Do you know that one of the most pleasing aspects of the UK education system is that it allows overseas students to mix and match courses and specializations from a variety of disciplines? Therefore, obtaining a UK Student Visa is an essential prerequisite for studying in the UK. Here are the different types of UK visas, the cost of the UK Student Visa, and how to apply for one.
This Blog Includes:
- Type of Student UK Visas
- Eligibility Criteria for a UK Student Visa
- Documents Required for a UK Study Visa
- English Proficiency Tests
- UK Student Visa Costs
- Biometric Residency Permit
- How To Apply For UK Student Visa?
- UK Student Visa Processing Time
- UK Point-based Visa System
- Which Visa Should I Apply For?
- Work Permit While Studying For Indians
- Working After Finishing Degree
- Inviting Family Members On Student Visa
- How Long You Can Stay?
- What Is A CAS Letter?
- Premium Visa Services
A UK Student Visa, also known as a Tier 4 (General) Visa, allows international students to study in the United Kingdom. To qualify, applicants must have an offer from a licensed UK educational institution, demonstrate sufficient funds to cover tuition and living expenses, and meet English language proficiency requirements. The visa typically grants permission for the duration of the course and may include additional time for post-graduation work. Applicants may also need to provide biometrics, attend an interview, and pay application fees. Compliance with visa conditions, such as attending classes and maintaining finances, is essential to stay in the UK legally.
Type of Student UK Visas
UK student visas are into several groups such as Tier 4 (within, there are 3 alternatives), short-term visas, and standard visitor visas:
|Types of student visa||Who can apply?|
|Tier 4 (General)||If you’re 16 or older and have been given a place on a course, you can apply for a Tier 4 (General) student visa to study in the UK.|
|Tier 4 (Dependent)||On Tier 4 (Dependant) visa, family members (dependants) may be eligible to join or remain with you in the UK.|
|Tier 4 (Child)||If you’re between the ages of 4 and 17 and wish to study in the UK, you may apply for a Tier 4 (Child) student visa. If you are between the ages of 4 and 15, you must be visiting the UK to attend an independent fee-paying school.|
|Standard Visitor||If you are 17 years old or younger and wish to study in the UK for up to 6 months, you may apply for a child visitor visa. You will be unable to change to a Tier 4 child visa. Tier 4 child visa applications must be submitted from the applicant’s home country.|
|Short Term Study||If you’re taking a short course of study in the UK, you can apply for a Short-term study visa. If you are 18 years or older and wish to travel to the UK for up to 6 months to study a short course, up to 11 months to study an English language course or undertake a short period of research up to 6 months as part of a degree course of your abroad studies, this visa will allow you to do so.|
Eligibility Criteria for a UK Student Visa
A points-based system is used to grant student visas in the United Kingdom. Therefore, you’ll need to provide the following items to fulfil all of the UK student visa requirements:
- Your passport’s details
- A photograph that was taken recently
- An unconditional offer of a place on a program given by a licensed Tier 4 Sponsor, as evidenced by your course provider’s Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) form (worth 30 points)
- Passing one of the secure English language tests proves acceptable Secure English language skills (SELT). If you are from an English-speaking nation, such as the United States, or have earned a qualification comparable to a UK degree in an English-speaking country, you will not be required to give this information.
- Proof of financial assistance for the duration of your stay in the UK (worth 10 points)
- You may also be required to provide documentation demonstrating your academic credentials and participate in an interview or biometric exam, which involves a digital scan of your fingerprints. Depending on your place of origin, you may also need to undergo specific medical vaccines or a TB test.
- If you’re 16 or 17 years old and applying for a Tier 4 (General) student visa, your parents or guardians must provide you formal permission to reside and travel independently.
Must Read: What are the Requirements to Study in UK?
Documents Required for a UK Study Visa
When applying for a Student Visa, you must provide the relevant documents. Aspirants will need the necessary paperwork, as well as financial and academic records to back them up. Before travelling to the consulate for the visa interview, be sure you review the UK Student Visa Checklist.
