There are 3 main visas a student will need to come to the UK to study.
If you are 16 and over and want to study a higher education level (level 3-6) in the UK lasting longer than 6 months, it is most likely that you will need to apply for a student visa through the student route (formerly known as Tier 4).
Where you can study English for more than 11 months and also bring dependants with you.
The Student Route has replaced the Tier 4 in the new UK’s Points-Based Immigration System. This was introduced in October 2020, it will also apply to EU students from 1 January 2021.
For more information, see the section below.
Where you can study English for up to 11 months or another course for 6 months.
Short-term study Documents Required
You can come to visit family, friends or as a tourist on a visit visa and also study English or any other course for up to 6 months.
Student Visitor Visa Documents Required
Apply for a Standard visitor visa for short term Study:
If you need a visa, you must apply online before you travel to the UK. You can access the online form at the following link: https://www.gov.uk/standard-visitor-visa/apply
Once you’ve started your application you can save your form and complete it later.
Proving your identity and providing supporting documents
The Home Office has released a statement of changes to be laid before Parliament which outlines the intent to close the Tier 4 visa route and replace it with Student Route.
The statement of changes sets out the aim to simplify the student route with the incorporation of European Economic Area students, and specific changes to the entry requirements for this route.
EU (alongside EEA and Swiss) citizens who arrive before the end of the transition period on 31 December 2020, and relevant family members, will be eligible for the EU Settlement Scheme. They have until 30 June 2021 to make an application under that scheme.
EU citizens who do not qualify under EU Settlement Scheme (or other routes protected by the Withdrawal Agreement) arriving in the UK from 1 January 2021 will need to apply and qualify for entry or stay on the same basis as non-EU citizens.
EU citizens will therefore need to get a visa for all activities other than short-term visits and all EU citizens coming to the UK for more than six months will be able to prove other rights and entitlements via online services.
Most EU citizens will not need to attend a Visa Application Centre (VAC) to enrol their biometrics and will instead provide facial images using a smartphone self-enrollment application form.
EU students will need to apply for the new Student route if they arrive in the UK after 31 December 2020. The Home Office has published a useful introductory guide on the new PBS Immigration System specifically tailored to EU students.
The new Points-Based System Student route visa will replace the current Tier 4 visa. The Student route comes into effect at 9:00 am (British Time) on 5 October 2020.
It will affect Student and Student dependent applications made on or after then, regardless of the date on which a CAS was assigned. Applicants who have a valid CAS issued before 5 October at 9:00 under the Tier 4 route will be able to use it for an application under the Student route.
EU nationals can apply for entry clearance applications from 5 October 2020, for entry to the UK from 1 January 2021. Unlike other applicants, they will be granted a ‘secure digital status’ only, not a vignette or BRP. As part of their visa application, they will not be required to submit evidence to show that they meet the financial requirements or provide their academic qualifications used to obtain an offer of study. The Home Office however retains the right to request sight of these documents.
It is hoped that the Student Route will be more streamlined for the sponsor and for the student. Students will require a total of 70 (non-tradeable) points to be granted leave. Points will be awarded for meeting the requirements of the route, which comprise of the sponsorship requirements, English language requirements and maintenance/finance requirements.
We have access to the full privileges of Student Route HEP with a proven track record is one whose Student Route students may be granted conditions of leave which may, depending on the level and length of the course that is being undertaken, include:
The earliest you can apply for a Student Route visa is six months before the start date of the course.
1) Complete online Student Route application form:
2) Pay Immigration Heath Surcharged (IHS) https://www.gov.uk/healthcare-immigration-application/how-much-pay and https://visa-fees.homeoffice.gov.uk/
3) Book your appointment at a visa application center (to get a biometric residence permit and to have your fingerprints scanned) as part of your application
4) Attend biometrics appointment (scan and upload your documents before the appointment)
5) If asked Attend Creditability Interview
For further information and guidance please visit:
During your interview a UKVI member of staff may ask you to attend a credibility interview. The credibility interview is to assess two things:
Questions UKVI may ask are:
6)The Home Office will contact you with a decision within 3 weeks and depending on the type of service used but visa processing times vary by country)
7) In case of visa refusal, please contact the International team (and attached your visa refusal letter.)
8) How to prepare for an interview: As part of your application, you may be interviewed face-to-face or online.
If you have applied for a visa or entered the UK as a visitor on or after 9am on 1 December 2020, you are able to study for up to six months at an accredited institution (not at a state funded school or academy). You will need to prove that you have enough money to cover all reasonable costs.
Once you have arrived in the UK, collect your biometric residence permit (BRP) within 10 days of your arrival and book your police registration within 7 days of UK arrival.
The following Student Route Documents are required:
Must hold an unconditional offer from a licensed UKVI sponsor. SCCB is a licensed sponsor with a proven track record.
Approved test providers and approved tests
Please note that if you need an IELTS test for UK visa applications, you can only take them at a UKVI approved IELTS test centre.
Additionally you can also take a SELT with the following new providers:
Trinity College London (UK only) Pearson (UK and overseas) https://www.gov.uk/guidance/prove-your-english-language-abilities-with-a-secure-english-language-test-selt
If you are outside of the UK
You can only take a SELT with one of the following providers:
If you’re under 18 you’ll need written consent from both parents or legal guardians (or one parent if they have sole responsibility).
This must include their consent for:
You’ll also need to provide a copy of your birth certificate (or another government issued document) that shows the names of your parents.
Click link to see further https://www.gov.uk/student-visa
Length of visa
Your visa will be valid for the duration of your course plus a short amount of time afterwards depending on length of study.
Working on your visa
You can work while you are on in the UK, but with some restrictions and certain working hours
You can also bring dependants on your visa. This applies to English Language Courses only for on a full scholarship from their country of origin.
When to apply
When you can apply depends on whether you’re applying from inside or outside the UK.
Applying from outside the UK – The earliest you can apply for a visa is 6 months before you start your course.
Applying from inside the UK – The earliest you can apply is 3 months before your course starts.
You must apply before your current visa expires. Your new course must begin within 28 days of your current visa expiring.
You must also pay the visa fee for each person that joins you.
Immigration Healthcare surcharge
You’ll also have to pay a healthcare charge https://www.gov.uk/healthcare-immigration-application/pay as part of your application.
How much you pay depends on how long your visa lasts. https://www.gov.uk/healthcare-immigration-application/how-much-pay
You will need a CAS
In order to be eligible for a Student visa, you must satisfy the immigration rules for Student Route Points Based System
You must meet the 70 Points required for the visa.
Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies
That shows you have met the
English Language proficiency