Are you going to study in the United Kingdom? If so, here’s a step-by-step guide on how to apply for a student visa and everything else you need to know about studying in the UK.
To study in the United Kingdom, international students must get a student visa. The types of student visas available will differ depending on the study programme and duration. The types of visas are also determined by the age of the applicant.
According to the VFS Global, Student visas with priority and super-priority are presently unavailable, and visa applications can take up to five weeks to process. So, being an early bird and applying in July is your best shot; which means that now’s the perfect time to get started. So, gather your supporting documents before you begin.
UK Student Visa
- Type of UK Student Visa
- Documents you’ll need to apply for UK Student Visa
- UK Student Visa Fees
- How to apply for UK Student Visa
- UK Student Visa Interview
Type of UK Student Visa
If you are above the age of 18 and want to study a short course in the United Kingdom, you may be able to obtain a short-term study visa. For most short courses, this will be good for up to six months. For English language classes, this can be extended for up to 11 months.
The following table provides a thorough look at the several types of international student visas in the UK and whether one would be best for you:
|UK Student Visa||Population||Schedule|
|Tier 4 (General) Student Visa||Students aged 16 or over, are offered a conditional offer letter for pursuing a course at a UK educational institution||Three months before the start of the respective course|
|Tier 4 (Child) Student Visa||Students aged between 4 and 17, are offered a course at a UK-recognized educational institution with a valid Tier 4 sponsor, such as an independent fee-paying school||Three months before the start of the respective course|
|Short-term Study Visa||Students offered a short-term course in the UK, such as an English language course or vocational course||Three months before your date of arrival in the UK|
|Tier 4 (General) Student Visa||Students offered a course at a UK-recognized educational institution with a valid Tier 4 sponsor or scholarship||Three months before the start of your course|
Documents you’ll need to apply for UK Student Visa
When you apply for your Student visa you must provide:
- a current passport or other valid travel documentation
- a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) from your course provider
You may also need to provide:
- proof you have enough money to support yourself and pay for your course – this will vary depending on your circumstances
- a valid ATAS certificate if your course and nationality require it
- proof of parental or other legal guardian consent if you’re under 18
- proof of your relationship to your parent or guardian if you’re under 18
- your tuberculosis test results
- written consent for your application from your financial sponsor if you’ve received sponsorship for your course fees and living costs in the last 12 months
You need a blank page in your passport for your visa if you need to give your biometric information (fingerprints and a photograph) at a visa application centre. You’ll be told if you need to do this when you apply.
If you’re under 18
If you’re under 18 you’ll need written consent from both parents or legal guardians (or one parent if they have sole responsibility).
This must include their consent for:
- your visa application
- your living and care arrangements in the UK
- your travel to the UK
You’ll also need to provide a copy of your birth certificate (or another government-issued document) that shows the names of your parents.
UK Student Visa Fees
The current Tier 4 (General) student visa fee is 348 GBP (440 USD), plus an extra 348 GBP charge for any dependents. Fees for a United Kingdom student visa from India are shown in the table below:
|Visa Type||Visa Fee|
|General student visa (Tier 4)||Costs 348 GBP as the application fee for the visa from when applied outside the UK + 348 GBP per person for any dependants|
|Tier 4 (Child) student visa||Costs 348 GBP as an application fee for a Tier 4 (Child) student visa when applied outside the UK + healthcare surcharge|
|Short-term study visa||97 GBP for a 6-month visa or 186 GBP for an 11-month visa|
How to apply for UK Student Visa
A student visa must be applied for online. You will be required to prove your identity as part of your application. This is determined by where you are from and the type of passport you hold.
- give your fingerprints and a photograph (biometric information) at a visa application centre
- use the ‘UK Immigration: ID Check’ app to scan your identity document – you’ll also create or sign in to your UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) account.
A step-by-step guide to applying for United Kingdom Student Visa
- Step 1: Apply as early as possible on a Student visa: Apply – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
- Step 2: Book an appointment at VFS’s Visa Application Centre (VAC).
- Step 3: Submit your biometrics and supporting documents required for UK Student Visa.
- Step 4: Wait for the decision and collect your passport.
- Step 5: If your application is successful, you’ll get either: a biometric residence permit or a digital immigration status which you can view and prove online.
- Once you’ve started your application, you can save your form and complete it later.
- In any case, if you need to change something in your application after you’ve sent it to contact UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI).
- You can ask to withdraw your application by contacting UKVI. Your fee will only be refunded if UKVI has not started processing your application.
- You’ll usually get a decision within 3 weeks. You may be able to pay to get a faster decision– you’ll be told if you can when you apply.
UK Student Visa Interview
A UK student visa interview is a personal interview that is required as part of the student visa application procedure. All candidates for a Tier 4 student visa, both from abroad and from within the UK, are likely to be examined by UK officials. Typically, a student visa interview follows the completion of their online application and document submission.