Before applying, make sure you have the necessary documents:
- A completed application for a student visa
- An acceptance letter (CAS) and a visa letter, both of which are formal and unconditional offers of a place on a program of study, will be sent to you by your authorized education provider. The visa letter is issued within six months of your application. Applications with visa letters that are more than six months old will be rejected.
- The receipt for the payment of visa costs.
- Provisional certificates/original mark sheets
- The presence of a visa letter does not ensure that the application will be approved. The applicant must fulfil all of the category’s requirements, as well as any other immigration rules.
- Proof of finances – The money you need to show covers your first year of study tuition as well as living expenses for up to nine months. The amount differs for kids and adults.
- You must demonstrate that you have held the money for a minimum of 28 days. The conclusion of those 28 days cannot be more than one month before the application deadline.
- English Language Proficiency Proof (IELTS, TOEFL, etc.)
English Proficiency Tests
To get a student visa in the United Kingdom, you must provide proof of English language competency. This generally entails completing a secure English language test to demonstrate your ability to communicate and correspond.
IELTS is an exam approved and accepted by the UK Visa and Immigration Service (UKVI). This applies to everyone who is not from an English-speaking nation. While the content, structure, degree of difficulty, and score remain the same, IELTS for UKVI employs additional security procedures to verify the test taker’s authenticity.
It depends on the type of visa you are applying for, as it will include the IELTS exam as a minimum requirement:
|Visa type||IELTS requirement|
|Tier 4 (General) student visa – below degree level and pre-sessional courses||IELTS- 4.0 overall, (and in each of the four skills)|
|Tier 4 (General) student visa – degree level and above & other UK Student Visa||IELTS– 5.5 overall (and in each of the four skills)|
UK Student Visa Costs
|Tier 4 (General) student visa||Short-Term Study Visa|
|National Health Service||£150 (INR 15,000) to £300 (INR 30,000).|
|Short Term Study Visa||6 months – £97 (INR 9,700)11 months- £186 (INR18,000)|
Biometric Residency Permit
You must additionally get a biometric residency permit (BRP) from the UK as part of your application. Additionally, you need to arrange an appointment with the embassy for a thumb and finger scan along with a photo scan.
How To Apply For UK Student Visa?
There are several steps to apply for a student visa in the United Kingdom. Applications for UK study visas are handled within three weeks after receipt of the completed application.
Step 1: Determine whether or not you are eligible for a student visa. First, you must demonstrate that you have a confirmed spot at the school, institution, or college where you want to study. A ‘confirmation of acceptance for studies’ is what it’s called (CAS).
Enough money (sometimes referred to as “maintenance or finances”) to cover your course fees and living expenses in the United Kingdom.
Step 2: Prepare your paperwork and documents for the application process. From offer letters, CAS letters financial funds to IELTS scorecards. Students can be asked to produce several documents to support their application.
Step 3: Fill out the application from the official website of the UK government and make the payment for your application fee.
Payment mode accepted:
- Using an online means, such as a MasterCard or Visa card,
- Through a demand draft, which must be presented at the visa application centre or one of Standard Chartered Bank’s designated branches.
- Payment may be made in cash at the visa application centre or certain Standard Chartered Bank locations.
Step 4: On the scheduled date, go to the visa application centre. To submit your application, facial image, and fingerprints, you must schedule and attend an appointment at the visa application facility.
Must Read: Top Universities in UK
UK Student Visa Processing Time
UK student visa applications are processed in three weeks (15 working days excluding public holidays and weekends) after submitting them. Students can inquire about any delays by calling the application centre, which manages visa application centres for the UK Border Agency in India, at (040) 66305600 (Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.). Applicants can also use the SMS alert service or their online monitoring system to keep track of their visa application.
UK Point-based Visa System
Students should be made aware that the UK Visa is a point-based visa and that it is mandatory for candidates to satisfy all immigration rules and have a total of 40 points.
|Students are required to have a valid Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies from a fully licensed student sponsor||30 points|
|Students should have enough money to cover course fees and monthly living costs (also known as maintenance or funds)||10 points|
Which Visa Should I Apply For?
