To study in the UK, you need a UK student visa. If you want to live and study in the UK. Here is everything you need to know about free UK student visa. This article contains UK student visa requirements, who can apply, and how to apply for the Tier 4 visa.
To study in the United Kingdom, the majority of overseas students require a student visa. During your course, your student visa allows you to live and study in the UK.
Free UK Student Visa
Here is everything about UK Student Visa information, application procedures, requirements, and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).
Before beginning their studies in the United Kingdom, international students must apply for a UK Student Visa.
Following Brexit, the old Tier 4 (General) Student Visa has been “rebranded,” primarily to reflect the fact that students from the EU and EEA will now be needed to apply for a visa in order to study in the UK.
Applying For Your UK Student Visa
If you are 16 or above and intend to attend a higher education degree in the UK for more than six months, you will almost certainly need to apply for a student visa through the Student Route.
How to Apply for a UK Student Visa?
If you live outside the UK, you can apply for a UK Student Visa as early as six months before your courses begin. Before submitting your biometrics at a Visa Application Center in your country, you must start the online application on the UK Government website.
Your education provider will send you a reference number known as a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies once they have offered you a place on the course. This number must be entered during your online registration. Depending on your country of residence, you will receive instructions on how to proceed after you apply online.
Child Student Visa applicants must have the permission of a parent or guardian.
Step-by-step UK Student Visa Application Procedures
#1. Apply to the university (or universities) of your choice and receive an unconditional offer.
#2. The university will give you a document called a Certificate of Acceptance of Studies (or CAS) when you accept your unconditional offer.
#3. After you receive your CAS, you can begin the visa application process. Normally, you can apply for your visa six months ahead of your start date. You must pay an application fee of £363 and have a current passport.
Students from the European Union, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland can use the UK Immigration: ID Check app on their smartphones to complete the identity stage of their applications.
#4. You will be required to pay an Immigration Health Surcharge as part of your application. This grants you access to the United Kingdom’s National Health Service. However, students receive a 25% discount off the regular rate, making the rate for student visa holders £470 per year.
Students from Europe: You may be able to apply for a refund of the Immigration Health Surcharge if you have a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). Therefore, Check the GOV.UK website to see if you are eligible for a refund.
#5. You may be required to demonstrate your command of the English language as part of your student visa application. Different universities have different requirements, so check with your university to see what kind of English language evidence you will need.
#6. Before you arrive in the UK, you must complete your application and have it accepted.
Don’t be afraid to seek help from your university if you have questions about your visa application. However, some universities have immigration advisors on staff to assist international students with their visa applications.
Other Types of UK Student Visas
Below are some other types of visas you can apply for as a student intending to study in the UK.
If you are studying at an accredited institution in the UK for less than six months, you can do so as a visitor. Many students (including those from the European Union and other eligible countries) will not require a visa for courses lasting less than six months.
More so, students from certain countries will need to apply for a standard visitor visa to study in the UK.
Short-term Student Route
Short-term student visas are available for students who want to study English language courses for six to eleven months. Learn more about the short-term study visa here.
Child Student Route
If you are between the ages of four and seventeen, you can apply for a child student visa to study at a school in the United Kingdom. Click here to learn more about child study visas.
Is it possible to work in the UK on a study visa?
Many international students in the UK combine their studies with a part-time job, work placement, or internship. During term time, most courses allow you to work up to 20 hours per week.
However, before you start looking for work, check your visa and biometric residence permit, as well as the rules of your university, to see if there are any restrictions on the type of work or the number of hours you can work.
European students: If you decide to work part-time in the UK, this may affect your eligibility for a refund on your Immigration Health Surcharge payment, so keep this in mind when deciding whether or not to work while studying in the UK.
Is it possible for me to stay in the UK after I graduate?
The length of your course determines when your student visa expires. Make a note of when your visa will expire so that you can plan your next steps accordingly.
If you are eligible to continue your studies in the UK, you may be able to extend your student visa. If you want to stay and work in the UK, you may be able to switch to another type of visa.
