UK tier 4 student visa
The UK Student Visa is for students who wish to study in the UK. It is only applicable for individuals above the age of 16 years. The Tier 4 Student Visas allow people from outside the European Economic Area to visit the UK as a student at a school, college, or university. Like most other visa categories in the UK, the student visa also has a set of rules and criteria to be met for an applicant to be eligible.
Who can apply for a UK student visa?
Anyone, above 16 years of age, who has been offered a place in a course by a licensed student sponsor and has sufficient funds to support their education and stay in the UK is eligible for the student visa. A Confirmation of Acceptance of Studies from a UK educational institution, holding a valid Tier 4 sponsorship license is the first and primary necessity here.
The applicant should be proficient in the English language, including reading, writing, and speaking. For students who are 16 or 17 years of age at the time of application, a consent letter from parents is necessary to be produced when applying.
16- or 17-year-old students wishing to study at an independent school in the UK can also opt for the Child Student Visa instead.
There are also conditions that need to be fulfilled once the student is in the UK. For instance, a student on the Tier 4 Student Visa has to spend at least 15 hours every week on the study. Students should also have enough funds to support their education and stay in the UK without having to work. Only Tier 4 students who are in a college or university on the official UKBA Sponsor list and the list of recognized bodies are permitted to work for 20 hours a week alongside their studies. Student Finance does offer loans to Tier 4 students to cover their tuition fees.
How long can you stay in the UK on a Student Visa?
The length of stay granted by a Student Visa depends on a few factors like the length of the course and the educational background of the student. For students above 18 years of age, who are studying a degree-level course, the visa may grant up to 5 years of stay in the UK. If the course is below degree level, usually the stay granted is for 2 years.
However, there are different guidelines under different conditions that an applicant needs to thoroughly go through before applying for a Student Visa. The visa may be extended under certain conditions if the need arises. You can also switch to a UK Student Visa from another visa if you are already staying in the UK.
There are, however, restrictions to switching from a student visa to another visa while within the UK. For instance, Tier 4 students from further education colleges cannot switch to another visa category, say work visa, while they are still in the UK after their course is over. If a student wishes to work in the UK, he or she must leave the country after the student visa expires and apply for a work visa from outside the UK.
Does the Tier 4 Student Visa allow family members to stay in the UK?
If a student wishes to bring family members along to stay in the UK, the Tier 4 Student Visa allows dependents such as a partner or children to apply to come along. There are a few conditions that need to be met to bring family members to the UK on a student visa.
Tier 4 (Child) Student Visa holders may also be allowed to bring parents along under certain conditions.
How to apply for a UK Student Visa?
The procedure for applying for a student visa is similar to other visa categories. You are required to submit the necessary documents and the visa application fee along with the application form. The necessary documents generally include your acceptance letter on the course you are going to study. The approved institution should also provide you with a visa letter that is not more than six months old from the date of application.
You also have to provide proof of funds to show that you can support your stay and education in the UK. Apart from this you also need to submit all your mark sheets, certificates, and scoresheets of qualifying exams like TOEFL, GMAT. IELTS or others as applicable.
When you can apply for a student visa depends on where you are applying from. If you are applying from within the UK, you can apply not earlier than 3 months before the commencement of your course. If you are outside the UK, you can apply 6 months before your course starts but not earlier than that.
For applicants within the UK, the approval decision is usually given within 8 weeks while for those outside the UK, it is given within 3 weeks.
Niyama Immigrations helps students fulfill their dream of studying in the UK
The UK has some of the oldest and most premier educational institutions in the world. Getting an opportunity to study in the UK should not be lost at any cost. We, at Niyama Immigrations, have been helping students live their dreams of studying in the UK for a long time now. Our Immigration Consultants can take you through the entire process of applying for a UK Student Visa and explain everything you need to know before applying. Our experience and expertise in the field can improve your chances of successfully getting through the visa approval process. Create a fail-proof student visa application with Niyama Immigrations’ expert advice.