A Tier 4 visa is required to study in the United Kingdom as an adult student. If you haven’t been accepted into a school yet, you’ll need a prospective student visa, and if your stay is shorter than six months, you’ll need to apply for a Student Visitor visa.
Work Permit While Studying For Indians
Tier 4 visa holders can work 20 hours per week during the school year and full-time during vacations and semester breaks. Relevant internships or work placements are also acceptable if they are listed as part of a degree or program.
Also Read: UK Post Study Work Visa
Working After Finishing Degree
If you wish to work there after you finish your education, you must apply for a Tier 2 visa reserved for Highly Skilled Workers. As a result, you will not be granted a work permit in addition to your student visa. Instead, a work visa must be applied for individually.
If the leave is for longer than 12 months, your spouse may work in the UK. However, your spouse will not be able to work in the UK if your visa was granted for less than a year or if you are enrolled in a program of study below a bachelor’s degree level.
Inviting Family Members On Student Visa
International students above the age of 18 who have been sponsored by a higher education institution for a term of more than one year, or foreign students who are government-supported for a course of fewer than six months, can bring their children or spouses to the UK under new regulations that went into effect in 2011.
Students under the age of 18 will not be allowed to bring spouses or children who will be financially reliant on them. Your family members will not work in the UK if you are on a Tier 4 visa and studying for a program.
Also Read: Cheapest LLM in UK
How Long You Can Stay?
The length of your course and the studies you’ve already done in the UK will determine how long you can stay. You can normally stay in the UK for up to 5 years if you’re 18 or older and studying at a degree level. If your qualification is below a bachelor’s degree, you can normally stay in the UK for up to two years.
Staying Longer In The UK
You may be able to:
- If you’re eligible, for example, to continue your studies in the UK, you can renew your visa.
- If you’re already in the UK, you can change your visa to a Student visa.
- After successfully finishing your studies, convert to a Graduate visa to stay in the UK for at least two years.
What Is A CAS Letter?
CAS stands for Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies. CAS is issued by a UK institution when a student is accepted for admission into a program. The letter is a vital document and must be submitted to the visa office of your country to apply for a new Tier 4 student visa. Many universities issue a CAS letter after the student has submitted a small fee which is deducted later from their annual tuition fees. These fees can be anywhere between 0 to 2000 pounds!
A typical UK study visa could take at least 6 weeks to process, but for an additional charge, students can choose the Priority Visa Service or the Super Priority Visa Service to speed up the procedure. Within five working days of receiving your biometric data, UK Visas and Immigration hopes to decide on your Priority Visa application and get in touch with you to let you know that your passport is prepared for pickup. The identical process is finished in 24 hours under the Super Priority Visa Application. Candidates should be aware that this service costs extra on top of the visa application fee and that it is not refundable in the event that a visa request is denied or, in rare circumstances, if processing takes longer than expected.
With the establishment of the new laws, Indian students will now have the opportunity of obtaining a two-year work permit upon the completion of their degree thus opening up avenues for permanent settlement in the country. There are immense prospects for a lucrative career after you study in the UK. So, you must engage effectively with your course and stay on the lookout for good career opportunities!
As an Indian student, you can work part-time while pursuing a degree in the UK. While you study in the UK, you can work up to 20 hours a week during the duration of your semester or term. You can also work full-time during the duration of your university break. The opportunity of working alongside your degree helps not only meet the living expenses but also provides opportunities for exposure and experience!
Yes, you can study in UK without IELTS! The alternatives to IELTS might include online interviews held by the university or a major in English and high school certification. These might not be applicable for all universities but certain universities do offer this provision. Some of the universities that provide this route include the University of East Anglia, the University of Bristol, London Southbank University, Brunel University among others.
Also Read: IELTS 6 Band Universities in UK for Masters
Wondering if it’s too late to study in the UK? Connect to our Leverage Edu experts now!