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How to get a UK Student Visa? Things You Should Know

Wish to go to school in the UK? Find out if you need a student visa to study in the UK and how to apply for one.

UK Visas and Immigration is in charge of UK visa requirements and general immigration criteria. Their website is easy to use and can help you figure out if you need a UK student visa. Swiss citizens and people from EU/EEA countries don’t need a visa to study in the UK right now, but most international students will need one.

The result of the UK’s referendum on membership in the European Union (called “Brexit”) has made visa rules uncertain, but the UK government has said that the rights and status of EU citizens will not change until 2021.

Different kinds of UK student visas

If you are over 18 and taking a short course, you might be able to get a short-term study visa. This can be used for up to six months for most short courses and up to eleven months for English language classes.

If you want to take a longer course, make sure that the school you choose has a Student Sponsor License. If you are between the ages of 4 and 17 and want to study at an independent school in the UK, you can apply for a child student visa. If you are 16 or older, you can apply for a general student visa.

UK student visa requirements

Once you have been offered a place on a course, your course provider may be willing to help you apply for a UK student visa. Ask them if this is the case. You can fill out the visa application up to three months before the start of your course. Check how long it usually takes to get a visa in your country and give yourself plenty of time.

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A points-based system is used to decide who gets a UK student visa. To meet all the requirements for a UK student visa, you’ll need to:

The information in your passport

  • A picture taken recently
  • A “Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies” (CAS) form from your course provider shows that you have been given a place on a course by a licensed Sponsor (worth 30 points)
  • Proof that you can speak and write English well, which can be shown by passing one of the secure English language tests (SELT). You won’t have to show this if you come from an English-speaking country like the US or if you got a degree equivalent to one in the UK in an English-speaking country.
  • Proof that you will have money while you are in the UK (worth 10 points)
  • If you are a student from outside the EU/EEA/Switzerland and you are studying a sensitive subject, you may also need an ATAS certificate.

You can show that you have financial support by showing bank statements or a letter from your financial sponsor. This shows that you can pay for your tuition, housing, and living costs. If you want to study in the UK outside of London, you must show that you have £1,015 (about $1,300) per month for living costs. If you want to study in London, you must show that you have £1,265 (about $1,600) per month for living costs.

You may also have to show proof of your academic qualifications and go to an interview or biometric test, which involves having your fingerprints scanned digitally. Depending on where you are from, you may also have to get a tuberculosis test or get vaccinated against certain diseases.

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If you are 16 or 17 and want to get a Tier 4 (General) student visa, your parents or guardians must give you written permission to live and travel on your own.

For the general student visa, you must apply online and make sure you’ve read all of the instructions. You can fill out an application up to three months before your course starts.

UK student visa fees

A student visa costs £363 (about $418) if you apply from outside the UK and £490 (about $564) if you apply from inside the UK. You’ll also have to pay an annual healthcare surcharge to use the National Health Service (NHS) while you’re there. This costs an extra £470 (about US$540).

Using your UK student visa

A UK Border Agency officer will put a stamp in your passport that says how long you can stay in the UK when you enter. For example, if your course lasts 12 months or longer, you can stay for the whole course plus four more months. You can’t stay longer than this amount of time.

Make sure you are fully immunized before you come, and pack your immunization record in your carry-on luggage in case the Border Agency officer at your UK port of entry asks to see it. You should also bring documents about your studies, such as your Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies, or CAS, number, as well as proof that you have money and a place to stay.

Working and going to school in the UK

Students from the EU, EEA, and Switzerland can all work while they study in the UK. Students with student visas who go to colleges that are paid for by the government can work up to 20 hours a week during the school year and full-time during the Christmas and Easter breaks (unless you are aged 16 or 17, in which case the maximum is 10 hours per week during term time).

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