UK Student VISA
The UK study VISA is set out for those, who wishes to travel to UK and study any course in the UK Universities.
You can either apply for the UK short-term VISA if your study is short term, or the Tier 4 VISA for a long-term study.
UK Short-Term Study VISA
This particular type of student VISA is a Temporary Study VISA. The holder is to participate in a temporary study program lasting up to 6 or 11 months.
It is limited into study courses for learning the English language, and short-term study programs or research projects which are part of the main foreign degree-awarding studies.
- You cannot be younger than 16 as an applicant, and must have a reserved seats in the intended course/research program in an accepted education provider in UK ,excluding state funded schools.
- You should not remain in the UK when your VISA expires.
- Have enough money to pay your going and coming back from the UK, your accommodation, living and study costs without depending on the UK public funds.
- You need to have a prearranged care all through your travel and stay in the UK if you’re 16 or 17 of age.
- Working with a short-term study is not permitted.
Also take notes of special preconditions depending on the type of temporary studies you will offer, they are;
- To partake in a short-term English language course, the course must entirely teach the English language as a Foreign language.
- To participate an exchange program in the UK as a part of Foreign Degree Studies, the course has to be part of main academic studies you’re completing in a Foreign Country. The foreign Academic Institution has to be accredited Nationally, must not offer full-time studies in the UK, and must have study program that is equal to an UK Degree.
- To conduct a research in the UK as a part of Foreign Degree studies, the research has to be part of a foreign degree-awarding course held in a Foreign Country. Such Foreign course has to be equal to a UK degree, and the research must be held in a recognized education provider or publicly-funded an academic institution here.
Check Out Where You Can Study With The UK Short-Term VISA
- Accredited institutions with a valid Tier 4 license.
- Education institutions within the following list:
- Accreditation Body for Language Services
- Accreditation Service for International Colleges
- Accreditation UK
- Bridge Schools Inspectorate
- British Accreditation Council
- Education and Training Inspectorate (in Northern Ireland)
- Estyn (in Wales)
- Higher Education Funding Council for England
- HM Inspectorate of Education (in Scotland)
- Independent Schools Inspectorate
- Office for Standards in Education (Ofsted)
- Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education
- Schools Inspection Service
- Recognized education provider.
How To Apply For The The UK Short-Term VISA
The application process is similar to all UK VISAs, as it is done online, from out of UK.
You will also have to appoint a meeting at the UK VISA application center abroad, to submit your application evidences and your Biometric information.
It is better to apply 3 months before the expected date of travel.
Take Notes Of The Documents Needed To Apply For A UK Short Stay Study VISA
The standard documents required for a UK VISA application, will be needed alongside with other specific proofs and evidences. they are:
- Proof of a reserved seat in the short-term study course in the UK.
Formal letter of acceptance on a study course. It must give details about the course subject, its length and costs.
- Proof of your earlier education.
Degree awarding certificates.
Academic transcripts of grades.
- Proof of your English language skills.
Recognized English language certificate.
Degree awarding certificates for having studied English.
- Details about your accommodation.
- Details about your travel itinerary; It has to include the dates of your planned onward and backward journey.
- Additional documents if you’re 16 or 17.
- Parents/legal guardian letter of consent; It must show in writing their approval for your visit, and must include their contact details.
- Appointed carer’s letter of consent; It must be issued by an approved carer (appointed guardian by parents/legal guardian), must show their willingness to care of you during your stay here.
- School letter confirming that the UK local authority is informed about your visit. (If you’re a disabled person, or under a foster care arrangement). This letter must confirm that the school where you’ll be studying here has informed the local authority for your travel and about who’s going to give care of you while being here.
- Notification letter from the UK local authority, for receiving information from the school.
If you’re under 18 years and travel alone, you have to provide the persons who will accompany you in the short-term VISA application form by writing their ID info or Passport number, but they will have their own separate VISA.
- The cost of the UK short stay study VISA is £97 for 6 months or £186 for 11 months.
- you can only stay in the UK with a short-term VISA for only 6 months or 11 months depending on your study program.
- you cannot apply for extension or switch to another VISA.
Tier 4 VISA
Tier 4 VISAs are for foreigners seeking to study in the UK.
Tier 4 has two VISA types;
- 4 child student VISA and
- Tier 4 General student VISA.
UK Tier 4 Child Student VISA
This type of VISA is for foreigners from 4 to 17 years of age, who are interested in coming to UK to sit in a course at an independent school in UK, whose studies are at or under the level 2 of the National Qualifications framework.
