UK Study Visa Description
There are two student categories under Tier 4 of the points-based system:
- Tier 4 (General) Student Visa – This visa category is for students coming to the UK for higher education. The applicant must be at least 16 years old.
- Tier 4 (Child) Student Visa – This visa category is for children between 4 and 15 years of age coming to the UK for their education. Children between 4 and 15 years can only be educated at independent fee-paying schools.
If you are enrolled in a bachelors degree program or higher at a UK college that is listed on both the official ‘UKBA Sponsor list’ and the list of ‘recognized bodies’, you are allowed to work for up to 20 hours per week for (Tier 4 General) and work full-time during vacations or summer holidays.
Also, read about student visas for study abroad and student visa for prominent international study destinations:
The UK Home Office has formally opened its new post-study work visa (graduate route visa) for international students. This will officially allow Indian and other international students to stay in the UK for work after completing their study courses.
The Graduate route is designed in such a way that international students who have earned their degree from a recognized university in the UK to stay here and look for work for at least two years.
Reinstatement of the two-year post-study work visa
The UK government has announced the reinstatement of the two-year post-study work visa (Graduate route) for international students. The new immigration rules will benefit those international students who are planning to pursue their higher studies in the UK starting from 2020-21. Candidates who began their education in autumn 2020 or in spring 2021 will need to be in the UK on a student visa by September 27, 2021. Also, students who are going to start their studies later this year or early next year need to be in the UK by April 6, 2022.
Cost of Visa
The fee for the Tier 4 General Visa is £348 (Approx. Rs 33,349). The methods of payment are stated below.
- Online using either a MasterCard or Visa card.
- Through demand draft at the visa application center and selected branches of Standard Chartered Bank.
- Through Cash at the visa application center and selected branches of Standard Chartered Bank.
Documents required for a UK Study Visa
UK Student Visa Requirements: Applying for a student visa requires you to carry a lot more documents in comparison to a tourist visa, by comparison. Aspirants need the mandatory documents along with supporting documents of financial and academic records. Make sure you refer to the UK Student Visa checklist before going to the consulate for the visa interview.
You should have the following documents before applying:
- A completed student visa application form
- A letter of acceptance on the course - Your approved education provider will give you an acceptance letter (CAS) and a visa letter which are official and unconditional offers of a place on a course of study. The visa letter must be issued no more than six months before you apply. The applications where the visa letters are older than six months will be refused.
- Having a visa letter does not guarantee the application will be successful. The applicant must meet all the requirements of the category and any other requirements of the immigration rules.
- Proof of funds - The money you need to show covers your course fees for your first year of study and living costs for up to a maximum of nine months. The amount you will need depends on whether you are applying as a child or adult and also whether you will be studying in or out of London. You must show that you have held the money for at least 28 days. The end of that 28 day period must not be more than one month before the date of your application.
You must show the following amount of money to meet basic living costs (not including fees) for a period of up to nine months i.e. £12,006 for nine months if you are living in London and £9,207 for nine months if you are living outside London.
- The visa fees payment confirmation receipt
- Original mark sheets/provisional certificates
- Scoresheet of exams like TOEFL, GMAT, IELTS, etc.
You can also check out a video on Visa counseling session on the UK and Ireland study visa by in-house Shiksha counselors. This video covers various topics like types of a student visa, step-by-step process to get a visa, document checklist, and source of funding, commonly asked questions, from students.
UK Student Visa Process: How to Apply
There are several steps to apply for a UK Student Visa. UK Study Visa applications are processed within three weeks of the completed application being lodged.
Step 1 - The first step is to check if you qualify for the student visa or not. You need to show that you have:
- A confirmed place at the school, university or college where you intend to study. It is called a ‘confirmation of acceptance for studies’ (CAS).
- Enough money (also known as ‘maintenance or funds’) to cover your course fees and living costs in the UK.
Step 2 - Get your documents ready
Step 3 - Apply online
You will need to register and create an account on the official UK Visa website.
When you have completed your online application form, you will need to print and sign your completed form. You must use the online appointment calendar to book an appointment at the visa application center. When you have completed your online application, you will receive an email message containing your application number.
Step 4 - Pay your application fee. There are 4 ways to pay your visa application fee.
- Payment at Standard Chartered Bank - You can pay your fee at some branches of the Standard Chartered Bank. The bank will issue a demand draft in favor of the 'The British High Commission'.
