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16-03-2022

How to Get a Student Visa for the UK

Do you want to study in the United Kingdom? Find out if you need to apply for a student visa in the United Kingdom and how the process works.

UK Visas and Immigration manages UK visa requirements and general immigration criteria, and it provides an easy-to-navigate website to help you figure out if you need a UK student visa. While Swiss nationals and EU/EEA citizens do not now require a visa to study in the UK, all other international students will very certainly require one.

The outcome of the United Kingdom's referendum on EU membership ('Brexit') has caused some confusion in visa restrictions, however, the UK government has maintained that EU citizens' rights and status would not change until 2021.

Types of the UK Student Visa

Non-EU applicants are generally eligible for one of three types of UK student visas, depending on the programme they choose:

Type of Visa

Visa Duration

Who can Apply

Application Fees

Short-term study visa

6 months

11 months

Applicants must be over the age of 16

and enrolled in a 6-month short course in a UK university

or an 11-month English Language Course.

97 GBP for 6 months;

186 GBP for 11 months

Tier 4 student visa (General)

Duration of the program + 1 month

Applicants over the age of 16;

Enrollment in a course lasting more than six months

348 GBP

Tier 4 student visa (child)

Under 16: 6yrs + 4 months;

16-17yrs: 3 yrs + 4 months

Applicants between the ages of 4 and 17 years old.

348 GBP

95% students who apply for higher education in the United Kingdom do so for full-time programmes, necessitating the use of a Tier 4 student visa.

Eligibility Requirements for UK Student Visa

Students who are at least 16 years old who wish to pursue higher education in the United Kingdom are granted a Tier 4 Student visa. While your candidacy is determined by a point system, you must meet the following criteria:

CAS & Course Selection

Candidates must apply for a qualifying course before applying for a student visa in the United Kingdom. You can study one of the following courses as a Tier 4 (General) visa applicant:

  • A full-time programme leading to a NQF level 6 qualification or higher (graduate diploma or graduate certificate, Bachelors degree or equivalent)
  • A part-time programme leading to a NQF level 7 qualification or above (postgraduate certificate or PG diploma, Masters degree or equivalent)
  • A full-time, day-time study programme of at least 15 hours per week resulting to a qualification equal to or higher than NQF level 3 (higher education diploma, IB diploma or equivalent)
  • For postgraduate doctors or dentists, a recognised Foundation programme is available.
  • An English language software at Level B2, i.e., an independent user who is working toward becoming a proficient user.

You will obtain a reference number called a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies once you have been accepted to a university authorised by UK Visa and Immigration (UKVI) (CAS).

Note: Please keep in mind that you must apply for a UK student visa within six months of receiving your CAS.

Knowledge of English

Your chosen Tier 4 Sponsor, i.e., a UK university, will examine your level of English language ability as part of their academic evaluation for the applied course as part of their academic evaluation. For the Tier 4 student visa, however, you must pass a SELT (Secure English Language Test) with CEFR Level B1 and B2 to demonstrate your English language proficiency.

The most frequent SELTs taken by prospective applicants are IELTS and PTE; the CEFR equivalents for these examinations are listed below:

SELT

IELTS 

PTE Academic

Level B1

4.0

43

Level B2

5.5

59

Level C1

7.0

76

Level C2

8.5

85

Reading, Writing, Speaking, and Listening are the sections in which applicants must get the above-mentioned scores.

Availability of Funds

As a Tier 4 UK Student visa candidate, you must show that you have enough money to cover your tuition costs and monthly living expenses for at least a year. You must demonstrate that you have the necessary documents while applying for a visa.

  • To fund your Year-1 course fees, you'll need at least 12006 GBP (11,97,617 INR).
    • 1,334 GBP (1 33,068 INR) per month was used as a rough estimate.
  • Official financial sponsorship was received,
  • As well as sufficient cash to cover the remaining course tuition and living expenses.

The total amount of financing you must demonstrate is determined by the category you are asking for, the length of your degree, your university, and your living arrangements in the United Kingdom. You must use one of the following as proof of available funds:

  • Cash funds in a savings account or a current account.
  • A letter of loan
  • Official letter of financial support

Bonds, stocks, overdrafts, and other accounts cannot be used as proof of funds.

