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Tier 4 (General) Student Visa has been replaced with the so-called “Student Route”. The Student Route is the UK’s new Student Visa, which will be available to EEA nationals as well, who, before Brexit, did not need a visa to study in the UK.
Student Route (ages 18+)
Child Student Route (ages 4 - 17, which has replaced the Tier 4 Child Student Visa)
The current UK student visa fees are:
- £348 if applying from outside the UK.
- £475 if you apply to extend or switch to a Student Visa from inside the UK.
Anyone entering the country for studies must apply for a Student Visa if entering after January 1, 2021. This includes EU/EEA nationals who previously did not need a visa to enter the UK for their studies. You will need to reach 70 points on the Points Based System, which measures whether you meet the requirements to study in the UK. This includes:
- Have you been accepted into an approved institution?
- Do you have the financial resources to fund your stay in the UK?
- Are you proficient in English?
- Does your course meet the course requirements?
Those graduating from a British educational institution by and after Summer 2021 will be able to apply for the post-graduate visa, allowing them to work/look for work in the UK for up to 2 years.
UK visa application centre / Online
You can apply for a UK student visa at the UK visa application centre in your home country. You can find a list of UK visa application centres worldwide here: https://www.gov.uk/find-a-visa-application-centre.
You can also apply for a UK student visa online through the UK Home Office Visas and Immigration Service website. You can start here: https://apply-to-visit-or-stay-in-the-uk.homeoffice.gov.uk/sort/country-nationality?p=student_out_uk
To obtain a UK student visa, you will first need to be accepted onto a course. For most courses, you will also need to prove that you understand English to the required level.
The UK student visa application process differs slightly depending on the type of UK student visa you are applying for.
For your UK student visa application, you will need to provide the following:
- passport or travel ID
- proof that you can cover your course and living costs
- proof of parental or guardian consent if you are under 18
- proof of acceptance onto your course
- proof of payment of healthcare surcharge
Depending on your country of origin, you may also need to have a tuberculosis test.
When you arrive in the UK, you may need to register your UK student visa with the police. You should receive information about whether you need to register in your UK student visa sticker or letter from the UK Home Office. You will also need to apply for a Biometric residence permit if you are staying in the UK for longer than 6 months.
You can apply for a Student Visa up to 6 months before your courses start. UK student visa processing times vary according to where you are applying from but generally you will receive a decision within 3 weeks if you are applying from outside the UK, and within 8 weeks if you are applying within the UK.
The General student visa length depends on the duration of your course and you can apply to extend it if you wish to stay in the UK to work or pursue further studies. The Child student visa is valid for the length of the course, up to a maximum of 6 years, and can be extended. The length of the short-term student visa cannot exceed the length of your course and cannot be extended.
International students are allowed to work with studying in the UK, under certain conditions. The type of work that you can do will depend on what you are studying and if you will be working during the school term, or during breaks.
The main reasons for student visa refusals are:
- Missing or incorrect documents;
- Failure to meet financial requirements;
- Incorrect document format.
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