Preconditions To Apply For A Tier 4 Child VISA
To be eligible for the Tier 4 Child Student VISA, you should be able to keep to the following preconditions;
- Not be a National of an EEA Country or Switzerland.
- Pass the Standard Grounds for the UK VISA Refusal.
- Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS); You should have an assigned unconditional offer of a place in a study course, at an independent school in the UK. Your CAS must contain your passport details and must have never been cancelled since its issuance.
- Tier 4 Sponsor; The School where you’ve been offered a place to study, should be listed amongst the UK’s licensed Tier 4 Sponsors.
- Studies requirement; Your studies should be at or under the level 2 of the National Qualifications Framework. The course of study should be compliant to the National Curriculum, Regulated Qualifications Framework and Independent School Education Inspection Standards.
- Financial Capacity; You’ve to possess adequate money to cover your existence and study costs for each month of studying period, for up to 9 months.
- Age requirement; You have to be 4 – 17 to be able to get a Tier 4 Child VISA. Moreover, you have to be under the age of 12 for your parent/legal guardian to accompany you with a Parent of a Tier 4 Child Student VISA.
- Personal status; You must not have any person depending on you. You should not have any children.
- Register with the UK Police when in the UK (If you qualify).
How Do I Apply For The Tier 4 Child VISA?
The application process is still the same as any other UK VISAs, you are required to follow the usual steps in applying for any UK VISA.
- If you’re applying from another Country, the submission time for your application should not be earlier than 3 months before the CAS employment period starts.
- If you’re applying to extend or switch the VISA from UK, the time should be before your current child VISA period expires.
- You should travel to the UK with a Tier 4 Child student VISA one month before the start of a study course lasting above 6 months or 7 days before your study course lasting up to 6 months starts.
- You may be invited to attend a VISA interview also recognized as a credibility test; it is part of the application. It is to test your capability, you will be asked questions concerning your study program, funds you’re using and other information.
Pre-Requisites For A UK Tier 4 Child VISA
The following are the documents required.
- Standard documents to apply for any UK VISA.
- Documents to Meet the CAS Requirement (30 Points).
- Valid CAS number from a licensed Tier 4 sponsor. It must be issued not earlier than 6 months before the date of application for the VISA.
- Evidence of Your Education Through Which You Qualified for the CAS.
- Certificates of your so-far educational qualification.
- Transcripts of records about such education.
- Alternative evidence you’ve provided to the Tier 4 sponsor when applied for a study place. This doesn’t include references or a portfolio of your work, but your sponsor has to provide details on how they’ve evaluated you towards being issued a CAS.
- Documents for the maintenance.
- No Evidence. If you qualify for ‘Differentiation Arrangement’. You just need to specify in the application form that you qualify under such an arrangement type.
- Confirmation of notification for the letter receipt sent by the UK local authorities.
- Your Biometric Information. This takes account of your digital photos and scanning fingerprints in 10 days since you arrive in the UK, if your stay here will be longer than 6 months.
- Immigration Health Surcharge. You’ll have to pay £150 for every year of stay in the UK.
In addition, your parents/guardian must provide a confirmation letter of their approval for you to stay alone if you’re 16 to 17 years and wish to live independently.
Activities You Are Allowed To Do In The UK With A Tier 4 Child VISA
- Studying in an Independent School in the UK for a Place Offered by CAS. As long as the working hours don’t exceed 10 hours during a week, or 20 hours/week during vacations and you’re 16-17 of age.
- Participate in an Internship as an integral part of your studies. The period of work placement must not exceed more than 50% of the complete course period, unless that it’s a mandatory requirement of the course (if you’re aged 16-17 only).
- Work as a sabbatical officer in the student union (for maximum 2 years).
- Undertake a voluntary work (if you’re 16 or older).
- Study in another course; You’re allowed to study any study subject without needing any permission, for as long as this doesn’t interfere with the overall progress in the main study course.
- Take the Same/New Study Course for the Existing/New Tier 4 Sponsor; This applies if you’re currently enrolled in full-time studies in an independent school.
- Start a new study course for the same tier 4 sponsor; This is possible if you’ve successfully completed studies for which you’ve initially come here. You must make an application to extend your VISA period after having received the CAS from the sponsor about the new course, and during the existing Tier 4 Child Student VISA validity period.
Note: You are not allowed to do the following activities in the UK with a Tier 4 Child VISA;
- Take up a permanent employment.
- Use public funds
- Apply for Indefinite leave to Remain
- Participate in a foundation course before academic studies.
- Work if you’re under the age of 16
- Bring family members as dependent. If the child is not up to 12 years of age, the parent or guardian can apply for a Parent of a Tier 4 Child VISA and stay till the child is 12.
