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Fundamentals of UK Student Visa: Eligibility, Processing and Fees

The United Kingdom is a country with a rich academic heritage. It is home to the top institutes like Oxford University, Imperial College of London, and Cambridge University. These are ranked in the top global indices from the past three decades. Also, it is an English-speaking country, which smoothens the communication process for international students. The education system of the United Kingdom is popular for shorter courses. Here, a shorter course means less time and money spent on the degree. Moreover, the degrees from the UK are recognised by global giants and organizations. Also, the UK study framework emphasises the development of critical thinking skills and allows the scholars to explore the course at their own pace.
Are you still dreaming of pursuing your higher education in the United Kingdom? Or Are you facing problems with the student visa? This blog will guide you through everything that you need to know while requesting a UK student visa.

Types of UK Student Visa

There are three kinds of study visas that the UK embassy issues. They differ in age group and the kind of course to be pursued by the student.

Types of UK Student Visa | Gradding.com

Student Visa

You can apply for a UK student visa if you have successfully secured a seat in a course. Also, if you have funds to bear your expenses like tuition fees and everyday expenses. The minimum requirement to request a visa for study also includes the English Proficiency needs, including fluency in speaking, writing, listening, and reading. Moreover, you will need consent from your guardians if you are 16 to 17 years old. The more details are mentioned below.

Formerly Known As Tier 4 Visa (General)
Age to Apply 16 years or above
When to Apply (Inside UK)& Processing Time
  • 3 months before the course starts.
  • Your new course must begin within 28 days of your current visa expiring.
  • Decision will be delivered within 8 weeks.
When to Apply (Outside UK) & Processing Time
  • 6 months before the course starts.
  • Decision will be delivered within 3 weeks.
How Long You Can Stay?
  • 5 years for degree level course
  • 2 years for a course below degree level.
When Can You Travel to the United Kingdom?
  • Upto 1 week before (course is less than 6 months)
  • Upto 1 month before (course is longer than 6 months)
UK Student Visa Fees
  • £490 (outside UK)
  • £490 (extend or switch being present in UK)
Can’s
  • Study
  • Work as a student union sabbatical officer
Can not’s
  • Claim public funds and pensions
  • Work in certain fields like sports
  • Self-employed
  • Study at a locally funded school

* The start date is mentioned on the visa. You should not travel before that.

Also Read: Top Universities in UK

Child Student Visa

Students between the ages of 4 and 16 who are willing to enter the UK education system must apply for a child student visa. The minimum requirements include an unconditional offer letter for a course from an independent school, the guardian’s permission, and enough funds.

Formerly Known As
  • Tier 4 Visa (Child)
Age to Apply
  • 4 years to 17 years
When to Apply (Inside UK)& Processing Time
  • 3 months before the course starts.
  • Your new course must begin within 28 days of your current visa expiring.
  • Decision will be delivered within 8 weeks.
When to Apply (Outside UK) & Processing Time
  • 6 months before the course starts.
  • Decision will be delivered within 3 weeks.
How Long You Can Stay?
  • Under 16 years (Course Length upto 6 years + 4 months afterwards)
  • 16 years or 17 years (Course Length upto 3 years + 4 months afterwards)
When Can You Travel to the United Kingdom?
  • Upto 1 month before
UK Student Visa Fees
  • £490 (outside UK)
  • £490 (extend or switch being present in UK)
Can’s (16 years and over)
  • Part-time during term for up to 10 hours per week
  • Full-time during vacations
  • On a work placement as part of your course (50% of the course)
Can not’s
  • Claim public fund benefits
  • Apply for settlement
  • Work in certain fields like sports
  • Self-employed
  • Study at a locally funded school
  • Bring family members (dependants)**

The start date is mentioned on the visa. You should not travel before that.
If you want to bring in the family members, then they have to apply for a Parents of Child Student Visa.

The full list of cans and can-nots will be provided once your application is approved.

Short-Term Study Visa

You can apply for a short-term study visa to pursue an English language course in the country. It can last for 6 months to 11 months.

Age to Apply
  • 18 years old
When to Apply
  • 3 months before the course starts.
How Long You Can Stay?
  • Course Length + 30 days (max 11 months)
UK Student Visa Fees
  • £200
Can not’s
  • Claim public fund benefits
  • Extend this visa
  • Work or carry out business
  • Study at a locally funded school
  • Bring family members (dependants)
  • Study the course or change

How to Apply for UK Student Visa?

The steps below will guide you through the UK Study visa process.

STEP 1: Enroll in a University and Get an Acceptance Letter
The first and foremost step is to apply to pursue a course in a recognised institute in the UK. Once you are eligible and meet the university requirements, you will receive an acceptance letter, which is called a “Certificate of Acceptance of Studies”. CAS is one of the crucial documents required for your visa application.

STEP 2: Check the Type of Visa You Will Need

The UK government issues three kinds of study visas. This section provides all the details about the student, child student, and short-term visa. The type of visa granted will depend on the type of course you opted for and, of course, your age.

STEP 3: Manage All Your Documents

Keep all the documents that you will need while requesting a student visa UK, along with proof of funds. You can attach the supporting documents while filling out the form and submitting the request.

STEP 4: Apply Online

Create your account on the official UK Visa website. Once you have completed the form online, you have to print the form and sign it. Book an appointment with the online calendar. After that, you will receive an e-mail containing your application number.

STEP 5: Pay Application Fees

Remember that your application is incomplete without the fee payment. You can pay the fees in various ways. You can pay via a demand draft that is in favour of the “British High Commission” from a nationalized or foreign bank. Moreover, you can opt to pay at the visa application centre while you submit your application. However, an online payment mode is also available for your convenience, where your MasterCard or Visa card can be used.

