If you are reading this post, then you are seeking information on what is required to get a UK Student Visa. First, congratulations are in order, because this means that 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 have to ensure you have the relevant paperwork ready.
This article is meant to provide you a detailed guide to make your application process for UK Student Visa as easy and less demanding as possible.
1. Apply to a UK institution and obtain your letter of admission
If you’re still not certain about the school you want to study at in the UK, you must make a decision before you can think about applying for a UK student visa. After securing admission at a university, you will get a letter of admission needed for the visa application.
2. Check if you would need a visa to school in the UK
Brexit brought a lot of confusion, principally among students from outside the UK who are looking to school or are prior to now enrolled in 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
- If you get to the UK prior to 31 December 2020, you don’t need to get a visa.
- If you get to the UK on or later than 1 January 2021, you might need to get a visa.
- If you started your program prior to 31 December 2020 and want to keep on studying after 1 January 2021, you will have to put in for a settlement scheme prior to 30 June 2021.
- People from Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein might take advantage of the same rules, but they are advised to always 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 Tier 4 Student Visa).
To find out if you need a UK Student Visa, the easiest way is to use the online tool on the UK Government website.
3. Research on what type of visa you would need to study in the UK
These are the 2 categories of UK Student Visa:
- Short-Term Study Visa (issuable for 6 or 11 months) – for those whose plan is to enrol in a short language study or be involved in a short period of research as component of a degree program.
- Tier 4 (General) Student Visa – for scholars who are admitted to an academic degree program (Bachelor’s, Master’s, or PhD program). 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.
4. When and where to put in for UK student visa?
There are two options for getting your UK Student Visa. You can submit application 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 centre (to obtain a biometric residence permit) as part of your application.
Tips about my visa application
- Do not forget that as 1 January 2021 draws near, the visa application process might likely change. For latest update, always check the official UK Government website.
- Normally, it can take up to 3 weeks to get the Tier 4 Student Visa. But contingent on the place you are putting together the application from, you should get on with the visa application 3 months earlier.
- Make sure you have in your possession the certificate of acceptance for studies (CAS) from your institution before submitting application for the UK Student Visa.
- Be certain 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 normally have trained visa advisors that are available to answer your questions about the Tier 4 student visa and help you through the application stage.
5. Requirements to obtain a Tier 4 visa
- Be over 16 years old
- Speak, read, and understand English
- Have sufficient cash to finance your expenses during your education
- Have in your possession an unconditional offer of study from an accredited school in the United Kingdom
Language requirements for studying in the UK
To make it known that your comprehension of spoken and written English satisfies British visa conditions, you will need to pass a secure English language test (SELT).
Exemption: for individuals coming from certain nations, validation of English adeptness may not be mandatory if they’ve gotten a qualification equivalent to a United Kingdom degree.
6. Documents required for a UK Student Visa
- Completed visa application form
- Passport or valid travel documentation
- One passport-sized photograph
- 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 consent, if you’re less than 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)