Will I Stay in the UK for a Long Time?
Staying for a long time depends on your study program. However;
- Age 16: the course period will not be more than 6 years plus 4 months.
- Age 16 to 17: the course period will not be more than 3 years plus 4 months.
The additional 4months will be given after having completed the study course.
- Age 18 – If while you’re studying in Tier 4 Child VISA you become 18 years old, you can continue studies up to the validity period of such VISA. To remain in the UK above such period for continuing to study here, you’ve to apply for Tier 4 General Student VISA. The period of stay with Tier 4 Child VISA since you turn 18 and further counts towards the maximum allowed study period for courses under the academic degree level.
- If you’re financially sponsored. The period that the official sponsor allows you to study in the UK and 4 further months after the completion of studies.
Note: If you’re applying from Abroad for a Tier 4 Child VISA, the processing time will take up to 3 months. If you’re extending or switching Tier 4 Child student VISA, the processing time will take up to 8 weeks (in a standard service), up to 10 weeks (in priority service), or that same day (in premium service).
The UK Tier 4 Child Student VISA fee is £348.
UK Tier 4 General Student VISA
This a VISA for Foreign Students, who wants to enroll in higher education studies in the UK. The holder must be up to 16 years of age.
Things You can Do With The Tier 4 General Student VISA
- Enroll in post 16 studies in the UK.
- Get a voluntary job
- Get a job as a sabbatical officer in the students’ association.
- Get a job in the Tier 2 General list of jobs.
- Bring family members to the UK.
- Get a job as a part of studies (not more than 1/3 of the course time).
There are several things you cannot do with the UK Tier 4 General Student VISA, example is to take public funds of any kind.
Note: You can travel to the UK a month before the start of your studies that last for 6 months. You can also enter a week before your course that is less than 6 months starts.
How Do I Know That I Am Eligible For The UK Tier 4 General Student VISA?
To be eligible to apply for a UK General Student VISA, you must meet up with the following conditions.
- Be a non-EEA and non-Swiss national.
- Be older than 16 years of age.
- Demonstrate English Language knowledge in an interview (as explained below). The sponsor must not give the CAS before ensuring that the candidate has the needed English Language understanding:
- For studies held in the English language at the NQF level below 6– knowledge of English should be at least B1.
- For studies held in the English language at the NQF level 6 and higher – knowledge of English should be at least B2.
- Secure a place in the course in an institution listed as a licensed sponsor of Tier 4 candidates.
- Earn a total of 40 points.
- 30 Points minimum for having a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) from a Tier 4 Sponsor;
- 10 points for maintenance.
What Are The Required Documents For A UK Tier 4 Student VISA?
Provision of the following document is required if you are applying for a Tier 4 student VISA.
- Valid Passport.
- Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS), explained below.
- Tuberculosis test results, if you are a national of a country where tuberculosis is frequent.
- Criminal record certificate.
- Parents’ or legal guardian letters, if you are under 18 years old.
- Maintenance funds for your entire period of stay in the UK, explained below.
- Proof of English Language proficiency.
- Unconditional written consent of the sponsor to the VISA application.
- Academic Technology Approval Scheme Clearance Certificate, if applicable.
How To Apply for Tier 4 General Student VISA
The application process should be done and completed in your Home Country. But you should take note of these;
- You will submit your application online, via the official website of the UK Government. Basic information on your purpose of traveling to the UK will be needed form you.
- If you’re traveling to the UK for the first time, you will need to secure an appointment at the nearest application center, UK embassy or consulate in your Home Country. You will submit your Photographs and biometrics there, compile all your documents as part of the application process.
Also note that the fee for UK General Student VISA is £348.
If your family members are following you, you will have to pay additional £348 each for them.
For How Long Will the UK Tier 4 General Student VISA Be Valid?
Basically, the VISA is valid for the period of the course of study, but there are some cases when there is an exception.
- If studies last for 1 year, the VISA is valid for four extra months after the end of studies.
- If the course is a Postgraduate Doctor or Dentist Course, the VISA is valid for one extra month after the end of studies.
- If the course is less than 6 months long and is a preparatory course VISA is valid for one extra month after the end of the course.
- If the course lasts for less than 6 months and is not a preparatory course the VISA is valid for an additional seven 7 days after the course.
Can I Apply for UK General Student VISA Extension?
Yes, you can apply if you want to remain in the UK for a longer period then the validity of your VISA. The following are the periods you can apply to have your VISA extended.
- For the period of studies.
- Five extra months after the end of studies – for studies lasting for 1 year or more.