STEP 6: Visit the Visa Centre on the Appointment Date

The last step is to visit the visa centre on the date of appointment for facial photographs and fingerprints.

UK Student Visa Processing Time

The time taken to process the study visa is usually same. The student and child student visa takes upto 8 weeks if applied from UK and up to three weeks if applied from outside UK. You can choose the priority service by paying additional charges. This will speed up your process and your visa will be approved within 5 working days.

Also Read: SOP for UK Student Visa

Documents for Study Visa

The list includes all the documents required to obtain a UK study visa from the government or embassy.

  1. Completely filled visa application form.
  2. Parent’s/ Guardian’s consent if you are below 18 years old.
  3. Proof of relationship to parents if you are 18 years or below.
  4. Certificate of Acceptance of Studies (CAS) from the university/institute/college.
  5. Proof of funds to afford your studies and stay in the country.
  6. Scorecard of the English Proficiency Test (IELTS, PTE, TOEFL).
  7. Original marksheets from your academic life.
  8. Passport or any other travel document.
  9. Tuberculosis test result.
  10. Health surcharge reference number. It will be paid as a part of your visa application process.
  11. Written consent from your financial sponsor if your studies are being sponsored.

Reasons for UK Visa Rejection

Reasons for UK Visa Rejection l Gradding.com

A study visa rejection is the biggest fear of a student dreaming of pursuing education abroad. There are many reasons for a denial. A few of the reasons are listed here.

False Information

Every column in the UK study visa application must contain the necessary details. Moreover, the data provided by the student must be correct, and any detail must not be empty. The student must review the form to recheck the details that are present. However, the smallest piece of false data can be the primary reason for the visa refusal.

Insufficient Funds

Studying in any country requires a huge amount of money. Hence, financial stability is necessary to bear the educational expenses. While applying to study in the UK, you must have the right insurance. If the fund or insurance is insufficient or below the set amount, your study visa can face a denial. Besides, the funds to study and the balance to bear the everyday expenses are necessary. Do not worry if you have insufficient funds; you can apply for a UK scholarship. There are many grants available for aspiring overseas scholars to grab.

Criminal History/ Security Concerns

One of the reasons for a person's visa denial is their past criminal record. If a student is involved in any illegal activity and the case is registered in their name, most countries will reject such requests. However, the officers conduct in-depth research to check the applicant’s background. It even includes traffic violation cases. An aspiring international student has to obey the laws of their native country. If the criminal records are clear, then your UK study visa process will be smooth.

Previous Visa Denials

The record of your previous travels (overstaying and visa denials) will also affect your current appeal. Your visa request will face a refusal if you have gone to a country and you were involved in some unaccepted activities. You should consider all the rules and regulations a country has for visitors. One mistake can cost you a career.

These were the common mistakes that led to study visa UK refusal. If you consider these points while requesting your visa for studies from the authorities of the UK, then the chances of refusal come closer to zero. Now, let us know the questions that are asked while a candidate sits for an interview.

Are you still afraid of your UK Student Visa Rejection?

The professionals at Gradding.com will help you to prepare from scratch. Also, they will help you manage the required documents for the visa application. So, contact us NOW! Click for a Free Session!

List of the Questions Asked in UK Study Visa Interview

This part enlists the ten questions that are asked by the interviewer. The answers to these questions will lead to either acceptance or denial of your student visa.

  1. Why have you chosen the UK for your higher studies?
  2. Have you visited the UK before?
  3. Why did you select this college/university?
  4. Who is going to cover your expenses in the UK?
  5. What have you studied in India?
  6. What do your parents do?
  7. Are you travelling alone or with someone you know?
  8. Do you have any relatives/friends in the UK?
  9. Where will you be staying in the UK?
  10. Do you plan to work in the UK?

As you can see, the list contains very basic questions. Correct answers will help you land in your dream location with your favourite college and course. Also, the consular can ask follow-up questions based on your answers.

UK Student Visa New Rules

From the first day of the year 2024, the amendments were applied. It prevents the scholar from bringing in a dependent to the country. The government took this in order to prevent the misuse of the UK’s immigration policy. This rule applies to the students who applied after 8.30 PM (IST) on July 17, 2023, and their course is starting on or after the first day of 2024, i.e., January 1, 2024. Also, the amendment of a 66% hike in the Immigration Health Surcharge was implemented on February 6, 2024.

The upcoming major changes include raising the minimum threshold salary for a skilled worker visa to £38,700 per year (annum) from April 4, 2024 (it was £26,200 earlier) and removing the provision to renew sponsor licenses from April 6, 2024.

Commonly Asked Questions

How to Convert Student Visa to Work Permit in the UK?

You can change your student visa to a work permit in the United Kingdom. The easiest way is to get a Skilled Worker Visa. To attain it, you must meet the eligibility criteria. If you are a PhD scholar, then you have to wait for 24 months before you can switch to a work visa.

How Much Bank Balance Is Required for a UK Student Visa?

The amount is not fixed. It changes according to the individual based on the course they pursue and the duration of their stay. The bank balance will include your college fees and living expenses. It has to be kept for a minimum of 28 days unless you are sponsored.

How Long Can You Stay In the UK After Your Student Visa for UK Expires?

There is no grace period to leave the UK after the student visa expires. You can only stay if you have applied for an extension. If you overstay in the UK, you will be automatically prohibited for at least 1 year from the date you leave the country.

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View all comments
Vinit

Clear and concise tips. This guide simplifies the complexities of obtaining a UK student visa. A great resource!

Varuna

This blog is a lifesaver for international students.

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