination for international students who wish to study at some of the most prestigious and highest-ranked universities in the world.
If you wish to study and live in the UK, you can apply for the Student Visa, which has replaced the Tier 4 (General) student visa.
The length of your Student visa will depend on your course and what study you have already completed. You may be able to extend your Student visa.
If you’re 18 or over and your course is at degree level, you can usually stay in the UK for up to 5 years. If it’s below degree level, you can usually stay in the UK for up to 2 years.
- You can apply for a Student visa to study in the UK if you’re 16 or over and you:
- have been offered a place on a course by a licensed student sponsor
- have enough money to support yourself and pay for your course – the amount will vary depending on your circumstances
- can speak, read, write and understand English
- have written consent from your parents if you’re 16 or 17
If you’re 16 or 17 and you want to study at an independent school in the UK, you may be eligible for a Child Student visa instead.
You can do one of the following courses:
- a full-time course leading to a qualification that’s below degree level (RQF level 3, 4 or 5) with at least 15 hours a week of organised daytime study
- a full-time course leading to a qualification that’s degree level or above (RQF level 6, 7 or 8)
- a full-time course at degree level or above (RQF level 6,7 or 8) that’s equivalent to a UK higher education course and is being delivered as part of a longer course overseas
- a part-time course leading to a qualification that’s above degree level (RQF level 7 or above)
- a recognised foundation programme for postgraduate doctors or dentists
- an English language course at level B2 or above in the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages
You can also apply for this visa if you’re taking up a full-time elected position as a Student Union Sabbatical Officer.
Postgraduate doctors and dentists
You can apply for this visa if you’re sponsored to do a recognised foundation programme and you’ve:
- finished a recognised UK degree in medicine or dentistry
- received that degree from a registered student sponsor
- spent your final year and at least 1 other year of studies leading to that degree in the UK
Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS)
You must have been accepted on to a course in the UK with an unconditional offer and have been provided with a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) reference number from your education provider. Once you have been issued CAS, you must apply for your Student visa within 6 months.
You need enough money to pay for your course for 1 academic year (up to 9 months). The amount you need to pay will be on your Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS).
If you’ve been in the UK with a valid visa for at least 12 months, you do not need to prove you have this money for your visa application.
You’ll need to show you have sufficient funds for your maintenance on the UK.
How much money you need depends on where you will be studying. You’ll need either:
£1,334 per month (for up to 9 months) for courses in London
£1,023 per month (for up to 9 months) for courses outside London
If you’re boarding at a residential independent school, you’ll need to pay boarding fees instead. The amount you need to pay will be on your CAS.
You must show that you have sufficient funds in your bank account for 28 consecutive days before you can apply. If you wish to apply with your dependent family members, you will need to show additional funds for their maintenance.
You do not need to show these funds if you’ve been in the UK with a valid visa for at least 12 months on the date of your application, or if:
- you’re applying as a student union sabbatical officer
- you’re applying as a postgraduate doctor or dentist on a recognised foundation programme
- If you’re a British Nationals Overseas (BNO) or from a country listed under the ‘differential evidence requirement’
You will need to meet the English Language requirement. The required level depends on which course you are applying to study in the UK. If you’re studying at degree level or above, your Higher Education Provider (HEP) can assess your level of English themselves.
If you are applying from outside the UK, you may need to obtain a tuberculosis test certificate, unless you are applying from an exempt country.
You should note that the following conditions will apply to your stay in the UK in this category.You will be permitted the following activities on your BNO visa:
- Study in the UK on the course that you have been accepted
- Work as a student union sabbatical officer
- Work in the UK depending on what you are studying and whether you are working in or out of term-time
- Bring your dependent family members
- Extend your visa
You will not be able to do the following in the UK on your Student visa:
- Engage in self-employment or work in certain jobs such as professional sportsperson or sports coach
- Claim public funds (most benefits)
- Study at an academy or locally funded school (also known as a maintained school)
- Settle on a Student visa (unless you are applying based on your long residence in the UK)
Fairmont Lawyers can provide you with professional legal assistance every step of the way to obtain a Student visa.
You may be able to extend your Student Visa to stay longer and continue your course or study a new course if you are already in the UK on a Student Visa or a Tier 4 (General) student visa.You must have an unconditional offer of a place on a course with a licensed student sponsor, shown by your Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS). You must satisfy the academic progress requirement.
- £348 if you apply outside the UK
- £475 if you apply from inside the UK
You will also need to pay the healthcare surcharge for each year of your visa.
When you should apply for a student visa changes depending on whether you are applying from within the UK or not:
- If you are applying from outside the UK, you should make an application for a Student Visa no more than 6 months before the start of your course
- If you are applying from within the UK, you should make an application for a Student Visa no more than 3 months before the start of your course. Your new course must begin within 28 days of your current visa expiring.
You’ll usually get a decision on your visa within:
- 3 weeks, if you’re outside the UK
- 8 weeks, if you’re inside the UK
A Priority Service may be available at an additional cost.