Immigration Health Service Charge

To receive access to the UK's National Health Service, all UK student visa applicants must pay a health fee of 300 GBP per year. It must be paid at the time of filing an online visa application by students.

Procedure of UK Student Visa

International students applying for a Tier 4 student visa must submit their application at least three months prior to the start of the programme. The general procedure for obtaining a student visa in the United Kingdom is outlined below.

Documents Required

  • Details of your passport 
  • Tuberculosis test results are required documents.
  • Certificate of a criminal record
  • Proof of financial sufficiency, demonstrating that you have the funds to cover your whole stay in the UK.
  • If you are under the age of 18, letters from your parents or legal guardians are required.
  • Photo was taken recently for a passport

The Procedure for Applying?

  • Step 1: To receive a Biometric Residence Permit, enrol in Biometrics at a visa application facility.
  • Step 2: Fill out online application form.
  • Step 3: Submit a Tuberculosis Certificate that is "negative."
  • Step 4: Pay the 348 GBP visa processing charge.
  • Step 5: Attend an interview

In most cases, the results of a UK student visa application are received within three weeks of submission.

Processing Time & Priority Service UK Student Visa

When you submit your biometrics, your application begins to be processed, and it concludes when you pick up your passport. As previously said, the complete process takes around three weeks, with one week equaling five working days. You can, however, call the visa application centre if you desire a Tier 4 student visa determination as soon as possible. There are two services that provide priority visa collection:

  • 800 GBP + 348 GBP for collection within 24 hours
  • 500 GBP + 348 GBP for collection within 5 days

Note:  Note that these priority services for UK visas are currently only accessible in a few countries. India, fortunately, is one of them.

UK Student Visa: Validity & Extention

In most cases, your Tier 4 student visa is valid for the duration of the programme, plus an additional four months to complete your studies. Students can also renew their Tier 4 visa with the UKVI if they need more time to finish their programme or begin a new one. Students must meet certain criteria to be eligible for a UK student visa extension.

  • Be physically present in the United Kingdom at the time of application.
  • Obtain a Tier 4 visa by meeting the eligibility requirements.
  • Have a sponsor who will pay for all or part of your study.
    • a Tier 4 Sponsor UK University
    • an overseas provider
    • an independent school

To request for an extension, students must submit an online application before their existing visa expires, but at least three months before the start of their study on CAS. Furthermore, you will be charged additional fees for extending your study visa in the United Kingdom, which would comprise

  • Immigration health surcharge of 300 GBP per year
  • 475 GBP for extension
  • 19.20 GBP for Biometric verification

Reasons for Rejection and How to Avoid Them

A successful visa application for the United Kingdom is the product of careful planning. To avoid having your application denied, you must be adequately prepared in preparation and give it your all. The following are some of the most common reasons for your Tier 4 student visa being denied:

Missing Needed Documents:

  • Students must read the visa policy information and be prepared with the necessary documents ahead of time.
  • Each paper must be unique.
  • You must include an explanatory letter if you are unable to offer any original documents.

Failure to Meet Financial Requirements: 

  • To stay in the UK, every student must pay £1,334 GBP per month to cover their education and living expenses.
  • Students must show this amount for the duration of their course.

Incorrect Document Format: 

  • Students must submit materials in the format specified.
  • Every translated document must include the translator's date, name, signature, and contact information.

An Authentic Student Interview:

  • During the interview, the candidates are asked a series of questions concerning their course selection and future intentions.
  • Students must be very clear in their thinking and be able to persuade interviewers of their decision to study in the United Kingdom.

UK Student Visa Fees

The current charge for a Tier 4 (General) student visa is £348 (US$440), plus further £348 for any dependents. You'll also have to pay a £150 (US$190) healthcare fee to use the National Health Service (NHS) during your stay (this will increase to £300 (US$380) in late 2018).

The six-month Short Term Study Visa costs £97 (US$120) and the 11-month visa costs £186 (US$240).

Using your UK Student Visa

A UK Border Agency official will stamp your passport with the duration of your stay in the UK when you enter the country. If your course is 12 months or longer, for example, you can stay for the entire period of the course plus an additional four months. You will not be able to extend your stay beyond this time frame.

