Applying for a UK student visa – What you need to prepare

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Among all types of UK visas, Student Visa is perhaps one of the most popular categories as a stepping stone to UK immigration. If you are looking into studying and living in the UK, here is some guidance on applying for a UK Tier 4 Student Visa that you must not miss.

What is a UK Tier 4 Student Visa?

International students aged 16 or over can apply for a UK Student Visa to study at an independent school in the UK for higher education. Previously known as the Tier 4 visa, the UK government has launched a new Student Route on the 5th of October, 2020 to replace it. Visa applicants with an offer from a university or college on hand can begin the process of applying for a UK student visa. As part of the study visa application, you may be asked to attend an interview and answer questions from a UKVI caseworker.

The application fees for a UK Student Visa are:

  • £363 for a new application from outside the UK
  • £490 for extending or switching another type of UK visa to a Student visa from inside the UK

While you can start applying for the UK student visa 6 months before your course begins, the earliest by submitting the required documents, the duration of your stay in the country depends on your course and level of study that you have completed.

Who Can Apply for a UK Student Visa?

In order to head-start the application for a UK Tier 4 Student Visa, you have to first collect 70 points on the Point Based System, a system that determines your visa eligibility according to this checklist:

  • whether you have been offered a place in a recognised institution with a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) as proof
  • your English proficiency by passing an English Proficiency Test from an approved provider
  • whether you have sufficient financial funding to support your living expenses and tuition fees in the UK. The living costs are estimated to be
    • £1,334 per month (for up to 9 months) for courses in London
    • £1,023 per month (for up to 9 months) for courses outside London

UK Student Visa Course Requirements

If you have been enrolled or accepted into one of the following courses, you are eligible for a UK Tier 4 Student Visa:

Full-time:

  • A below-degree-level course with more than 15 hours of study time per week. That includes A levels (translates to the last two years of high school), apprenticeships, or the first two years of a Bachelor’s degree that equals to RQF level 3, 4, or 5
  • A course leading to a degree level or above degree-level qualification such as Bachelor, Postgraduate Masters or Doctorate Degree that is the equivalent of RQF level 6, 7, and 8

Part-time:

  • A course at a degree level above RQF level 7 (including Postgraduate, Master’s, or Doctorate degree).
  • An approved program for postgraduate doctors or dentists.
  • An English language course (level B2 or above) in the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages.

Documents Required for a UK Student Visa Application

If you are wondering how to start, here are two must-have documents required for a UK Student Visa:

  • a current passport or other valid travel documentation
  • a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) from your course provider

You must be admitted into a recognised course in the UK before you start the Student Visa application.

To accelerate the application process for a UK Tier 4 Student Visa, preparing these documents according to the checklist below does not harm anyone:

  • 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

If you have any concerns or questions about your UK student visa application’s requirements, contact our UK government-trained staff. Office located in Hong Kong, we are just one call away to provide guidance with our team’s extensive experience in coping with all sorts of UK immigration challenges. We are ready to take over and handle the entire application process on your behalf. Get in touch today and learn more.

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