Navigating the UK Student Visa Process: Requirements and Eligibility
Pursuing an education in the UK presents a myriad of opportunities, enriched by the country’s rich cultural heritage and diverse educational system. To fully enjoy these opportunities, you need a UK Student Visa, which relaced the previous Tier 4 Student visa you may have heard about. At Immtell, we have the expertise to guide you seamlessly through the application process, ensuring that all the requirements are met and the eligibility criteria understood.
Understanding the Criteria for a UK Student Visa
The first step towards acquiring a UK Student Visa is understanding the criteria involved. You must have:
The specific details of these requirements may vary depending on various factors such as your nationality, the type of course you’re planning to undertake, and your circumstances. It’s essential to seek expert advice to clarify these details before starting your application.
A Step-By-Step Guide to UK Student Visa Application
Navigating the application process for a UK Student Visa can be a complex process. However, understanding the steps involved can make the process more manageable:
Accepting a Course Offer: First, you’ll need to receive and accept an offer for a course from a licensed student sponsor in the UK. This will provide you with a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS).
Preparation of Required Documents: You’ll need to gather a range of documents to support your application, including your passport, evidence of financial capability, academic qualifications, English language proficiency proof, and your CAS reference number.
Completing the Application: The application for the UK Student Visa is completed online. You can do this from your home country up to six months before your course starts.
Paying the Visa Fee: You must pay the application fee and, if applicable, the healthcare surcharge.
Attending an Appointment: Depending on your location, you may need to attend an appointment at a visa application center to provide your biometric information.
Receiving the Decision: Once you’ve submitted your application, you’ll typically receive a decision within three weeks or faster if you opt for Priority Service (available in most locations for an additional Home Office fee).
The visa duration issued to holders of UK Student Visas varies depending on the length of the course stated on the Certificate of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) and the UK education establishment.
If you have been issued with a UK Student visa, part-time work may be permitted depending on the type of education establishment you are studying at and the course level. It should be printed clearly on your Student visa if you can work whilst studying in the UK. Work permission during term time is either 10 or 20 hours, if permitted. You may work full time during holidays but only if work is stated as being allowed on your Student visa.
Unfortunately, the UK Student visa does not lead to Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) in the UK. At the end of the course you must usually enrol in a higher course or PhD programme, switch in to a different visa type, for example a Skilled Worker or Graduate visa if you wish to work for a UK company, or leave the UK.
Spouses or partners and children under the age of 18 may apply for visas to accompanying you as your ‘dependants’ if you will be:
- sponsored by a higher education institution on a course at level 7 on the Ofqual register or above that lasts 9 months or more;
- a new government-sponsored student on a course that lasts longer than 6 months; or
- a Doctorate Extension Scheme student.
The UK Government has indicated they intend restrict dependants accompanying Students to the UK from 2024, we are awaiting further details.
It is permitted to switch into the Student visa type from within the UK if you were last granted a visa in accordance with certain visa categories.
In most circumstances, initial UK Student visa applications must be from abroad, either from your country of nationality or legal residence.
It is possible to apply to switch visa category from within the UK into this visa type, if you are not currently in the UK holding one of the following visa types:
- Visitor visa
- Short-Term Student visa
- Parent of a Child visa
- Seasonal Worker visa
- Domestic Worker visa
- Any Discretionary visa
UKVI aim to process Student visas as follows:
Visa applications submitted outside of the UK:
- Standard processing: 15 working days
- Priority Service processing: 5 working days
Visa applications submitted inside the UK:
- Standard processing: 8 weeks
- Priority Service processing: 5 working day
Important: UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) do not guarantee processing times and delays do occur. We advise that you do not book any non refundable travel until your visa has been approved and your work visa is in your possession. Priority services can be suspended without notice and may not be available at the time of application.
The UKVI application fee for a Student visa is £363 if applying outside of the UK or £490 if from within the UK. In addition, you will need to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) which is £470 per year of your student visa duration.
Our professional fee will depend on the level of service you require. Please see the options below or contact us for further information.
Take the First Step to Studying in the UK
Understanding the requirements for a UK Student Visa application and the eligibility criteria is crucial to a successful application. Remember, your education is a significant investment, and getting the visa process right is the first step.
Immtell can guide you through the complexities of UK Student Visa requirements and ensure your application is prepared correctly. Ready to start your journey to studying in the UK? Contact us today for expert guidance and start your UK educational journey on the right note.