UK Student Visa is now accessible to students who want to study in the UK. If you are reading this article, you are looking for information on getting a UK Student Visa. First, congratulations are in order because after a lot of hard work. You have been admitted to a university in the United Kingdom. But before you begin packing your bags and thinking about booking flights, you must ensure you have the relevant paperwork ready.
This article provides a detailed guide to make your UK Student visa application process as easy and less demanding as possible.
Apply to a UK institution and obtain your letter of admission
If you’re still unsure about the school you want to study at in the UK, you must decide before you can consider applying for a UK student visa. After securing admission at a university, you will get a letter of admission needed for the visa application.
Check if you would need a visa to school in the UK.
Brexit came with a lot of confusion, especially among foreign scholars looking to school or, before now, studying a program in the UK. But we’ll do our best to clarify the changes and who needs a UK Student Visa:
EU/EEA and Swiss students
- You don’t need a visa if you get to the UK before 31 December 2020.
- You might need a visa if you get to the UK on or before 1 January 2021.
- If you started your program before 31 December 2020 and want to continue studying after 1 January 2021, you will have to apply for a settlement scheme before 30 June 2021.
- People from Norway, Iceland, or Liechtenstein might take advantage of the same rules, but they are always advised to check what visa regulations apply to them.
Based on how long their programs take, non-EU/EEA scholars are expected to apply either for a Short-Term Study Visa or a General Student Visa (also referred to as a Tier 4 Student Visa).
The easiest way to find out if you need a UK Student Visa is to use the online tool on the UK Government website.
Research what type of visa you would need to study in the UK
These are the two types of UK Student Visas for which you might have to apply to:
- Short-Term Study Visa (issuable for 6 or 11 months) – for scholars who plan to enroll in a short language course or engage in a short research period as part of a degree program.
- Tier 4 (General) Student Visa – for scholars admitted to an academic degree program (Bachelor’s, Master’s, or Ph.D.). The Tier 4 Student Visa does not come with a standard period of validity; how long your program takes determines the length of this visa.
When and where to put in for a UK student visa?
There are two options for getting your UK Student Visa. You can apply for a student visa at the UK embassy in your nation, or you can apply for it online on the official UK Government website.
Based on where you come from, you might be required to have your fingerprints and photograph taken at a visa application center (to obtain a biometric residence permit) as part of your application.
Tips about my visa application
- Remember that the visa application process could change as 1 January 2021 draws near. For the latest information, always visit the official UK Government website.
- Usually, it can take up to 3 weeks to get the Tier 4 Student Visa. But depending on where you are making the application form, you should start the visa application three months earlier.
- Be sure you have your school’s certificate of acceptance for studies (CAS) before applying for the UK Student Visa.
- Be sure you get all the details before you begin the application procedure.
- Make sure the institution you are applying to has a license from the government.
- Universities usually have trained visa advisors available to answer your questions about the Tier 4 student visa and help you through the application stage.
Requirements to obtain a Tier 4 visa
- Be over 16 years old.
- Speak, read, and understand English
- Have enough money to finance yourself during your education
- Possess an unconditional offer of study from an accredited school in the UK
Language requirements for studying in the UK
To make it known that your comprehension of spoken and written English satisfies British visa conditions, you must pass a secure English language test (SELT).
Exception: for people coming from certain nations, substantiation of English adeptness may not be needed if they’ve gotten a qualification equivalent to a UK degree.
Documents required for a UK Student Visa
- Completed visa application form
- Passport or valid travel documentation passport-sized photograph
- An indication that you can finance yourself for the extent of your stay in the UK: 1,265 GBP each month if you stay in London and 1,015 GBP each month for all other parts of the UK
- Parental permission if you’re not up to 18 years old.
- Tuberculosis test results (for citizens of some nations)
- Receipt of payment of the fee for visa application: 348 GBP
- Immigration Health Surcharge: £150 for each year of study
- Self-assessment form Appendix 8 with attached documents. (not required if you apply online)
Benefits of the United Kingdom Study Visa
A United Kingdom Study Visa offers you a myriad of benefits including:
- The opportunity to study in a UK university for a period ranging from six months to four years.
- The ability to work in most jobs, depending on what level your course is and what kind of sponsor you have.
- You may be able to bring in family members (dependants) in certain situations.
How to Apply for a United Kingdom Study Visa
The application process for a United Kingdom Study Visa might seem daunting, but with proper guidance and preparation, it’s quite manageable. Here’s a step-by-step breakdown:
Confirm your eligibility: Make sure you meet the basic requirements listed above.
Obtain an offer from a licensed student sponsor: This is usually in the form of an unconditional offer on a course.
Prepare your documents: This includes your current passport or travel document, proof of financial support, tuberculosis test results (if applicable), and a parental consent letter if you’re under 18.
Complete the online application form: This is done through the official UK Government website.
Pay the healthcare surcharge and visa fee: You’ll be told how much to pay when you apply.
Book and attend an appointment at a visa application centre: You’ll need to have your photo and fingerprints (biometric information) taken at your appointment.
Wait for a decision: The standard processing time is three weeks, but it may take longer during peak seasons.
United Kingdom Study Visa: FAQs
1. What is the cost of a United Kingdom Study Visa?
The cost of a Tier 4 (General) student visa is £348. You’ll also need to pay a healthcare surcharge as part of your application, which typically costs £470 per year for student visa holders.
2. How long does it take to get a United Kingdom Study Visa?
It typically takes three weeks (15 working days) to get a decision on a Tier 4 student visa application. However, processing times can vary depending on the time of year and the country from which you’re applying.
3. Can I work while on a United Kingdom Study Visa?
Yes, most students on a Tier 4 visa are permitted to work, but the number of hours and the type of work you can do depend on the course you’re studying and the type of sponsor you have.
4. Can I bring my family members with me to the UK on a student visa?
Yes, you can bring dependents (your partner and your children under 18) with you to the UK on a student visa in certain situations. This is typically allowed if you’re sponsored by a higher education institution on a course at level 7 on the Ofqual register or above that lasts 9 months or more.
5. Can I stay in the UK after my studies?
Yes, students who have completed a UK degree are eligible to stay in the UK and work for two years after they graduate under the Graduate Immigration Route, also known as the post-study work visa.
6. Can I switch to a United Kingdom Study Visa from another visa?
Yes, in most cases, if you’re already in the UK on a valid visa, you can apply to switch to a student visa.
In conclusion, acquiring a United Kingdom Study Visa is a significant step towards fulfilling your dream of studying in one of the world’s leading educational hubs. This comprehensive guide should serve as a resource in navigating the application process and requirements. Remember to prepare in advance and keep yourself updated with the latest information from the UK immigration department. Your academic journey in the UK awaits!
Now, it’s time for you to take the first step towards your United Kingdom study experience. Good luck with your application!