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UK Student Visa (Tier 4) Requirements
International students from outside the UK or EU must apply for a student visa. You can only apply for a student visa if you intend to study a full-time degree course in the UK. Student visas are not issued for part-time courses. Your eligibility is calculated using a points-based rules system called a Tier 4 Student Visa.
You can do a course that’s one of the following:
Postgraduate doctors and dentists
You can apply for this visa if you’re sponsored to do a recognised foundation programme and you’ve:
Student visa rules – an introduction
You need 40 points to apply for a student visa. This is achieved by:
Confirmation of acceptance for studies
Your education provider will send you a reference number called a confirmation of acceptance for studies (CAS) once they’ve offered you a place on a course. You’ll need to enter this on your visa application. You must apply for your visa no more than 6 months after you receive the CAS.
Further study in the UK
You can only get a CAS for a new course if you’ve studied in the UK before and you’re:
Tuition fees for the student’s
Tuition fees are on average £12,000 per year but can range from £8,000 to £36,000. You will also need to show that you have £1,265 for each month of your studies (up to a maximum of nine months) to pay for living costs if you study in inner London. Therefore, if you will be studying in inner London for a course lasting nine months or more, the maximum amount that you will need is £11,385.
This applies to all students looking to study in London. You will be considered to be studying ‘in London’ if you are studying at the University of London, or at institutions wholly or partly within London, or in areas on the border of London such as parts of Essex, Hertfordshire and Surrey. If you are not sure if your institution is considered to be ‘in London’ you should check with your university before you make your Tier 4 application.
We update our Knowledge Center with changes to the Immigration Law including changes being implemented on the student visas route. Please click to view this page.
Tier 4 student visa application
In order to submit your Tier 4 student visa application, this is done online. International students from all countries (apart from North Korea) have to submit the visa application online. You will also need to have your fingerprints and photograph (known as ‘biometric information’) taken at a visa application centre as part of your application.
Immigration health service charge
All nationals from outside of Europe coming to live in the UK for longer than six months are required to pay a ‘health surcharge’ in order to gain access to the UK’s National Health Service (NHS). The health surcharge is £150 per year (or £75 for 6 months or less) for students and is payable when you submit your visa application on-line. Visa applicants need to pay up-front for the total period of their UK visa.
Remember, you can only apply for a visa once you have been given a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies. Check you are eligible for a UK Student Visa but do not apply until after you have been accepted onto a course. Your chosen university can guide you through the visa process once you have been accepted onto a course.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I work while I am studying in the UK?
You can work for up to 20 hours a week during your studies and full-time during your holidays to help support your studies. This only applies if you are studying a degree level course at a UK higher education institution for longer than 6 months. The university or college must be listed on the Highly Trusted Sponsor (HTS) list and the list of recognised bodies. Find out more information about working in the UK during your studies and after you graduate.
When can I apply?
You will need to be offered the Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) from your chosen university before you can apply for a visa. You can only apply for your visa three months before the start date of your course. This means, if your course starts at the end of September, you will receive your CAS around the end of June.
Can my family come to the UK with me?
You can bring your partner and children to the UK as your Tier 4 dependant if you are a government-sponsored student and your course is longer than six months or you are doing a postgraduate level course of 12 months or longer at a publicly-funded Higher Education Institution or a ‘recognised body’.
You cannot bring your family to the UK as a Tier 4 dependant if you are studying an English language course, a course which is below degree level or an undergraduate course (except if you are a government-sponsored student).
How much does the Tier 4 student visa cost?
If you are applying from outside the UK, the cost of the visa is £322 (plus the Immigration Health Service Charge). If you are already in the UK, you can apply by post for £439 (plus the Immigration Health Service Charge) or in person for £839 (plus the Immigration Health Service Charge).
Who can I contact with questions?
Complete ICS Legal visa assessment form, by clicking here and we can guide you through the Tier 4 student visa application.
Important notice: it is very important that you do not travel to the UK without a valid student visa.