UK Student Visa Application - How to Apply for Student Visa UK

UK Student Visa Application - How to Apply for Student Visa UK

Are you considering travelling to the UK to study and need to apply for a UK student visa? This article on UK student visa application - How to apply for student visa UK has everything you need to know about the UK student visa, including information about visa processing, student work hours, UK student requirements and so much more.

So you just got admitted into a University in the United Kingdom but you've never been to the UK for studies. Before you embark on your journey, you must ensure that you have all the necessary paperwork in order. 

The student visa is the most important travel document. Without it, you will not be allowed into the United Kingdom for studies. If your country is among the "visa-required countries", you will need to learn about basic things like the requirements, processes, fees, and financial aspects involved in this endeavor.

This comprehensive guide aims to help you understand and secure all the essential requirements for obtaining a UK student visa.

See Also: 15 Cheapest Universities in the UK for international students


Table of Content

  1. UK student visa application 

  2. UK student visa requirements

  3. UK student visa cost

  4. Student visa UK working hours 

  5. UK point based visa system

  6. UK student visa form

  7. UK student visa application tracking

  8. UK student visa extension


UK student visa application 

The UK student visa application is a straightforward process. So long as you present the correct documents and follow the right steps, you stand a chance of getting an interview with the UK embassy.

We advise that you apply for your visa as soon as you get admitted into your desired school. You can apply for the student visa as early as 6 months before the start of your course and get a decision within 3 weeks.

Furthermore, you also have the flexibility to arrive before your course begins but do not travel to the UK before the start date specified on your visa, regardless of when your course actually starts.


How to apply for your student visa

Obtaining a UK student visa is essential for fulfilling your dreams of studying in the UK. However, the application process can be overwhelming, especially if you are unsure of the necessary steps to follow. Below, we have listed the step-by-step process to follow to successfully apply for the UK student visa.

Step 1: Prepare your financial evidence

If you have resided in the UK with a valid visa for 12 months or more at the time of your application and are applying from within the UK, you will be exempt from meeting the financial uk study visa requirements.

Your proof of funds must include your tuition fee for the first year of your course – or for the full course duration if it's a one-year course or a short-term student visa uk, living expenses of £1,023 per month for the first nine months of your course and additional living expenses of any eligible family member. You might also qualify for one of the numerous scholarships available to assist with the expenses of your studies.

It is advisable to start planning your proof of funds early, as the UKVI enforces strict financial student visa UK requirements for international students applying from outside the UK.


Step 2: Prepare your other supporting documents 

To accelerate your application process after receiving your CAS, it's essential to prepare your supporting documents, including financial evidence, ahead of time.

Ensure you have your original academic certificates, transcripts, and English language test certificate (if required). Your CAS will specify which documents you need to submit as evidence.


Step 3: Apply to the school of your choice

The next step is to secure a confirmed offer for admission to a UK university. Once approved, you will receive a letter known as the CAS (Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies).


Step 4: Complete the Online Visa Application 

When you have prepared all your supporting documents, apply through the UK government website. Once your application is confirmed, you will be given an interview date.


Step 5: Attend your visa interview 

When you submit your online application, you'll make an appointment with a visa application centre to provide the evidence required. Ensure you visit the visa application centre on your designated date to have your fingerprints and photograph taken.

Remember to bring your passport and all original supporting documents with translations(if necessary). These documents will be evaluated with your visa application and returned to you along with the visa decision.


Step 6: Prepare for your Stay 

With your offer and visa in hand, it's time to start packing! You can now focus on arranging flights, accommodation, and anything else necessary to make the most of your time in the UK. 


Types of UK student visa

Depending on the nature of your course and length of planned stay in the UK, there are three main types of tier 4 student visa UK you can apply for student visa uk;

  1. Student visa 

Formerly called the Tier 4 General student visa, the student visa is for students who are 16 or over and want to study on a further or higher education course in the UK.


  1. Child Student visa 

The child student visa is for students between the ages of 4 -17 years who want to study in the UK. To apply for uk student visa for your child student visa you must provide the following.

  • A current passport or other valid travel documentation

  • A Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) from your course provider

  • Written consent from your parent or legal guardian for your study in the UK


  1. Short-term study visa

This visa category is designed for students seeking to pursue short-term courses lasting between 6 to 11 months. It is primarily intended for studying an English Language course in the UK.

With a short-term study visa uk, you have the opportunity to stay in the UK for an additional 30 days after you complete your course.


UK Student Visa Requirements

This section outlines the supporting documents required when applying for a Student visa. The UK student visa requirements 2024 includes: 

  • A valid passport

  • The Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies(CAS)

  • A valid Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) if required

  • Criminal record certificate.

  • Proof of sufficient funds to cover both your living expenses and course fees.

  • Proof of English Language proficiency.

  • Tuberculosis test results.

  • Proof of parental consent or other legal guardian(if you're under 18)

  • Proof of your relationship to your parent or legal guardian(if you're under 18).

  • A copy of your birth certificate (or another government-issued document) that shows the names of your parents(if you're under 18)

  • Any additional documents required during the application process, like a cover letter for student visa UK cost, etc.

  • To complete your application, you must provide written consent from your financial sponsor if they have supported your course fees and living expenses in the past 12 months.


UK student visa cost

The UK visa application process is conducted online, and you'll need to pay the London student visa application fee, which amounts to £383 if you're applying from outside the UK, and £490 to extend or switch to a student visa from inside the UK.

Additionally, for each student dependent visa UK accompanying you, an application fee will also be applicable. Also, during your stay, you'll be required to pay a healthcare surcharge per year to gain access to the National Health Service (NHS).


Healthcare Surcharge 

As part of your visa application, you’ll also have to pay the healthcare surcharge. The amount you pay depends on how long your visa lasts.