- Three extra months – for studies lasting for 6 months.
- Two extra months – for preparatory course lasting less than 6 months.
- Two extra months – for postgraduate studies for doctor or dentist.
- Two extra weeks – for a course that is not a preparatory course.
Confirmation Of Acceptance Studies (CAS)
This is a document with a unique referring number. It entails the details of the candidate, the course and other relevant information.
It is a database record. It is also the responsibility of the sponsor to offer the CAS reference number to the candidate.
What Are The Features Of CAS?
- It contains passport information and other personal information about the candidate.
- It is valid for a period of six months from the date of issuance.
- VISA application with CAS should be within a maximum of 3 months before studies start.
- The sponsor must not cancel it once issued.
- You can use it for only for one VISA application.
- The authority issuing CAS must be an educational institution licensed as a Tier 4 sponsor.
- Level B2 – higher of the CEFR in the subject of English language.
Note: You must demonstrate the proficiency of English language in an interview, in the following ways before the sponsor give the CAS
- For a course under the Level 6 of the National Qualification Framework (NQF) and English language and preparatory courses as well as foundation degree courses – minimum Level B1of CEFR is needed.
- For a course of the Level 6 or higher – B2 Level and higher.
- A gifted student – is exempt from proving their English language knowledge.
Also, the sponsor at times has to evaluate candidate’s English knowledge by using a Secure English Language Test (SELT) that is offered in an approved English language test provider.
If the candidate passes the SELT, the sponsor puts the unique SELT reference number in candidate’s CAS.
The candidate uses the same number on their VISA application to confirm that they have passed the test.
The candidate might have to confirm their knowledge of English also in an interview for a VISA in the Home Country, or when in the UK (at the airport).
Maintenance Funds In The Tier 4 General Student
The following needs to be suited as a proof of your financial subsistence when applying for a Tier 4 General Student VISA.
- Study costs of the first year of studies – for studies shorter than 1 year.
- Study costs of the existing academic year and the next one – if applying to extend the VISA from within the UK.
- The entire Tier 4 sponsor costs – for studies abroad the UK shorter than 1 year.
- All of the Tier 4 sponsor costs – if applying to extend the VISA from within the UK for continuing part-time studies.
- Study costs of the next year – if applying to extend the VISA from within the UK for continuing studies in the beginning of the following year. If you are a holder of a scholarship or other ways of support, you will not need to pay any money to the sponsor for studies. Any money paid to the sponsor before the VISA application will be reduced from the total of the required payment, if such payment can be evidenced properly.
Living and Accommodation Costs:
- £1,265 (if studying in London) or £1,015 (if studying out of London) for each month if studies last for a maximum of 2 months – if applying for a LR in a Postgraduate Doctor or Dentist program or as a Student’s Association Sabbatical Officer.
- £2,530 (if studying in London) or £2,030 (if studying out of London) for two months of studies – if applying for a LR under the DES.
- £1,265 (if studying in London) or £1,015 (if studying out of London) for each month if studies last for maximum of 9 months – if applying for a study program that lasts less than 1 year.
Additional Documents You Will Need to Submit, is The Academic Technology Approval Scheme Clearance certificate, if you want to enroll in
- Studies in an Undergraduate or Postgraduate Level for a Masters or a PhD degree by research in any of these fields: Subjects allied to Medicine, Biological Sciences, Veterinary Sciences, Agriculture and related subjects, Physical Sciences, Mathematical and Computer Sciences, Engineering, Technologies, as well as these courses: JACs codes beginning: Mathematical and Computer Sciences, Computer Science, Artificial Intelligence, and Others in Computer Science;
- Studies in an Undergraduate or Postgraduate level for a Taught Masters with courses as Materials Science, Physics (including Nuclear Physics), Mechanical Engineering, Aerospace Engineering, Materials Technology/Materials Science not otherwise specified, Chemical, Process and Energy Engineering;
- Studies or research in a Foreign HEI for more than 6 months in any of the following subjects, leading to a Foreign Postgraduate Qualification.
The Foreign and the Commonwealth office, the department of the counter-proliferation is responsible for issuing the certificate.
Doctorate Extension Scheme (DES)
Students who have an EC or LR in Tier 4 General student and are about to finish studies, which lead to a PhD Degree at a UK HEI, are allowed to apply for an extension of their VISA for staying more in the UK to study under Doctorate Extension Scheme (DES).
To study under DES, the Tier 4 General Student can be extended for 1 extra year to finish the studies.
Under DES, a VISA holder can job-seek, work in the field of studies, and can plan to open a business in the UK.