The United Kingdom Tier Visa system is a points-based system for categorizing visas. You as an applicant must score a minimum number of points required on an assessment test for eligibility. This assessment test considers factors such as age, fluency in the English language of the applicant, and other factors that depend on the specific Tier under which you apply.
There are five different tiers:
- Tier 1 are the High-Value Migrants
- Tier 2 are Skilled Workers
- Tier 3 are the Unskilled Workers
- Tier 4 (which is focus of this writing) are adult Students
- Tier 5 belongs to the Temporary Workers
UK Study Visa Description
There are 2 student categories under Tier 4 of the points-based system:
Tier 4 (General) Student Visa – This visa category is for students interested in going to the UK for higher education and the applicant for this visa must be at least 16 years old.
Tier 4 (Child) Student Visa – This visa category is for children between the ages of 4 and 15 years that are coming to the UK for their education and students in this age group can only be educated at independent fee-paying schools.
If you’re studying a short course and are over 18 years old, this may make you eligible for the short-term study visa which is valid up to six months for most short courses and is possible to extend for a stay of up to 11 months for English language courses.
If you will be studying for a longer course, you’ll need to ensure that the institution you choose holds a Tier 4 Sponsor License.
Cost of Visa UK Tier 4 Student Visa for International Students
The Tier4 student visa cost £348 as of the time of this writing and payments can be made through the following methods listed below
- Making an online payment using either a Visa card or Master card
- Making cash payments at the visa application center and selected branches of Standard Chartered Bank.
- Using a demand draft at the visa application center and some selected branches of Standard Chartered Bank.
Documents required for a UK Tier 4 Student Visa for International Students
Perhaps the most important step involved in your student visa application, Aspirants need the required documents along with supporting documents that show your financial and academic record
Ensure you refer to the UK Student Visa checklist before heading to the consulate in your country for the visa interview.
You should have the following mandatory documents before making applications:
- A completed student visa application form
- A letter of acceptance on the course you applied for – this is usually gotten from your approved education provider who gives you an acceptance letter (CAS) and a visa letter which are the official and unconditional offers of a place based on a course of study.
You should keep note that it is expected that the visa letter is issued no more than six months before you apply and that applications where the visa letters are older than six months usually get refused.
Having a visa letter also does not imply that your student visa application will be successful as you are also expected to meet all the requirements of the visa category and also any other requirements of the United Kingdom immigration rules.
Proof of funds – unless you will be studying in the UK on a fully-funded scholarship the proof of funds is basically the money you need to show that covers your course fees for the first year of your study and living costs for up to a maximum of nine (9) months.
The amount of the proof of funds needed is usually affected by if the applicant is a child or adult and also if the study will be done in or out of London. You must show that you have held the money being shown for proof for at least 28 days and the end of that 28 day period must not exceed a month before the date of your application.
Prepare your other supporting documents
Making preparations for your supporting documents for your application early is always a smart move – as with your financial evidence (proof of funds) – so that you can quickly commence your application once you receive your CAS (Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies)/ acceptance letter.
The necessary supporting documents you have to plan for ahead include:
- Your original academic certificates
- Your Academic transcripts
- The required English language test certificate if needed.
Your CAS will also confirm the documents you need to submit as evidence.
Note that in some countries international students must take a tuberculosis test during this process. You should do well to check on the UK government website to see if this applies to you.
Extra documents which may be required from an international student include:
- Official translations of any evidence which was not written in English
- A letter of parental consent which is required if you are under 18
- Evidence about any changes you have made to your name
Where to apply For UK Tier 4 Student Visa
The UK Student Visa process involved in getting a Tier 4 visa is completely online and the link below takes you to where your online application begins.
It is likely that your course provider in some cases may decide to help you to apply for a UK student visa once you have been offered a place on a course so do well ask to find out if this is the case. Your student visa application to the UK can be done up to three months in advance of the start date of your course. Check out the average visa processing times for your country and be sure to try applying as early as you can.
Many international students in the UK decide to take a part-time job, work placement, or internship position alongside their studies. Keep in mind that your work type and working hours will depend hugely on your visa type and your college of study.
If you are enrolled in a bachelors degree program or higher at a college in the United Kingdom that is listed on both the official ‘UKBA Sponsor list’ and the list of ‘recognized bodies’, you are permitted to work for about 20 hours per week for (Tier 4 General) and also get to work full time during their vacations and summer holidays.