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UK Student Visa: Your Questions Answered!

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Have you any questions? Listed below are answers to questions you have asked us.
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Once you contact us on the phone or on the web to request information for one of our services we will provide you with a free eligibility assessment which will determine the most appropriate visa for you. The assessment will include preliminary information on the visa conditions and how you meet the eligibility requirements. Once you agree to use our service we will process your visa application through to completion. Our service covers the checking of your documents and personal details for correctness before we lodge your application with the relevant Government/Embassy. In the event that we spot any missing information/documents from your application we will follow up by giving you a phone call or sending you an email to request the necessary details.

Thousands of customers choose Visa First to organise their working holiday visas every year because:

  • We make getting the visa you need fast and hassle-free.
  • We provide a free initial assessment on the process.
  • We developed the unique online visa status engine which allows you to check the status of your visa 24/7. Check your status now.
  • We're visa experts and have organised over 130,000 visas for people like you.
  • We have a price and service promise to you to ensure a low cost effective service.
  • We offer a step-by-step consultation as we do the visa.
  • We provide an end-to-end service from assessment, through gathering and processing the documents till visa grant.
  • We have local offices supporting the visa process.


Nationals of all countries can apply for this visa.

Tier 4 (General) Student is for people coming to the United Kingdom for their post-16 education.  Tier 4 (Child) Student is for children between the ages of 4 and 17 to come to the UK. Those aged between 4 and 15 may only be educated at independent fee-paying schools. Applicants aged 16-17 years studying on courses at National Qualification Framework level 3 or above have a choice of making an application either in the Tier 4 (General) Student category or the Tier 4 (Child) Student category.  16 and 17 year olds studying English language courses at level A2 of the Common European Framework of reference for Languages must apply under the Tier 4 (General) Student route.  For any applicants under the age of 18, suitable arrangements must have been made for their travel, reception and care whilst in the United Kingdom.

Yes. All applicants under Tier 4 (General) Student and Tier 4 (Child) Student need a sponsor.  The sponsor is an education provider offering the applicant a place on a course of study in the United Kingdom.  An education provider will need to have registered with the UK Border Agency as a licensed sponsor.  They will need to meet the requirements for the particular category within Tier 4 and accept certain responsibilities to help with immigration control.  All sponsors are given an A rating or B rating when they join the register.  A ‘B’ rating is a transitional rating and means that the sponsor is working with the UK Border Agency to improve their systems.

The following routes remain outside of PBS:
  • Prospective Students - for those coming to the UK to finalise arrangements for their course.
  • Student Visitors - for those coming to the UK for up to 6 months who do not intend to work and/or extend their stay.
  • Child Visitors - for under 18s coming to the UK to undertake a short course of study as part of a visit of up to 6 months.
  • Parents of children at school - for parent carers accompanying child students under the age of 12 to the United Kingdom.

Biometric details are scans of all 10 fingers and a full-face digital photograph. You will need to provide your biometric details in person. The whole procedure should take no more than 5 minutes to complete. Your visa application will not be processed until you have met this requirement.

Points are awarded for having a valid Visa Letter issued by a licensed sponsor which is worth 30 points. In addition 10 points are given for fulfilling the Maintenance (Funds) requirement.  Entry Clearance Officers will only award points where you have indicated that you wish to claim them, and for which you have supplied the required supporting evidence.

Successful applicants will be granted a visa in line with the length of their initial course of study.

The Tier 4 (Adult) Student visa offers the student the benefit of developing an educational base in the UK while being permitted to work up to 20 hours per week during term periods. Tier 4 Student (Adult) visa holders are permitted to work full time during vacation periods without seeking further permission from the UK Border Agency.

In some instances, graduate level students may be able to switch into a working visa category that could lead to settlement in the UK.

If you have been offered a full-time place at a UK educational institution, you may be eligible to enter the UK on a Student Visa.


  • You must have a secured place at a UK-based institution for full-time study. Full-time means a minimum of 15 hours of classroom study per week.
  • You must be able to show that you can support yourself and pay for your course.
  • This is not a work visa however you can work part time to supplement your
  • income i.e 20 hours per week and 40 hours per week during holidays
  • You must plan to leave UK at the end of your studies.

  • Successful applicants are normally granted a 1 year visa initially, depending on the length of the course.
  • Students may work for 20 hours per week in term time, and 40 hours per week during the holidays.
  • Partners and dependents are usually free to work as they choose, as long as the main applicant is going to be studying for longer than 1 year.

