Whether you will need a visa to study in the UK can depend on your nationality and immigration status. There is an online tool to help you figure out if you need a visa which can be found here: www.gov.uk/check-uk-visa
When should I apply for a Student Visa?
Many students underestimate how long the visa process can take and end up leaving to little time to prepare. For this reason, it is important to apply well in advance of when intend to commence your studies.
You can apply up to three months before the start of your course but we would recommend preparing and planning in advance of this. You may need to gather the documents that you will require which show your finances and educational qualifications, enrol your biometric information, attend an interview and/or take an English language test. It would also be a good idea to check with your individual institution regarding vaccinations and other medical requirements at this point.
How long does it take to process a student visa?
The processing times may vary depending on the country that you are applying from, however you should get a decision within 3 weeks.
What is the eligibility for Student Visa?
Eligibility differs for each type of visa, but generally you must have been offered a place on a course at an accepted institution.
What type of student visa do I need?
The type of visa you should apply for will depend on the type of study that you wish to undertake.
If you wish to study a short course or an English language course for up to 11 months you will need one of the following:
- Short-term student visa – If you are at least 18 years old and wish to study in the UK for up to 6 months. If you wish to study an English language course, you may extend this visa and stay for up to 11 months.
- Short-term student (child) visa – If you are 17 years old or younger and wish to study in the UK for up to 6 months.
What kind of student visa do I need if I want to study a longer course in the UK?
If you wish to study a longer course in the UK you will need one of the following:
- Tier 4 (General) student visa – If you are at least 16 years old and wish to study in the UK.
- Tier 4 (Child) student visa – For a child between the ages of 4 and 17 who wishes to study at an independent UK school.
English language tests
Some applicants for a Tier 4 (General) visa may need to prove their knowledge of the English language by taking an English language test as part of their visa application. Government guidelines are subject to change regarding the regulations and providers of the secure English language test (SELT). Please check with your educational provider for their English language requirements.
What are the healthcare charges when you are studying in the UK?
If you wish to come to the UK to study for longer than six months, you will need to pay an additional fee for the NHS health surcharge. The current rate for students is £150.00 per year and includes applications made from the UK and outside of the UK.
Can students with a student visa in the UK bring family members?
Some international students may be able to bring dependent family members with them. If you are an EEA national, a Swiss national or a British passport holder then you may bring dependants with you while you study. For students from outside the EEA, you may bring dependants with you if:
- You are sponsored by higher education institution studying on a course that is at NQF level 7 or higher that lasts for 1 year or longer. (NQF level 7 is equivalent to master’s, doctorate and other postgraduate courses)
- You are a new government-sponsored student and your course last for longer than 6 months
- You are on a Doctorate Extension Scheme
- You must also be able to prove that your dependants will be supported while they are in the UK. You must be able to show that each dependent will have a certain amount of money available to them and that you can continue to support yourself.
- Working on a student visa
- Many students will be able to take part time or voluntary work while in the UK, but the number of hours and type of work that you will be allowed to undertake will depend on the type of visa you are studying on.
Can EEA, EU and Swiss students work in the UK with a student visa?
If you are an EEA, EU or Swiss student you can work in the UK while studying, however students from Croatia may be subject to the Worker Authorisation Scheme. Details about how many hours and the type of work that you are allowed to undertake will be shown on your entry clearance vignette or biometric residence permit.
Can Tier 4 students work with a student visa in the UK?
Ability to work on a Tier 4 student visa will depend on where you study and your individual visa status. Many students will be able to undertake 10 or 20 hours of work per week during term time and full-time employment during the holidays, depending on your level of study. Full details of your ability to work, how many hours and the type of work that you will be allowed to do will be disclosed to you once you have been granted your visa.
Do you have a different question that hasn’t been answered on this student visa FAQs page? For help and advice on all of your student visa matters, contact JMR solicitors in Manchester.