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UK Student VISA

UK Student VISA

Types of student visa

Tier 4 (Child) student
You can apply as a child student under Tier 4 of our points-based system if you are between 4 and 17 years old. If you are between 4 and 15 years old, you must be coming to the UK to be educated at an independent fee-paying school.

Child visitor
You can apply as a child visitor if you are 17 years old or under and you want to come and study in the UK for up to 6 months.
You cannot switch and apply for a Tier 4 (Child) student visa while you are in the UK as a child visitor. If you want to apply for a Tier 4 (Child) student visa, you must apply from the country you live in.

Tier 4 (General) student
You can apply as an adult student under Tier 4 (General) of our points-based system if you are coming to the UK for your post-16 education.

Student visitor
You can apply as a student visitor if you are 18 years old or over, you want to come and study in the UK for up to 6 months, and you do not want to work while you are here.
You cannot switch and apply for a Tier 4 (General) student visa while you are in the UK as a student visitor. If you want to apply for an Tier 4 (General) student visa, you must apply from the country you live in.

Prospective student
You can apply as a prospective student if you want to come to the UK to help you decide which course to study, or if you plan to start a course of study within 6 months.
You will be able to switch and apply for a Tier 4 (General) or Tier 4 (Child) student visa while you are in the UK.

16- and 17-year-old students applying to come for more than 6 months
If you are 16 or 17 years old, you and your approved education provider (also known as your sponsor) should agree whether you need to apply under Tier 4 (General) or Tier 4 (Child) of the points-based system. If you will be studying a course below National Qualification Framework level 3, you must apply under Tier 4 (Child). If your course is at National Qualification Framework level 3 (or equivalent) or above and is longer than 2 years, we recommend you apply under Tier 4 (General).

If you want to study for an English language qualification at Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) Level A2 or above, you must apply under Tier 4 (General).

VISA Process

Visa applications have to be made on IM2A forms, which are available free of cost at the British Embassies. This form has to be filled up by the student and submitted to the embassy, along with the Visa application fee and the required documents as mentioned below.

Immigration Rules for Students
1.You must intend to study at a publicly funded university or college, a bonafide private institution or a fee-paying independent school.
2.You must be able to and intend to follow a full time degree course, or a weekday, full time course at a single institution involving at least 15 hours of organized, daytime study per week.
3.You must be able to pay for your course and the living expenses of your husband or wife and children (if they are with you) without working in UK or claiming public funds.
4.You must not intend to work in UK unless you are accepted for a course lasting longer than six months, when you may work part-time or during vacations.
5.You must intend to leave UK at the end of your studies.

How long can you stay in the UK?

Type of course Length of course Length of stay allowed
Main course of study (including student union sabbatical officers) 12 months or more

The full length of the course

plus

four months after the end of the course

Main course of study (including student union sabbatical officers) At least six months but less than 12 months

The full length of the course

plus

two months after the end of the course

Main course of study (including student union sabbatical officers)  Less than six months

The full length of the course

plus

seven days after the end of the course

Short course to prepare you for study 12 months or more

The full length of the course

plus

four months after the end of the course

Short course to prepare you for study At least six months but less than 12 months

The full length of the course

plus

two months after the end of the course

Short course to prepare you for study Less than six months

The full length of the course

plus

one month after the end of the course

Below degree level 12 months or more

The full length of the course (up to a maximum of three years if you are 18 years old or above)

plus

four months after the end of the course

Postgraduate doctors and dentists on a recognised Foundation programme Maximum of three years

The full length of the course (up to a maximum of three years)

plus

one month after the end of the course

What do you need when you apply?

You need 40 points to be able to apply for a student visa. You will need to provide the evidence needed with your application form.

Points What we award points for  Evidence needed
  30  Doing a course at an acceptable level with an approved education provider (also known as sponsorship)

A confirmation of acceptance for studies reference number issued by your approved education provider (see below), and the documents used to obtain it.

 10  Having enough money to cover your course fees and living costs (also known as maintenance

Bank statement or letter confirming that you have enough money to cover your course fees and living costs for a given period (see 'Money needed' below).

You must be able to prove that the money has been available in your account for 28 days before the date when you apply.



You must also arrange to record your biometric information (photograph and fingerprints). See Biometrics for more information.

Course at an acceptable level

You can do a course that leads to an approved qualification and is:

1. approved at level 3 or above on the National Qualifications framework (NQF), or at the same level in the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF), by the Qualifications, Curriculum and Assessment Authority for Wales (ACCAC) or by the Council for Curriculum, Examinations and Assessment (CCEA) in Northern Ireland; or

2. a short-term study abroad programme in the UK as part of your qualification at an overseas higher education institution, as long as UK NARIC confirms that the qualification is at or above the level of a UK degree - you can find UK NARIC's contact details on the right side of this page; or

3. an English language course at or above level B2 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages.

Money needed

The money that you need includes course fees and monthly living costs. The monthly living costs needed depends on where you are studying.

If you have not studied in the UK recently

Length of course Where will you study  Money needed
Nine months or less  Inner London  

Full course fees

and

£800 for each calendar month of the course

Nine months or less  Outside inner London 

Full course fees

and

£600 for each calendar month of the course

More than nine months   Inner London 

First year of course fees

and

£7,200 to cover living costs for nine months

More than nine months  Outside inner London

First year of course fees

and

£5,400 to cover living costs for nine months



If you are currently studying or have recently finished studying in the UK 

Your money requirement will be lower if you completed a course of study in the UK that was at least six months long in the past four months, or if you have completed at least six months of a course which you are currently studying here. You must be or have been in one of the following immigration categories:

1. Tier 4 (Child) student
2. Tier 4 (General) student
3. postgraduate doctor or dentist
4. student (under the rules in place before 31 March 2009)
5. student nurse
6. student re-sitting an examination
7. student writing up a thesis
8. student union sabbatical officer

If you meet this requirement, the money you will need is:

Length of course Where will study  Money needed
Nine months or less  Inner London  

Course fees

and

£800 for each calendar month of the course, up to a maximum of £1,600

Nine months or less  Outside inner London 

Course fees

and

£600 for each calendar month of the course, up to a maximum of £1,200

More than nine months   Inner London 

First year of course fees

and

£1,600 to cover living costs for two months

More than nine months  Outside inner London

First year of course fees

and

£1,200 to cover living costs for two months



Working while you are in the UK

During your stay, you will be allowed to:

- work part-time (up to 20 hours per week) during term-time;
- work full-time during vacations;
- do a work placement as part of your course;
- work as a postgraduate doctor or dentist (if your course of study is a recognised Foundation Programme);
- be a student union sabbatical officer for up to two years.

How much does a student visa cost?

The Tier 4 (General) application fee depends on where you are when you apply, for further information see the UKBA fees page.

Application form

If you are applying from inside the UK, you must use the Tier 4 (General) application form. You can download this from the right side of this page.

If you are applying from outside the UK, you can find the correct application form for you on UKBA Visa services website.

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