UK student visa financial requirements

If you’re coming to the UK to study, you’ll need to prove you have enough money to support yourself and any dependants during your stay.

The amount of money you'll be required to present depends on:

  • your tuition fees, which are set out on your confirmation of acceptance for studies (CAS) 

  • the length of your course

  • whether you have already paid some money to your sponsor

  • your course of study or the type of student permission you are applying for

  • where you are studying – the amount is different if you’re studying in London

  • if you have paid any money to your sponsor for accommodation; up to £1,334 can be deducted from the funds you need to show

  • your living arrangements, if you are aged under 18

For students traveling with dependents, you will also need to show you have sufficient funds to support each of them. You must set aside £845 a month (for up to 9 months) if you're studying in London and £680 a month (for up to 9 months) if you're studying outside London.

Read up for more information about student dependant visas uk


28 Day Rule

The 28-day rule states that the required funds for your student visa must be present in your sponsors' account for a continuous 28-day period, ending on the date of the closing balance.

During this 28-day period, the funds should not fall below the required amount, even for a single day, as failing to meet this requirement will lead to a refusal of your visa application.

The 28-day period will be counted backward from the closing balance, and the closing balance itself should not be older than 31 days on the date of your application.


UK student Visa English Language Requirement 

If you're an international student from a Non-English speaking country, you will be required to prove that you can read, write, speak and understand the English language proficiently. You can prove your knowledge of English by:

  • having a GCSE, A level, Scottish National Qualification level 4 or 5, Scottish Higher or Advanced Higher in English, gained through study at a UK school that you began when you were under 18.

  • passing a Secure English Language Test (SELT) from an approved provider. The following are approved SELT providers; 

  1. Pearson: ‘PTE Academic UKVI’ or ‘PTE Home’

  2. PSI Services: ‘Skills for English UKVI’

  3. Trinity College London: ‘Secure English Language Tests for UKVI’ – Integrated Skills in English (ISE) or Graded Examinations in Spoken English (GESE)

  4. IELTS SELT Consortium: ‘IELTS for UKVI’ or ‘IELTS Life Skills

  5. LanguageCert: ‘LanguageCert International ESOL SELT’

Note: You can only take a SELT with one of the above providers.


See the list of approved test centers outside the UK 


UK Student Visa Without IELTS

It is possible to obtain a UK study visa without IELTS. To do so, you can present a certificate from the university where you have been admitted, confirming your eligibility for a study visa without IELTS.

The following are the main requirements you need to apply for a study visa without IELTS:

  • A document from your uk visa top universities stating that you have been given permission to apply for the student visa without IELTS.

  • Your letter of acceptance from a university in the UK.

  • You can also take the Secure English Language test mandated by the UKVI office as proof of English proficiency.


Student visa UK working hours 

As an international student in the UK, you can make extra cash by getting a part-time job. If you are studying a full-time degree, you are permitted to work for a maximum of 20 hours per week student visa working hours during the school term. This includes all paid or unpaid work for one or more organizations. 

However, you can work full-time during your university's official holiday periods. Unfortunately, this only applies to students studying for full-time degrees. You cannot do any paid or unpaid working hours for students in the UK if you're studying part-time in the UK.


UK point-based visa system

To qualify for a Student visa uk, you must meet the immigration rules outlined in the Student route points-based system. This involves scoring 'points' based on three sets of objective criteria to achieve a total score of 70 points for a successful application. Below is a simple breakdown of the 70 points assessment score.

  • 50 points will be awarded for the Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) sent to you by the University.

  • 10 points for maintenance, which is the uk student visa financial requirement that show you have sufficient money to cover your course uk student visa costs and living expenses.

  • The final 10 points are for English language.


UK student visa form

To begin your d student visa uk application, you must fill the online application form and create an account using your personal email account. Double-check that you have accurate information. If necessary, you can save the form and continue later. If any errors occur or you need to modify your information, promptly get in touch with psw UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI). 


UK student visa application tracking

Once you have submitted your application, you can track your visa application status online. To track your application, use the Reference Number from the invoice/receipt provided by the Visa Application Centre and combine it with your last name.

The waiting period for your application commences when you attend your appointment and provide biometric data at the visa application centre or verify your identity using the UK immigration ID check app. It concludes when you receive an email containing the decision on your application.

Typically, a decision will be made within three (3) weeks of your appointment at the visa application centre.


UK student visa extension

Extending your student visa to prolong your stay and continue with your current course or pursue a new one is possible. This applies even if you currently hold a uk tier 4 visa(General student visa). 

To be eligible for a visa extension, you must:

  • Be present in the UK on a Student psw visa or a Tier 4 (General) student visa.

  • Possess an unconditional offer from a licensed student sponsor for a course, demonstrated by your Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS).

  • Fulfill the 'academic progress requirement,' meaning your new course should be at a higher academic level than your current one, with some exceptions.

To extend your UK study visa, you will pay a fee of £490. You can apply as early as three months before your course commences. It's essential to submit your uk student visa application before your current visa expires, and your new course must start within 28 days of your current visa's expiration.


Post-Study Work Visa

In the UK, you can extend your stay after graduation to find a job by going through the graduate route visa UK. A graduate visa uk permits you to remain in the UK for a minimum of 2 years after successfully completing a course in the country. To avoid any issues, you should apply for your postgraduate study permit before your Student visa or Tier 4 (General) student visa expires.

You can proceed with your application after your university or college notifies the Home Office of your successful course completion with your Student or Tier 4 (General) student visa. You do not need to wait until you've graduated or obtained a certificate. 



If you are planning to study in the UK, we hope you now have all the necessary information about the visa application process. Don't hesitate any longer, take the first step towards fulfilling your dreams of studying in the UK by starting your student visa application now.

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