Individuals wishing to study for 6 months or less may qualify for a student visitor visa, however visa nationals will still require entry clearance in this category. This type of visa does not allow for any form of employment.

There is no set duration for the UK student visa however they are generally granted for 12 months. Typically they are determined by the length of the course that you intend on studying. The UK student  can be extended by applying for a Further Leave to Remain (FLR) where applicants intend to follow completion of their course with another course of study.

It is also possible to switch to a  UK work permit however it is not easy and depend on you having an employment offer from a UK company.

You may qualify for a skilled visa however it is a points based immigration visa and your will need to satisfy certain requirements.

Visa First  can assist you in obtaining your UK student visa before arriving and can also assist you, where possible, to extend your stay by viewing all visa options available to you and consulting you.

1. A completed Visa First student visa application form

2. A letter of acceptance on the course

This will be a letter from your institution confirming that a place has been offered to you and that the course is full-time. The letter should state how long the course will last. Where your course is more advanced and specialized, the letter should also state what level of English is needed for the course (giving minimum test marks, if appropriate) and confirm that you satisfy this requirement.

3. Proof of funds

Visa First can provide you with a UK bank account which you can prefund prior to departure and show as evidence of funds for your visa. You must show evidence that you can pay your course fee and support yourself and your family is applicable.

The money you need to show covers your course fees for your first year of study and living costs for up to a maximum of nine months. The amount you will need depends on whether you are applying as a child or adult and also whether you will be studying in or out of London.

You must show that you have held the money for at least 28 days. The end of that 28 day period must not be more than one month before the date of your application.

You must show the following amount of money to meet basic living costs (not including fees) for period of up to 9 months:

  • £800 per month if you are living in London;
  • £600 per month if you are living outside London.

You can prove you have the money if you have cash in an account in your name (this includes joint accounts with your name); or Child students can use an account in their parent or legal guardian’s name.

If you have already paid some of your fees or accommodation before applying for your visa, this amount will be taken away from the total amount of money you need to show. For accommodation, this only applies if you are staying in university or college arranged accommodation.


Any partners or children who want to come to the United Kingdom with you must also have documentary proof that they have enough money to support themselves.

Child students are not allowed to bring partners to the United Kingdom with them as dependants. Anyone who has any children under the age of 18 who are living with them or who they are financially responsible for, is not able to come to the United Kingdom as a child student.

4. Accomodation

Although the immigration rules do not require unaccompanied students to show that accommodation has been arranged, your place of study may have given you information about its availability, and you should bring this to the attention of the ECO. If your family is coming with you to the UK, you will need to show that there will be adequate accommodation for them. If your place of study cannot confirm that family accommodation will be available, you may have to consider travelling to the UK alone and making arrangements for your family to join you when you have found somewhere to live.

5. The Interview

The interview is a part of your visa application process. 

The interview is an essential part of the visa process and is conducted at the embassy. Visa First will prepare you for your interview so that you are able to answer queries relating to your uk student visa application.

6. Visa Letter

Your approved education provider will give you a visa letter which is an official and unconditional offer of a place on a course of study.

The visa letter must be issued no more than six months before you apply. The applications where the visa letters are older than six months will be refused.

Having a visa letter does not guarantee the application will be successful. The applicant must meet all the requirements of the category and any other requirements of the immigration rules.

Additional documents and proof for students under 18 years old

All students under 18 years old will need to get their parent(s) or legal guardian’s written consent to the care arrangements for their travel to, reception and care while in the United Kingdom, before permission to enter or stay will be given.

Switching Rules

You can switch in to the adult student category if you have, or were last given, permission to stay in the following categories:

  • skilled worker (Tier 2 General)
  • intra-company transfer (Tier 2)
  • minister of religion (Tier 2)
  • child student (Tier 4)
  • prospective student
  • student
  • student re-sitting an examination
  • student nurses
  • students writing up a thesis
  • Student Union sabbatical officer
  • work permit holder
  • a postgraduate doctor or dentist
  • participant in the SEGS
  • participant in the IGS
  • participant in the FT: WISS

  • We can advise on the letter that the college is offering you and let you know if it is sufficient.
  • We can find a proper college or institution
  • We can provide assistance in completing the application forms.
  • We can advise and represent our clients’ dependants to seek dependant visas in line with the visa of the main applicant.
  • We can lodge an appeal (in-country only) or make a request for an administrative review if the applicant`s leave to remain or entry clearance application is turned down for some reason.
  • We can provide a UK kickstart pack including everything you need prior to departure to the UK.

