UK student visa requirements and how to apply

A condition you need to meet in order to be able to study in Britain is to have a residence visa that enables you to study there. Hence, in this article, we will highlight the process of obtaining a student visa in the UK in simplified steps. All of which according to British government sources, besides the links and information that you can use when applying for a visa.

Firstly, make sure you choose the university or institute in which you want to continue your studies. If you haven’t yet done it, check out the following articles about the top 10 UK universities in the UK and 10 universities & institutes with the highest acceptance rate for foreigners and international students.

UK student visa requirements

The visa for studying in the UK is called Tier 4, and is divided into two categories:

1. General category.

2. Child category.

  • You can apply for a Tier 4 General visa if you are at least 16 years old.
  • Your writing, reading, and understanding of English must be acceptable. You can check the list of exams and accredited test centers in the UK to measure the requested level of applicants.
  • You can find the British universities and institutes that require a Tier 4 General visa presenting all licensed institutes to sponsor migrants in UK.
  • Once a British university accepts you, it will send you a confirmation number called “CAS number”.
  • You Should keep the “confirmation number” because you will need it while filling out your visa application.
  • You should apply for a visa in the 6 months following the receipt of your “confirmation number”.
  • It’s possible that you submit your application for visa three months before the beginning of the study. The application result will be announced within approximately 3 weeks. This depends on your country of residence.

Learn about the total time of the UK study visa process depending on your country.

  • If your study period in the UK will not exceed a maximum of 6 months, then it’s possible to travel a few days before the beginning of the study. If you study in the UK for more than 6 months, it’s possible to travel one month before the beginning of your study.
  • You should be careful to the following :
    • Your passport should be valid when applying for a visa.
    • Prove that you are able to pay for your expenses while studying in UK by submitting a document stating your bank balance.
    • Submit your medical analysis reports to confirm that you are free of tuberculosis. This is only in case you are resident in one of the countries here.

The visa application will be through the British Government website after registration.

UK student visa application process

When filling out your visa application form through the above-mentioned website, you should follow the following steps:

  1. Fill in the application in English only.
  2. Pay the application fee electronically. You can find the value of the fees through the following link: British visa fees
  3. Print out the application after ensuring it is well-filled.
  4. Book an appointment at the UK Visa Application Center located in your country. You can find where to find it in the following link: UK Visa Application Center

You may need to pre-pay for your healthcare fees in the UK, which you can calculate through the following link: Health Care Fees

The Tier 4 Visa Guide is available through the following guide provided by the British Government: Tier 4 Visa Guide

If you have any questions or problems regarding your visa, you can contact the British Government Immigration and Residency Center through the following link: British Government Residency and Immigration Center.

UK student visa processing time

If you apply for the student visa outside the UK, you need to submit your application up to 6 months before the beginning of your courses. On average, the standard processing time lasts 3 weeks once you’ve submitted all your documents and confirmed your identity with the UK Immigration ID Check app or at an appointment.

On the other hand, students who apply from outside the country need to send their application up to 3 months before the start date of their studies. Their visa application will take 8 weeks to receive a decision. Lastly, short-term study visas in the UK take about 7 weeks to process.

Learn also what are the common reasons of the rejection of a UK student visa and how to reapply.

UK student visa fee

The cost for the student visa is £363 for the main applicant and their dependents (spouse and/or children). This type of visa comes with a surcharge for health insurance fee: the IHS or Immigration Health Surcharge. This surcharge is £624 per year for each year of stay in the UK. The amount of the IHS is the same for the applicant and each of their dependents.

After you have obtained your student visa in the UK, youmust prepare for student life there. Hence, we invite you to read these topics:

How to prepare for life as a student in Britain.

Study and living costs in Britain.

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