Complete guide on UK student Visa

By Olushola Samuel

International students accepted in a British educational institution will need to apply for a UK Student Visa before their courses start.

Following Brexit, the previous Tier 4 (General) Student Visa has undergone a modification, which is mostly related to the fact that students from the EU and EEA are now also required to apply for a visa if they want to study in the UK.

The UK student visa is now called the student route for 18+ and Child student route for under 18 persons. 

You can now apply for a Student Visa up to six months before courses start, as opposed to three.

Whether you are eligible for a visa depends on a Point-Based System. You need to collect 70 points.

Those that graduated from a British educational institutions after Summer 2021 will be able to apply for the post-graduate visa, allowing them to work/look for work in the UK for up to 2 years.

Other requirements, such as English proficiency and Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) remain the same as under the Tier 4 Student Visa.

Do EU/EEA Students Need a UK Student Visa?

Since January 1, 2021, students from EU and EEA have to apply for a Student Visa. If you have already been in the UK before January 1, 2021, then you can apply through the EU Settlement Scheme.

Who is Eligible for student Visa?

EU/EEA and non-EU/EEA nationals can apply for the new UK Student Visa if they reach 70 points on the Point Based System. The system measures whether you meet the requirements to study in the UK, such as:

Have you been accepted into an approved institution? The institution issues the Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) as proof.

Do you have proof of fund?

 In addition to the money required to pay for the course, you also need £1,265 per month if studying in London or £1,015 per month if studying outside London. If you have dependants, you need approximately £800 per month for each of them. You must have held the required funds for 28 consecutive days within the last 31 days.

Your funds are in a financial institution that is accepted by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI). 

Documents you can use as evidence

Bank statement, and/or

Bank letter, and/or

Pass book, and/or

Loan agreement dated no more than 6 months before the date of your application, and/or

Sponsorship letter and permission to stay from sponsor, and/or

Statement in the Evidence section of your Confirmation of Acceptance of Studies (CAS) which reflects that you will receive a scholarship from your intending University.

Receipts for tuition fees and/or accommodation paid to the University 

Are you proficient in English? When applying for the visa, you need to pass an English Proficiency Test from an approved provider.

B2 for Degree-level courses or above (IELTS 5.5 band score)

B1 for below Degree-level courses (IELTS 4 band score).

70 points calculation

1. Confirmation of acceptance for studies (CAS) - 50 points

2. English proficiency - 10 points

3. Proof of fund - 10 points

How to Apply for a UK Student Visa?

You can apply for a UK Student Visa as early as six months before your courses start, if you are outside the UK. You must start the online application on the UK home office website before appearing at a Visa Application Center in your country to submit your biometrics.

Once they’ve offered you a place on the course, your education provider will send you a reference number called a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies. You must enter this number during your registration online. After you apply online, you will receive instructions on how to proceed, depending on your country of residence.

Child Student Visa applicants will need the consent of a parent or a guardian.

UK Student Visa Fees and Costs

The fees for a UK Student Visa are:

£490 if applying from outside the UK.

£490 if you apply to extend or switch to a Student Visa from inside the UK.

You must pay a separate fee for yourself and each family member that joins you.

In addition to the visa fee, you also have to prove that you have enough money to finance your stay:

At least £1,265 per month if studying in London (for up to nine months).

At least £1,015 per month if studying outside London (for up to nine months).

Health Surcharge fee

The surcharge cost for a student visa amounts to £470 per full year spent in the UK. If your stay encompasses only part of a year, the fee is £235 for 1-6 months and £470 for 6-12 months. For instance, enrolling in a 12-month master's program incurs a total charge of £705, accounting for the 16-17 month visa duration (covering up to one month before the course starts and four months after it concludes).

Documents Required for a UK Student Visa Application

When applying for a UK Student Visa, you need the following documents:

Your valid passport.

The Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) from your school.

Proof you have enough financial resources to support yourself and ant family members.

An Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) certificate if applicable.

Criminal record certificate.

Proof of English Language proficiency.

Tuberculosis test results.

For students under 18:

Proof of parental consent

Proof of your relationship to your parent or legal guardian

Any additional documents required during the application process.

How Long Is the UK Student Visa Valid?

The UK Student Visa is granted for e period of time corresponding to the course you have started. If you are an adult, enrolled in a degree-level course, the visa can be granted for up to five years. If you are pursuing a below degree-level course, the visa will be granted for two years.

Can I Stay in the UK After My Studies?

Yes, since the Summer 2021, international students in the UK who have successfully completed a degree at an undergraduate level can apply for the Graduate Visa. The Graduate Visa allows you to stay in the UK for up to two years after graduating as you work or look for work. PhD graduates can stay for up to three years.

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