International students can apply for a Student visa to study in the UK if they’re 16 or over and have been offered a place on a course by a licensed sponsor.
The licensed student sponsor means a UK educational institution which is approved and licensed by the Home Office UKVI.
Contact an expert immigration lawyer in Manchester at Rex Law Chambers to get reliable & confidential immigration advice and legal assistance with a UK Student visa application or any other immigration matter.
Table of Contents
- What is a Student visa UK?
- Requirements for a Student visa?
- Documents required for the Student visa UK
- Extending Student visa UK
- Switch to a Student visa UK
- Family members (partner and children)
- UK Student visa processing time
- UK Student visa application fees
- How can an immigration lawyer help you?
- Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
- Need legal advice or help from an immigration lawyer?
What is a Student visa UK?
The UK Student visa allows overseas students to come to and study in the UK if they have been offered a place on a course by an approved educational institution. This visa has replaced the Tier 4 (General) student visa.
You must be 16 or over to apply for a study visa. If you're between 4 and 17 years old and you want to study at an independent school in the UK, you may be eligible for a Child Student visa instead.
To be eligible for a UK student visa, you must have been offered a place on a course of study at a licensed Tier 4 sponsor, be able to demonstrate that you have enough money to cover your course fees and living expenses in the UK, and meet the English language requirements.
While studying in the UK on a student visa, you will be able to work part-time (up to 20 hours per week during term time and full-time during vacation periods), but you will not be allowed to work as a professional athlete, entertainer or as a doctor in training.
To be successful in your application for a UK Student visa, it is very important that the Entry Clearance Officer (ECO) is satisfied that you are a genuine student.
The issue of being a genuine student is determined by considering various factors such as:
- any relevant qualifications you have
- any relevant work experience you have
- your education gap (if any)
- your knowledge of the course
- your university and reasons for studying the course
- the reasons for choosing the educational institution where you have to study the course
It is very common that a student visa entry clearance application to be refused by the Entry Clearance Officer after conducting a visa interview and not being satisfied with the answers of the student to prove genuineness. It is therefore you are well prepared to face any such interview so that the genuineness does not become an issue in your student visa entry clearance application.
Requirements for a Student visa?
For a successful UK Student visa application, the applicant must meet the requirements of Appendix Student of the Immigration Rules.
- you have been offered a place on a course by the Home Office approved institution
- You must have enough money to pay the course fee and support yourself during your stay in the UK
- You need to meet the Student visa English language requirement to prove that you can speak, read, write and understand English
Read the guidance for the full list of eligibility requirements for UK Student visa applications.
You must also meet all the other eligibility requirements depending on type of application and your personal circumstances. Please contact us for an initial assessment to determine your eligibility, and to discuss the options.
Documents required for the Student visa UK
The applicants will need to provide several documents in support of their UK Student visa application depending on their personal circumstances.
You must provide the following documents when you apply for a UK Student visa:
- Your current valid passport
- CAS letter from your course provider (licensed student sponsor)
- Evidence of that you have enough money to pay the course fee and support yourself
- Your TB (Tuberculosis) test results
Read the guidance for the full list of documents you'll need to provide in support of your Student visa application.
This is a general list of documents. Depending on type of application and your personal circumstances, you might also need to provide additional documents.
Please contact us for an initial assessment to determine your eligibility, and find out the required list of documents in support of your application.
Extending Student visa UK
UK Student visa holders may be able to extend their Student visa from inside the UK if they want to continue their course or want to study a new course.
If you want to extend your Student visa, you must meet all the eligibility requirements as set out in Appendix Student of the Immigration Rules.
The earliest you can apply for the extension is 3 months before your course starts. You must apply before your current Student visa expires. Your new course must begin within 28 days of your current visa expiring.
Read the guidance for how to extend your UK Student visa and the requirements.
Switch to a Student visa UK
You may be able to switch UK Student visa from inside the UK if you are already in the UK with a visa from which switching to a Student visa is permitted under the UK Immigration Rules.
You cannot switch to this visa if you have one of the following visas:
- a visit visa
- a short-term student visa
- a Parent of a Child Student visa
- a seasonal worker visa
- a domestic worker in a private household visa
- leave outside the immigration rules
Read the guidance for how to switch to a UK Student visa and the requirements.
Family members (partner and children)
Your family members (a partner or children) will need to apply for the student dependent visas separately to extend their visas. Your dependents can either apply at the same time as you or at any time before their current visa expires.
