UK Student Visa process

If you are planning to study in the UK, you will need to apply for the Student Visa.

The existing Tier 4(general) student visa was replaced by the new “Student route” in October 2020. You will need to have an unconditional offer from a licenced sponsor to be eligible for the visa.

Once you successfully complete your approved course, you will then be able to remain in the country under the new Graduate Visa route for up to two years to live, work and look for work. PhD graduates will be able to do so for up to three years.


There are certain requirements which you must fulfil in order to apply for a UK Student Visa.

These are as follows:

  • You must have received an unconditional offer of study from an approved sponsoring institution
  • You must have received a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies from your sponsoring institution
  • You must score at least 70 points on the points-based system
  • You need to have the relevant academic qualifications needed to take the course and genuinely intend to study in the UK
  • You can financially support yourself in the UK (and any family members/dependents who will be joining you

Course Requirements:

If you are looking for studying in the UK, you must comply with the rules of the Student Visa. Eligible courses include:

  • Full-time course which will lead to a qualification at below degree level (RQF level 3, 4 or 5). There must be at least 15 hours a week of organised daytime study
  • Full-time course which will lead to a qualification at degree level or above (RQF level 6, 7 or 8)
  • Full-time course at degree level or above (RQF level 6, 7 or 8) which is equivalent to a UK higher education course, and will be delivered as part of an overseas course
  • Part-time course which will lead to a qualification that is above degree level (RQF level 7 or above)
  • A recognised foundation programme for postgraduate doctors or dentists
  • An English language course which is at the level of B2 as set by the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages

Finances requirements:

You need to show that you have enough money to support yourself in the UK. You will need to provide evidence of your financial arrangements to be eligible to apply for the visa.

The financial requirements for are as follows:

  • £1,334 per month for up to 9 months for courses based in London
  • £1,023 per month for up to 9 months for courses based outside London
  • £2,668 per month four the Doctorate Extension Scheme if based in London
  • £2,046 per month for courses outside London if based outside London

You will need to be able to prove that you have this money for 28 consecutive days, and the end-date of this period must be within 31 days of the date you apply for the visa.

English language requirements

To come to the UK and study, you must be able to demonstrate a certain level of English language proficiency. Those studying below the degree level must demonstrate a B1 level, while those studying at the degree level or higher must demonstrate a B2 level.

A SELT English language test is the most frequent approach to demonstrate your English abilities. Trinity College London, the ITELTS SELT Consortium, LanguageCert, and Pearson Education Ltd are the four accredited SELT exam providers.

Language exemptions

International students exempt from the English language requirement if:

  • You have completed an English course at an accredited educational provider, either as an undergraduate or postgraduate student.
  • In a previous visa application, you established that you have the required level of English.
  • You are applying to study in the United Kingdom as part of a university degree programme in the United States.

Also, those from nations with a large English-speaking population will not be required to meet the English language criteria.

Nationals of the following countries are exempt:

  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Australia
  • the Bahamas
  • Barbados
  • Belize
  • Canada
  • Dominica
  • Grenada
  • Guyana
  • Ireland
  • Jamaica
  • Malta
  • New Zealand
  • St Kitts and Nevis
  • St Lucia
  • St Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • UK
  • USA

Required Documents:

You will be required to submit certain information and documents as part of the Student Visa application procedure. Your application will be rejected if you do not provide all of the required information and documentation.

The following are some of the documents and information needed for a UK Student Visa:

  • Current passport or another valid travel document (necessary)
  • A Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies from your course provider (necessary)
  • Proof that you have the necessary financial means, such as bank statements (if applicable)
  • A valid Academic Technology Approval Scheme certificate if course requires it
  • Tuberculosis test results (if applicable)
  • Written consent from your sponsor if they have agreed to financially support you for your course fees and living costs

If you are under the age of 18, you need to include additional information, such as written authorisation from your parents/legal guardians, stating that they agree to your visa application, living and care arrangements in the UK, and travel to the UK.

Keep in mind that any documents written in a language other than English or Welsh must be translated by a certified translator. 

You must include both the original and translated versions on your application.


How to Apply

The first step is to fill out the online application form. 

After you’ve finished it, you’ll have to pay the application fee.

The below are the current UK Student Visa fees:

  • £348 for applications made outside the UK
  • £475 for application made inside the UK
  • £475 for Student Visa extensions (more below)

If you submit your application from outside the United Kingdom, you should receive a response within three weeks. 

The average processing period for applications submitted within the United Kingdom is eight weeks.


What options do I have once my course is completed?

Graduate route (post study visa) enables graduates to work, look for work and live in the UK for up to two years. PhD students can stay in the UK for up to three years on a Graduate Visa.

Is it possible to extend my student visa?

Under certain situations, students may be able to extend their visas. 

It’s also possible to extend the old Tier 4 (General) Student Visa at present.

In order to extend the visa, the following must apply:

  • Must be in the UK on a Student Visa or Tier 4 (General) Student Visa
  • Must have an unconditional offer on a course with a licenced student sponsor
  • Must be able to provide a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies
  • Must be able to show that the course is at a higher academic level than your current course
Child Student Visa Application

Anyone under the age of 17 can apply for a Tier 4 Child Student Visa to study in the United Kingdom. 

A Child Study Visa is part of the points-based system’s Tier 4 (Child) category.

To apply, the kid must be between the ages of 4 and 17 and intend to study for at least six months in a UK institution. 

You can apply for a Tier 4 Visa under the ‘Child’ or ‘General’ category if you are a student aged 16 or 17 who wants to study in the UK for longer than six months.

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