Student Visa UK
What is a Student Visa?
A Student Visa is a legal document which allows overseas students to come to the UK to study.
There are 2 types of student visas: a short-term study visa, and a Tier 4 (General) student visa.
If you are studying on a short course (less than 6 months) and you are over 18 years old, you may be eligible for a short-term study visa.
If your course is longer than 6 months because it is a degree-level course, you may be eligible for a Tier 4 (General) student visa.
Your application will be processed by the Home Office and you will hear back with a decision within 3 weeks.
Read our blog article on ‘What Is a Student Visa’ to find the answers to frequently asked questions about student visas.
What Is the Cost of a Student Visa UK?
- £363 to apply for a UK student visa from outside the UK
- £490 to extend or switch to a student visa UK from inside the UK
You also have to pay a healthcare surcharge fee as part of your immigration application.
You must pay the visa fee for each person that joins you- if you want to bring your partner and children with you to the UK as your ‘dependants’, you must make a separate application for them.
You must also provide financial evidence to prove that you can cover your tuition fees, accommodation costs and living costs.
This financial evidence may be in the form of bank statements or a letter from your financial sponsor.
If you are studying in London, you must prove that you have £1,265 per month for living costs.
If you are studying in the UK outside of London, you must prove that you have £1,015 per month for living costs.
What Are the UK Student Visa Requirements?
You must comply with the conditions set out in the student visa requirements, or your application will be rejected.
The UK has a points-based system for immigration applications. To make a successful student visa application, you must achieve 70 points and meet the full requirements of the rules.
- You must be 16 or over.
- You must have been offered a place on a course by a licenced student sponsor.
- You must have enough money to support yourself and pay for your course.
- You must be able to speak, read, write and understand English.
- If you are 16 or 17 years old, you must have consent from your parents that you are allowed to study in the UK, which you will have to provide supporting evidence for.
- If you want to bring your partner and children with you to the UK as your ‘dependants’, you must provide supporting evidence of your relationship to them (e.g. a marriage certificate, or birth certificate for your child.)
What Supporting Documents Do I Need to Provide for Student Visa UK?
- Photographic ID (recent photo)
- Current passport or other valid travel documentation
- An unconditional offer of a place on a course, offered by a licenced Sponsor, evidenced by a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) document from your education provider
- Proof of adequate English language skills
- Evidence that you have financial support throughout your stay in the UK
- A valid ATAS certificate (if your course and nationality require it)
- Your tuberculosis test results (must be negative)
UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) may ask you to submit additional documents alongside your application.
If you are under 18, you will need to provide proof that your parents/legal guardian consents to you studying in the UK, applying for a student visa, and travelling to the UK.
You will also need to provide proof of your relationship with your parent or guardian.
You may be told to leave a blank page in your passport for your visa if you need to give your biometric information (fingerprints and a photograph) at a visa application centre.
How long does it take to get a Student Visa?
The Home Office will assess your application and make a decision within 3 weeks.
If you are arriving from outside the UK, the earliest you can apply for a student visa is 6 months before you start your course.
If you are applying from inside the UK, the earliest you can apply for a student visa is 3 months before your course starts. You must apply before your current visa expires. Your new course must begin within 28 days of your current visa expiring. You’ll usually get a decision within 8 weeks.
You may be able to pay a fee to get a faster decision on your visa application- you will be told this when you apply.
You should start preparing the paperwork to apply for your student visa months in advance, so you can have all the correct information to hand.
What requirements do I have to meet when I apply for a student visa?
Can You Extend a Student Visa UK?
You can apply to extend your student visa, as long as you are already in the UK on a student visa. For example, you are already in the UK and you want to study a new course.
To extend your visa, you must achieve 40 points in the points-based system and fulfil certain requirements, including:
- you must be in the UK on a Student visa or a Tier 4 (General) student visa.
- you must have an unconditional offer of a place on a course with a licenced student sponsor- shown by your Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS).
- you must show that your studies are at a higher academic level than your current course (called the ‘academic progress requirement’) – there are some exceptions.
If you have been in the UK with a valid visa for less than 12 months, you must prove you have enough money for tuition and accommodation fees and living expenses.
Your partner or children will need to apply separately to extend their visa. They can either apply at the same time as you, or at any time before their current visa expires.
You can also switch to a Graduate Visa to stay in the UK for at least 2 years after successfully completing your course. You must be in the UK when you apply for a Graduate Visa.
Read the UK Government’s advice here to find out more about extending your student visa.
Can you work on a Student Visa?
Yes, if you are an international student on a student visa and you are studying full time on a degree-level course, you are permitted to work up to 20 hours per week during University term time.
You can work full-time outside term time, which includes before the course starts, the summer, Christmas and Easter, on work placements, and after your period of study in the UK has ended.
You are allowed to work as a student union sabbatical officer.
- claim public funds (benefits) and pensions
- work in certain jobs, e.g. as a professional sportsperson or sports coach
- be self-employed
study at an academy or a local authority-funded school (also known as a maintained school)
Where Can I Get Help on My Student Visa Application?
The immigration professionals at Synergy Immigration Solutions understand the complexity of the UK’s immigration laws and the issues that can arise during the application process.
That is why we house all the support services you need for immigration applications, under one roof. This means one cost only, for complete support on your visa application.
We enjoy working with individuals who need assistance with their visa applications.
- We will liaise with the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) on your behalf- saving you time, effort, workload, and stress.
- We will answer your questions and address any concerns. We are proud to offer a bespoke personalised service, tailoring our advice to suit your needs and ensure that your application has the best chance of success.
- We process all applications in an efficient and timely manner and keep our clients well-informed throughout the process.
It is vital that the correct documentation is in place to ensure the application is approved.
We would always recommend that you appoint a specialist such as Synergy Immigration Solutions to manage this process for you.