In this post, we will explore the student UK visa and how you can apply.
This visa has replaced the previous Tier 4 (General) student visa.
You may be able to apply to the free EU Settlement Scheme if:
- You or your family are from the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, or Liechtenstein.
- You or your family member will start living in the UK by 31 December 2020.
When Should You Apply for a Student UK Visa?
The deadline to apply was 30 June 2021 for most people. You can still apply if either:
- You have a later deadline – for example, you’re joining a family member in the UK.
- You have ‘reasonable grounds for being unable to apply by 30 June 2021 – for example, if you had an illness or were the victim of domestic abuse.
When Can You Apply for the Student UK Visa?
When you can apply depends on whether you are applying from inside or outside the UK.
Applying From Outside the UK
The earliest you can apply for a visa is six months before you start your course.
You will usually get a decision on your visa within three weeks of your application.
Applying From Inside the UK
The earliest you can apply is three months before your course starts.
You must apply before your current visa expires. Your new course must begin within 28 days of your recent passport passing. You will usually get a decision within eight weeks of your application.
How Long Can You Stay with the Student UK Visa?
How long you can stay in the UK as a student depends on the length of your course and what previous study you may have already completed in the UK.
If you are 18 years or over and your course is at degree level, you can usually stay in the UK for up to 5 years. But if it is below degree level, you can generally remain in the UK for up to 2 years.
Read the guidance handbook to find out exactly how long you can stay.
Can You Stay Longer in the UK?
You may be able to:
- Extend your visa if you’re eligible, for example, to continue your studies in the UK.
- Switch to a Student visa from another type of visa if you’re already in the UK.
- Upgrade to a Graduate visa to stay in the UK for at least two years after completing your course.
When can you Travel to the UK With Your Student UK Visa
You can arrive in the UK before your course starts. This can be either:
- About one week before, if your course lasts six months or less.
- Up to 1 month early, if your course lasts more than six months.
- £348 to apply for a student visa from outside the UK
- £475 to extend or switch to a Student visa from inside the UK
You must pay the visa fee for each person that intends to join you.
You will also have to pay the healthcare surcharge as part of your application.
The attached fee, that is, how much you will pay, depends on how long your visa lasts. Check how much you’ll have to pay before you apply.
Your Partner and Children
You may be able to bring your partner and children (‘dependents’) if you are eligible to meet the requirements.
What you can do
As a student with a UK visa, you can:
- Work as a student union sabbatical officer.
- You may work, which depends mainly on what you are studying and whether you are working in or out of term-time.
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What you cannot do
As a student with a UK visa, you cannot:
- Claim public funds (benefits) and pensions.
- Work in specific jobs, for example, as a professional sportsperson or sports coach
- Be self-employed
- Study at an academy or a local authority-funded school (also known as a maintained school)
If your application is successful, you will be given further information on what you can and cannot do on a UK student visa.
When you apply for your UK student visa, you must provide:
- A current passport or other valid travel documentation
- A Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) from your course provider
You may also need to provide:
- Proof you have enough money to support yourself and pay for your course – this will vary depending on your circumstances.
- A valid ATAS certificate if your course and nationality require it
- Proof of parental or other legal guardian consent if you’re under 18.
- Proof of your relationship to your parent or guardian if you’re under 18.
- Your tuberculosis test results.
- Written consent for your application from your financial sponsor if you’ve received sponsorship for your course fees and living costs in the last 12 months
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