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Personal Immigration

UK Study Visa

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UK Study Visa

UK student visa route allows overseas nationals over the age of 16 to come and undertake higher studies in the UK. The child applicants between the age of 4 and 17 may apply for a child student visa instead. The UK study visa is currently based on a points based system and comes under Tier 4 and backed by the principle of visa sponsorship. The students are sponsored by the educational institution normally for the duration of the course and issued with a visa to study that particular course at that institution.

Study Visa Requirements

The Key requirements of the Tier 4 student visa are as below:

  • Offered an unconditional place on a course by a Tier 4 licensed educational institution;
  • Competent in English Language of at least CEFR level B1 for Degree level and B2 for Degree level or higher;
  • Be able to provide for the cost of living in the UK and pay for course fees without relying on public funds.

The confirmation of acceptance for studies (CAS) from a Tier 4 sponsor provides 30 points and maintenance funds to cover course fees and the cost of living a further 10 points. In addition to this, applicants must also meet some course specific requirements.

The current maintenance requirements set out by the UK government requires students to maintain funds for at least 28 days before the application. The total funds required should cover course fees remaining due for the first year of the course and the required amount for living costs for a period of 9 months. If the place of study is in Inner London, it will be £1265 per month (totalling £11,385) and anywhere elsewhere would be £1015 per month (totalling £9,135). The period of 9 months is reduced to two months, if the application is under Tier 4 Doctorate Extension scheme or applying as a student union sabbatical officer.

Work Rights

Students who undertaking a course at or above Degree level (NQF Level 6) at a UK higher education institution are allowed to work for up to 20 hours per week during term time; work full-time during vacations;do a work placement as part of the course or work as a sabbatical officer in a Students’ Union for up to 2 years. If the course is below degree level, then students can only work 10 hours a week during term time.

Study Visa Extension

The current system grants student visas for an initial period which varies depending on the length of the course. In general, a Tier 4 student can stay in the UK for the length of the course plus 4 months (for courses lasting one year or more) or one or two months (for courses between six months and a year). For shorter courses, international students are only granted a week to stay in the UK once the course has finished. The students can utilise the additional time granted to look for work in the UK, prepare for further study or transition to another visa category like Skilled Work visa, Internship visa or apply for the 2 year Post study scheme.

Students may also extend their existing student visas to undertake further studies; if it falls under the time limits (‘cap’) set out by the Home Office. There is a 2 year cap from the applicants turning 18 years old, and wish to study courses that lead to a qualification below degree level. For Degree level and above, the cap is normally set out at 5 years in most cases. If the applicants have completed a PhD or a postgraduate research qualification specified by the Home Office, then the limit is set out at 8 years. Some courses like medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine, architecture and some legal qualifications are exempted from the 5 year limit. Any time spent as a student can be counted for a 10 year Long Residence Settlement route.

How can we assist?

Our Immigration lawyers at City Legal have immense experience in assisting international students from across the globe. We are also a British Council accredited Education Consultancy firm and have partnered with selected Universities to provide admission & education consultancy services directly to our clients. We can provide all services under one roof; whether it is an admission to university, study visa application or discussing post study options.

We are a multi award winning law firm and pride ourselves in being approachable, innovative and always going that extra mile to make sure our clients receive the individual attention they deserve. Our Immigration team maintains a high reputation and is committed to provide clear, transparent and reliable advice to our clients.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I bring family members if I come to study in the UK?

International students sponsored by a higher education institution on a course at level 7 or above that lasts 9 months or more, a new government-sponsored student on a course for more than 6 months or a Doctorate Extension Scheme student may bring family dependants to the UK. The family dependants must be spouse or partner and children under the age of 18 years old. The dependent family members are also allowed to work or study.

Is there any flexibility on the 5 year cap for degree level studies?

The 5 year cap may be extended to six years in some limited circumstances and 5 years 11 months or 6 years 11 months for students studying at institutions with a track record of compliance.

What can I do if my student visa application is refused?

The students may decide to submit a new fresh application correcting any previous errors; challenge the decision by administrative review if there has been a case working error or challenge by the way of a judicial review if the decision was unlawful, unreasonable or procedurally unfair and improper.

What are the relaxations given for applicants from low risk countries?

Some applicants applying for a Tier 4 visa are deemed as low risk applicants and they do not need to provide evidence of qualification or maintenance. They must have a passport issued by one of the countries specified by the Home Office in Appendix H of the Immigration rules.

Is it possible to show the Bank Statements of the applicant's parents to meet maintenance requirements?

The applicants may show maintenance funds in an account owned by them or their parents or legal guardians. They must also provide evidence of the relationship and consent from the account holder to use the money.
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