- Demand draft from a nationalized or foreign bank - You can pay your fee by getting a demand draft issued by a nationalized or a foreign bank. Bank charges for this service will vary. The demand draft must be in favor of the 'The British High Commission’.
- Payment at the visa application center - You can pay the visa application fee at the visa application center when you submit your visa application.
- Pay online - You can pay your visa application fee online using a Visa or MasterCard credit or debit card.
Step 5 – Visit the visa application center on the appointed date. You must book and attend an appointment at the visa application center to submit your application and facial photograph and fingerprints.
UK Point-based Visa System
Students should be informed that the UK Visa is a point-based visa system and it is essential for applicants to meet all the requirements of the Immigration Rules and have 40 points in total.
Students are required to have a valid Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies from a fully licensed Tier 4 sponsor
Students should have enough money to cover course fees and monthly living costs (also known as maintenance or funds)
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The wife or children get a Dependent Visa for the same duration as the primary applicant. This is applicable to the Master's degree application only. Undergraduates cannot take dependents with them to the UK.
If you have a student visa, your dependents apply as 'dependent on a Points Based System migrant'. Each dependent completes a separate application form and pays a separate fee.
Along with your own maintenance funds, you need to show an additional £845 (within London) and £680 (outside London) for each dependent for each month that you are applying for up to a maximum of 9 months' maintenance funds. You can use a scholarship to cover the maintenance funds for your dependents if you already have got a scholarship. The scholarship letter must state that funds are also intended for your dependents.
If you want to work there after completing your studies, then you need to apply for a Tier 2 visa which is meant for Highly Skilled Workers. So along with your student visa, you don’t get a work permit. You need to apply for a work visa separately.
Your spouse may work in the UK if the grant of leave is for more than 12 months. If your visa was granted for a period of fewer than 12 months or you are participating in a course of study below degree level, your spouse will not be allowed to work in the UK.
Premium Visa Services
While a normal UK Study Visa could take at least 6 weeks to process, students can opt for the Priority Visa Service or the Super Priority Visa Service to shorten the visa processing time for an added fee. Under the Priority Visa Application, the UK Visas and Immigration aims to make a decision on your Priority Visa application and contact you to let you know that your passport is ready to be collected within 5 working days from when you submit your biometric information. Under the Super Priority Visa Application, the same work is completed within 24 Hrs. Candidates should note that the cost of this service is in addition to the visa application fee and is non-refundable if the visa application is refused, or in exceptional cases if it takes longer to process.
Where to apply
The UK Student Visa process of getting a Tier 4 visa is completely online. Below is the link where you can fill the form –
For Biometrics interview you need to visit the VFS global’s visa application centre in Delhi:
VFS Global Services Pvt. Ltd.
Mezzanine Floor, Baba Kadak Singh Marg,
Shivaji Stadium Metro Station,
Connaught Place, New Delhi 110001, India
Check the list of all visa application centers
UK Embassy and Consulates addresses-
1. British High Commission New Delhi
New Delhi 110021
2. British Deputy High Commission Mumbai
C/32 G Block Bandra Kurla Complex,
Bandra (East) 400 051
3. British Deputy High Commission Chennai
20 Anderson Road
Chennai 600 006
4. British Deputy High Commission Kolkata
1A Ho Chi Minh Sarani
Scholarships for studying in the UK
UK’s education system is considered one of the best in the world. However, most of the international students need financial assistance to pursue their higher education from there. In order to fulfill the aspirations of international students, different types of scholarships are available to study in the UK. Below you will find the list of some of the top fellowships for studying in the UK.
- Lady Meherbai D.Tata Education Trust Scholarship
- London Business School Fund Scholarships
- Global Study Awards
- The Oxford and Cambridge Society of India Scholarships- University of Cambridge
UK Student Visa FAQs
What are the eligibility criteria for getting a Tier 4 visa?
- Candidates must have an unconditional offer from a recognized educational institute for pursuing a course with a licensed Tier 4 sponsor
- Appropriate funds to support yourself and for the course
Do I need a UK student visa to study in the UK?
If a student is going just for one semester, in that case also he/she needs a visa?
At the latest when one can apply for a study visa?
How early one can come to the UK before the program starts? And for how long one can stay here?
- If your course lasts 6 months or less then you can come to the UK up to one week before the beginning of your course.
- If your course lasts, more than 6 months then can come to the UK for up to one month before your course starts.
What is a CAS document?