Complete the application form and one of our team will respond in the next 12 hours.

Unlike a UK visit visa, or travel visa application, applicants for study permits may take part-time or holiday work but must not engage in the following.
  • Work for more than 20 hours a week during term time (except in vacation periods), unless it is a work placement and part of a study program and the educational institution agrees.
  • Conduct business, be self-employed, or provide services as a professional sports person or entertainer.
  • Work full-time in a permanent job.

Spouse immigration is only permitted for married partners and unlike a fiance visa or De Facto visa, often known as an unmarried partner visa, your common-law or conjugal partner is not allowed to join you. Married partners will be granted leave to remain for a period equal to that granted to the student. During this time, they must be able to support themselves either independently or with the help of the applicant.

Yes, but if you are coming to study in the UK and you want to travel to Ireland first, you should obtain UK entry clearance as a student in your home country before going to Ireland. The reasons for this are:

you will probably not see any immigration officers when you enter the UK from Ireland, so you will not be able to apply for immigration permission to enter the UK

if you do not get immigration permission when you enter the UK, and you are not a visa national, you will in most cases automatically have permission to be in the UK for three months, but you will not be allowed to work and you will not be able to extend your stay in the UK as a student or student visitor.

Yes, but it is very important that you apply for entry clearance as a 'prospective student', and not as any other kind of visitor. You will be expected to provide evidence that you have made contact with institutions in the UK, for example letters inviting you for interviews in the UK. 'Prospective students' can stay in the UK for up to six months to make arrangements for their studies. When you have enrolled at a college or university, you will need to extend your stay in the UK as a 'student'. If you have not come to the UK with entry clearance in the immigration category of 'prospective student', you will not be able to do this in the UK and will have to return to your country to make this application.

No, you must not do this. The Immigration Rules say that you must be outside the UK when you apply for entry clearance. And the immigration permission that an entry clearance gives does not start if you do not use it to enter the UK. Why does it matter if I work too many hours or overstay in the UK (overstaying means allowing your immigration permission to expire without making an application to extend it)? This will have serious consequences for any future entry clearance applications that you make abroad. If you overstay for more than 28 days or work more hours than you are allowed to work, you may be barred from coming back to the UK for at least 12 months (and in some cases five or ten years).

If you are found not to have told the truth in answer to questions on the entry clearance application form about your previous immigration behaviour in the UK, you are likely to be barred for ten years. It is likely to be difficult for you to obtain immigration extensions in the UK, too.

Yes. If you forget to register with the police, this could have serious consequences for any future entry clearance applications that you make abroad. You could be barred from coming back to the UK for 12 months (and in some cases five or ten years).

It will also cause problems for you obtaining immigration extensions in the UK.

If your passport or identity card does not tell you to register with the police, you do not need to do this.

Yes. If you apply for a welfare benefit that you do not qualify for, you will have problems obtaining an immigration extension in the UK. You will also find that if you try to apply for entry clearance abroad, you may be barred from coming back to the UK for at least 12 months (and in some cases, five or ten years).

Yes, keep photocopies of every page of every passport that you ever use to enter the UK (except for the blank pages). You may need to refer to them for future immigration applications, or in case your passport is lost or stolen. Remember to update the photocopy each time it shows a new journey.

Also keep all the paperwork and documents you have that evidence each of your journeys to and from the UK. You might need these for future immigration applications, too.

  • Requires only 15 years of education for direct entry into postgraduate programme;
  • International students studying at UK institutions are not required to obtain permission from the jobcentre to take spare time and vacation work;
  • In UK, most undergraduate degrees take only 3 years while postgraduate degrees take one year; you spend less time away from home and less money on course fees;
  • Educational institutions are constantly monitored and reviewed to ensure that courses offered are of high quality;
  • Qualifications from the UK are some of the most recognized and respected worldwide;
  • There is a high success rate for international students in the UK education system;
  • Health insurance is free to students who are studying in UK for 6 months of more;
  • There are many routes into education in UK, so chances of accessing the British system are high;
  • UK is the gateway to Europe, rich in history and has welcomed international students for hundreds of years.

British universities and colleges are rarely able to offer scholarships for undergraduate studies, although some are available for exceptional students, especially for postgraduate courses in particular fields or for research.

Most likely your application will be refused because this is one of the main requirements for the money to have been in your account for the last 28 days before submission of your application.