Why study in the UK?
A UK education opens doors all over the world.
The UK has everything you need to reach your full potential, from our world-renowned universities to our innovative teaching approach and the leading minds who deliver it.
The United Kingdom has been the preferred destination for some of history’s most influential minds. One in every four world leaders studied in the UK, so if you want to achieve great things, you’re in the right place in the UK.
Below are some other reasons you need to study in the United Kingdom.
- A higher standard of education
- Success in your chosen carrier
- Post-study work opportunities abound
- Access world-leading research
- Experience greater student life
- Meet great people from different parts of the world.
Can I Switch to a UK Student Visa?
If you are already in the UK, you can change to a Student Visa as long as your current visa does not fall into one of the following categories:
- Visit visa
- Parent of a Child Student visa
- Short-term student visa
- Seasonal worker visa
- Leave outside the immigration rules
- Domestic worker in a private household visa
Tips: You can apply to switch to the UK Student Route up to three months before the start of your classes. You must have been accepted into one of the approved institutions, and your current visa must be valid.
Fees and costs for UK student visas
The following fees apply to a UK Student Visa:
- If you are applying from outside the UK, the fee is £348.
- £475 if you apply from within the UK to extend or switch to a Student Visa.
You must pay a separate fee for each family member who joins you.
In addition to the visa fee, you must show that you have enough money to cover your stay:
- At least £1,265 per month if you are studying in London for up to nine months.
- And at least £1,015 per month if studying outside London for up to nine months.
Required Documents for a UK Student Visa Application
The following documents are required when applying for a UK Student Visa
- Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) from your school.
- Your valid passport.
- The proof that you have enough financial resources to support yourself and ant family members.
- An Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) certificate, if applicable.
- Criminal record certificate.
- Proof of English Language proficiency.
- Tuberculosis test results.
- Students below 18 years may need:
- Proof of parental consent
- Proof of your relationship with your parent or legal guardian
- Any other additional documents required during the application process.
How Long Does a UK Student Visa Last?
The UK Student Visa is valid for the duration of the course you have enrolled in. However, the visa can be granted for up to five years if you are an adult enrolled in a degree-level course. But, if you are studying for less than a degree, you will be granted a visa for two years.
Can I Extend My Student Visa in the Uk?
Yes, if you are accepted into a different course in the UK, you can extend your UK Student Visa. The course you are taking must be of a higher level than the one you have already completed. If you have a Tier 4 (General) Student Visa, you can also extend it. You must apply at least three months before the start of your new classes.
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Frequently Asked Questions About the UK Student Visa
What is a UK student visa?
A UK student visa is a document that allows a student from a non-EEA country to study in the UK.
How Can I apply for a UK student visa?
You can apply for a UK student visa online through the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) website.
What documents do I need to apply for a UK student visa?
You will need a valid passport, an acceptance letter from a UK educational institution, evidence of financial support, and proof of your English language proficiency.
How long does it take to process a UK student visa application?
The processing time can vary, but it usually takes around 3 weeks.
How long is a UK student visa valid?
It depends on the length of your course. If your course is less than 6 months, you can apply for a Short-term Study visa. If your course is longer than 6 months, you can apply for a Tier 4 (General) student visa. The length of your visa will match the length of your course.
Can I work while on a UK student visa?
Yes, you can work part-time (up to 20 hours per week) during term time and full-time during holidays.
Can I bring my family with me on a UK student visa?
If you are studying a course that is longer than 12 months, your dependents (spouse/partner and children) can apply to join you in the UK.
How much does a UK student visa cost?
The cost of a UK student visa depends on the type of visa and the length of your course. As of September 2021, the cost of Tier 4 (General) student visa is £348 for a course of up to 6 months, £475 for a course between 6 and 11 months, and £536 for a course of 12 months or more. The cost of a Short-term Study visa is £97 for a course of up to 6 months, and £186 for a course between 6 and 11 months.
Can I extend my UK student visa?
Yes, you can apply to extend your Tier 4 (General) student visa if you need more time to complete your course.
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