What is a Student Visa?
As of October 5, 2020, the Tier 4 (General) Student Visa has been replaced with the “Student Route”. This will be available to EU/EEA nationals who whish to enter the country after January 1, 2021.
A Student Visa enables prospective international students to study in the UK. In order to obtain this visa, you must receive an offer of a place from a UK university or educational institution. The institution from which you receive your offer must be a registered sponsor. If you wish to study in the UK for a period longer than six months, a Student Visa is for you. A points-based system will be used to assess your eligibility. If your visa application is successful, you will be permitted to remain in the UK for the duration of your course plus some additional time once it ends.
Can I work whilst studying in the UK?
International students are permitted to work during their studies. However, there is a limit on the number of hours one is entitled to work. For adult international students who have undertaken a degree course, you are permitted to work for a maximum of 20 hours a week. This is only the case if the work you participate in does not interfere with your university studies.
If you were to end your studies prior to the completion of your course, you would no longer be permitted to work. If you were to continue to work, you would be in contravention of the terms of your visa.
If you are considering your work options after you graduate from your chosen institution, it is possible to switch from a Student Visa to a Skilled Worker Visa.
What you need to know when applying for a Student Visa
It is hugely important that you make clear your intention to return to your country of origin once your university course comes to an end. If the course you have applied for lasts longer than six months, a student visa will allow you to arrive in the UK up to one month before the start date of your degree course. In situations where a course lasts less than six months, your student visa will allow you to arrive in the UK up to 1 week prior to its start date.
The length of time for which you can remain in the UK under this visa category is totally dependent on the length of the university course you have applied for. In addition to this, the amount of study you have already completed at your chosen institution also has a major bearing on how long you can remain in the UK.
Am I eligible for a Student Visa?
In order to obtain a Student Visa, there are a number of eligibility requirements that must first be satisfied:
- You must be aged 16 or over
- You must have received an unconditional offer of a place on a course from an eligible UK educational institution. The institution must be a licenced sponsor and the course must meet certain requirements (there must be a minimum of 15 hours of classroom study per week)
- You will need to demonstrate that you are able to financially support yourself and pay for your course for the full length of time you spend in the UK
- You must score at least 70 points when be assessed in relation to the points-based criteria
- With regard to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR), you must intend to study minimum B2 level of the English language course if you have applied for a degree course. A minimum of B1 English language ability (CEFR) is necessary for all courses below degree level. Exceptions can be made in relation to certain requirements.
- You must be able to give proof of a number of important identity documents
- You must be able to fully complete the application form, answering questions related to personal details, immigration history and criminal background
What documentation will I require?
- Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies:
The Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) is a digital record that contains information regarding your personal details and your course of study. You will receive this once you have been offered a place on a course. The information that appears on your CAS will be provided by your sponsor. Additionally, your sponsor will provide you with the information used to grant you your CAS, such as your course details and tuition fees. Receiving your CAS is a key part of your student visa application process. Your CAS will have a unique reference number. It is the responsibility of your sponsor to provide you with this. You will need to enter your reference number on your visa application.
You must commence your student visa application no more than six months after your CAS has been received. It must contain the same details as those on your passport, and must not have been withdrawn by your sponsor.
- Tuberculosis Test Certificate:
You will only need to provide this if you are coming to the UK for longer than six months and have resided in a country where you have to take the test.
- Biometric Residence Permit (BRP)
This will only be needed if you are coming to the UK for more than six months. You will need to apply for your BRP at the same time you apply for entry clearance.
- Valid passport or other travel documentation
How can our London Immigration lawyers assist you?
We understand the immense importance of achieving your academic goals. For this reason, we do everything you can to ensure your student visa application is approved. After deciding that you satisfy the requirements, we will guide you through every stage of the application. We will ensure all of your documentation is correct and in place, and will complete your application form to the highest standard. Additionally, we will contact you chosen institution and arrange your sponsorship. Contact us on 020 4502 8582 to begin your journey.
How much money will I need in order to successfully apply for a Student Visa?
For international students about to begin a university course, you must be able to demonstrate that you have the necessary funds to pay for your course fees for the first year of study. For situations where the course applied for lasts less than a year, you must be able to demonstrate that you can afford your fees for the entire course.
In circumstances where the course has already started and you are applying for further leave to continue your university course, you must demonstrate that you are able to pay for your course fees to the end of the current academic year. If in this situation you will continue on the same course when the next academic year commences, you must be able to demonstrate that you can afford the course fees for that academic year.
If you are in the UK on a Study Abroad programme, it is vital that you demonstrate the ability to pay the fees required by your sponsor for the full year (or full course if the course lasts for less than a year).
Money for Living Costs
In order to be granted a Student Visa, you must be able to demonstrate that you can financially support yourself during your time at university. With regard to living costs, the amount of money required depends on both the location of your university and the length of your course.
You must show that you have:
- £1,334 per month if the majority of your studying (over 50% of your study time) will take place in London
- £1,023 per month if you are studying anywhere in the UK outside of London for the majority of your study time
What documents can I use to prove the amount of money available to me?
For Student Visa applications, there are number of documents that must be provided alongside your application for it to be approved.
The following documents can be used to show the money available to you:
- Bank or building society statements:
These statements must span a consecutive 28-day period that ends no more than 31 days before the date of your application and no later than the date your application is submitted.
- Building society pass book:
A valid pass book must cover a consecutive 28-day period that ends no more than 31 days prior to your application and no later than the date your application was submitted.
- Bank letter:
This must confirm that funds have been present in your account for a consecutive 28-day period that ends no more than 31 days prior to your application and no later than the date your application was submitted.
- Letter from a financial institution:
In the case of overseas accounts, this must be regulated by the home regulator (the official regulatory body of the country in which the financial institution is based). Its purpose is to confirm that funds have been held for a consecutive 28-day period that ends no more than 31 days prior to your application and no later than the date your application was submitted.
- Letter from a regulated financial institution:
This must be used if you wish to confirm a loan. The letter must be dated no more than six months before the date of your application.
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For international students at university in the UK, there are certain things you cannot do. These are:
- Access public funds
- Study at a state funded school/academy
- Take up certain job roles, such as sports coach
The earliest you can submit your visa application is three months before the commencement of your studies.
Once your visa application has been completed and submitted, you should usually receive a decision within three weeks.
If your degree course at your chosen institution lasts 12 months or more, you will be allowed to stay for the full length of the course plus an additional four months once the course comes to an end.
If your main course of study lasts more than six months but less than a year, you can stay for its full length plus an additional two months.
If your university course lasts less than six months, you are permitted to stay for its full length plus an additional seven days.
We understand the monumental importance of having access to the education you want. For this reason, we do everything we possibly can to ensure that you receive your desired outcome.
Our team of expert immigration lawyers are hugely experienced in giving advice to international students looking to study in the UK. We will guide you through every stage of the visa application process, removing the stress from proceedings.
The services we provide include:
- A thorough document check to ensure that all necessary paperwork is in place
- Liaising with your sponsor throughout the process
- Confirming that your chosen institution is able to act as your sponsor
- Arranging and obtaining your CAS from your chosen institution
- Producing a Letter of Representation that will emphasise the strengths of your application
- Completing your application form to the highest possible standard