How to Apply for a UK Study Visa

Created: Jul 3, 2024 | Updated: Jul 3, 2024

The UK is not only famous for its Twinings breakfast tea and historical sites. It's also where you'll find some of the top universities in the world like Oxford, Cambridge, and the London School of Economics. If you’re considering studying there, this guide provides all the necessary information about the UK Study Visa application process to help you make the right decisions. 

Table of Contents

Types of UK Study Visas

There are three categories of UK Study Visas: 

  • Student Visa

This visa replaced the Tier 4 (General) student visa. It is required for applicants who are 16 and older studying any higher education courses at level 3 and above. Students who are 16 or 17 must provide evidence of parental consent to study in the UK when applying for this visa. 

  • Child Student Visa

This visa replaced the Tier 4 (Child) Student Visa and is for children between 4 and 17 who wish to attend an independent school in the UK. To obtain this visa, applicants must prove they fall within the required age bracket and intend to study at an accredited independent school. 

  • Short-term Study Visa

This visa is for people coming to the UK to study any English language course lasting between six and 11 months.  


UK Study Visa requirements

Regardless of the type of study visa you are applying for, you must provide the following documents:

  • Current Passport or Valid Travel Documentation: Ensure your passport has a blank page for your visa.
  • Proof of Funds: You must prove that you have enough money to support yourself and cover your tuition. For studies inside London, you need about £1,334 per month and  £1,023 per month (for up to nine months) for studies outside London.
  • Parental or Guardian Consent: If you are under 18, you need written consent from both parents or a legal guardian, including approval for your visa application, living arrangements, and travel to the UK.
  • Relationship Proof: If you’re a minor, you must also provide proof of your relationship to your parent or guardian, such as a birth certificate or other government-issued document.
  • Tuberculosis (TB) Test Results: This is required if you are from a country where TB tests are mandatory.
  • Biometric Information: You will provide fingerprints and a photograph at the visa application centre.
  • Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS): You must get this from your course provider.

For the general Student Visa, additional requirements include:

  • English Proficiency: You must be able to speak, read, write, and understand English.
  • Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) Certificate: This is a UK government-issued document required for international students studying sensitive subjects to ensure their knowledge isn't used for harmful purposes. You may be required to get this depending on your course and nationality.
  • Sponsorship Consent: If you've received sponsorship to cover your course fees and living costs within the last 12 months, you must provide written consent from your financial sponsor.

How can Translayte help?

You must provide an official UK-certified translation for any required documents not issued in English or Welsh. Translayte specialises in providing certified translation services to ensure your documents meet the UK immigration requirements. Our expert translators deliver precise, reliable translations for all your essential documents, including birth certificates, academic transcripts, and financial statements. We ensure your transition to life in the UK is smooth by providing certified translations you can trust.


How to apply for your UK Study Visa online 

You can apply for a UK Study Visa online or at any UK visa application centre worldwide. The online application process is straightforward. Here’s what you must do:

  1. Complete the online application form.
  2. Pay the visa fee and Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS).
  3. Schedule and attend a biometric appointment for your fingerprints and photographs.
  4. Submit your documents.


UK Study Visa eligibility

Several factors may affect your application to study in the UK. Regardless, you must have an unconditional offer of a place on a course with a licensed Tier 4 sponsor. You must also have sufficient funds to support yourself and pay for your course. The required English language proficiency level is CEFR level B1 for diploma studies and B2 for degree courses or English language studies.

How long is a UK Study Visa valid?

The validity of your visa depends on your course length. For degree-level courses and higher, it lasts up to five years. For diploma or certificate programs, it typically lasts two years. You can extend your visa if you continue your studies or switch to a Graduate visa after completing your course to stay and work in the UK.

The UK Child Student visa lasts for the course duration plus four months. If you are under 16, it can be valid for up to six years. If you are 16 or 17, it lasts up to three years. Like the Student visa, you can extend your visa if eligible or switch to another type of UK visa.

When can you travel to the UK?

You can travel to the UK up to one week before your course starts if it lasts six months or less, and up to one month before for courses longer than six months. However, you cannot travel to the UK before the start date on your visa.


UK Study Visa fee

The UK Study Visa fee for students applying outside the country is £363. You must also pay a healthcare surcharge and a £20 administration fee for your Biometric Residence Permit (BRP). The Child Student visa costs £348, plus the healthcare surcharge and an estimated £20 for the BRP, while the Short-term Study visa costs £200, with a healthcare surcharge of about £470

What is the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS)?

The IHS grants you access to the UK's National Health Service (NHS) while you live in the UK. This mandatory fee ensures you can receive medical care while studying.

What is the Biometric Residence Permit (BRP)?

A Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) confirms your identity, right to study, and access to public services or benefits. You will receive a BRP if you apply to stay in the UK for more than six months, extend your visa, or apply for certain Home Office documents. All new BRPs expire on 31 December 2024, after which you will switch to an eVisa.


Tips for applying for your UK Study Visa

  • Start Early: Begin your application process as soon as you receive your CAS.
  • Double-Check Documents: Ensure all your documents are complete and accurate.
  • Prepare for the Interview: Be ready to explain why you want to study in the UK.
  • Keep Copies: Make copies of all your documents for your records.


FAQs about UK Study Visa 

What are the requirements for a UK Study Visa?

You'll need a CAS, proof of funds, a valid passport, English language proficiency evidence, and possibly a tuberculosis test.

How long does it take to get a UK Study Visa?

Getting a UK Study Visa typically takes three to eight weeks. Applying up to six months before your course starts is recommended to ensure ample processing time. 

During the application process, you must submit your biometric data at a visa application centre or scan your ID documents online via the UK Immigration: ID Check app to obtain your Biometric Residence Permit (BRP).

Can I work on a UK Study Visa?

Yes. Most students can work up to 20 hours per week during term time and full-time during holidays. If you are 16 or 17 on a Child Student visa, you can work up to 10 hours per week during term time and full-time during holidays. However, you cannot be self-employed or work as a professional sportsperson or coach. Also, you cannot do paid work on a Short-term Study or Standard Visitor visa.

How much money do I need to get a UK study visa?

Basically, you must prove you have enough money for tuition fees and living expenses. The exact amount required depends on your location and course. If studying in London, you need £1,334 per month. For studies outside London, you need £1,023 per month for up to nine months. You also need funds to cover your first year's tuition fees.


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