Want to know how to get UK student visa? You’ve come to the right place. Here’s a complete guide on how to get UK Student visa. Read on!
An international student is someone who chooses to migrate to a foreign country for education purposes. The number of students moving to UK to study in the year 2017-2018 was 458,490. ‘Business and Administrative Studies’ is the most demanded subject choice with 126,955 choosing it annually.
University College of London (UCL) enrolls 17,990 non-EU students per academic year which is the highest in comparison to other universities.
However, to study in the UK, you’ll need to obtain a UK visa to be a legal migrant. The visa policy of the UK is the policy by which Her Majesty’s Government set visa requirements for visitors to the United Kingdom
This policy also applies to the Crown dependencies of Guernsey, Jersey, and the Isle of Man and those seeking to work, study or reside there. All intended participants must obtain a visa unless they are exempted.
The United Kingdom operates her own visa policy and maintains the Common Travel Area with the Republic of Ireland, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man. British Superintends Territories generally apply their own similar but legally distinct visa policies.
The UK was a member of the European Union (EU) until 31 January 2020, and EU/EEA/Swiss citizens could freely travel to the UK without visa until the transition period ended on 31 December 2020.
UK Student Visa Overview
You can apply for a Student visa to study in the United Kingdom if only you have reached the age of 16 or above and:
- An official Student sponsor has offered you a place on a course
- You have enough fund to support yourself and pay for your course, the amount vary greatly depending on one’s circumstances
- You can speak, write, read and understand English
- You have approval from your parents that you’re 16 or 17, you’ll need to provide an evidence of this when you apply
Note that, if you’re within the range of 16-17 years old and you want to study at an independent school in the United Kingdom, you may be qualified for a Child Student visa instead.
If you or your family are from the European Union (EU): Norway, Switzerland, Iceland or Liechtenstein
If you or your family member started living in United Kingdom before 31st of December, 2020, you may be able to qualify for the free European Union Settlement Scheme.
The deadline of application was 30th of June, 2021 for most people. You can still apply if either you:
- Have a later deadline, for example, you want to join a family member in the United Kingdom.
- Have ‘reasonable grounds’ for not being able to apply by 30th of June, 2021, for example, you were sick or was a victim of domestic abuse.
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When Can I Apply For A Student Visa?
Time of application depend on whether you’re applying from inside or outside the UK.
Applying from outside the UK
You’re expected to apply for a visa 6 months before you start your course.
You’ll get a response concerning the decision of your visa within 3 weeks.
Applying from inside the UK
You’re expected to apply 3 months before you start your course.
You are required to apply before your current visa expires. Your new course must start within 28 days of your current visa expiry date.
You’ll get a response about the decision of your application within 8 weeks.
How Long Can I Stay In The UK?
Your time in the UK depends on the length of your course and what study you’ve already completed there.
If you’re 18 years old or over and your course is at a degree level, you can stay in the UK for a duration of 5 years. If it’s below degree level, you can stay in the UK for a duration of 2 years.
Staying longer in the UK
You may be able to stay longer if:
- You’re eligible for visa extension, for example to continue your studies in the UK
- You change to a Student visa from another visa if you’re already in the UK
- You change to a Graduate visa to stay in the UK for a minimum of 2 years after successfully completing your course.
When Can I Travel To The UK?
You can arrive before your course begins. This can either be:
- Up to 1 week before your course starts, if the duration of your course is 6 months or less
- Up to 1 month before your course starts, if the duration of your course is 6 month
You must not travel to the UK before the start date stipulated on your visa, no matter when your course starts.
UK Student Visa Fees
- You’ll be required to pay £348 to apply for a Student visa from outside the UK
- You’ll be required to pay £475 to extend or change to a Student visa from inside the UK
However, it is compulsory to pay the visa fee for each person that joins you.
You’ll be required to pay the healthcare surcharge as part of your application.
The amount you pay depends on your visa duration.
Your Partner And Children
You may be able to bring your spouse and children (‘dependents’).
What Can I Do And Not Do?
You can do the following in the UK:
- work as a student union officer
You may be eligible to work, how much depends on your course of study and whether you’re working in or out of term-time.
You cannot do the following in the UK:
- Claim public funds (grants) and pensions
- Work in some jobs, for example as a professional sportsman or sports coach
- Be self-employed
If your application is approved, you’ll be told what you can and cannot do on your Student visa.
How To Apply
You may be required to attend a credibility interview as part of your visa application. In this case, it would be useful to know that the UK Visa and Immigration will generally consider the following points:
- Reasons for coming to the UK
- Education history, your plans for study and after study
- Immigration history in the UK and other countries
- Personal and financial situation.
If you have dependents who want to join you in the UK, consideration will be given to their situations as well.
You’ll be required to fill an online form and create an account using your email, then pay a visa application fee of £348. Upon application, you’ll be asked to provide the following documents:
- Passport details
- Confirmation of Acceptance for Study (CAS) number
- English language test scores
- Original academic documents stated on your CAS
- Financial circumstance like the tuition fee
- ATAS certificate (if applicable)
- Translation of important documents (if any)
Final Words On UK Student Visa
There is a standard operating procedure for acquiring a visa that makes you qualify to study in UK. Before you start packing your bags, it is rather advisable to complete the paperwork instead.
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