Before you come, make sure you are properly inoculated, and save your immunisation record in your hand luggage in case the Border Agency official at your UK port of entry requests it. You should also include any documentation related to your studies (such as your Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) number), proof of financing, and evidence of lodging.

You may also be needed to register with the police within seven days of arriving in the UK, depending on your country of origin.

Working while studying in the UK

While studying in the UK, all EU, EEA, and Swiss students are permitted to work. Tier 4 student visa holders who attend publicly supported higher education institutions can work up to 20 hours per week during the school year and full-time during the Christmas and Easter holidays (unless you are aged 16 or 17, in which case the maximum is 10 hours per week during term time).

Someone from the UK Border Agency (UKBA) will greet you when you arrive in the UK with a Tier 4 student visa. They will double-check your passport information. If all goes well, the UKBA officer will let you to begin your study abroad journey in the UK!

Frequently asked questions

What is the cost of applying for UK student visa ?
The application fee for a Tier 4 UK student visa is now 348 GBP (approx 31,323 INR). Students must pay an extra 348 EUR per person if they are travelling with dependents.
Which documents are required for UK student visa ?

You will be required to produce the following documents throughout the application procedure for a UK student visa:

  • Results of tuberculosis tests in passports
  • Certificate of a criminal record
  • Proof of financial sufficiency, demonstrating that you have the funds to cover your whole stay in the UK.
  • If you are under the age of 18, letters from your parents or legal guardians are required.
  • Photo taken recently for a passport
How much bank balance is required to obtain UK student visa ?
Indian students must have a minimum of 12 to 15 lakhs in their bank accounts before applying for a student visa to study in the United Kingdom. This is in consideration of the fact that they must demonstrate appropriate resources for Year 1 course fees and lodging costs.
Will gap year affect my chances of obtaining a Tier 4 student visa to study in UK ?
It will not prejudice your application for a UK student visa if you have a valid cause for the gap in your schooling.
Can I work in UK with a student visa ?
Yes, students with a Tier 4 student visa in the United Kingdom can work part-time. Students, on the other hand, can work up to 20 hours each week. Working more than 20 hours per week in violation of visa regulations may result in your study permit being revoked.
What are the main reasons for UK student visa rejection ?

The immigration office may reject your application for a UK student visa for a variety of reasons:

  • Documents that have gone missing
  • Information that is incorrect
  • Bad academic performance
  • Lack financial resources
  • Ineffective performance throughout the interview
How much is UK student visa fee ?
The current charge for a Tier 4 (General) student visa is £348 (US$440), plus further £348 for any dependents.
What is the maximum age limit to study in UK ?
Those pursuing a postgraduate degree have no time constraints (MA, MSc, PhD). The time limits apply to students aged 18 and up, so any time spent studying on a course while under the age of 18 will not be counted against the time limit.
How much it will cost to study in UK ?

S.no.

Study Program

Average fee (in Euros*)

1

Undergraduate bachelor degree

GBP 10,000 to GBP 20,000 per year

2

Postgraduate master's degree

GBP 10,000 to GBP 20,000 per year

3

Doctoral degree

GBP 15,000 to GBP 24,000 per year

How long is a UK student visa valid for ?
The majority of students can stay in the UK on a student visa for a maximum of five years while completing degree level courses (undergraduate, postgraduate or both).
How long does a Tier 4 student visa last ?
In most cases, your Tier 4 student visa is valid for the duration of the programme, plus an additional four months to complete your studies. Students can also renew their Tier 4 visa with the UKVI if they need more time to finish their programme or begin a new one.
Can I stay after my visa expires ?
A visa is merely an admission permit that may expire while you are in the United States. If your visa expires while you are legally present in the United States, it will not be a problem. Even though your visa has expired, you can stay in the United States as long as your status is legal and you obey all immigration laws.
Can I extend my student visa at UK ?
You might be eligible to extend your Student visa so that you can stay longer and finish your course or start a new one. If you hold a Tier 4 (General) student visa, this applies to you. You must be in the UK on a Student visa or a Tier 4 (General) student visa to extend your visa.