For aspirants who want to pursue an education in the United Kingdom, a student visa is compulsory. You’ll be able to apply for a student visa only if you intend to follow a full-time degree course, as these visas are not issued for part-time courses. A student visa is also called a Tier 4 visa.
Following are the conditions for a Tier 4 visa –
- You must be 16 years old or above.
- You should be able to write, read, speak and understand English.
- You’ll be able to support the financing required when staying in the UK, including tuition fee of your college and all other personal expenses.
- If you are a citizen of a nation which is not a part European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland.
Additionally, there are other eligibility criteria that your profile must fulfil to qualify for a visa.
Now, check out some important facts about a student visa:
- Application date
You may apply for a visa as early as 3 months prior to the starting date of your course. Usually, a visa receives approval within three weeks. However, this duration can vary from country to country.
The cost of a UK visa for people from outside its borders is £348. Furthermore, it is mandatory to register for health care service and deposit the surcharge for it.
- Rules and regulation on your stay
Here is what should know regarding your stay –
- You can start living in the UK as long as 1 week before your classes starts, given the course is of 6 months duration or less.
- You can arrive up to 1 month before the start of your course if the session lasts for 6 months or more.
Things which have and don’t have the permission for –
- You can serve as a sabbatical officer of a student union
- Apply for other opportunities within or outside the UK
- Apply for an extension of your stay
- Depending on the status of your course and your sponsors, you can have a job.
- You’ll not be eligible for public funds
- You can’t study at any school or academy funded by local authorities
An overview of the Visa application process
- Apply online for a Tier 4 student visa from the visa and immigration service website.
- Thoroughly read through the PDF file on guidance and rules for visa application. You’ll find this file in the UK govt. site.
- After the approval of your visa application, your photograph and fingerprint will be taken at the visa application centre.
- You must collect your biometric residence permit within 10 days of your arrival date.
Often, students need to extend their stay for a variety of reasons. That’s why it’s essential that you stay informed on the procedures for a visa extension.
An overview of visa extension:
You will be eligible for a visa extension under the following conditions:
- You fulfil the requirements for your respective visa.
- You are within UK borders while applying for the extension service.
- Your expenses are being taken care of by a sponsor.
Furthermore, your application for extended stay for educational purpose is valid only if your sponsor is a higher education institute, an embedded college with pathway courses or an independent school. Additionally, you should include your dependents in your application in case they are on your present visa.
When should you apply for a visa extension?
Apply for a visa extension service –
- By 6 months of receiving confirmation of acceptance studies (CAS).
- Before your current visa expires and before the start of your courses.
You’ll have permission to stay in the UK until you receive the status of your application.
Now, there are 3 ways to apply for the extension, depending on how urgently you need the service.
The services available are:
Standard service –
- You can apply for this service online
- A standard service costs £475 per person
- Needs 8 weeks for processing
Priority service –
- You’ll need to complete a request form, after which you will receive intimation whether you are eligible for a priority service.
- After your application has been accepted, you will have to apply online within 24 hours of acceptance. Then, you must send your supporting documents, which the UK visas and immigration office must receive within 2 days from your application.
- A priority service costs about 952 per person.
- It takes 10 days for processing.
Premium service –
- Processing happens within 24 hours.
- The fee for this service is £
- To use the premium service, you’ll have to visit the premium service centre.
For all extension services, you will have to pay an additional charge of £19.20 for biometric information processing. Follow the process carefully to ensure that your visa approval happens as fast as possible.