The family members include your husband, wife, civil partner, unmarried/same-sex partner or your child under 18 years old (including if they were born in the UK during your stay).
Read the guidance about the Student Dependent visa and the requirements.
UK Student visa processing time
You should get a decision on your UK Student visa within 3 weeks if you are making the visa application from outside the UK by using standard service. Time starts once you've applied online and attended your biometric appointment.
For those applying for a Student visa from inside of the UK, the Home Office (UKVI) aims to process visa applications within 8 weeks.
How long does the visa application process take?
Once you have applied online and attended your biometrics appointment, you'll usually get a decision on your visa within:
- 3 weeks, if applying from outside the UK using standard service
- 8 weeks, if applying from inside the UK using standard service
- 5 working days, if applying using priority service
- 24 hours, if applying using super priority service
Super Priority Service
You may be eligible to use the “super priority service” to get a faster decision by the end of the next working day (within 24 hours). You'll need to pay £1,000 in addition to the UK visa application fee.
You may be able to choose the 'priority service' when you apply for a UK visa to get a faster decision within 5 working days. You'll need to pay £500 in addition to the UK visa application fee.
When you apply, you might be eligible to choose the 'super priority service' or 'priority service' to get your visa faster depending on the type of application and what country you're in.
UK Student visa application fees
Home Office (UKVI) fees for UK Student visa application are:
- £363 to apply for a Student visa from outside the UK
- £490 to apply for a Student visa extension or switch to this visa from inside the UK
Please note that these fees are subject to change, and you should always check the most up-to-date information on the UK government's official website before applying for a visa.
How much does a UK visa application cost?
The cost of a UK visa application varies depending on the type of visa you are applying for, your location and the type of service such as 'standard service', or 'priority service'.
Here are some common costs associated with applying for a UK visa:
- Home Office visa application fee
- Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) (unless visa length is less than 6 months or you're exempt)
- Biometrics fee (if applying from inside the UK)
- The 'priority service' fee to get a faster decision (if applicable)
- English language test fee (if required)
- Immigration lawyer fees (if using legal services to boost your chances of success & avoid mistakes)
Please note that the above is a general list of costs associated with UK visa applications. There may be additional costs such court fee and translation fee depending on your circumstances.
Immigration lawyer fees
Our expert UK immigration lawyer will guide you through every step of the UK visa application process including advice about legal requirements and eligibility criteria.
At Rex Law Chambers, our immigration lawyer charges a fixed fee between £800-£1000 for our complete legal services in relation to your UK visa application. The agreed fixed fee will depend on the complexity of the matter and the casework involved in the matter.
How can an immigration lawyer help you?
As part of our immigration services for your immigration application, our expert immigration lawyer will:
- Assess your eligibility for the relevant visa type by fully considering your circumstances.
- Advise you on the required supporting documents to be submitted in support of your immigration application.
- Assess all the documents to ensure that the documents you provide are as per the requirements of the Immigration Rules.
- Advise you on strengths and potential weaknesses in your visa application and how you can overcome such weaknesses (if any).
- Complete the online immigration draft application form to share it with you for cross-checking.
- Submit your application online and schedule your biometrics appointments with the relevant commercial partner of the UKVI.
- Prepare a detailed cover letter in support of the immigration application explaining in detail how you are meeting all the requirements of the Immigration Rules so that you have the maximum chance of succeeding in your visa application.
- Upload all the supporting documents online in support of the immigration application in their correct format and order.
- Dealing and responding to any caseworker enquiries or correspondence from the Home Office caseworker for any further documents or information concerning your pending immigration application.
- Do all the follow-up work on your immigration application until a decision is received from the Home Office UKVI.
Contact our experienced and friendly immigration lawyer on 0161 989 9370 or fill in our enquiry form to get reliable & confidential immigration advice and legal assistance with a UK visa application or any other immigration matter.
Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
UK Student visa allows international students to work for a maximum of 20 hours per week during term time including paid or unpaid work. A student visa issued for full-time degree-level studies allows you to work full-time during official vacation periods.
Home Office usually takes 3 weeks to process a UK Student visa application from outside the UK. Time starts once you attend your appointment at the visa application centre.
The earliest you can apply for a visa is 6 months before you start your course.
If studying in London, you should have enough money in your bank account to pay the outstanding course fees and £1,334 for each month of the course (up to a maximum of 9 months).
If studying outside London then you need money in your bank account equivalent to your outstanding course fees and £1,023 for each month of the course (up to a maximum of 9 months).