UK Student Visa

Student Visa

If you plan to study in the UK and need to apply for a Student Visa, you must be sponsored by a college or university and obtain a CAS certificate from this sponsor to submit with your visa application.

The Student Visa is the most common immigration route for non-UK residents looking for a course of studies at a British college or university. The Tier 4 visa has been replaced by a Student Visa under the new immigration system in the UK.

Like the previous Tier 4 visa, the new Student Visa route is for foreign students 16 years old or older who wish to study full-time or part-time -in some limited circumstances, in the UK. 

The college or university is frequently referred to as a Sponsor. Academies and local authority-funded schools in the UK, including those with sixth forms, are not eligible to sponsor students under the new Student Visa UK route or hold a student sponsor licence. For migrants aged 16 or 17 wanting to study at an independent school in the UK, they may be eligible for a Child Student Visa instead.

What are the eligibility requirements for Student Visa?

EEA and non-EEA nationals, where an EEA national is not otherwise eligible for EU-settled or pre-settled status, should apply for a student visa if they plan to stay in the UK to undertake a course with a licensed education institution.

The term “EEA” refers to any member of the European Union (except from the UK) as well as Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein, and Switzerland. Irish nationals are excluded because they can enter the UK without a visa to live, work, or attend school there.

‘ST: Student’ is a new appendix to the Immigration Rules that details the guidelines and requirements for the UK Student Visa route. A candidate must complete a specified set of requirements to earn 70 points, be 16 years of age or older, and be a legitimate student to apply through this route. The necessary amount of points may be earned if:

  • They have been offered a place to study on a course by a licensed student sponsor (50 points) 
  • They have enough money to pay for their course and to support themselves (10 points) 
  • They speak English to the required standard (10 points) 
  • The offer of a place on a course: The visa applicant must have an unconditional offer of a place on a suitable course with a licensed student sponsor, leading to an approved qualification. To prove this, the education provider must issue the applicant with a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) once they have been offered a place on the relevant course.

What is CAS and How can I get one?

CAS is an abbreviation for Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies. The CAS is a virtual database record that includes the formal offer of a spot on a course of study and the necessary data to ascertain whether or not an applicant satisfies the requirements of the route they are applying under. Additionally, it has a special reference number that the applicant has to note down on their visa application. When you are accepted as a student to an eligible sponsoring education institution, they will issue a CAS for you to submit with your application.

Student visa maintenance requirement

Depending on the applicant’s situation and the course they are applying for, different amounts of money will be required to meet the maintenance requirement. The course fees and the cost of living each month make up both components of this need.

Foreign applicants and those who have lived in the UK for less than a year must show they have the resources necessary to cover the course fees for at least one academic year or the full programme if it is less than a year long. On their CAS, applicants will find a breakdown of the amount they must pay.

In order to demonstrate their ability to maintain themselves, applicants must also present a specific amount of money for each month of their study, up to a maximum of nine months. Different amounts of money will be required here depending on whether they will be studying in London or outside London. The amount of funds will also depend on the type of study and accommodation.

At every instance, the applicant must demonstrate that they have retained the necessary amount of money for at least 28 days. 

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Let’s look at the highlights

English Language Requirement

When applying, applicants must demonstrate their proficiency in English.

How to Apply for a UK Student Visa

The applicant must submit an online application for a student visa to the UK using their specific CAS reference number and pay the applicable fee. Applicants must submit their visa applications within six months of receiving their CAS. An applicant will also have to pay the healthcare surcharge as part of their application.

Graduate Route

This new route is aimed at international students with a completed degree from a UK Higher Education provider who can show evidence of immigration compliance. The new visa will allow them to stay in the UK for 2 years or 3 years for PhD graduates and work at any skill level. It will also allow visa holders to look for work or switch to the Skilled Worker route if they find a suitable job from a UK-licensed sponsor.

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, you can work while on a Student Visa in the UK, but the amount and type of work may vary depending on your course level and institution. Generally, students can work part-time during term time and full-time during vacations. However, there may be restrictions for students studying lower-level courses. Our advisers can provide detailed information on your work options based on your course and visa conditions.

The Student Visa is the primary immigration route for non-UK residents who wish to pursue full-time or part-time studies in the UK. It has replaced the Tier 4 visa under the new UK immigration system. This visa is typically sponsored by a college or university, and applicants need to obtain a CAS (Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies) certificate from their sponsor when applying for the Student Visa.

Both EEA and non-EEA nationals can apply for the Student Visa if they plan to study at a licensed education institution in the UK. To qualify, applicants must earn a total of 70 points based on specific criteria, including having an offer from a licensed student sponsor, sufficient financial resources, and proficiency in English. Additionally, the offer of a place on a course must be unconditional.

The financial requirements for the Student Visa include covering course fees and living costs, with different amounts needed based on your situation and the course you’re applying for. For those who have lived in the UK for less than a year or are foreign applicants, funds must cover at least one academic year’s course fees. Monthly living costs also vary depending on whether you’ll study in London or outside London. It’s essential to demonstrate that you’ve held the required funds for at least 28 days. Specific details and exceptions can be discussed with our advisers for personalized guidance.

Yes, there are exceptions to the financial requirements for the Student Visa. For instance, if you have a scholarship or financial sponsorship that covers your course fees and living costs, you may not need to demonstrate personal funds. Additionally, some students, such as those applying for a Doctorate Extension Scheme (DES) visa, might have different financial requirements. It’s crucial to seek personalised advice from our advisers based on your specific circumstances.

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