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UK Student Visa

A Student Visa is issued to international pupils who wish to enter the UK to study in this country. In October 2020, the Tier 4 Student Visa was replaced by the new Student Route.

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What is a Student Visa?

In October of 2020, the Tier 4 (General) Student Visa was replaced by the Student Route. The new Student Visa is divided into the Student Route (for adults aged 18+) and the Child Student Route (for students aged 4 – 17).

International students from outside the UK may need a Student Visa to enter the country.

To be eligible for this category, you must intend to study a full-time degree course in the UK and meet specific requirements. In other words, your eligibility is calculated using a points-based rules system, based on your course confirmation, sponsorship, funding, immigration forms and your personal circumstances.

To find out more about whether you or your partner is eligible for this visa category, call 0121 667 6530. One of our Birmingham immigration lawyers would be happy to assist with advice, application, or appeal services.


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New UK Student Route

The previous Tier 4 (General) Student Visa has been replaced with the new Student Route.

The new immigration permission is divided into:

  • Student route (for adult students aged 18+)
  • Child student route (for students aged 4 – 17)

The Student Route is available to both non-EEA nationals and EEA nationals. EEA nationals are subject to the same immigration conditions as non-EEA nationals post-Brexit.

Some of the main changes to the new student route are as follows:

  • Applicants can now apply for the Student Visa up to six months before the course starts
  • To be eligible for the visa, the applicant will need to score 70 points in the new points-based system
  • From the summer of 2021, those who graduate from a British educational institution will be able to apply for the postgraduate visa. This will allows the person to work and look for work in the UK for up to two years

Applying for a UK Student Visa

International pupils who are 16 or over can apply for a Student Visa if they:

  • Have been offered a place on an approved course
  • Can demonstrate their written and spoken understanding of English
  • Have enough money to support themselves while in the UK and pay for their course
  • Score at least 70 points in the points-based system

How to apply for a UK Student Visa?

You can apply for a Student Visa from outside the UK, but you may still need to have your fingerprints and photograph taken at a visa application centre.

If your application is successful, you must collect your biometric residence permit within 10 days of the date you wish to enter the UK.

If you are applying to extend your existing visa or switching to this permit from another immigration status, you must submit your forms from within the UK.

Course of Study Eligibility

To be eligible for this visa, you must have received an unconditional offer from a licensed and approved sponsor. You must also do a course that is one of the following:

  • Full-time leading to a qualification that is at least level 6 on the Ofqual register
  • Part-time leading to a qualification that is at least level 7 on the Ofqual register
  • An overseas course of dependents study that is equal to a UK higher education course, and it is being run by an overseas higher education institution
  • Full-time, with at least 15 hours per week of organised daytime study, and leading to a qualification that is at least level 3 on the Ofqual register
  • A recognised foundation programme as a postgraduate doctor or dentist
  • An English language course at level B2 or above on the CEFR

Student Visa English Requirement

As a part of your application, you must prove your knowledge of English by passing a secure English language test (SELT). The minimum fluency required varies based on the course you are going to do.

Educational institution Course English Level required
Higher Education Institution (HEI) Degree level or above Level B2
An institution that is not HEI Degree level or above Level B2
Any institution Below degree Level B1

The following categories of applicants are exempt from proving their knowledge of English:

  • Those who have completed a qualification equivalent to a UK degree in an English-speaking country
  • Those who have previously studied in the UK as a Child Student
  • Those who are entering the UK for a study abroad programme as part of a university degree course in the United States

Student Visa Required Documents

When you apply for this visa, you must submit a bundle of documents to support your eligibility. One of our immigration lawyers in Birmingham will be happy to help you with gathering all the necessary evidence for your case, such as:

  • Your current passport or another valid travel document, which must have a blank page
  • A Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies document from the approved course provider
  • Proof that you can support yourself and pay for your course
  • A written and signed consent from your parents or legal guardian if you are under 18
  • Evidence of your relationship with your parent or guardian if you are under the age of 18
  • Your tuberculosis test results (if required)

Additional documents may be necessary based on your circumstances or immigration background.

Extending your UK Student Visa

In certain circumstances, you can renew your visa if your current sponsorship is still valid. You must submit your application before your authorised stay expires, but no more than 3 months before your course date starts. Once you have submitted your form, you will be allowed to remain in the UK until you get your decision.

Some of the extension requirements include showing that the reason for extending your stay is to engage in further academic progress. For full details on what constitutes progress, view the gov.uk visa extension page.

It costs £475 to extend your Student Visa, but you will also be required to pay the healthcare surcharge and an additional £19.20 to have your biometric information taken.

It usually takes up to 8 weeks to get a decision from the Home Office, but you can get a faster response to your request by applying for the Priority or Super Priority services.

Get in touch with our expert immigration lawyers to learn how to apply for a UK Student Visa. Contact us

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Student  Visa Application Fees

If you wish to study in the UK, it costs £348 to apply for a Student Visa from outside the UK.

If you are applying with your family, you must pay an additional fee of £348 per person for each of your dependants.

In addition, you will also have to pay the healthcare surcharge, depending on your circumstances.

Applying with your Family

You can apply to bring your wife, husband, unmarried partner and children under 18 years old in the UK with you if you are:

  • Sponsored by a higher education institution on a course at level 7 on the Ofqual register or above that lasts at least 9 months
  • A new government-sponsored student on a course that lasts longer than 6 months
  • A Doctorate Extension Scheme student

You family members may be able to work and study once in the UK.

When you should Submit your Application

The earliest you can submit your application is 3 months before the date your course starts.

You will usually get a decision within 3 weeks.

However, you may apply for the Home Office’s Priority or Super Priority services to receive a response from the authorities between 5 working days or 24 hours.

Can I switch a Student Visa to a New Immigration Status?

You may be able to switch to a Student Visa UK if you are currently in the UK under any of the following immigration tiers:

You must apply once you get a CAS no more than 3 months before your course start date. Your dependents can be included in your application, and you can all stay in the UK until you get your decision. The fees for switching your immigration status to a Student Visa are £475.

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Frequently Asked Questions

You will need to score 70 points on the points-based system in order to be eligible for the UK Student Visa.

Here is a table explaining the points-based system:

Points Type Requirements Number of Points
Study Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS)

Approved qualification requirement

Level of study requirement

Place of study requirement

Financial Financial requirement 10
English language ability English language requirement 10

Once your offer for a place on a course has been issued, you will receive a reference number called Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS). This must be reported on your visa application, which can be submitted within 6 months after you receive your CAS.

It must be noted that your CAS will only be released in certain situations and if you have applied from within the UK. This includes applicants who are:

  • Continuing their studies in the UK, and with to apply to extend their stay to complete their studies
  • Completing a PhD or other doctorate that they started studying under a previous Tier 4 (General) Student Visa
  • Applying after working as a student union sabbatical officer to complete a qualification that they began to study under another Tier 4 (General) Student Visa
  • Starting a new course at a higher academic level than their previous curse
  • Staying in the UK to look for work after they have finished their PhD or doctorate

Postgraduate doctors and dentists can apply for a Student Visa if they are sponsored to do a recognised foundation programme, and they have:

  • Received a recognised UK degree in medicine or dentistry from a valid sponsor
  • Spent their final year and at least one other year of studies leading to that degree in the UK

If you hold a Student Visa for the UK, you cannot:

  • Get public funds
  • Work in specific jobs, for example as a professional sportsperson or sports coach. You may still be able to work in different fields.
  • Study at an academy or a local authority-funded school