A student can use money held in an account owned by his/her parents. The student will need to show evidence that he/she is related to his/her parent(s)/legal guardian and that the student has his/her parent(s)/legal guardian’s permission to use this money. The evidence of money held must be of cash funds in the bank (this includes savings accounts and current accounts even when notice must be given), as a loan letter or official financial or government sponsorship available to the applicant. Other accounts or financial instruments such as shares, bonds, overdrafts, credit cards and pension funds are not acceptable, regardless of notice period.

The Immigration authorities will require you to provide proof of sufficient funds not proof of accommodation. That’s why as long as you have the required minimum of funds there should be no problems at all and you won’t have to show proof for accommodation.

If your student visa is still valid there should be no problem to work under the visa terms and conditions. If it has already expired and you’re on visitor’s permit you are not allowed to work. Still it will be the best if you check this with the UK Home Office.

To be able to apply for a Student visa you must provide a bank statement showing that you have the required funds in your account and that they have been there for at least 28 days before the time of your application. The required amount of sufficient funds is £600 / £800 per month for the first 9 months depending whether you will be staying out of London or in London. Apart of this you must have also either paid your tuition fee or you must have enough money to pay it on the top of the living expenses.

As an adult student under Tier 4 (General), you are allowed to:
  • do part-time work during term time;
  • do full-time work during vacations;
  • do a work placement as part of your course.

The maximum amount of part-time work you can do during term time is:
  • 20 hours per week if you are studying a course at or above UK degree level or a foundation degree course, and/or if you made your application to study under Tier 4 (General) on or before 2 March 2010;
  • 10 hours per week if you are studying a course that is below UK degree level and is not a foundation degree course, and you made your application to study under Tier 4 (General) on or after 3 March 2010.

The work you do must not fill a full-time permanent vacancy (other than on a recognised Foundation Programme), and you must not be self-employed, employed as a doctor in training (except on a recognised Foundation Programme) or as a professional sportsperson (including coach) or entertainer.

You can work full-time during vacation periods, within the above limits. If you have completed your course and you make an application to remain in the UK under the points-based system before your existing permission to stay expires, you can work full-time (within the above limits) until your application is decided.

Unfortunately no one is able to answer your questions because the decision is taken from the Border Agency once they review your application!

There is no problem to apply for UK Student visa but it will be up to the Immigration Authorities if they will issue the visa.

A person can apply under the Tier 4 (General) student category if he/she has, or was last given, permission to stay in any of the following categories:

Tier 4 (General) Student
Tier 4 (Child) Student
Tier 1 (Post-study Work) Migrant
Tier 2 Migrant
Participant in the International Graduates Scheme (or its predecessor, the Science and Engineering Graduates Scheme)
Participant in the Fresh Talent: Working in Scotland Scheme
Postgraduate Doctor or Dentist
Prospective Student
Student Nurse
Student Re-sitting an Examination
Student Writing-Up a Thesis
Student Union Sabbatical Officer
Work Permit Holder.

If the visa that you have for the UK is one of the above then there should be no problem to apply for the UK Student visa from inside the UK.

There is no problem to apply once again once you meet the visa requirements. You will only need to write an explanation letter why your first visa application was rejected.

Yes, you must have all the required funds in your account at least 28 days before applying for the visa. Otherwise your visa will be refused.

At Visa First we do everything we can to make sure you receive the best possible service. If you feel that we have not achieved this goal we have set up a complaints handling process:

Complaints Process:
  1. Where an official complaint is received by Visa First, the company will record the nature of the complaint and issue an acknowledgement email to the client within 5 business days of receiving the complaint. The acknowledgement will provide the client with the contact name who is responsible for dealing with the complaint. The official complaint must be made by email (you may also write, although this will slow down the process), and confirm that the client wishes to enter this process. Please email your complaint to complaints@visafirst.com
  2. Visa First will investigate the complaint as swiftly as possible and where applicable, the complainant will receive a regular written update on the progress of the investigation at intervals of not more than 20 business days.
  3. Visa First will try to resolve the complaint within 40 business days of having received the complaint. If the complaint cannot be resolved within 40 business days, the Firm will write to the complainant notifying them of the anticipated timeframe for the conclusion of the investigation.
  4. Within 5 business days of the conclusion of the investigation of the complaint, Visa First will issue a resolution letter detailing the outcome of the investigation. This letter will include, if applicable, an explanation of the terms of any offer that the company is prepared to make in settlement of the complaint.

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