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Study in UK : Introduction | Education System | Application Procedure | Visa Requirements | Scholarships | Departments

UK Education : Visa Requirements

A student who wish to study in UK requires visa either as an Adult (General) Student or Child Student under Tier 4 of the points-based system. The points-based system (PBS) is a system for managing migration for those wishing to enter the UK for work or study.

what is Tier 4 visa.

Tier 4 (General) Student is for people coming to the United Kingdom for their post-16 education. Tier 4 (Child) Student is for children between the ages of 4 and 17 to come to the UK. Those aged between 4 and 15 may only be educated at independent fee-paying schools. Applicants aged 16-17 years studying on courses at National Qualification Framework level 3 or above have a choice of making an application either in the Tier 4 (General) Student category or the Tier 4 (Child) Student category. 16 and 17 year olds studying English language courses at level B2 of the Common European Framework of reference for Languages must apply under the Tier 4 (General) Student route.

You must score 40 points to qualify for a Tier 4 Student Visa. Acceptance on a suitable course will provide 30 points and you must score a further 10 Points by demonstrating that you have enough money to cover your course fees and monthly living costs (also known as Maintenance). The amount required will depend upon the length of the course and the location in which you will study.

Visa period:

If the course is for a period greater than 6 months then you will be able to work part-time during the course of your studies (full-time during vacations), with the potential (if you meet the points requirements) to switch into a Tier 2 work permit or a Tier 1 visa once you have obtained your qualification.

If your course is for a period less than 6 months then you may be able to enter as a student visitor. Time spent in the UK on a Tier 4 Student Visa or as a student visitor will not count towards Indefinite Leave to Remain.

The Student Visa will be granted for the duration of your course, up to a maximum of 4 years if you are studying for a degree level qualification or a maximum of 3 years if you are studying for a qualification below degree level. An extension can be applied for towards the end of the period if this is required to complete your studies.

How to apply for a visa

You should complete application form VAF9 with your personal details. You must apply for your visa in the country of which you are a national or where you legally live.

You can download the form from British Government official website, or get one free of charge from your nearest British mission overseas where there is a visa section.

You will also need the following:

(i) Your passport or travel document
(ii) Payment of student visa application fee has to be done. You must pay in local currency. Fees are regularly reviewed.
(iii) Your biometric details
(iv) A recent passport sized photograph
(v) All documents as specified in the Tier 4 Guidance as stated in the Immigration Rules

Other Requirements For a Student Visa

(i) A letter of acceptance on the course

This will be a letter from your institution confirming that a place has been offered to you and that the course is full-time as defined by the immigration law. The letter should state how long the course will last. Where your course is more advanced and specialized, the letter should also state what level of English is needed for the course (giving minimum test marks, if appropriate) and confirm that you satisfy this requirement.

(ii) Evidence that you can pay the course fees and support yourself and your family, if applicable

Depending on your circumstances, this could include evidence of government sponsorship, a letter from a sponsor in UK confirming they can support you, together with evidence that they can do this, and/or your own bank statements. You should also provide a letter from your place of study stating the full cost of the course, what arrangements are acceptable for payment and whether you have already paid fees or a deposit.

(iii) Accommodation
Although the immigration rules do not require unaccompanied students to show that accommodation has been arranged, your place of study may have given you information about its availability, and you should bring this to the attention of the ECO. If your family is coming with you to the UK, you will need to show that there will adequate accommodation for them.

(iv) The Interview

Interview is a part of your visa application process. Interview is to give you the opportunity to clarify for the ECO certain parts of your application. The ECO will be aiming to satisfy him or herself that your study plans are genuine and workable.